Real Answers from Real Pilots

Re- Enrolling after withdrawing

Hello,

Last fall I was enrolled in the airline pilot career program and received my instrument rating. During the crew phase I received a job offer with the FAA as an air traffic trainee. Fast forward 4 months later, I didn’t make the cut at the FAA’s academy along with 75% of my class. I would really like to come back and finish ATP’s program. When called about re-enrolling, I was told I would have to start from scratch and redo the instrument phase again, even though I already completed it and received my license. This doesn’t make sense to me and if true would rule out returning to ATP. Can someone here please verify this? If this is true, is there some way around it, such as writing a letter for an exception?

Thanks for the help

Spencer,

Admissions has the upper hand. They make the decisions. I don’t have an
answer for you. I can only speculate. This isn’t my first time hearing
about this. It’s nothing personal. I think it has more to do with ATP’s
fixed costs and the accelerated nature of the program. From a CFI
standpoint, taking 4 months off is a long time, especially at your level.
You would need retraining before beginning the next phase. In your case it
sounds like you need to finish crew cross country and then begin commercial
multi. Even if you went out on your own to acquire the rest of your crew xc
time, there isn’t enough time in the CMEL phase to train you to proficiency
on the new stuff and the stuff you should already know. That said, I
understand why ATP would require you to start from Instrument again. Side
note, a commercial military helicopter pilot went through ATP’s program. He
was farther along than you and he had to start from 0. Hopefully that helps
put things into perspective.

Again, that’s my speculation and reasoning. If you’re looking for an
exception you would have to talk to Admissions directly, but it sounds like
they’ve already given you their answer.

Tory

Spencer,

I believe Tory’s dead on here. First and foremost ATP Admin makes the calls. Second ATP has no mechanism for anyone to start mid-program. You either start with your PPL or not but those are the only 2 programs offered. ATP cannot assume you can just dive back in after a lapse with min skills to begin with. The program is based on continuity and this would be the same if you started newhire training at an airline and opted out. It’s unfortunate but I believe they’re actually looking out for your best interests.

Adam

Well that’s disappointing but I understand. It would hurt their operating efficiency if people could just come and go. Thanks for your quick responses!