I must say you'll be a great salesman for ATP. I'm still torn. I went to visit Ari-Ben Aviators in Fort Pierce today and was very impressed with their program. They provide 200 hours, guaranteed, in a Dutchess and 20 hours in a 172 for $24,995. The program takes 135 days because the instrument portion and the CFI is done Part 141. All of the check rides are done with FAA examiners which is tough but the best way to be sure you're being fully tested. They also hire their students back, have a good maintenance department, and have been Part 141 under the same owner for 21 years. I hate to give up the $1100 I've spent on ATP so far but it's looking like I may unless someone can convince me otherwise. If you do the math, at high industry standards, you will come out to about $24,000 at most FBO's for the same time in a twin, the books, writtens, etc., especially if you share cross country time with another instrument pilot.
I like the speed of the program at ATP but I also like the idea of getting 141 credentials which seem to be far more respected in the industry. I'd appreciate your opinion about what you would have done if you could have gotten more hours for $7,000 less?
Good news. I'll be anxious to hear what the wait time is in JAX answering phones. That is a huge reason why I'm not really interested in CFI'ing for ATP. Also, what does your family think about you living away from home while in JAX?
If you've already spent $1100 at ATP and add another $24,995 at Ari that comes to $26,095. What are your living expenses going to be at Ari -- will you have to get a hotel or an apartment? If so, add a couple more thousand to the cost. At that point, the $7000 you mention ain't quite $7000.
Some things to consider:
How many aircraft do they have? Will scheduling ever be a problem? Who does their maintenance? What is the turnaround time to get the planes fixed?
Where do they do their cross country's to? There is no other school besides ATP that sends you on a cross country from California to Florida using CRM and true airline style dispatch. That experience is invaluable in prepping for an airline career.
But the big question I would ask Mike at Ari is this -- will you guarantee not just the time but all of the ratings for the agreed upon price? Is it possible that the $24,995 price will go higher if I "need more time". I called Mike and asked that question and didn't like what I heard -- just didn't trust him. After hearing a "price" at the FBO where I got my private and ultimately paying much more than that, I swore I would never again start at a flight school where they could just keep adding hoops I had to jump through -- and keep charging me for each hoop. After verifying with past students that ATP would not add costs after the fact and after signing a contract with ATP that guaranteed that, I felt much more at ease and able to just focus on the flying.
But, you do what you want. All I know is this, I paid a set price, got all the time I was promised, got all the ratings, did it in less time than I thought and now have a job where I will soon be getting 60-80 hours of multi every month. You asked if I would do it at a different school for $7000 less -- not a chance in hell. In the long run, I will make more than $7000 in my airline career by finshing my ratings as fast as I did.
If you do decide to drop out, I would suggest that you call ATP and let them know ASAP.
I have done a bit of snooping and research about who's leaving at the location I want to instruct at and think that my stint in Jax won't be that long. But, I am prepared to stay as long as it takes to get where I want. My family is not happy, but they support me 100%. They also understand that the sooner I go to Jax, the sooner I get to be back on the west coast instructing and ultimately the sooner I'll be at an airline.
My goal when I started flying last May was to have an airline job by my birthday next year (6/26/03). The muti time and constant stream of career pilot customers at ATP is the way I'll get to my goal.
I totally agree with you socal. One has to ask? What does a airline look for 1st Degree 2nd multi-time. Look at the minimums at regionals they are 1000tt with 100 multi. If anyone was a recruiter would you hire a 600- 800 multi-time seminole applicant or a 1000tt 100multi cessna applicant.The last time I looked jets had two engines.
Thanks for the response. I hear what you're saying. The program at Ft. Pierce includes includes three months of housing. I'm married and have rented an apartment right down the road from Craig Field in Jacksonville so housing will cost me no matter where I go. I've been here in JAX for a couple weeks flying at the FBO next door to ATP to keep building hours and taking my writtens at ATP.
The concerns you raised are exactly why I went to visit the place for four hours yesterday. They have four A&Ps on staff and an inspector. I saw them personally. They have their own maintenance hanger. (I'm a former Marine Corps Avionics Tech. and have worked around planes for years, I'm not completely niave about maintenance issues). They do not guarantee ratings, but truthfully, no one can guarantee ratings, you have to pass the tests and no one (I hope) guarantees you'll pass tests. Even ATP will ask you to leave if they feel you're falling behind in the time you've been allowed, especially at the instrument level. Ft. Pierce is a 141 school and that says something because the FAA is pretty tough on those schools. I personally saw one C-172, several Pipers and four Dutchess on the flight line and two in the air while there. I saw three instructors, several students, classrooms, computer testing, and I also saw a large stack of invoices for flight time so the planes are flying. Unless this was all staged for my arrival, things looked Kosher.
I'm not in any way bashing ATP, I'm still signed up and have not yet made my decision. I'm a cautious consumer and I'm simply checking out everything I can find before making an expensive decision. I'm not considering Fort Pierce because of the money, but because you get 220 hours (80 dual instruction and part 141 instrument and CFI) and if I can't make my ratings in that time than I certainly wouldn't have made it at ATP either.
You mentioned a contract you signed with ATP. I have been here two weeks and paid $1100 so far and I have not seen any contracts. I would feel alot better if I did have a contract that spelled out everything in advance, including how much I get charged if I can't make it through the program. When did you sign yours? Does ATP guarantee that you will get your ratings in the time? I don't see how any flight school could promise that and frankly I wouldn't believe it if a school did. Individuals learn and progress at different rates. I honestly would feel much better!!!!
Again I wish you the best of luck! You are on your way and no doubt will do well. I am not looking to work for the Airlines myself. I own a 2001 172SP and I'm hoping to be able to open a small flight school in Asheville, North Carolina
when all is said and done. I've been self employed ever since I got out of the service 15 years ago and I don't ever plan to give up THAT freedom for anything!
I have a few more days to fiqure things out so I'm going to keep looking and researching as best I can, until then I'm still an ATP Career Pilot Student.
If you have plenty of time and are looking to open a flight school as opposed to flying for the airlines, I would completely agree that you should explore other options. I think ATP is great for someone with airline aspirations -- it bulids your multi time and cross country flying skills really sharp.
If you end up in Jax, I'll see you next week. If not, give me a call at the 800 number just to say hello in person. Either way, I wish you the best of luck.
Socal I had a question about ATP. If one had his A&P licenses would that be a possible option along with answering the phones.I called the office but my hrs conflict with their normal buisness operation hrs. I intend to go to the Jacksonville sight when I finish my master degree and instrument training at the end of the summer.
Hello Again All,
Well it took a lot of soul searching and many, many hours of driving to finally figure out what I plan to do. For the second time in a month I will pack two large U-Hauls and drag my poor wife hundreds of miles to a new flight school. I had several very uncomfortable experiences this week in JAX with ATP, one that made me seriously question thier integrity and another that made me decide I could learn better skills at any other school. I will never question the speed of the program, only the quality of actual flight instruction. I want to learn how to fly WELL, more than I want to learn how to fly FAST!!!!!
For those of you in a hurry to get on with you career I still believe, from my limited experience, that ATP is the way to go. I will be heading down to Fort Pierce to train at Ari-Ben Aviators and Flight Safety. It will take a few months longer but when I'm done I will have more multi time for less money and I WILL have a job teaching 70 hours a month in multi-engine aircraft.
The very best of luck to everyone and fly safe!!!!
If you would like to know what happened at ATP that really turned me off you can e-mail me or call me at (904) 566-9610 and I will relate my experience and answer any questions I can. I am a flight student only and I do not work for nor have any ties to ANY flight school.
1360 20th Ave SW
Vero Beach, FL 32962