Real Answers from Real Pilots

Several Questions

Hello all,
I am thinking of starting ATP flight program in January. I am about three hours away from getting my private power and feel like it would be a good idea to get that before I begin. I have several questions:

1.) I want to do my flight training in Denver because I will be able to have free housing there. What is the weather like in regards to flying during January-July?

2.) Since I am planning on having my PPL before training, what would my flight training look like through out the training period? Will it be for my instrument rating? If so, how can I best prepare for that rating? I hear it is a difficult rating and I would like to be as prepared as possible.

3.) I have my teaching certification. The FAA FAR/AIM 2017 states that I do not have to do the fundamentals of education test if I have a teaching certificate. What would that look like in regards to the CFI training program?



You don’t say how many hours you have but you should know to start ATP’s Airline Career Pilot Program with credit for your PPL you’ll need 80hrs of flight time (just FYI). Let’s get to your questions:

  1. Well Jan-Mar/Apr is winter. Apr/May is Spring, June/July summer. Should give you a nice mix of weather to experience. Unfortunately since most meteorologists only get the forecast right about half the time I’m not sure I (or anyone else) can do much better?

  2. I’m slightly confused by this question? Generally people who are looking to enroll have done some research into the program. What it involves and what you’ll be doing training wise. I recommend you visit ATPs website ( as it tells you very specifically what your training footprint will look like. If you only hope to get your Instrument rating you don’t need ATP.

  3. Your CFI training will look EXACTLY like everyone else’s in the program. The FOI is simply one of the 7 required FAA written exams which most people actually complete prior to training. While it serves to educate a pilot as to how students learn it really has little to do with the actual CFI curriculum which is more about content.

I have to be honest, based on your questions it sounds like you really need to do some more research as to what you’re getting yourself into. The program is very intensive and requires a great deal of self-study. I recommend you spend some time on ATP’s website and on this forum before you make your decision.



Take a look at the ATP website. They’ve got some good info on what to
expect as far as a day-to-day routine and timeline. Depending on which
program you select (the 40 hr or 100 hr) you could start in the Cessna for
your instrument rating or the Seminole for your multiengine rating. Don’t
think too much on which program to choose. Both programs provide the exact
same ratings and total time. It’s just a matter of what you can afford.
Plus, if you end up going with the 40 hr program and you plan on
instructing for ATP, you’ll be able to log multi engine time as a CFI.

If you want to get a head start on Instrument you can call ATP to get your
Sheppard Air account setup and start studying for the written. You’ll need
to secure a start date and pay the deposit before they give you access to
Sheppard Air.

Or if you think you’ll do the 100 hr program, I believe you can find the
Supplement for the Seminole on the ATP website too. Wouldn’t hurt to start
reading through it.

Can’t help you much about weather in Utah. That’s not something to worry
about, in my opinion. Weather is weather. On good days you’ll fly. On bad
days you’ll do sim. On windy days you’ll practice crosswind landings.

I read through the the regs about the teaching certificate exemption. The
only perk I see is that you won’t be required to take the FOI written, but
honestly I would take it anyway since you’ll be asked to discuss the
subject during the MEI check ride.


Hey Adam,
sorry for confusing you. I currently have my private license in Gliders with a total of 90 hours. I have been told that my glider PIC times can be used towards my power commercial. I have about 20 hours of dual time in power and 10 hours of PIC.

I have being doing some research and very aware of the programs nature. I am wanting to go through the airline career pilot program and I know that an instrument rating is involved with the program. I was just asking if on day one I would be working towards my instrument rating if I have my PPL. The only reason I was asking was because the online material was pretty general and I was just looking for some specific details about how the program would look day one with a PPL or if it would even matter. Sorry if I am not conveying my thoughts well. I am just a little confused with where I am with my pilot training and how that would look in the program.

No worries Lynn,

As I said I would spend some time on the company website. This page will show the timeline and yes you will be starting with your Instrument rating ( As Tori said the best thing you can do in preparation is to take some (or all) of the required writtens. They really don’t follow the curriculum and many students find it advantageous to get them out of the way.