Real Answers from Real Pilots

Thoughts?

I came across this post today… what are you guys thoughts on this blog?

Do ATP really have you come out of pocket a lot?
What is the checkride pass rate?

Earv,

I obviously don’t know Emily but I’m sure her blog reflects her feelings on her experience. I’m not going to pick her blog apart but I do find it interesting that there are areas where she felt her training was overkill and others she felt were insufficient (4hrs to learn 4 maneuvers doesn’t seem too challenging to me? Particularly when, as she states sims are ALWAYS available at no charge. Btw, when I went for my SE CPL transition I hadn’t flown a Cessna in…oh yea, EVER). I also take exception to her statement that “you get screwed on taxes at the end of the year”. I actually believe that ATP paying their instructors their gross salary and letting them decide what to do tax wise is a benefit (if someone isn’t capable of budgeting an estimate with a simple tax calculator I wouldn’t blame the employer). ATP also stated VERY publicly that they were forced to lengthen the program due to the shortage of examiners. There are many other sweeping statements she makes that I disagree with but that’s not why I’m here. What I will say is I completely agree with her when she says ATPs " training syllabus that only allows certain types of students to be successful". ATP most certainly isn’t for everyone. It’s no secret (and we state it often here) the program is VERY accelerated and requires a tremendous amount of self study. The resources are all there for you to be successful and if someone says that they’re only getting the bare minimum to be pass I would argue that’s all THEY decided to pursue.

Finally when it comes to paying extra out of pocket I personally don’t know a single pilot who had to and when Emily says that “EVERYONE buys extra time here” I have to respectfully call foul because I know for a fact that I nor any of the pilots I know personally did. Do pilots occasionally require extra time, sure but all attempts are made to keep it too a minimum and if it happens too often, the money should be the least of the concerns.

The goal for the vast majority of people who decide to train with ATP is to become an airline pilot. As I often say ATP models it’s training program after those at the airlines. When I transitioned last year to the A330 I was handed 4 FCOMs (Flight Crew Operating Manuals), 1 FOM (Flight Operations Manual) and the Airbus FCTM (Flight Crew Training Manual). Combined totally close to 2,000 pages. We received 6 days of ground school. I have 2 questions for you? First, do you think we covered every page of every manual over 6 days? Second, when it came to my Oral exam for my type rating do you think if I told the FAA Examiner I didn’t know because we didn’t cover it in class you think he’d say that’s ok? The airline is responsible with providing us with the tools we need to be the best pilots we can be and then ensuring that we are. It’s up to us to get there. It’s called being a professional and no, it’s not for everybody.

Adam

3 Likes

Earv,

Emily is not the first, and won’t be the last to post something like that.
Emily and I have never met, but I know of her. Her Crew Cross Country
partner was my student. Let’s just say that I am not surprised that she
spoke about her experience in such a negative tone.

Emily’s experience was Emily’s experience. She mostly does a good job of
reporting the facts, but notice how she never once took responsibility for
anything that happened that didn’t go her way. That in itself tells me all
that I need to know.

Like Adam said, ATP’s program is not for everyone. It sounds like she had a
lot of unrealistic expectations when she started the program, and because
she had to pay for extra flight time she felt cheated.

I can’t give you a pass rate percentage, and to be quite honest I don’t
think ATP’s pass rate is an issue. It’s probably just as good, if not
better than pass rates at other schools. Also, I know some people that pass
rides that shouldn’t, and I know other people that don’t pass that should.
I think pass rates are important, but a school/instructor can only do so
much.

I am not a student yet with ATP but will be next year. So my experiences with an online blog have nothing to do with ATP as a whole. With that said here is some guidance from an old man with experience in life:

Online forums are mostly a place where people go to vent. I would venture to say that between 80 to 95% of people post because they are unhappy. Very rarely does the happy person post because they are not as driven by an emotion to tell their story to get an effect.

I was a food service server in my high school years and I noticed a lot of times people would complain about something a server delivered that was not correct or cold and by the time the manager arrived at the table the server had insulted them or slapped their spouse or kicked their dog. Why because they had alterior motives. Now not every complaint went this way but a lot (majority) did.

In every day life today I see people who believe they are due some special treatment or extras because they feel entitled. Not to say that every complaint is false but I see people demanding things for the slightest inconvenience or imagined slight.

When it comes to any type of education or higher learning it is your responsibility to take your life in your hands and your own best interests. If someone does not take responsibility for their own lack of action then take it with a grain of salt. Example? No where did Emily state that she went to the director of training and request a new instructor and was denied. I did not see in the original blog post where she reached out to anyone about her concerns with her having to get additional training and was denied. I am sorry but if I feel my instructor is not invested in my success and making me a safe pilot I will go up the chain until my concerns are addressed and rectified.

I have read several reviews from ATP students that did request a different instructor and were accommodated.

To sum this up, emotions blur every individuals perceptions about experiences. I learned a long time ago that there are three sides to every story, your side my side and what actually happened.

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This young lady speaks as though she is an authority on flight training and in reality she is nowhere near that. Statements like the one implying that eight hours isn’t enough time to train for a multi license are absurd. ATP has been training multi students for decades and eight hours has always been the standard. Her blog is full of examples like this.

To see the other side, go check out the “Student Experiences” section. We started this to give people a place to post their experiences with ATP, we don’t edit or control it one bit. I think you will see some very different (and much better) stories presented there.

Chris

Thanks @Adam @Chris @Tory I was just getting a little worried as my start date is coming up (July 17th) at Livermore! I believe in three sides to every story (side A, Side B, and the truth). Thanks for your input… :slight_smile:

You are right!! Thanks for your input!

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For every blog post like this one there are many former ATP students who say they or no one they knew had to purchase extra hours. An coach of mine from highschool went through the program a few years ago and finished with extra hours left over. In the end it comes down to the student and your mindset going into training and how much you are willing to mentally invest in yourself and your training.

Earv,

How are those Writtens coming? Thinking if you’re starting in 2 weeks more study and less blog reading would be a better use of your time :wink:

Adam

2 Likes

As an ATP alumni, I can say that she’s right in some aspects and wrong on others.

Here’s where she’s right:
1. The instrument flying phase is all cross countries and no local approaches. It would be nice to shoot a bunch of approaches locally, but that’s what the FTD training is for. And I bet most instructors say if you can fly well in the sim, you can definitely fly the actual airplane well.
2. Some people don’t get so lucky during the crew cross country phase. This is where I have to agree with Emily the most. This tends to be slightly more of a problem for 40 ME students because the Cessnas and Archers can’t fly nearly as far as the Seminoles, so students are sent to locations closer to their home base. I was satisfied with my crew experience. Could it have been better? Absolutely. But I can’t complain. I had a great crew partner. I know several 40 ME and 100 ME students who did not have good crew cross country experiences, but most people I know really enjoyed it. We trained in Tampa, and these unlucky guys got stuck in the “Florida Triangle” for most of their crew phase. The furthest they got outside of Tampa was Georgia or Alabama. Most students, on the other hand, get to travel very long distances on their crew phase. My crew partner and I made our way up to Raleigh, and that was very cool. If you’re lucky, ATP will pay for your airline ticket and ship you out to another city to meet up with your crew partner. It all comes down to who just completed their instrument checkride and which planes need to be flown to a specific location for their 100 hr or annual inspections.

Here’s where I have to disagree:
1. Buying extra time. I don’t know anyone who had to buy extra time. The only time we got charged extra was if we used up all of our allotted training time and had to fly to and from our checkrides. This was (and still is) common with Tampa students. We typically have to fly at least an hour to our checkride location. And if we bust a checkride, then we have to pay even more. Other than that, I don’t think anyone will need to buy extra time for training purposes. Even with one bust on my record (Private Multi), the 8 hours of training was sufficient and my mistake on the checkride could not have been avoided had I received more training.

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Erik,

Something that I would like to point out is that it is ATP’s responsibility not just to train a student to pass their checkrides, but to be able to safely fly an airplane anywhere in the US. As such, it is incumbent on the school to prepare the student to be able fly instrument approaches at many different airports, not just the local ones.

As an airline pilot I routinely fly into airports that I have never been to before, we are able to do this and to shoot approaches because we follow the same procedures no matter where we are.

Chris

Which is funny because one complaint on the blog was that ATP ONLY prepares you to pass your checkride.

Adam