I am currently enrolled as a freshman engineering student at a university. I know I want to have a career as an airline pilot. I have been flying on and off for the past 2 years trying to get my private pilots license, but due to certain circumstances it has been extremely difficult. I was very close to taking my written by the end of this last summer but then the semester started and I have had no time to study or fly at all. I have tried to fly on the weekends but I find it worthless because my flights are never consistent making it hard to keep all the knowledge on top of all my school work. The only time i know that I would really be able to fly consistently is in the summers and it sucks because I hate having to wait and go that long without flying. I am torn on what path I want to take. I have thought about doing my first 2 years of college and then going to ATP school, but as i have done some research a lot of people seem to not like ATP not to mention its outrageous expense. I have also heard that the next few years are the prime time to get into the airline industry. I really want to start flying as soon as possible, but i’m not sure how to go about it taking into consideration my education and all the expenses. I would really appreciate any responses. Thanks
First and foremost if you look up and to the left you’ll clearly see the ATP logo. This is ATPs forum and all the mentors, current and former students on here are or were ATP students and instructors. Needless to say we’re all partial to the program. Understand we’re not sales people nor are we trying to get you to go to ATP, it’s simply the route we all took and the route that worked for us. Now that we got that out of the way let’s talk.
You’ve already seen that part-time flight training really doesn’t work. There’s a reason the airlines and the military train their pilots daily. To progress you need consistency. ATP knows that and they created the Career Pilot Program over 30 years ago and for over 30 years people have been talking trash about the program. There’s many reasons for this. Former students who washed out, others who paid 2-3 times as much for their training and others who are simply repeating things they’ve read. The fact is that ATP has placed THOUSANDS of pilots at the airlines (over 600 this year alone) and they were doing it back when just getting an interview was a major accomplishment. The funniest thing to me is with all the smack talk virtually EVERY flight school in the country now offers their version of a career pilot program modeled after ATPs. The internet has given everyone a voice but if you talk to ACTUAL airline pilots you’ll see most either were military, went to Embry Riddle or went to ATP. I personally know over a dozen current Major airline Capts who have all sent their kids to ATP to train. In fact one of my best friends, who’s a retired G5/Global Express A list stars pilot, former Army instructor, Corporate Chief Pilot and Presidential pilot sent his daughter to ATP. She’s now a Capt with me at Hawaiian. I could go on but you get the idea. As for the cost being “outrageously expensive” I strongly recommend you start comparing other COMPARABLE programs. ATP’s price is guaranteed and their flight times are actual hours not an estimate based on “FAA mins” with a disclaimer.
I hate to sound like a commercial but you asked “what’s the best route to go?”. I was in your position many years ago. I did my research and concluded the best route was ATP and it was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. I am literally living a dream I never thought was possible and I honestly would not have made it here it wasn’t for ATP.
I recommend you take a look at the FAQ section for much more info.