Real Answers from Real Pilots

ATP Training Style Question

(Joshua Tankersley) #1


Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading here, and I am interested in ATP. I have read on another forum that ATP “trains to the checkride” vs. general safe flying knowledge and techniques(paraphrasing). Can anyone attest to this? And if true, is it really an issue? The forum post that I read it in cast it in a negative light, and I figured that I would get the other side of the story before passing judgment. Thank you!!




I do not feel that ATP trains to the check ride. To begin with, ATP uses FAA designated examiners, not their own examiners, this means that a student needs to be able to pass a checkride that is administered by any FAA examiner. Secondly, if ATP was only training to the checkride, this would mean that students would have serious gaps in their training. Serious gaps would equal dangerous pilots that could get themselves and others killed. A, nobody wants to see anybody get killed and B, let’s be honest, that isn’t exactly good for business either.

Now, if I had a student that was going to take a checkride from examiner X and I knew his hot button issue was one particular item, of course I would give that a little extra attention, but that isn’t teaching to the test, it is just being smart.




Funny thing, ATP created the Airline Career Pilot program over 30yrs ago and for almost that long people have been bashing it. Thing is if you look now EVERY flight school is offering THEIR version of an “accelerated professional pilot program”. Opinions are one thing but I’d rather deal in facts so here’s one for you, ATP has had almost 600 students hired by airlines in the last 12 mos ALONE! Show me one other program or school that comes near those results.


(Zachary Porter) #4

I’ve only been in for a month, but I think I can confidently say that is not true. ATP is all about safety and making sure you understand what is happening when you are in the air. Once you get closer to your check ride, they have entire sections to prepare you for it that are separate from the lessons where you are learning the things that are necessary to be a safe pilot. They have mock oral and mock practical checkrides, and have modules dedicated for them, but I’d say that is maybe 10-15% of what you will spend your time on.

(Tory) #5


The negative reviews are written by students that weren’t successful in the program. They have a lot of resentment because their expectations were unrealistic. They thought that it was going to be like ordering fast food, i.e. I give you money. You give me my ratings. It doesn’t work like that. So, they think they have the right to point fingers instead of taking responsibility. Students need to take initiative to learn as much as they can using ALL of their resources.


(Tucker) #6

One of the big reasons we can not “train to pass a checkride” is that every examiners checkride is different. So we have to train the students to be able to pass the checkride with anyone, which means they need to be able to do everything the FAA says they need to be able to do. Us as instructors also need to ensure that we think they are ready to pass the checkride. I’ve had students change examiners in the days leading up to a checkride, and if I had taught them to pass one examiners checkride it would not end well for either of us. Like Chris said, If we know a specific examiner digs deeper into a certain topic, we can ensure we dig deeper into that topic with the student.

A lot of it is up to the student. I love studying aviation related material, so it was not diffucult to stay motivated and study. Learn as much as you can.

I’ve had 5 different examiners for my 8 checkrides I’ve taken, and each one does things a little bit differently, but never once did I feel unprepared or that I had been trained to pass their specific checkride.

(Joshua Tankersley) #7

Thank you all for your responses!! I had a feeling that ATP didn’t train to the checkride, and if there was ever something like that happening, that it would be more of the individual instructor teaching it that way. In my mind, an instructor teaching like that, wouldn’t last long in the position. Again, thank you for the insight.




Anytime. Let us know how else we can help you.