First of all a little about me, I am currently training at the Phoenix Mesa location which has became the largest one of them all with nearly 300 students and over 40 or more Cessna’s alone. I have really enjoyed the training, great instructors, and the structure of the program has been great. Crew has definitely been a downer though and has not quite lived up to what is advertised by ATP. I would just like to get some thoughts from Adam, Chris, Tory or any ones perspective on how your Crew Cross Country phase went.
So far I got about 10 hours completed and it has involved a day trip from KIWA to KNYL to KIWA which was shy of 5 hours round trip. The second day was from KIWA to KCRQ to KIWA which was nearly 6 hours round trip. I was lucky enough for the first 10 as it was Thanksgiving weekend so plane availability was no factor.The kicker is that as crew flights sit at the bottom of everyone else it is the same story everyday that you call in to flight ops that they have no planes available in Phoenix do to the over use of local flights and checkrides (which I agree with checkrides being first priority) so they can never get you schedule out for the next day. If your lucky to get out with a plane it is mandatory to be back the same day for local flights the following day. The other part of that is because of the availability of planes, they send you to locations only 2 hours away and have you return back to Gateway. One being Yuma, AZ (KNYL) and Tucson, AZ (KTUS). Both of these airports at which we went to multiple times during our instrument training so in a way we are familiar with the airports and procedures.
I have talked to multiple students about there crew at Phoenix and most of them maybe made it to California once and the rest was going to Yuma and Tucson. Some students have been in Crew for over a month trying to get the hours done and just cant because there is never a plane available. Crew partner is never a problem as ATP has been sending many crew people to Phoenix due to the nice weather but this only complicates the issue.
I have brought up these issues with flight ops and nothing ever seems to change. My biggest reason for this is that I don’t want to have crew lasting over a month when it has already been over 2 weeks since Inst. Checkride and I would like to keep on moving through the program as planned. The other issue is that when I came into the program I was assuming based off how ATP advertises there crew phase, that this crew was airline style where they let you go out for couple days and experience new areas and then return but it has been nothing like that.
Sorry for such a long post but I wanted to get some input on how yours went or what you think of this situation.
I enjoy this forum a lot and appreciate your feedback.