Real Answers from Real Pilots

Training flight

Hey guys,
Today I got approved for the loan and plan to start in June. By getting approved I received the chance to have a free intro flight on a single engine aircraft, which I plan to use to tour the Richmond location. In October, I went to the Charlotte location and did an intro flight in the Seminole in which we did a short XC to KEXX and practiced an engine out condition on the way back.
My question is do you all think I should use the free flight on the single engine or should I pay $100 and get another multi engine hour in my logbook? Currently I have about 115 hours, however I have flown a bunch of flights in G500 equipped barons and a 421.
Thanks for your help, and for putting so much time into helping other people like me on here!

Kamrin,

That is great news, congratulations!

I would do the single engine intro flight and save your money. Regardless of whether or not you do the 40 or 100 hour multi program you will get plenty of multi engine time.

Are you planning on instructing for ATP? If you are not then I might reconsider my answer as you will want to get 100 hours of multi time, but if you are then you should be good to go without it.

Chris

Sounds good. Thank you. Right now I’m trying to decide between 40 or 100 me. I do plan to instruct at ATP, however the idea of flying a light twin across the country seems like an experience I will never get again, somewhat inclining me to do the 100hr program despite the 10k addition. From what I calculated, I would have to decide if getting my instrument in a multi and flying a twin across the country is worth the additional costs.

Kamrin,

Bear in mind that there is a difference between “cross country” as the FAA defines it (more than 50 miles from the departure airport) and “across the country”. ATP students do fly over great distances during the cross country phase of their training and many do fly across the entire US, but not all do. I flew from Washington DC to Chicago, down to Dallas, over to Jacksonville and then back to Washington DC. Some students end up flying up and down the coasts, others to the midwest and back and some all the way across the country. ATP will assign you flights based on where they need airplanes moved to in regards to their maintenance schedules, just like an airline does.

Chris

That sounds like an amazing time! So in regards to that, the cross country crew phase is still going to be interesting trips even in the single engine archer? If so that changes my priorities completely!
Brings to mind another question, is there much difference in doing my instrument training in a SE compared to ME? (I think I’m wondering if there’s any benefits to one or the other)

Kamrin,

I think that the cross countries will be plenty interesting no matter which airplane you fly. In either one you are going to be low, slow and have a great view of the country. There will be plenty of time for high and fast transcontinental flights in the years ahead.

As to the instrument training, I really don’t see much of a difference in that either. Instrument training will cover all of the same material in either airplane. If you do your instrument training in the single you will come to a point where you are then cross trained into the multi for instrument flight.

The real benefit to the 100 hour multi program is for those who do not intend to instruct at ATP. For those who do I recommend saving your money and doing the 40 hour program. You will have all of the same qualifications and will get plenty of multi time as an instructor for ATP, including cross country flights with your students.

Chris

Thank you so much for your time. If I have anything else I’ll be sure to ask! I see you’re from Norfolk, did you train at RIC?

I trained at ATP’s former Manassas, VA location. Several years ago ATP consolidated the smaller Manassas and Norfolk locations into the new, much larger Richmond location.

Anytime, we are always happy to help, please come back with any other questions you have and be sure to let us know how your next intro flight goes.

Chris

Kamrin,

I will second Chris and say save your money. A single ME hour will not make much difference in the logbook. I also recommend going with the 40 hour program since you will have plenty of time to fly the Seminole on XC flights with your students.

Yarden

You guys are set on doing 40me if instructing there and yall are the pros, so it looks like I’m doing the 40me when I go. Haha. Thank you for your input as well! I’ll let y’all know how the Richmond visit goes

Kamrin,

Anytime my friend, I am looking forward to hearing about the tour.

Chris

Tour went great. Most fun I’ve had flying since my checkride day. Went out in some gnarly direct crosswinds and did stalls, slow flight (super slow flight…aka 39kias in a archer :joy:), super low (less than 25 feet) simulated engine out landing in a field. I absolutely fell in love with the archer, sorry C172.
When I toured Charlotte in October I thought it was great, but Richmond was such a better fit for me personally. The instructor, facilities, and current students were awesome; as was seeing 757s and md80s in front of me as I landed in my light single.
One thing though, the instructor was really really adamant on me pursuing the 100hour option even if I was instructing there. Conflicting opinions!!! Lots of decisions to be made, but I love RIC.

P.s. Any ideas from anyone on how the Tampa location is?

Thanks again guys for helping us all out!!!
-Kamrin

Kamrin,

I am glad to hear that the tour went so well. I like Piper airplanes myself as well, I have always thought that they handled really well and I like the low wing.

The instructor obviously has his reasons for recommending the 100 hour program and I am sure there is some validity to them, but you will notice that all three of us seasoned, experienced airline pilots recommend the 40 hour program (seasoned is code word for old, :wink: ) In all seriousness, I believe rather strongly that the 40 hour program will suit your needs just fine and will provide you with the same level of education and experience while saving you $10,000, which is a lot of money in my book.

I am not personally familiar with the Tampa location, but it undoubtedly fits the mold of all of the other training centers. I did most of my flying in central Virginia and I can tell you that it is a great place to learn to fly. There isn’t a lot of air traffic and the weather is usually pretty good for flying.

Chris

I’m definitely basing my choice moreso on seasoned opinions. But I am making myself think it through with out making quick decisions. My medical is scheduled for next Thursday to upgrade from 3rd to 1st, and after that (hopefully I pass ) I’m going to make my final decision on location. About 90% sure I’m doing the 40 hour program as of now thanks to you guys.

Seasoned isn’t for old, it’s for wise. :wink:

I like that definition. At the end of the day both programs are great options and you really can’t go wrong with either one.

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I am actually touring the Tampa location and hopefullying doing an intro flight there this Saturday! Thunderstorms are forecasted around flight time so it may just be a tour :stuck_out_tongue: I will for sure let you know my thoughts on Tampa!!

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Follow up on Tampa. Flight was cancelled due to the crappy weather. Going to look at rescheudaling just have to call them. I asked quite a few questions but for anyone wondering about the Tampa location here is some info. They currently have only Archers and 79’ seminoles, the instructor did not know if they would be getting the new seminoles in the future. They have 10 instructors and only 11 students, but he said they have 6 students starting this month which will bring it up to 17, but that is still less than an 2:1 ratio. 2 sims, one single one multi engine (not sure if that is the same everywhere). The instructor I spoke with took 9 months to do the 0-250hr 100me program. He said the weather is a big issue as it can be rather stormy in the summer.

That sumerizes a lot of the big stuff, if anyone has any other questions feel free to ask. I love Tampa and this area and still plan on coming down here in the Fall to fly, weather is not as bad over the winter, and figure after that if the instructor to student ratio is low I may just go where every ATP needs an instructor the most.

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Tucker,

Don’t let the '79 model Seminoles scare you off. I trained on the newer models but soon learned that I actually preferred the flying characteristics of the older models better and I am a fan of the older instrumentation.

Your approach of going to a location based on instructor need is a very smart way of thinking and will lead to you quickly building hours.

Chris

My 80 some odd hours of flying have been in a '79 C172 And I enjoy the “6 pack” so it will be nice still getting to fly that while taking a break from flying the archer. They actually use the same GPS in the Seminole as that plane I currently fly so at least I will not be trying to learn to fly a multi engine plane in an unfamiliar cockpit. I find peoples reactions funny when I tell them the plane I fly is nearly 40 years old! I would say I am dead set on ATP after getting a tour and meeting a few instructors and being able to pick their brains.

I will probably go for an intro flight in July when I get my first class and reapply for financing, before I set a solid class date.