Real Answers from Real Pilots

Atp

I am researching going to a accelerated pilot program being in Kentucky there is not many options. Atp happens to be one of them. $60k is a lot of money. They have several good reviews and several bad. They also have an “F” rating with the better business bureau. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Daniel,

First let me address the BBB rating. There are 7 complaints, ALL from students who where unsuccessful (and 1 negative review which makes no sense at all). 7 complaints in 33yrs is pretty darn good in my opinion. Particularly when you take into account the almost 300 students who are now AIRLINE PILOTS in the last 12 mos alone. Which really leads to your question of sorts, good reviews vs bad. This is really pretty simple. ALL the negative reviews fall into 2 categories, people who were unsuccessful in the program and those who never attended and paid 2-3 times as much and took years more time.

Here’s the deal, the program is accelerated and was designed BY airline pilots to TRAIN airline pilots. The reality is not every person on this planet with $60 can or should be a pilot. Flying is not a right it’s a skill which requires some level of intelligence and coordination. Problem is no one wants to hear they can’t. The ATP program is not for everyone and there are people who simply cannot handle the pace and wash out. When they do it’s much easier to blame ATP then themselves.

The fact is ATP has the highest ratio of airline placements of ANY flight school, academy or college in the country. I personally know over a dozen airline Capts who’s children are currently in training at ATP. Everyone has an opinion and they all seem to end up online. I suggest next time you’re at an airport you talk to ACTUAL airline pilots (like myself) their opinion of ATP. Read through this forum and hear what ACTUAL students who are currently in training have to say. Do your research and make your decision but know the source of the info.

Adam

I have spoke with 2 pilots that have gone thru the program they have both pushed against it. I have been told not to listen to anything atp says it’s all a way to get my money. Most of atp instructor are only making about $1000 a month and having to work 100+ hours. One of those pilots was my instructor for my private. I would love to go thru an accelerated program but I don’t want to risk getting behind and not getting the help I need to stay on track. In my situation I will be leaving a full time job with decent pay and excellent insurance to go thru this program.

Daniel,

Then don’t, it’s really that simple. BUT, you say one is your instructor for your PPL. Why isn’t he instructing for ATP when they guarantee a position? And IF the instructors are flying over 100+ hrs (which is awesome, not sure why you’d say “have to” since the goal is to build time quickly?) they’re making well over $1000mos (simply check the website where they publish the payscale). Is the other an airline pilot? I didn’t say speak with other pilots I said speak with AIRLINE PILOTS (ie, those who have been SUCESSFUL). As I said, look at the source.

Listen, I’m receive ZERO incentive for you to sign up and if you think you can do better elsewhere then by all means. I trained with ATP and I have many many friends and co-workers who have as well. I can honestly say if it weren’t for ATP I seriously doubt I’d be where I am today but you need to do what’s best for you.

One last question for you? If you doubt your ability to go through an accelerated program what makes you believe you’ll be able to keep up once you get to an airline? Believe it or not the reason ATP has such a high placement ratio is because the airlines know their students CAN keep up. While it’s nice for your instructor to hold your hand and ask when you’re ready for a checkride do you think the airlines will?

Adam

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Both are airline pilots now working for psa. My biggest thing is not knowing what to expect. I am planning on doing a tour at our local atp with on the next couple weeks. The reason the one left atp was bc of the crap pay. Does atp have anything that shows what to expect? Are we allowed to talk with some of the current students when we tour?

Daniel,

This is America and you can speak with anybody you like. ATP created this forum solely to address people’s concerns vs trying to “get your money” (if that were their goal it be much easier to be like EVERY other flight school and let people take their time and charge them hourly). I’m not going to get into discrediting your sources but the fact they gave false info about the pay (flying over 100+ hrs only making $1000, see here https://atpflightschool.com/airline-career-pilot-program/guaranteed-cfi-job.html) is suspect. Also if both went through ATP AND BOTH are currently Regional pilots, other than the “alleged” bad pay and flying too much (I have to tell you most instructors DREAM of flying 100+ hrs mos) what were their other complaints?

As for what to expect between the ATP website which outlines EVERY phase of training and there are pages and pages of Q&A on here you should be able to get a very accurate view. You can ask anything and everything on this forum and there are many people who will give you their take (it’s only been me so far because it’s the middle of the night in much of the US and I’m in BNE). ATP does not censor the responses. That said if you’re suspect of all the answers you receive on here and what you’ll hear during your tour I’m not sure there’s much point? As always the decision is yours.

Adam

Since I have my private sel if I go thru atp how muck solo time will I fly for the rest of my ratings

Daniel,

You really won’t because you don’t need to. The rest of your time will be dual training for the rest of your ratings or you’ll be paired with another student to build your X-country CPL time requirement.

Adam

If you have your PPL you will never fly an airplane solo at ATP.

Awesome!!! I hate flying solo. Do students have to buy their own renters ins or is that covered with atp. When doing long xc flights can my wife ride back seat?

You will not need to get renter’s insurance. You will not be able to bring your wife, or anybody else, with you at any time. ATP’s airplanes are strictly for use by students and instructors.

I saw on another post there are overnight assignments. Is it possible to not have any overnight work. In order for me to make this work I will have to work a part time evening shift to make this work.

Daniel,

In short no. Not only are there overnight assignments but you may also be sent to another location for a certain segment of training. More important is there is no way you could work a part time job while in training. Not sure you understand what “accelerated training” means? We’re taking potentially years worth of training and compressing it into months. It will require a full time commitment on your part and failure to do so will probably result in failures (also keep in mind there are night flight requirements). Your evening are for study, homework, quizzes and rest (just like at the airlines).

While I understand not everyone can take 6mos off from life financially, it’s better you wait and build up the funds (or take a loan for a larger amount) than to risk your investment. It’s funny, last night you stated your concern regarding the pace of the program and some of the negative reviews and BBB rating. Once again I offer that the negative feedback comes from people who are unsuccessful and had conflicts regarding the refund policy. Attempting to work during this program is a surefire way to assure you join those ranks.

Adam

Is it possible to do majority of my multi at night??

Out of curiosity, why do you want to do most of your multi time at night?

No, the majority of your flight time will be during the day, but there will be a significant portion that is also done during the evening and night.

Chris

I have read that a few part 135 companies hire at 500-600 hours but require 25-50 hours night. If Everything goes as planned. I want to go thru a program cfi till I hit the 500-600 then try for a part 135 cargo to get the rest of my hours to go to Airlines.

Hey Daniel,

Are you doing the 100 or 40 hour multi program?

Tory

If I go thru you guys it will be the 40

Okay. If that’s the case, then the only night flying you’ll get is what’s
required for eligibility. ATP has a strict single engine night flying
policy. They only allow single-engine night flights if it’s required for a
rating. Now, that doesn’t mean that it’s not possible to get your 50 to 75
hours of night flying by the time you hit 500 hours.

The best way to maximize your night flying is when you become an
instructor. Students that are in the 100 hour program do their instrument
training in the multiengine. ATP allows the multi engine to be flown at
night. So what I would do when I was instructing, is I would do some of my
100 our students’ instrument training at night. Not every 100 hour
student is going to be available at night, and not every instrument flight
should be flown at night, but if it makes sense, if it’s safe, and you both
mutually agree to use that student’s instrument training at night then it’s
a win-win.