Would ATP Flight School be a good fit me?

HI. everyone my name in DeMarcus or you can call me Demar, i’m from New Jersey by way of Atlanta, GA and i’m looking to start ATP Wilmington, DL Campus maybe summer 2018, im here because i need to hear from ppl who have and is currently attending ATP Flight School. i really would LOVE to attend ATP but i am kinda worried about whether or not i’ll be able to keep up with the pace of the program, with me having no prior experience in aviation only YouTube videos lol. but i have a incredible passion for aviation in relation to flying planes. but i don’t want to make this hug investment and fail. so my question is, for someone with no prior experience in aviation (planes) would ATP be a good fit for me and if not give me some suggestions, or if it is possible how could i prep myself for the fast pace.

Hi Demar,

Welcome to the forums. Your question is a good one and I am glad that you are asking it. Keep in mind, that the vast majority of ATP’s students come to the program with no prior flight experience. After all, ATP is in the business of training pilots. However, if you are particularly worried about your ability to keep up in the program, I might suggest going to your local flight school and taking several lessons. After five or ten hours, plus ground school, you will have a good idea if you grasp aviation concepts well and how you perform in an airplane. I would by no means be looking for perfect flying skills in five hours, just a sense of are you progressing and are you grasping the concepts that are presented to you.

Also, remember that if for some reason you leave ATP’s program you will be refunded a pro-rated amount. Check out this page, or call the admissions department, for more information: https://atpflightschool.com/airline-career-pilot-program/policies.html

Do keep in mind though that a lot have pilots have gone through the program and done just fine. I can tell you that I am not a natural when it comes to aviation. I had to study and work very hard through the program. But I did that and now I am here. My money says you will be fine, but it is always good to do research first, like you are doing.


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Demar, I went thru ATP and I am now in the beginning to instruct phase with ATP. I’d be honest with you about your question. I am sure if you read reviews online, you’d see bad reviews and good reviews. ATP is not for everyone but then you have to ask yourself, if the end goal is to get to the airlines as fast as possible, don’t you want a school that would get you there the quickest. yes along the way you may have to work harder then you would have at a local FBO, but then again, based on recent students I know, in 2yrs or so you can be sitting right seat at a regional.

there are students who have come thru the program not understanding what it would take and dropped out but it was not lack of guidance and training from ATP, but rather a lack of being able to keep up, and lack of personal drive. so its very important to understand that what is expected of you while in the program and also to make a decision wisely since you are right, it is a major financial commitment.

ATP will provide you with the course materials, but it is expected of you to read, review and come prepared for the flight. every time your schedule is made for a particular lesson, it will tell you what your preparation needs to be and items you need to review and go over before you come for flight. the instructors do a great job to build upon the knowledge you learn on your own and answer ANY questions you may have. as long as you can set your mind to your goal, stay motivated, and put in the hardwork, you’d do great in the program.

so again, yes it is a big financial commitment, but you also have to realize that it is also a personal commitment to make sure you do your part. ATP is great in doing their part. I had a friend who went thru the program in 84 days, he came in with a private and did the rest of the training with ATP. I am not saying thats the goal you shud have, but if you are willing to work hard, ATP will work just as hard to help you get to your goal.

hope that helps :slight_smile:


Thanks Chris, coming in with no experience was my BIGGEST concern knowing that its a fast pace program, so i didn’t know whether or not the flight instructor would expect a curtain level of knowledge. so my question now is what would be something that i could do now to prepare for Ground and ultimately flight training

Thanks so much tavi_us so what were some of the things you did to stay up on your study in the sense of developing good study habits.

Right now, there really isn’t a whole lot that you can do. Once you put down deposit, you can start using ATP’s software to begin studying for the written exams. Getting even a few of those completed before you begin training could give you a huge head start.

Where are you now in life? Age? Education level?

whooo lol i currently work for amazon in which they will be paying for my books, software, ipad ect. upto $3000.00 / $9000.00 if i stay with them while i take this cruse which i want be able to. just turned 31 in Aug. and i only have a GED…


Unfortunately working and attending ATP is a recipe for disaster. First off logistically you need to be flexible when it comes to your schedule so maintaining any kind of a job would be challenging. More important you express your concern regarding the pace and it is indeed very accelerated. To be successful requires a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication. What that means is it requires your full and undivided attention. As the others have said the program definitely doable BUT that is only by making it not only your primary, but your only focus.

On another note, while the Regionals while hire you with a GED the Majors want a 4yr degree so that’s something else you’ll want to look into at some point. Without one you could find your advancement limited.


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I agree with Adam here, there is no way possible to be an ATP student and work at the same time. The program is accelerated as it is, throwing in work on top of that just isn’t possible. If you wanted to use those Amazon benefits you could start by taking some basic level college classes at your community college.


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Hello, I am new to the website and I have been reading a lot of your post. I am a Canadian permanent resident, originally I am from Cuba and I am highly interested in becoming an airline pilot. I know I will have certain difficulties, as being black, woman and latin, but that is not my main problem, I always have thought that you can get as far as you want if you are committed to. I have some questions regarding the payment, it is possible to start the program if you have just the starting portion of the money? that works for international students as well? I am currently in my Honors degree in Biochemistry (5 years) and minor in Computer Science, will that degree help me if at the end I want to work for a major airline? I want to be clear on that because after I graduate I want to go to a flying school, otherwise, I will pursue a master program or the school of medicine. Also, what do you recommend, a flying school in Canada, Europe or the US? Do you know any scholarship program for fly students? Sorry for the long reply, I hope you can help me. Karla :slight_smile:


To train in the US, you will need to undergo a lengthy background check by the TSA. After you complete your training in the US, you will not be able to work in the US, so you will need to find a way to build hours in your home country.

No, you cannot start with just part of the money. You will need to have the full amount available when you start, or be approved for financing for it. For a flight school in the US, you will need a co-signer who is a permanent US resident or citizen to apply for loans. I am not aware of any scholarship programs.

Your degree will be just fine for the airlines, all they really want to see is a four year degree.

As to where to train, that really depends on what your goals in aviation are. I would recommend picking a fight school in a country where you want to work and are eligible to work.


Thank you so much for your response, it was very clarifying. I guess the best option is to do the training in a Canadian school.

Yes, I would think so.

Thanks Adam :slight_smile:

ok so hold off on ATP and start at community college first?

No, not saying that. I am just saying that if you want to use your Amazon benefits, that is the way to go. If you want to get flying first, then I would start looking for a flight school. It just depends on what you want to do and how you want to pay for it. I am just saying to investigate all of your options.

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I don’t want to hijack this thread, so please let me know if I should start my own. I’m just starting to seriously investigate becoming a pilot. My situation is that I 39 years old and am in quite a bit of school and business debt and it will be several years before I might be able to afford flight school.
Are you saying that it is possible to start training to be a pilot without getting into the air?


I was telling DeMarcus that he might want to use his Amazon benefits for school as he does not yet have a college degree. You obviously already have one.

There really isn’t a lot of ground school that can be done without the actual flight training. Flight instruction really works best when the student learns a concept, then goes out and applies it in the airplane. Just pure book learning is very abstract and won’t do much at all to advance you along the path to being a pilot.



Chris, regarding yours and other comments that it’s highly discouraged to work FT and attend ATP, are you aware of any weekend programs or flexible flight training arrangements that allows work? I’m not looking into an accelerated course as I wouldn’t be able to go to flight school full time yet.
I’ve been in banking for 20 years and want a change, looking for a second career, as I’ve always been fascinated with flying. Any thoughts are appreciated.



Virtually EVERY flight school in the country will allow you to train weekends, part time, whatever you choose. ATP was created to train pilots for the airlines and as such the training is full-time because that is without question the most effective and efficient method but if you’re not in a hurry and not ready to dedicate yourself fully (as many people can’t) there are dozens of flight schools out there that will let you train however you like. Simply Google or visit your local airport.


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