Real Answers from Real Pilots

Louisville KY Location

Hi, has anyone here been to or currently at the Louisville KY location? If you have, i have a few questions. I see there are 4 instructors on the ATP page, and when I called up the ATP 1800 number to ask some questions, they don’t have any contact numbers for that location to call and ask questions. They did say there were 9 students at that location. Can anyone give me an idea of how good a location this is? Do they have a good flight simulator? Availability of aircraft? How are the instructors? And a 4 to 9 ratio seems like it’s going to be impossible to get the 1250 hours instructing in 18 months. I am in Colorado currently so I can’t go get a intro ride and meet them at this time.
Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Justin,

I spoke with you on the phone today. All locations administer the same training standards and program, the experience at each location will be equal. Equipment and instructors are similar at each location, we strive for each location to be equal across the country. The 4 to 9 ratio was a snapshot of this moment in time. We didn’t discuss future students going to the location and instructors meeting airline hiring minimums to transition to the airline. It is not “impossible” at all to get to the required 1500 hours of flight time to meet airline hiring minimums (I’m not sure why 1250 hours was referenced).

It was a pleasure speaking with you today and if you have more questions please let me know. - Danielle

Hi Danielle, thanks for the reply. I was referencing the additional 1250
instructing hours (approximately) to get from 250 to 1500.

Justin

Justin,

ATP does a great job of spreading the wealth. The busier locations have more instructors the smaller less. This is one of the reasons ATP will not guarantee a student a location for the instructor position. They won’t overload any location because it’s simply not fair to the others. ATP instructors average about 75hrs a month which is where the 1.5yr average figure comes from and there are many instructors who get their time faster.

Adam

Thanks so much for the reply. I am saving up enough so I can dedicate 2 years to this; I have a family of five and so it’s really important I get it done in that time alotment or I may have to go back to what I am doing now. I did this once already in the rotor craft world about 12 years ago and when the Silverstate school system that was across the US went bankrupt, (long story short) left me as a low time rotor craft CFI without any way to continue my dream and try and get hours where I could so I had to return to the oilfield. Fast forward and I have saved up and want to do the ATP airline pilot program so I can finish my next 25 or so years doing what I have dreamt of doing my whole life while still supporting my wife and 3 kids. I am 37 and hopefully will be well on my way to getting my regional job by the time I am 40. But if I don’t plan this right or it takes way longer to get to 1500, then I will have thrown away 10 years of hard work at a very good company in the oilfield and will have to return at a low level job if I can find one again just to have failed a second time; so forgive me if I seem a little intense in tryin to figure out what location I can make this work at :). I am currently in Colorado but evaluating the KY location as we have some family nearby there that my wife can be close too when I have to be gone for several days or weeks through this process. Any input is greatly appreciated!

Justin

Justin,

Funny we’re not that much different. Originally when I decide to fly I wanted to fly helicopters and was actually investigating rotary wing schools around the country (leaning towards Bristol in FL). After a good amount of research I concluded there simply weren’t enough jobs out there to rationalize selling my business with 3 small children at home. I decided fixed wing was the way to go. While there were more available positions it was no sure thing either (I btw started at 39).

Honestly not trying to sell or convince you of anything but when I started you needed to really work to get hired and you were competing for a gig that paid $19k a year. Things are so much better now it’s ridiculous. Salaries have doubled and the Regionals are fighting over pilot vs you begging them. In the past if you sent your application in 1hr short of the mins it was tossed. Now the Regionals are recruiting pilots at 500hrs, 1,000 before they’re hirable. Hiring bonuses, tuition reimbursement, hotels for commuters, it’s ridiculous. While there are no guarantees there literally is no better time to take the plunge.

Adam

Justin,

I worked at three different ATP locations and I can honestly tell you that there is very little, if any difference amongst the locations. ATP, just like an airline, strives very hard to have everything be as standardized as possible. If there is a problem at a location it gets resolved.

I say tour the location closest to you, but then attend wherever you want. It really will be a very similar experience at any location.

Chris