Real Answers from Real Pilots

Purchasing a plane for training?

Will ATP allow you to train in your own plane and cut the cost of the program accordingly?

There are my thoughts, an older (but well-maintained) 172 will cost me $40-50K. The 40-hr multi program includes 185 hrs of single time. The way I estimate the cost, ATP charges about $180 hr-wet for the 172. Therefore, the total cost of just the single engine aircraft rental is $33,300 (Over half the cost of the overall program). If I decided to resell at end of training I would imagine that, on a really bad day, I could sell it for $5K less than I bought it; for a net savings of $28,300. I understand that I would be responsible for storage, maintenance, and fuel but that might be $8,000 for the 6 month period. The numbers just make it seem like a no-brainer to me especially since savings could be increased if the aircraft was split with another student.

Any experience with anyone completing training in this manor or any thoughts overall?

Andrew,

The short answer is DEFINITELY NOT. What happens if your “well-maintained” aircraft isn’t as well maintained as you think? What happens if your plane is down for maintenance or repairs and you can’t complete the training on schedule? Are you going to charge your partner for using your airplane, fuel etc? Is ATP supposed to force another student to fly in your plane for the cross-country portion? If your airplane is damaged who’s responsible? What about avionics? Will your 172 have GPS with moving maps and ADS for collision avoidance? While not required, as an instructor I really prefer modern technology. Does ATP have to force an instructor to instruct (do maneuvers and cross-counties, etc) in an aircraft he/she are not comfortable in? What about the multi training? Are you going to provide enough insurance to cover the plane, yourself, your instructor AND indemnify ATP? The list is long but bottomline it’s not going to happen.

The ATP program is based on airline training programs and is highly dependent on consistency. Even if your plane is 100% as a training aircraft it will require frequent repeated inspections and services. At ATP that’s never an issue since they own and circulate close to 300 aircraft. The program works and a huge part of that program is using a reliable, efficient and standardized fleet.

If this is a route you’d like to take I recommend looking for an independent instructor and pay they for their time.

Adam

Andrew,

ATP only provides training in their own airplanes. Having a fleet of reliable, similarly equipped airplanes is one of the ways that the company is able to provide the training in such a condensed manner.

Chris

Andrew,

While what Chris and Adam are saying is definitely correct, I think the reasoning to not allow it is a lot simpler. It’s kinda like bringing your own sandwich to a restaurant, it just ins’t appropriate…

Yarden

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