Real Answers from Real Pilots

Step 1

Hey there my name is Daniel and I’m 24 years old with no education beyond my high school diploma and all my work experience being in the restaurant industry. I have always had a love for the skies and a dream of being a future aviator. I am very much interested in starting courses with ATP flight school. I have no experience in the aeronautical field but at ready to get started! Am I correct when I say I’ll need to obtain a private pilot license on my own before starting with ATP? I will need to take out a school loan before starting the program would you suggest doing that to include the private pilot program as well? Am I going to be able to work part time at all outside of the program or will it be a full-time situation? Just trying to plan how much I will be borrowing.

Daniel,

No, you do not need a Private License before coming to ATP. In fact, I would recommend that you not get one somewhere else as you will have to learn a different school’s way of doing things and it will take longer. The majority of ATP’s students start from scratch, just like you are doing. When on the website, look at the “Start from zero time” column, that is what applies to you.

You will not be able to work at all while in ATP’s program. The schedule is just too demanding and variable.

Also, have you taken an introductory flight yet? This really is the only way to see if you actually want to fly airplanes for a living.

Chris

Chris,

Thanks for the information you have been very helpful! I have not been able to do an introductory flight because I am living in Hawaii currently and there’s no ATP school out here. But will be making a move to Seattle in a few months which is when I plan on doing so. Is there a certain amount I should plan on taking out for the loan? And since I won’t be able to work while in the program do you think the bank will give me enough extra money to live off of? I would consider the student housing but I live with my significant other who will not be in the program.

-Daniel

Daniel,

Your significant other will not be allowed to stay in the student housing. Generally speaking, the banks do allow students to take out some extra money to help cover living expenses. For financial specifics, please call the admissions department as they can give you precise answers on such things.

Chris

Daniel,

Use ATP’s calculator on their Application Guide page:
https://atpflightschool.com/financing/sallie-mae-application-faq.html

Tory

Tory,

What is the Multi option on the calculator? It gives the option for 40 or 100 multi?

-Daniel

Daniel,

Take some time and look around ATP’s website. There are two options for the Airline Career Pilot Program. One offers 40 hours of multi engine time, the other offers 100 hours. In both programs you will earn the exact same ratings and both qualify you to be an ATP instructor. The 100 hour option is just for those who wish to put more multi-engine time in their logbooks, but the 40 hour program is more than sufficient, I would recommend it.

Chris

Those are the two different programs that ATP offers. They both give you
the same ratings and total time. Up to you to decide which one you want.

Awesome! I appreciate you guys! Would the 100 hours be the best for a job in the regional airlines and eventually the majors one day or it won’t make much of a difference in the big picture? Because it does seem to be quite the cost difference in the loan estimator.

Daniel,

It’s up to you. Both programs exceed most Regional’s multi engine time
requirements. Plus, if you become an instructor you’ll build more multi
time instructing. So, you’ll have 100+ either way.

The only difference between each program, besides price, is the instrument
rating. With the 40 hour program you do your instrument training in the
single engine. 100 hour students do the instrument training in the multi
engine.

All regionals used to require 100 hours of multi as the minimum. Now it’s
down to 25 or 50 depending on the airline.

Tory

Coming out of either program you will have both single and multi engine instrument licenses. The difference lies in which one you take your initial instrument check ride in.

But at the ned of the day, all of your ratings will be exactly the same and nobody will ever ask, or care, which program you did. If I were signing up for the program today, I would absolutely chose the 40 hour program and save the money.

Chris

You guys have been a big help with my decisions on which path to take to get started. Much Appreciated!!

-Daniel

1 Like

Anytime. Glad we could help.

I did just receive an email from an admissions coordinator at ATP and within the email he told me:
“We do have admissions requirements to start the program. You either need to have an associates degree or 60+ college credits completed. The other way to start without college would be to have a Private Pilot License with 80+ hours of flight time.” So I do need to get some type of pre-education instead of starting from zero?

If you’re starting from zero flight time you will need a 2-year college degree (roughly 60 college credits in any degree field).
Another way to meet the entrance requirement, and faster if you don’t have any college experience, is to earn your private pilot license outside of ATP. This can take as little as 3 months and around 6 months on average plus the time to build to 80 hours.

Thanks Danielle

Daniel,

Before you do any of this I STRONGLY recommend you at least take 1 or 2 intro flights. While ATP does a great job, there’s no reason you can’t go over to the South Ramp in HNL and take a lesson. Before you invest a whole lot of time and money it’s always a good idea to give it a try and make sure you have a clue what you’ll be doing.

Adam

Adam,

Well I wish it was that easy but I live on a different island and interisland airfare is far from cheap so unfortunately I’ll wait until I’m in Seattle before being able to take that intro flight. I am still kind of confused on where to start with ATP, administrators say I need to have a private pilot license or 2-year degree but on the ATP website I’m looking at all the fast-track options and it says you can start with zero flight hours. Does that mean I’ll need an associates degree/60 college credits?

Daniel,

ATP requires 1 of either a Private Pilot license, OR a 2yr degree/60credits OR "equivalent work experience. The fact is ATP found many young people coming right out of High School simply didn’t have the dedication or work ethic to be successful in the program. If you’ve worked a steady job for 2yrs or more you can call ATP and if it was a job that had a level of responsibility they may consider that as equivalent.

Adam

Chris,

This has answered a few of my questions, one last question comes to my mind before pressing the ‘Go’ button, Will the 100 Multi help with getting a job as a CFI at ATP (or any other school)? Reason being, If I could save $10k and get multi engine later as an instructor, the decision is kind of a no-brainer.