I just finished the Career Pilot Program in Sacramento. Now I waiting for a job with ATP. The problem is that there is a backlog. I may have to wait 2 or 3 months for an opening. Any questions about the program, just let me know.
Congratulations on finishing! Must feel great to get all your ratings so quick. I have a few questions:
1. How quickly did you finish?
2. I kind of figured there was going to be a hiring backlog, but does this mean you are waiting to be hired to answer phones in Jacksonville or are you going to be answering phones 2-3 months waiting for a flying job at ATP to open up?
3. I have been looking at this program in SAC mainly because I live near and got my private at SAC and if I choose the accelerated route I would be away from the family less. However, I have heard it is one of the busiest ones in the ATP system. Were there any major airplane/instructor/simulator scheduling conflicts?
4. On average, if there is one, how many ACPP students are training in the entire ATP system at any given time? Also, how many instructors does ATP employ?
5. During the X-C phase, were you mostly taking day trips from SAC or were you gone for extended periods?
6. Have you found or are you looking for a CFI job locally while you wait for an opening at ATP?
7. Upon completion of the program, assuming one meets ATPs qualifications and is hired into the ATP CFI hiring pool, is it first in first out, or are CFI candidates ranked and given hiring preference according to ability?
Right now there is a six to 12 week wait just to get to Jacksonville to answer phones. After that, you can expect six weeks before being assigned to a location to teach. Generally, its first come first served as far as jobs go. Rarely someone will impress them enough to move to the top of the list, but this is very difficult. I am currently looking for a job for the time being (I have a family to support).
If you are willing to go to any location, then the wait may be reduced some.
On average, the Sacramento location is the busiest, at least that's what I have heard. We have had 14 to 16 Career Pilots at the location at one time (most at different stages). However, it's not so busy where you will not get individual attention.
I was fortunate on my cross country travels. My partner and I flew all the way to Jacksonville Florida and back. This was a great adventure. Cross country flights start a day or two after completing the instrument rating. Some of the career pilots didn't have the fortune of making it all the way to Florida but most get to at least Texas.
Career pilots at ATP don't really make the company money. ATP simply uses the Career Pilot to deliver aircraft to different locations for maintanance or where there is a greater need for the aircraft. ATP makes its money from the short program people (ATPs, multi add-ons, etc.). Speaking of maintance, I was very impressed with the Seminoles that we flew. ATP ownes a large group of older Seminoles (1979ish) and new Seminoles (2000/01 models). The older models have one Garman 430 GPS and the new ones have two 430's. The company is very safety conscience and has a wonderful maintanance program.
Overall, even with the wait after completing the program, there is no better flight school in the country. Most all of the time acquired is multi-time. You will go from private pilot to instrument, multi and single commercial, MEI, CFII, CFI in about 95 days with a guaranteed fixed price of about $35,000 (including examiner fees). It's fast and fun. Some are not able to take it in that fast, but for those who can handle it (you know who you are) it great. Let me know if you have any other questions.
Thanks for the quick reply. Couple of follow-up questions: Let's say I go through the ACPP and get hired by ATP as a CFI and I am willing to wait for an opening in SAC. How long is the commitment to go to Jacksonville to do phone duty? Are there any alternatives to phone duty like helping at the local ATP office in SAC until something there opens up? Are you going to wait for assignment to your desired location or are you going to go where they send you? The reason I ask is I am kind of in the same position with family and school age kids that I do not want to relocate.