Ari-Ben v. ATP


Well-Known Member
Hey everyone. I'm a little new to this so bare with me. I've been doing quite a bit of research on the two and am starting at one or the other in June. I just need your input on how each fares. I have the numbers and whatnot...just curious about peoples experiences with the two with regards to all aspects...employment, location, overall atmosphere of school and instructors, etc. Thanks...I really appreciate it!

I am currently enrolled in the multi-commercial 141 program at the Aviator. I have no complaints. The training is good and the airplanes are well maintained. The housing is also very good. The school is really hopping right now! I am hoping to finish up in a about a month or so. If you have any specific questions, feel free to e-mail me!

Take care,

Anyone want to speak about getting through the program in the time and money stated? Tough decision between ATP and Ari-Ben!!
I talked to Julian at the Aviator a few days ago and I think he said there's about 50 students at any given time but I am not sure if thats professional students or seperate rating included. So far this place is first on my list next to ATP and this is more personal preference than anything I guess but I like how it seems to be laid back at the Aviator as opposed to other places that try to get you in and out as quickly as possible. Six months looks to be the average but I'm sure there are people that do it well before that. I'm looking at a June start most likely but before anything I'm heading down to check it out possibly the third week of March. One question I have and then I'll stop babbling. Anyone know if they have a policy on renting planes there? I know ATP won't but I was just curious.

WVU, I'm also looking at starting in June. Hopefully June 1st, in fact.

And I'm also gonna be touring next month, March 9th. So if your tour date is different (not unlikely), maybe we'll see ya in June.
Probably less overhead.
Older buildings, older (but I've heard well maintained) aircraft, no fancy paint jobs, basic avionics, no fluff. Overhead kept to a minimum so costs to the student are at a minimum.
That's the way the Aviator looked to me. Haven't been to an ATP location.
Small world. I'm graduating from WVU in May and heading to ATP or Ari Ben is June as well. At this point I am leaning pretty heavily in favor of ATP, but that is just a personal preference thing. For all intent and purposes they are pretty much the same. Both ways you are getting that multi time and have a fairly good chance of getting on as an instructor when you are done. Have you started flying at all now or are you going to go the zero to hero route?

Hey Ethan. I only have about .5 logged in fixed wing and 8 in a Schweizer 300C. I see you are training with Larry...he's a great guy and you will learn a ton from him. Actually used to work down there at the fbo a few years back but anymore I just ride down to see what Marvin is up to. As for instructing for ATP...I have actually heard the opposite. I've heard that at Ari Ben there is little if any wait until you get your first students and that at ATP theres a pool of grads and you may actually be waiting a while to start instructing. Like I said...just what I've heard. Anyway, good luck with your choice. If you dont mind me asking, why are you favoring ATP much more than the Aviator?

When I was down in JAX for the Gator bowl (not so great of a game huh?) I stopped by ATP and spoke with their Rich Tilery (sp?). He's their CP and in charge of the PPL program. At that point I was planning on doing everything down there from PPL on up, and I liked the over all sense of the program. I tend to do better in a strongly structured environment, which is the mainstay of ATP. They tell you when things are going to happen, and they do. I toured Ari Ben last fall when I was visiting a friend in Miami. I really like the atmosphere, and I felt I could probably do well there. So over all they were about the same for me (although I do agree with your perception that you have a better/faster chance of getting to teach at Ari Ben then at ATP). Anyhow, I ran a whole bunch of numbers including program costs vs time in program, housing, food, wages lost (between the program times) and it came out that ATP was slightly cheaper. The difference was so small that it really doesn't make a difference. So it came down to a gut feel sort of thing. And the gut feel I have is that I will do better at ATP. I guess there isn't really any solid reasons why I am liking ATP more. If ATP went up hugly in price or for some other reason was not availible to me, I would have no problem with going with the Aviator. Hope that makes some sense.


Are the books and written tests and flight tests included in both program costs? I would like a copy of your number crunching. Send it in a PM, thanks.
Ack... Numbers? We don't need no stinkin numbers.

It shakes out like this. I based all my figures on how long it would take to get a source of income (ie get hired as a CFI).

Ari Ben costs about 31k for the whole program. As far as I know books, tests and examiner’s costs are not included so I added about 1000 in. I know that is probably high, but I was shading things that way. They cover the first three months of housing, but then you are on your own after that. Average completion time is around 6 month so that is about 1500 for housing. That brings the total cost of the program to around 33500. I'm not including in this figure food, insurance etc.

The program cost for ATP is 35k + 1000 for books and such. Housing is included for the full length of the program. So the total for atp is 36k.

Then I looked at the 3 extra months at Ari Ben and figured about $500 per month in expenses (food, gas, car insurance etc). This was a really rough number but I subtracted it out of the ATP costs because it was the differential between the two. That left me with ATP costing 34500 and Ari Ben 33500.
Then I looked the wages I could be making during those three months at ATP (assuming I got hired, hey I'm trying to think positivly
) Figure on the low side here and say 1000 a month (I know it is slightly higher, but taxes and such...) So then I took that 3000 and added it to Ari Ben's cost as an opportunity cost (lost opportunity). That put AB at 36500 and ATP still at 34500. So now ATP was about 2k cheaper.

Also something I didn't mention in my previous post was the fact that I hope to instruct after I get my ratings and although Ari Ben does pretty much guarantee that you will get hired and ATP doesn't, the benefits of having multiple locations to choose from, not to mention slightly better pay swayed my decision somewhat.

So there you have it. I know the numbers are pretty rough, but it was what I used. I am by no means saying that Ari Ben isn't as good as ATP. Also, the financials may not break down the same way for you. A lot of it is simply preception.

Not for nothing but I think those numbers are a little off...
$31k at AriBen is including PPL. And the $35K at ATP does NOT include the PPL... tack on $7K at Jacksonville for this. Bringing it up to $42K at ATP for the same ratings you'd get at Ari Ben.

Also, ATP requires you to have some 85hrs TT including 25 XC hours. If you want to enroll in the Stage 2 courses, of course.

No I'm not a paid spokesperson for or associated with AriBen The Aviator in any way!!!
Another thing Ethan...assuming you will be starting with your private ticket in hand at ATP, the small print also says to add another $2400 for examiner fees. This is from the site for the 90 day fast track:

Total Twin Training™ $31,995
Instructor Transition $3,000
Apartments (no dorms) Included
Cross-Country Hotels Included
5 FAA Written Exams
(IRA, CAX, FIA, FII & FOI) Included
Manuals, Training Syllabus, Checklists,
and Cross-Country Charts & Plates Included

90 Day Fast Track
Airline Career Pilot Program $34,995

Examiners' fees of approximately $2,400 are not included in the Airline Career Pilot Program price.

So ATP is looking to be around 37,400 not including living expenses (other than rent). Some of the Ari-Ben students/instructors might be able to clear this up but as far as I know, the Aviator price includes tests and books but not examiner fees.

As for instructing, yeah I've heard that there is virtually no wait after you finish the program and start teaching therefore building hours quicker than waiting for what I have heard might be a year before you have students at ATP. Hopefully some ATP guys can weigh in on this.

And again, assuming you will have your private when you head south (I'm sure you will...Larry had nothing but good things to say about you), then you would be doing the 200hr multi course at the Aviator which is $27,000. Anyway, just my $.02.

yup Neil is right- BOBDUCK your figures are short 7,000 dollars from ATP- and that is a big difference, you might wanna check that out!
Aw, screw you guys... I'm going home

Right... Ari Ben is 27k without PPL (instead of the 31 I quoted.) So that is 4k less. The books and such split either way are another 2k... so I guess it is about 6 that I am off. Maybe closer to 7 as RPM said. So the mean number difference comes out to about +4 in The Aviator's favor.