It’s been a long time since I posted about my experience on here, so I thought I would provide an update on my time with ATP. Thursday, 11/17/22, was my last day as an instructor with ATP. I started and finished out my instructing time at ATP’s location at Cincinnati-Lunken Airport, working as the lead instructor for a majority of my time and, beyond early summer 2022, I also served as our locations multiengine instructor. I initially had no intention of finishing all of my flight time at the Cincinnati location, but I really enjoyed the students, my fellow instructors, the airspace, tower controllers, FBO and ramp staff, and more. In the end, I felt that this location was a great (safe) training environment and an excellent location to build hours and teach people to fly!
Flight Time Summary
Here is a brief summary of my flight time as an instructor with ATP (for those who are curious!):
Overall, as an instructor I averaged around 70 hours a month. During the winter the hours dropped, but you can see by the end of this summer I was averaging around 100+ hours per month (August being an outlier because I took two weeks off to visit family abroad). These numbers also reflect the increase in training and program enrollment post-COVID for ATP. When I started in Cincinnati, there were only 2 instructors and around 6 students, but by the end of my time here, we were averaging enrollment of around 20-30 students, with the need for 8-10 instructors. So the location grew significantly during my time!
I feel as though my experience could potentially differ from others in their journey to 1500 hours. With the exception of around 10-15 hours from personal rentals, the entirety of my 1500 was earned through my time as a student and as an instructor with ATP. I started the 9 month program back in mid-June 2020 at the Charlotte (JQF) location and finished in late February 2021. I began instructing with ATP later that year in mid-July 2021 (Delay because of COVID backlog) and finished this month, November 2022. From start to finish, it was around 29 months from zero flight experience to 1500 hours (approx. 25 months if you remove the COVID gap).
I feel as though my experience as a student differed greatly from my experience as an instructor. As a student, I only had the ability to reflect on my personal experience through the program (because of COVID, there wasn’t as much student-student interaction). I luckily suffered no major training delays and ATP delivered exactly what they advertised. I finished on schedule and on budget, and I worked with a great group of instructors who knew how to train to a high level. My time as an instructor really made me appreciate how fortunate I was as a student.
As an instructor, I was able to see the complexity and challenges that ATP faces to have 1000+ students nationwide in the same program attempting to meet a tightly structured timeline. Working as an instructor, especially with ATP, requires far more than showing up to the training center to complete a training event. I found that I spent 10x more effort working as an instructor (in terms of time spent each week and stress!) than I did as a student. I was also able to see the challenges that can be faced on a day to day basis. Things like plane availability, weather, maintenance and checkride delays become more apparent as an instructor.
Overall, my 2.5 years with ATP was a great experience. They delivered on their promise to me as a student, and as an instructor I felt I was given the resources and the opportunities to be grow whilst having the pleasure of training future pilots. The experience of working as an instructor has only matured me as a pilot and as a leader, and I could not think of a better way to earn my 1500 hours. Undoubtedly ATP’s greatest asset is their team of dedicated instructors who are working tirelessly to ensure that the next generation of pilots is successful. I am very thankful that I had the opportunity to work with some of the best instructors in the country!
My goal was and has always been to be given the opportunity to work for an airline as a pilot. Through ATP’s airline partnerships I was able to apply and interview at several regional airlines earlier this year. In the end, I was very pleased with the prospect of working for Envoy and I felt that they were the regional that best fit my aspirations. I’m very excited for the next steps toward my future career and the journey over these past 2+ years has only given me more motivation to work as hard as possible to make it a reality! Here is a picture I took of an Envoy E175 at Dayton International last month:
Thank you to all of the students, instructors, mentors, and admin staff that I have worked alongside here at ATP, it would not have been possible without your help!