Real Answers from Real Pilots

Atp ctp

I just registered today for the CTP (Certificate Training Program) course with ATP (Higher Power) at the DFW/Bedford location starting at the beginning of April. I’m excited to get the CTP done and I plan on taking the ATP written there the day after I’m finished. Sheppard Air for the test study. I’m still looking at hotels for the recommended locations.

Any recommendations on where to stay? I know several hotels offer the ATP rate.

Other than studying for the ATP written test, any other prep or recommendations between now & start?

Thanks again! Best wishes to all future airline pilots out there. I can’t say enough what a great forum this even (even for an old guy like me).

After that I just need to figure out where I want to do the ATP practical at. Many options including ATP.

Ryan

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Ryan,

I am not familiar with the hotels in that area. I would just find one close to the ATP location that offers shuttle service.

There really isn’t much to study between now and then, the course will teach you everything you need to know.

Thanks for the compliments, we like seeing people succeed and it is nice to have the feedback. Please let us know how the course goes.

Chris

Ryan,

Here is a link to the ATP website that lists accommodations in DFW near ATP Jets.
https://atpflightschool.com/housing/higher-power-dallas.html

Thanks!

Definitely go through the Sheppard Air ATM Knowledge Test Prep before your start date if you plan to take it the next day. It’s a wrote memorization type of prep that is highly effective. (You would think the FAA would design the ATM to reflect the material from the CTP, but not quite so.)

Excerpt from the website:

ATM Knowledge Test
The ATP CTP covers specific subjects required by regulation. The Airline Transport Pilot Multi-Engine (ATM) knowledge test questions are developed by the FAA separately from required ATP CTP course content. It’s important to understand that even though the ATP CTP is a prerequisite for the knowledge test, the ATP CTP is not designed to prepare you for the ATM knowledge test.

In order to ensure you pass and obtain a good score on the ATM knowledge test, we highly recommend that you use Sheppard Air’s Flight Test software for the ATM knowledge test before you attempt to take the ATM Knowledge Test. You will be enrolled for the Sheppard Air ATM Test Prep software at no additional charge.

We include one ATM knowledge test session at ATP’s Dallas or Phoenix testing center in the cost of your ATP CTP ($150+ value). Study the Sheppard Air software before arriving for the ATP CTP so you can take your knowledge test as soon as possible after completing the course.

Update:

2 days of academics done and 2 more to go. Then 4 hours of time in CRJ 2 trainer and 6 hours in 737-800 sim. The academics are interesting, mostly safety focused. A lot of videos on airline crashes and mishaps (better to learn from others mistakes). I’m really looking forward to the 737 sims.

Ryan H

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Ryan,

I actually had a pretty heavy hand in writing the course material for the CTP class, so you can thank me for the hours stuck in the classroom :slight_smile: seriously though, I am glad you find it interesting. The FAA mandated that we cover certain topics, but not the manner in which we do it, so we tried to make it as interesting as possible while still covering the required topics.

Of course, you will find the simulators to be much more interesting. The 737 is the workhorse of the industry, but one look at the overhead panel will tell you that it is not the most advanced airplane ever built. The CRJ is actually a far more modern airplane, so there are things to be learned from both of them.

Chris

It’s funny to hear somebody say that the CRJ is modern… :wink:

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A lot more modern than the 1960’s designed 737 :slight_smile:

Ryan,

Always wondered about that program! Keep us posted on your progress!

Yuran

It took me a bit to find these, but take a look at the 737-300 cockpit. When I was hired at Continental this is what the majority of our 737 fleet consisted of. No glass cockpit here.

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Whoa! I suppose if I was in back and both pilots ate the fish I could land that thing but it would not be pretty!

Adam

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Still surprises me how you guys were able to go from across the country without a GPS in that thing. Did you have to go from VOR/DME-VOR/DME to figure it out orrrrr?

Yuran,

We did not have GPS, but we had and FMC INS, which is a similar system that triangulates your position by using various VORs and DMEs, so it acted like GPS. The accuracy is not as good and you need to tell the airplane where it is when you first align the INS, but it worked pretty well. To tell where we were we would see how far we were from a particular fix and cross reference that to our paper charts.

This wasn’t that long ago, I believe we parked the last 737-300 series in 2009.

Chris

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Yuran,

Back when I was at ExpressJet I did on occasion fly airplanes with the GPS MEL’d (aka not working but legal to fly without) and we did in fact have to fly VOR to VOR except when a controller took pity on us and would give us a heading to track. Good times :slight_smile:

Adam

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Yuran,

Good program covering a lot of information over 4 days of academics. If you look at the syllabus/schedule on ATP CTP program you can see what they all cover. There is a test at the end, but the instructors make sure you know what to expect and it is fairly easy compared to the FAA tests. I’m studying for the FAA ATP test, which I started for a few weeks ago and taking the test tomorrow morning before I fly home. I’m not worried about passing it, just trying to get a good score. We took the class test on the last day of academics and everyone passed with no issues.

The academics covers a lot of commercial accidents focusing on pilot actions, errors, poor decisions. My take from that is all the automation is great and makes flying a large aircraft very easy, but the pilots need to know their aircraft and be able to hand fly when things go wrong. Way too many accidents where a perfectly flyable aircraft crashed because of something like the pilot not doing a proper stall recovery. This isn’t to blame the pilots necessarily, but unfortunate that a lot of people have lost their lives for the lessons learned we have today. It was eye opening to see a high altitude stall recovery in a large aircraft in the sim. You loose a lot of altitude, but you don’t have the engine thrust on the back of the power curve at altitude so you need to descend to gain airspeed and get out of the stall. Just one example.

The other big thing from my perspective was the focus on CRM, communication, and speaking up when something doesn’t look right. The days of the copilot just sitting and being quite regardless of what is going on is way past. With my background of flying a crew aircraft in the military, it is refreshing to hear that the airlines do things a similar way with CRM concepts. The days of “gear up, flaps up, shut up” (as a friend of mine told me) are over (for the most part). I’m sure there are still a few Captains that have the old mindset.

So overall, very positive experience. It does seem to be more for the pilots coming straight from flying small single and twin engine aircraft, but I still learned a lot or re-learned a lot I forgot from my initial AF pilot training. About half of my class were Envoy or Endeavor new pilots and for pilots going to the regionals they will all pay for it as far as I know, so no need to pay $5,000 out of pocket. A lot of military pilots, like myself, pay for it out of pocket or with the GI bill to meet the requirements for the majors. I have not scheduled my ATP practical yet, still looking at my personal schedule, cost & location of where to get my practical done. But I still have a little over a year before I retire from active duty, so my plan is to get it done no later than about 6 months prior to my availability, since that seems to be the earliest anyone will start interviews.

I’ll see if I can get a photo of the 737 sim today at my last sim to post for comparison to Chris’s photo. Yes, I started my military flying without GPS, but we had a very good dual-INS system to navigate with, so it was almost like having GPS, but no RNAV or GPS approaches, just ILS or TACAN.

I wish you well on your aviation career. I have enjoyed my military flying career and look forward to getting 16-17 years of commercial flying in.

Back to studying for my ATP test and my 737 sim this afternoon.

Ryan

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Course complete and passed my ATP exam with ease. Sheppard Air is great, as advertised.

Now I just need to schedule my practical.

Ryan

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Congrats! There’s no question the program works :slight_smile:

Adam

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Ryan,

Congratulations, it must feel good to have that completed. Just one more step to go.

Chris

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Chris,

I still think it’s crazy to navigate that way, but that’s probably because I’m only on my PPL (actual flying starts this upcoming Monday! WOOHOO!) :smiley:

Yuran