Real Answers from Real Pilots

Wilmington Students


Hi my name is Charles. I’ve been at the Wilmington location since January 7th starting from no time. I now have my Private Pilot and am working on my instrument. I’ve met Don and we’ve been going through a lot of instrument training together. The location is great and the instructors are all down to earth. It’s a smaller location and the crew is closer than most locations. We are actually picking up in the number of students and should have a lot more during summer but we’re also gaining 2 more instructors here pretty soon. If you have any questions let me know! I got my private it 2 months during the winter and flew any chance I got, now almost instrument rated after just 4 months. Look forward to hearing from you guys!

Hey Charles,

How has it been aircraft availability wise with ILG being a Mx hub? As we get closer to my start date I’ll be in touch with the CFI assigned to me to just get ahead of the game and already build a rapport as well as meeting with my PPL instructor to just get some archer time.

Thanks for reaching out and look forward to meeting you!


Sorry about the late reply. The location being an mx station does cause some hassle and sometimes shortages of planes but we haven’t been having issues lately with planes. I think before it was difficult because we are a newer location but it seems now with the increase in students and new instructors we’ve been given a fair amount of planes.

As far as meeting with your instructor, that is great and I think it’ll help to get to know them before hand. If you can I would get to know every instructor at this location (which you will eventually) because you’re most likely going to fly with each one of them throughout your Private phase. This is a small location but we have a lot of pros here. We have Philly class bravo, Delaware is small enough that we fly to different states every single day, we have 3 runways that form a triangle so you can land in any wind, we’re close enough to DC SFRA and NYC SFRA, we have a towered airport in class delta which is not too busy, and we have a healthy amount of students and instructors so you get a more personal training environment. If you have anymore questions let me know!


No worries I don’t expect to be on here much when once I start so I totally understand!!

Good to hear about the increase in students and planes. I’ll be starting with Private Credit and already (fortunately) deal with the DC SFRA and enjoy dealing with the Philly Bravo controllers so I atleast have that going for me.

Tom when are you starting

Hey Don,

I start up Monday May 20th. Just waiting on the Intranet to assign me my CFI and finish knocking out as many writtens as possible. By my assumption you should be at CFI school by the time I start.

Nah. I’ll probably be working on commercial still. The program is fast, but not that fast. Lol

I must have ESPN (horrible 90s joke) because I just got pushed to TTN to start and then transfer to ILG when it’s available or given the option to sit and wait for availability (they don’t want to give an estimated date and have to push me back again).

The push back is due to the Piper order so I’ll be over at TTN starting my IFR on May 20th.

What the heck!?!? No start date for ILG?

Negative. I asked the VP of ATP when I would expect a start date and he didn’t want to give a date and have to break that again.

While it’s frustrating being pushed back again they at least worked with me this time vs the push from April to May.

So what’s the out come? Start at TTN then transition to ILG?

Yea I’m gonna start as scheduled (rather be inconvenienced than be pushed back) and then just transition south when it becomes available.

My goal will be to use TTN apartments as a crash pad that way I can be more available to sudden changes

Sounds good

Hmmm so you are going to start off at TTN and go back to ILG right? Interesting because I want to start off at TTN but with the hopes of transitioning to ILG after instrument (starting off at instrument at TTN) because I will be moving closer to ILG than TTN. Doesn’t it sound kinda fishy that ILG is an MX base and more planes are needed? I thought MX bases regularly receives consistent planes… something just doesn’t add up…


Not sure what’s “fishy” to you? A mx base means it’s a location that has maintenance facilities. That means that aircraft from various East Coast locations are sent through there for… you guessed it MX. ILG is a mx base for any number of reasons but it’s generally related to the logistics of mx (accessibility, cost, hanger space, things above my pay grade). Locations have different fleet sizes (and aircraft assigned to them) based on the student demand and the amount of training. Just because there may be a large number of planes transitioning through ILG for mx doesn’t mean there are unlimited aircraft parked there for student use.

Because of logistics Hawaiian’s (the airline I fly for) main mx base is in MSP. We have no pilot base there, we don’t even have service to MSP but you’ll often see planes parked there. That’s not fishy, that’s business.


I think all of this switching training centers during the program is a really bad idea. The program is a highly accelerated program as it is, it has a very heavy demand on one’s time and every free minute should be spent studying. To try to move during the program is a recipe for failed check rides or for extending the program out to be much longer than nine months.


Basic business if they are expecting ____ amount of planes to be in service they are going to accept enough students to fill all those planes. If Piper is delayed (not surprising with a huge order on top of them doing normal business and R&D for the new Piper100) then ATP has a logistics nightmare. To me if the VP is calling incoming students they are at that logistics nightmare. Another thing that points at something out of their control is a good business doesn’t give concessions if they don’t need to.

Also from those I’ve talked to don’t suggest moving around during training so maybe put off your start date a month or so until after your moved in plus it gives you extra time to knock out writtens. I’m only doing it to get to my scheduled location which is where I did all of my financial planning for 6+ months to.

So you are going to stay at TTN then and knock it out or still switch back to ILG? I have about a 2mo left before I start and just finishing up teh CAX, then FIA, and FOI. Which have you completed before you started?


I haven’t decided what I’m going to do yet. I don’t want to do this drive the entire time (I budgeted for a third to half the driving I’m doing now) and I don’t want to deal with the Presidential TFRs come later in the summer when he vacations in N.J. BUT I also have a report here already in the first few days and may not want to give that up, start over and hope to get the same report at ILG.

As far as the writtens I finished my IRA, FII and CAX all before I started and ran out of time for the FIA and FOI. My suggestion is knock them out as you have the time. It’s nice just cruising through getting my studying done for my next lesson while others are cramming testing stuff and then trying to get to their flight lessons. Talking with the instructors here they say FIA isn’t bad and FOI will be a day or so studying then your good.


Good Deal! I wish you luck and will keep this thread in mind and will be watching your progress. Visited TTN and man I felt really old…lots of younger adults…which is nice and they are very friendly…