Real Answers from Real Pilots

Fixed Cost

Hello,

I have a 2 part question. Looking at the airline program, 100 hrs multi for $62,995. Examiners fees for another 7grand (hopefully covered by the GI Bill), and of course any gear needed for training. When they say the cost is “fixed” does that mean you get as many flying hours as you need to complete certifications for the 63 grand? For example, You’re likely to get plenty of bad weather in some locations (Seattle) during a 6 month training period (which may turn unto a 9 month training period). Let’s say you set off on a 2 hour training flight to complete certain objectives, but before you complete the objectives the storms/icing/ etc rolls in and you have to end the flight halfway through. What if this happens 2,3,4 or more times? The hours are stacking up, but the training isn’t getting done, and you need even more time to build proficiency because of the training delays. What then? do you get charged for the extra hours required? Or what if you require additional flights because you’re having difficulty in some areas of performance, do you get charged for the extra hours? Second question…How often do grads/new hires get the tuition reimbursement?
Respectfully,
David

Hello David,

A couple of things, first, you should only be looking at the 100ME IF you have no intentions of instructing for ATP. If you do plan to than save yourself $10k as you’ll be building plenty of multi time instructing. Next while weather can be a factor it usually doesn’t cause the delays you’re talking about which is one of the reasons ATP trains fulltime. Obviously it’s up to you and your instructor to check the weather daily and come up with a game plan. If that means all your flights will be at 5am to for the week to beat the weather so be it.

I think it’s important to talk about how the program works. The main difference between ATP and other flights schools is not the fixed price but more so the fixed time frame. ATP was created BY airline pilots to train airline pilots (you can’t just get your PPL or Instrument rating etc). When you start your training at an airline, Day 1 you’re given your schedule and that schedule includes all your checkride and exams. Same at ATP. It’s not a question of “if” or “when” you’re ready, it’s up to YOU and your instructor to make sure you’re ready. How they do that is by not wasting flight time. You have unlimited ground instruction and sim time available, but let me be clear. If you’re having an issue with a concept your instructor will spend as much time as needed to get you sorted out BUT if you’re not putting in the effort well that’s on you and you may find yourself having a conversation with admin. As for extra flight time every module has a little buffer time in there and more times than not your instructor can “borrow” time from another segment (obviously if you’re really struggling throughout you can run short and have to purchase additional but that’s rare).

The Tuition Reimbursement is an excellent program that is funded BY the certain Regionals. It involves you “committing” to a particular Regional AND you committing to instruct for ATP. If you’re comfortable doing that (and I would be) then you should have no problem participating. Again if that’s your plan I’d save the $10k and go with the 40hr program.

Adam

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