Real Answers from Real Pilots

All finished

Well today I completed my CFII and have successfully finished my program.
I said earlier that I’d give a full and honest review because ATP is a great school and if I were to do it again I’d go the same route, that said it might not be for everyone as you need good study habits.

January 16th 2017 I turned up ready for day one of private training in the 100hr program and finished right around schedule.

My over all experience was fantastic, I was based out of IWA in Mesa AZ and they have it very squared away, the center manager is a pilot himself and quite honestly one of the best problem solvers I’ve ever met, I felt that he listened to any concerns and facilitated as best as possible.
The trick to this program if any is to work hard and study. The flying can be stressful at times but if the knowledge is there the flying comes easier.

If your questing or even looking at joining the school get your home life right, get a good support network and dedicate you’re life to it whilst your in the program, you can do it!

Private is busy and your really drinking from the firehose, then instrument was tough and quite frankly miserable until after a couple weeks when all of a sudden the Penney dropped and now I love it.
Multi engine was tough at first but after 130hrs on a multi I can safely say it’s the best way to fly and the experience is fantastic.
Crew we flew to Houston to deliver a plane then flew back and I had a ton of fun!
Once I got back I did commercial followed by instructor school where I completed my MEI, CFI single and CFII.

I hear people asking the question of Weather or not they should start the program and I’d say if you love aviation then do it because we get one shot at life and I can’t imagine a better way to spend it!

Aviation is as challenging as it is rewarding!

10 Likes

Stewart,

Congratulations on finishing the program, that is fantastic! Also, thank you for the detailed review, I am glad to know that you had a good experience. Good luck instructing.

Chris

VERY cool Stewart! Congrats! You really are starting at an incredible time in aviation and should do really well in the future. I’m sure you’ll starting getting solicitations from all the Regionals soon.

Please keep us posted.

Adam

@Smd250987
Congrats on your CFII! How many hours do you have logged at this point? Just curious!

Hi,
I’m about 250 currently, still away to go but should start picking up quickly from here

Mesa is the location I’m considering due to the consistent flying weather and I have a place to stay in Scottsdale during the training. I live in the Indianapolis, IN area but ATP shuttered the Indianapolis location at some point since I last considered this path for a career change. Bummer for convenience. The Scottsdale location is closer to where I can live, do you know anything about them or did you folks cross paths at all during your training? Thanks and congrats!

Bryan,

That’s a great option, the flying is great out here.
Scottsdale is a really nice airport and if it’s closer that’s great as you’ll not be driving a lot. If you did want to goto Mesa (IWA) there is housing available.

The center manager we have is also over Scottsdale and ATP is pretty standardized so as far as the program goes it’s gonna be the same most places, and as you pointed out coming here for the Weather is worth it!

Thanks for the reply Stewart, going to visit the Scottsdale center in two weeks and hopefully have the introductory flight!

That’s a great idea, that way you’ll get to meet the instructors and see the practice area! This is a really exciting time for you! Wish you all the best! Maybe I’ll bump into you whilst your in the valley.

Sounds good Stewart, I’ll send you a message once I have ATP plans in place and know what I’m doing in town. Are you going to instruct with ATP then now that you’re finished? Also, did you attend instructor school in AZ or elsewhere? Thanks!

That would be great!
I’m actually working out of Scottsdale for a few weeks whilst one of the instructors is on holiday.
I have no plans to leave, ATP has a really good support network and any issues you have they jump in to support and help you. Ive had a very positive experience at ATP and I had some great instructors so I’m very happy to give back.

Still working out at Scottsdale right now Stewart? Staying in my families condo just around the corner from the airport. About 94th and Mountain View. As a matter of fact have seen some ATP planes going right over the pool this week, ha. Anyway, have my two youngest with me (11 and 17) but was still hoping to pop by the airport and maybe see what I can. Have been approved for financing but just need to keep moving forward with the process and decide if its the right thing to do. Thanks!

Hey Brian,
That’s great news! No I got back to gateway today, Andrew works the front desk and he will gladly show you around I’m sure, I’d call to set up an appointment as he will be able to go over everything with you.
Let me know when you head over their a friend of mine is currently there and I’m sure he’d be happy to talk to you and show you about. If you’re willing to make the 30min drive to gateway (IWA) I’ll gladly meet with you there.

Sounds good Stewart, actually flying out of Mesa on Sat. morning with the kids on Allegiant. Have never been there. Will give them a call at Scottsdale to hopefully stop by for a tour. Would end up having to go with that location given how close it is to the condo here. Unless there was a reason (maybe you can clarify), no need to drive over to Mesa for the training. How is instructing going? What you thought it would be? Do you have a direct number to the Scottsdale location where I could contact Andrew? Thanks!

Hi Brian,
That’s great news - my advice is training is hard enough and the less time you have commuting means more study, flight or family time. What really helped me in training (which we probably don’t discuss enough) is support from family and it makes things far easier, my point is that saved 45min drive could be valuable. Scottsdale is super nice and I love the tower there, really friendly and supportive. (Example, my instrument student was repeating his departure clearance and stumbled on a few things, after tower corrected him the controller said “students doing great! Almost had it”. Makes airport ops a lot less stressful)
The instructors are really nice and hard working too. If it wasn’t such a drive I may have stayed there longer.
Instructing is going well, it’s tough because you have to be 100% sure about what you’re saying and teaching so it makes you a better pilot as well.

Good luck Brian! Good luck with school!
Stay in touch! Maybe I’ll meet you when you get to instructor standardization

Thanks for the info! Called the location and Andrew is out for a week on his honeymoon, good for him, ha! Anyway, talked to Ivan and he can show me around this afternoon. Might want to still pop out and check out Mesa, any chance you will be out there today or tomorrow with a small window of free time? If not no big deal, I will be back out here sometime in November prior to Thanksgiving week.

Bryan

Ah that’s right I forgot. Ivan’s really nice and knows the center really well.
I’m here doing a ground until 2pm and after that I’d be happy to say hello and show you the center her

Had a great visit with Ivan yesterday and saw the facility. Also met some students and was able to get out and see the planes and a couple of students coming in from flights. Very cool setup and think I will definitely go with that location when pulling the trigger. When Andrew is back I will give him a call to set some items up including an intro flight when I am back out here next in November. I’ll give you a shout and maybe try to come out to Mesa or meet up somewhere. Thanks for the help!

Bryan

Sounds great Bryan! Best of luck and hopefully we will bump into each other before long!