Real Answers from Real Pilots

Is it worth it?

Hey all,

My name is Mike and I’m very new to the subject of aviation. Haha!
So recently I am was sitting behind my desk at work and realized that there is no possible way I can do that for the rest of my life. I’ve always had a passion for flying but never took the leap into that direction. Well I’m 26 years old, about 38k in student loans, and I cannot get the thought of becoming an airline pilot out of my head. The way I see the loan thing is that life is all about having a good credit score, so building it through loan payments seems pretty sufficient. That being said, I think ATP would be worth it because being a pilot seems like a better quality of life than the normal desk job. I like ATP’s layout because they include the multi-engine certification into the program. I visited a local flight school in Orlando, and I’m pretty sure the multi-engine wasn’t included in their pro pilot program only single-engine. Any tips or opinions would help so much!

Here are a few questions I thought of while doing this…

  • Has anyone juggled a part-time job when training at ATP?
  • I know multi-engine training is available through the program but, do pilots need additional training for jet engines versus prop engines that students are trained on?
  • What differentiates ATP from other accelerated programs?

I hope to hear from you guys soon. I really enjoy reading through these threads!

1 Like

Mike,

Many people are new to the subject of aviation I’m just not sure why that’s funny? Anyway let’s try and answer your questions.

  1. Yes some people have tried to juggle a job while training with ATP and they usually fail miserably. The program is very accelerated and modeled after actual airline training. The program will cost you at least $66K and that’s ALOT of loan to be paying especially if you got kicked out and never completed the training. Fail a few checkrides and you’re either out of the program OR you’ve got checkride failures on your record that will impact you career forever. If you can’t afford to take the 9mos and fully dedicate yourself to the program you should delay it until you can.

  2. Of course you need additional training to fly jets. In addition to the different flying characteristics there are many different systems to learn as well. The good news is you’ll learn all that when you get hired by an airline.

  3. I could spend days on the subject of ATP vs other schools. Some highlights are ATPs 40+ year history of getting THOUSANDS of pilots hired, their instructor job guarantee after training, their Tuition Reimbursement agreement with many Regional airlines, their reputation, their focus on multiengine training, the method of building x-country time by pairing students and sending them flying anywhere and everywhere. I could go on but I recommend you do some research on your own and make your own comparisons.

As far as advice goes you make no mention of any flight experience. I’m not sure how anyone can entertain a career flying having never flown a plane themselves. While many people love it many do not and no riding in the back of an Airbus going to Cancun doesn’t count. Before you spend any more time pondering how you’ll look in your uniform I recommend you take an intro flight and see for yourself.

Adam

Definitely not a laughing matter! Just trying to lighten up the mood there. Even though I think I would look pretty good in a pilot uniform, that is the the last thing on my mind. I definitely agree that I wait to save up some cash to last me thurought the program. I’m not afraid of failure. I think with hard work and dedication, anything is possible.

I probably should have mentioned that I took my introductory flight yesterday. It went really well! It was not with ATP though.

Do you recommend students to come with private pilot experience under their belts?

Michael,

Doesn’t matter who you took your intro flight with as long as you did so kudos on that.

The only time I recommend people get their Private’s first is if they’re really not sure that flying is for them. If there’s uncertainty, rather than quitting your job and taking out a big loan it might be better to get your feet wet with your Private first. BUT, if you’re sure and are committed then I say no. ATP has developed a very successful program and method of training that dovetails perfectly with actual airline training programs. There’s something called the Law of Primacy which states what we learn first stays with us the longest. Rather than having your early flying lessons be full of bad habits or concepts which may conflict with the program it’s far better to start off Day1 doing things the way professional pilots do. Running checklists and flows and working in a “crew” environment. In that way those are you first experiences and those vital lessons are the ones that stick with you.

Adam