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New PP Trainee seeking life advice

Discussion in 'Airline Transport Professionals (ATP)' started by Xerraid, Jun 20, 2017.

?

Wait it out or Fast track my way to my dream job?

  1. Wait, it's worth it.

  2. Fast if you hate your job that much.

  3. Donuts, because why not?

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Xerraid

    Xerraid Member

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    Hello all,

    I'm currently in an interesting position and have looked through a few other forums about my particular issue. I haven't found anyone quite answering my own dilemma yet so I thought I'd seek advice on my own forum.

    Background: I've just recently begun pilot training courses. I have 6 hours in my log book total. I have a degree in Anthropology, am 25 years old, and am living with my parents currently.

    My Goals: To be an airline or cargo pilot.

    At the moment I'm going to a "mom and pop" flight school, but realized that it will take a long time to complete just a private pilot certification due to my current work hours. Possibly more than a year. I work about 40-50 hours a week. Weekends I fly anywhere from 2-4 hours.

    My question for the seasoned pilots in this thread are, is a school like ATP worth the debt for someone like me who wants to get out of their current job ( pays well, but it's sales and I don't enjoy it.) but still lives with their parents and wants to get out quickly as well.

    As a side question: Are there other flight academies other than ATP that offer the same sort of program? I've looked but it seems like ATP is one of a kind.

    I'm interested in hearing stories about recent ATP experiences, especially those based in California.

    Thank you all in advance! I look forward to the advice.
     
  2. ShyFlyer

    ShyFlyer CAP Member

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    ATP is "one of a kind" with the respect to the upfront price and timeframe. There are other "full time" programs out there. The flying club I belong to advertises an accelerated program, but the time frame and cost are variable depending upon a persons specific goals and availability. They essentially customize a program for you and only then are time frames and costs discussed. Further, you're also constrained by Instructor and aircraft availability just like any other person seeking instruction.

    Generally speaking, the more you fly, the better with regards to training progression and lesson/skills retention. Since you live with parents, I'd look into the possibility of getting financing to allow you to leave the job and fly full time at the "Mom and Pop," for at least the remainder of your PPL instruction. Then, you can either go somewhere else to continue or stay at "Mom & Pop" while living with...um...Mom and Pop.

    My experience with ATP Denver is still available here, so I won't rehash it. I will say that I'm considering going back since working full time/flying part time will take me quite some time to get everything accomplished. I'm older than you, so completion time is a more pressing matter. Also, in evaluating ATP, consider that the "up to $42,000/year" pay for CFIs includes "up to $11,000 in tuition reimbursements" that some of their airline partners are offering. The pay structure for ATP CFIs is also kind of complicated, with three different pay rates based on hours flown for the month. I can't remember the breakdown, but I think the lowest hourly rate was $7.50/hr. They do have a monthly "minimum guarantee" though. When I did my evaluation of ATP and the financing package I was able to obtain, I made the assumption that I'd make no more than $30K/year. In my situation, with my credit score, family help, and the fact that I'm not adverse to a 100% ramen diet, I was just barely able to squeak by on those numbers. Your results/debt tolerance may vary.


    If, in the final analysis, you choose to go to ATP, do so after getting your PPL and choose the 40hr ME option. The price difference is significant, especially if you borrow the money.
     
  3. drunkenbeagle

    drunkenbeagle Gang Member

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    There isn't anything all that unique about ATP, other than marketing multiple ratings in a full-time schedule, and (usually) more multi time, and they have a lot of locations. There are other similar operations, mostly geared towards foreign students though.

    If you are flying 2-4 hours every weekend, you are on track to be a CFI in about 18 months. Ballpark numbers, that is probably 2x to 3x as long as ATP would take, and probably about half the price. You will thank yourself for every dollar you don't spend now, as instructing isn't a terribly lucrative job. My advise is to suck it up living at home for 18 months and get the Commercial ASEL and CFI, then take the first decent CFI job you can find. In the grand scheme of things, the extra 6 to 12 months won't make a difference. The money you save from living with your folks ($15k?), save from flying at a mom & pop school ($30k?) and make at your day job ($60k X 1.5yrs = $90k?) is a lot. $135k would be worth it to me, at least. You'll have the same ratings and same job at the end of it regardless.

    The good news is that you already have a degree, and flight schools are likely to be desperate for instructors for some time.
     
  4. Bear

    Bear Well-Known Member

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  5. killbilly

    killbilly Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens

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    The only thing I'll point out here is that you do come out of the ATP program with considerably more ME time than most people who do the flying club/mom and pop route do. If you start factoring the cost differences there they get a lot closer together. I'm STILL not a fan of ATP, but the focus on ME time is helpful for some.
     
  6. drunkenbeagle

    drunkenbeagle Gang Member

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    You can do any rating in a multi anywhere though. If that's important, do your instrument rating in a twin.

    Not really worth it these days, given that 1200 hours of teaching is in your future, there is plenty of opportunity later on to pick up multi time once you know people..
     
  7. Bear

    Bear Well-Known Member

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    The revolving system of new CFIs using
    to reach the magic 'qualified' hour mark relies on continued NEW students with $USDs entering flights schools, and of course those CFIs moving then into the BIG leagues. Is this system sustainable with ever tightening entry scrutiny into the US.
     
  8. drunkenbeagle

    drunkenbeagle Gang Member

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    Well, the majority of student pilots are on the recreational side of things. The vast majority of the airplanes in the US are GA, not airline.
     
  9. Bear

    Bear Well-Known Member

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    Understand, yet to get those 1200 hours in a reasonable time, does this not require teaching full time students at flight schools seeking to fly professionally.
     
  10. drunkenbeagle

    drunkenbeagle Gang Member

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    The schedules of CFIs in Florida, at least the places I fly, are booked solid all day every day. And those aren't for "professional track" students.

    I have more students than I have time for right now, don't think I'm the only one. The biggest complaint I hear from students is instructor availability.
     
    Bear likes this.
  11. Bear

    Bear Well-Known Member

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  12. Bear

    Bear Well-Known Member

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  13. Xerraid

    Xerraid Member

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    That is really solid advice. It really is between sucking up working in the job I have now vs. swallowing 100,000 dollars worth of debt. The other thing I worry about is age. When it comes to flight instruction, doesn't age factor into that?
     
  14. Xerraid

    Xerraid Member

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    I think that's a good middle ground. It's just hard to stick with mom and pop instruction since the hours can vary and there's only one plane being shared by several students. I fly a C152. It's the cheapest to fly so it's also the most used. :(

    But it did seem like getting a private pilot license will lower the cost of "tuition" by about 10 K. Still, I'm spending that amount getting the PPL, aren't I? At my school it's about 150/hr to fly. I've probably spent well over $ 1500 on the courses and materials alone.
     
  15. Xerraid

    Xerraid Member

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  16. ShyFlyer

    ShyFlyer CAP Member

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    One aircraft? Yikes. No matter what, I'd go somewhere where there are more aircraft.
     

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