ATP Jacksonville Visit


New Member
I am visiting ATP at their Jacksonville location on the weekend of the 16th and 17th of November. I will take lots of digital pictures if I can and post <font color="blue"> </font color> them. For the record I am also taking the FSI tour a few days prior. I will try and post pics and my .02 worth after I return. I'm excited about finally seeing this start to take shape. Also for those of you out their I am looking at starting at the beginning of June 03 either in Jacksonville or Sacramento. Anyone else looking at these locations?
Starting in jacksonville in june?? eeewww.........if jacksonville is anything like orlando (and i am assuming it is) i would recommend you going to sac town instead because the weather is NASTY!!! just a thought.

Good luck Paul. I think you'll be impressed with both schools. I have my start date reserved for April 7 for the PPL course at ATP. I will be starting the ACPP June 3. If you go to JAX, we'll be going through the program together.
If you have time, take a look at Pan Am in Ft. Pierce. It's only 15 minutes away from FSI. I think it's one more exit after FSI's exit on I95. Even if you don't plan on going there, it's good to get an idea of what else is out there to compare to your top choices. Ari-ben is on the same air field as Pan Am. It's the little brown building with the old, decrepit planes behind it. No signs distinguish it.
Have fun with your tour and ask anything and everything you can think of.
Ask ATP to give you directions to the apartments too so you can take a look at where you'll be staying if you go there.
PA in da house!
Well I'm back and I'm glad I took the time to fly down to Florida and visit both schools. I was sold on ATP before even leaving and just interested in FSI because of their reputation. After the trip I can say I did a complete 360. I came home 2 days early because I did not need to see anymore.

I know I promised pictures but I found out I can't post them because I do not host a website. I took a lot so if you want to see some just pm me and I will send a few your way. I do not want to bad mouth any school so I will leave my post as this and just advise you to make your own determination on what meets your needs by visiting the schools yourself!

Awsome trip, learned a lot, had lunch with a student from this forum, drove 600 miles in 36hrs and flew home from Jacksonville to Philadelphia in a record 1hr 28minutes in a 737. We apparently had a groundspeed of 599mph. Technically we were in PHL but we did have to hold for 18 minutes because <font color="green"> </font color> they were not ready for us.
Hey isn't this forum about talking to others about all the pros and cons of the various flight schools? I for one would like to know the details about your change of mind.

Paul, I think you mean a 180. If you do a 360, you're back where you started. If you do a 180, you're pointing in the opposite direction. It's just a pet peeve of mine. Thougt I would let know.
It's a shame Paul. ATP has a lot to offer.
I used to think FSI was the way to go, so from that un-posted beginning I did come 360 with regards to major flight schools but I see your point... I found by visiting the schools I got a better feel for how they operate. Actually ATP didn't allow me to get to see how they operate and that is one major reason I have chosen to not go with them. I asked to see the office where they answer the 800 number from and was told students don't visit that facility. When I asked for directions I wasn't given them. I was then handed off to another instructor who was nice but wasn't in tune with my interests. FSI was like a full disclosure on the other hand. Specific topics I found important to me were the amount of time I was logging as PIC, where I would be staying while attending, aircraft maint. facilities, instructors knowledge, learning environment, just how welcome I felt to visit, does this school have a focus on me being the best pilot I can be (no add intended here), etc. I could go on and on but I found myself saying ATP is just not what I thought it was. On the other hand FSI was better than I imagined.

Maybe visiting schools is not for everyone but it sure allowed me to really see what I have only read about for the last 6 months on these boards. Now I know what people are talking about when they describe one of these facilities.

I have also found a local FBO who is starting up a Professional Pilot Program that offers the same amount of twin time if not more, has a lower cost, and is part of a larger company that runs charters. The FBO is actually out of Wings Field here in Pennsylvania. You know, the field AOPA started at! I have not made up my mind yet but I will say that if I choose to move away it will be to Vero Beach with FlightSafety. If I choose to stay put I will do the FBO route at Wings Field (I'm leaning this way).

I hope this post helps a little in your search for what is right for you irregardless of which path you choose!

Good Luck,

Fantastic- you did the right thing by checking out the facilities. If FSI is a better fit, you'd be wasting your time and money elsewhere.

You'll never play the "what if" game, right?

Congratulations on an informed decision, and I wish you all the best. See you on the other side!

- Sorry I couldn't get in touch, too. I was doing my exit work, and that leaves about zero seconds to play with.

As far as the other office goes, we must keep it out of public knowledge. Sounds crazy, but when you own outright $22 million in planes, you get a LOT of unwanted attention.

I can tell you that it is located in one of the most beautiful parts of Florida, though! And to compare what you saw in JAX, the office is in a different league entirely.
Good luck with whichever you choose Paul. Which wings field are you talking about in PA. I'm in between the Blue Bell field and the Quakertown field.
I just have to say that my experience was completely 180 from Paul's.
Every question I had was answered thoroughly. I asked to visit the apartments (both facilities) and they were more than happy to give me directions. They were very open about how they log time and who logs what when. And the most impressive thing was the maintenance part of the tour. I spoke with the chief mechanic for at least 5 minutes and they showed me around the garage. They showed me a 172 they were renovating, a new engine they were putting in a seminole, and the computer tracking system. I didn't ask to see the main office though. It wasn't a priority of mine because I'll be spending my time at the airport and apartments until or if I get hired as an instructor. I guess you didn't speak with people who were overly enthusiastic about giving the tour. I just wanted to give my perspective again.
I have read before about people visiting ATP and not feeling the person giving the tour was "in tune" with what was going on. I can understand where your coming from Paul. Flight Safety is definately a good second choice of the Florida schools. It's second on my list. It's second because of the $. Too much to me.
Good luck with either choice Paul. Sorry to hear it didn't work out.
Unwanted attention from SALESPEOPLE! The owner of this company is sought daily.

I'd be happy to ride along on your X/C! Hell yes we can shoot approaches!
I have received so many calls, e-mails and pm's that I have decided to post the basic information on the Wings Flight School Professional Pilot Program in the FBO section. You can still contact me but I thought it might be easier for some that way.