Real Answers from Real Pilots

CFI with ATP

In reference to the guaranteed CFI position, assuming one meets all the requirements, will the position be at their location of choice? The Location they attended? Or does ATP place them at a location where they are needed the most?

Layne,

ATP places instructors where they’re needed. After you training is completed ATP will give you a choice of available locations. Hopefully one of them suits your needs? If not you can of course look for employment elsewhere. Just like the airlines do!

Adam

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Layne,

Training center assignments will be based on instructor turnover, student
load and other operational objectives. Lately, I’ve heard that instructors
have been assigned to one of their top three preferred locations.

Tory

Just heard from a new CFI that you get an option to choose from a list of locations that are available. The list gets updated regularly and if your preferred location is on the list you can request it. Like Adam said, this system is no different than the airlines.

Awesome! Thanks so much for the replies, I assumed but just wanted to be sure. Another random question I have is… someone told me that a lot of airlines have height and weight standards, basically not willing to hire us bigger fellas. Is this fact or myth? I’m 5’9 250 pounds. Have a little tire belly to say the least lol is this something that would hinder my ability to get a job?

Layne,

The only airlines I’ve ever heard that have height/weight requirements are the Japanese carriers as their Medical Exams are extremely rigid. Aside from that, visit any airport in the country and you’ll see that whoever told you that is wrong as there are some BIG pilots out there. As far as getting hired or having a career I wouldn’t worry about it in the least.

However I would encourage you to keep one thing in mind (and I’ll try not to get too preachy). In order to be a pilot you are required to maintain a medical which means you have to maintain some level of health and fitness. You’re going to invest a significant amount of time and money into this career and you’re going to want to fly for as long as you’re able (or want to). I know WAYYY too many pilots who’ve had their careers cut short by medical issues. Now obviously some issues are beyond our control but many we can control and many are weight related. What I can also tell you is the older you get the harder it gets. Trust me there’s some fantastic food all across the country and around the World. Being away from home it can also be challenging to fit in a workout. It’s a challenge but it’s vital to your career.

Again I apologize for getting preachy but it’s something you want to keep in check. Also as an FYI ATP has recently been forced to implement a weight restriction for it’s students. You should be fine but again you need to keep it in check.

Adam

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I don’t think you’re preachy at all, if fact I was hoping you would respond as I’ve seen you give the hard truth straight up! I love and respect that! As a current commercial trucker now I can definitely understand the level of difficulty to manage work out while eating on the go all the time, but as you said it’s DEFINITELY possible. Not easy, but possible. Do you happen to know where I can find these weight restrictions for ATP? Do you think the FAA medical standards would be similar to the federal guidelines we use in the trucking industry?

Layne,

I’m not sure where it is on the website but basically it’s 250lbs. Above that you’ll have to talk to ATP and see about an exception.

I have my CDL and the medical standards are very similar but not exact.

Adam

Layne,

ATP’s weight restrictions are due to weight and balance issues in the airplanes. It is hard to keep the airplanes within the appropriate weight limits beyond 250 lbs.

Chris