Would like to get back on track... Please help!

Hello Aviators,

My name is Mohammed Shaad. I have a question and would appreciate any advice on this topic. I am in the process of converting my Canadian CPL into FAA. At the moment I have 270hrs ASEL rating. I do not hold Instrument and Multi Engine Rating either. Once I get my FAA CPL I would like to continue my training towards IRA and ME and also possibly CFI to get experience and get into Regional.
I have heard about flight schools having partnerships with different regional airlines. I have already spent around 40k-50k behind my training so far. I did some research about ATP and few more flight schools that says about guarantee CFI job cause I think after spending so much and if I am ready to spend few $$$ going through flight school that would offer a guarantee CFI job after course completion is the only choice I have.
Any suggestions on flight schools and how would I get back on track without getting much damage…???

Thank you…

Hello Mohammed,

The fact that you’ve spent that amount of money and only have your SEL CPL is criminal. Obviously I’m a fan of ATP which is why I participate on this forum. I always recommend research (I did a ton myself), but after you do I doubt you’ll find a more efficient route to the airlines. ATP does guarantee a flight instructor position (provided you do well) and they will help you get hired at one of their many Regional partners. I strongly recommend you give them a good look.

If you’re already in the process of doing the license conversion I assume you’ve already started the process of TSA security clearance which you’ll need as a non-US citizen to do advanced flight training in the US. If you haven’t you’ll need to. That and of course obtaining a work visa.


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I have to agree with Adam that it seems like you have a lot of extra flight time involved in your training. How deep are you into the conversion process? How many more hours is that flight school telling you it should take?


Hi Adam,

Thank you for replying. The damage is already done in getting those 270hrs. I am still keeping hope and ready to pursue my career ahead. With ATP the only choice I have is go for Fast Track 40hr program which will cost me 50K and I think it’ll too much for me to invest that money again and I think that is good for PPL holders but in my case I am guessing I’ll be directly getting FAA CPL as i hold Canadian CPL. If I was PPL holder then it would have been different story.

If I do individual course from other flight schools then it’ll cost anywhere between 17k-22k for Instrument+Multi+CFI. I haven’t started TSA clearance yet and I am permanent resident of USA so no visa needed but I’ll definitely start TSA once I figure about school and program.

Any suggestion or advice what should I do from here based on my situation…


Hi Chris,

I have Class I medical appointment on 7th and once I get medical done, I need to go to FSDO with my foreign license and logbook and FSDO will decide what FAA license do I qualify for…

Well then I think there isn’t much you can decide on until you know what the FAA grants you. Let us know please. I will be interested to hear and happy to help once we have the full picture.

Will definitely keep you guys posted on that…


If that’s the case then it’s a matter of finding a program that suits your needs. Then it’s also a question of what will you do after to build the 1500hrs required to get hired? While I completely understand your hesitance in spending more money than necessary, AND I’m really not trying to sell you on ATP, I’d think long and hard about how you go about this. I too spent WAYYYY too much time and money getting my PPL and was determined not to repeat the mistake. The guaranteed instructor position with a flight school that has agreements with virtually every Regional (so much so that those Regionals even participate in a Tuition Reimbursement program to offset some of the cost) and will allow you to earn your time in approx. a year to a year in half (less with your existing time) might be worth a look. In fact with the Tuition Reimbursement the cost difference would be minimal. As I said I’d do some serious research.


Hi Chris & Adam,

Hope you guys are doing well. Here is an update on my license. I had an appointment with FSDO yesterday for my conversion of Canada CPL into FAA CPL. The FSDO issued me FAA CPL (Airplane Single Engine Land). Now comes the time to make a decision about flight school and how should I play my cards. I guess I have limited options. With ATP I will have to go with 100 days Fast Track 40hr Multi Engine program will cost me around $50k or select Part 141 flight school and get a Add on Rating for Instrument+Multi+CFI and that will cost me around $25k… I have 270hrs at the moment!
Clock is ticking and I need to come a decision soon. Any advice???


I’ll say now the same thing I said a week ago. What are you going to do to build time after training? If you go to ATP you’ll have a guaranteed instructor rating which will not only help you build the 1500hrs quickly, it’ll also enable you to build the required multi time many of the Regionals require as well (not to mention the high quality of training). Yes the cost is higher but while instructing for ATP you can actually receive a conditional offer of employment from one of many Regionals and that would make you eligible for Tuition Reimbursement which would offset much of the expense.

That’s my advice and it hasn’t changed.


Please keep in mind that ATP offers different programs for international students than US Citizens and permanent residents. I know ATP is working on a program to include flight instructor training and flight time build for international students, but it is not currently available- hopefully it will be available very soon. You should get in contact with admissions to learn exactly how ATP might be able to help you get the training and hours you need.