ATP opinions? (ASU)


New Member
Hi all!

I just started school as a freshman at ASU this semester. I'm in the professional flight program here, and I was somewhat disappointed to learn that ASU does all of their flight training through ATP. When touring the campus, I got the impression that the flight instructors were all going to be airline and/or military pilots because that's kind of what they advertised. I think what they meant was that all of the professors for the aviation classes here are airline and/or military pilots. Anyways, I had my first couple lessons for instrument this past weekend... and I guess I have observed some pros and cons.

On the good side, most of the instructors at this ATP seem to be pretty nice and helpful and seem to care about you and your success. In addition, this ATP seems to have pretty good customer service and works with ASU students pretty well to try to make everything work with our schedules and stuff.

However, the super structured system there is not really my preference. I got my private part 61 so it's a different system to me. It feels like they're trying to make a Cessna 172 into an airliner with all the briefings and callouts and dragging the airplane in with power on the approach. I also feel like they kind of rush things in the flight and there is pressure on you to get things done quickly in the preflight and such. No offense to the guys at ATP, but I don't really like the idea of just rushing through ratings all business and not really stopping to enjoy the ride and really learn to fly GA and get experience rather than trying to learn to fly every plane like an airliner right off the bat. My instructor for private was very experienced and had a very specific way to fly (some things he did probably weren't that common), but it was a very safe way to fly and I enjoyed learning it that way because I could tell that everything that he had me do, he had a very good reason for having me do it that way and it was a great way to do it FOR THAT AIRPLANE. Maybe not what you would do in an airliner, but great for a single engine trainer like a 172.

So enough ranting... I'm here at ASU and I love the professors on the ASU side and all, and I do eventually want to fly airlines or something along those lines, so in a way I know a school that goes through a sort of very structured program is good for that, but at the same time I don't really know that I like the ATP side of things and I don't want all the fun to be sucked out of my training. Plus, I have to get my degree here in "Professional Flight" which is not really good for anything except flying so there really isn't a back up college level career behind me if I do this. So I'd like some input here... what are all of your guys' experiences with ATP? I know there is a lot on here about it but I just wanted to see what some of your opinions are about it. Maybe even people who have been through the Mesa ATP here. Am I just being really whiney about ATP? or is it maybe not the best option for flight training? Thanks for taking the time to read this! xD


Well-Known Member
Not too much to say but I am at CAE in Mesa, AZ and have a current instructor who is an ASU grad(back when flight training was Mesa Pilot Development I believe) and know one who is currently still at ASU waiting to finish his CFI through ATP. PM me for details or contacts as I can put you in contact with either of them.


Well-Known Member
ATP's system is to push their instructors through the system in min time. If your doing 4 years at ASU you'll likely see 8 cycles of CFI's. I'd suggest you consider a second area of interest to major in rather than mess with the ASU flight program and an aviation degree. That said, ASU is a cool place to spend four years. Most airlines don't care what your degree is in. If you can come up with another plan at ASU where you can get a non-aviation degree and train at a small flight school it might be better. Best of luck.


Well-Known Member
I have no experience with ATP, however, was looking into finish my ratings with ATP (commercial single/multi and CFI ratings). I talked with my buddy who did all his ratings through ATP and he informed me that unless you start from scratch at ATP and learn "their" way of training, then it wouldn't be the best. However, I'll state again, I have ZERO experience with ATP, other than tried to contact them for information, and they blew up my phone for the next week!;)


Well-Known Member
So I was in your exact same position 2 years ago, signed up at ASU in the Pro Flight program, a week into the semester. I made a similar post to yours (on old account) and someone replied to my thread and gave me his phone number to chat about stuff. Turns out he was in the same position I was just prior to that. During our conversation, it came to light that pilot mill training for the amount of money ASU was asking, was just not worth the amount of debt I was going to be in. I quickly canceled the loans and withdrew from the course before it was too late. Since then I've gone to community college, worked a full time job, and have paid for all my part 61 training in cash. I'll have ZERO debt/loans to pay off when I'm done in a few months. During my time building I've done multi-day trips throughout Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Nevada, California finding some of the coolest airports and great food along the way. I wouldn't trade the freedom or experiences I've had for anything.


Well-Known Member
What are you future goals exactly? If I were in your position, I would consider another degree at ASU and go get flight training on your own time. I think that you would enjoy it a lot more and you wouldn't be locked into a structured program. I'm sure you would save some money going that route too.

I just graduated from ASU with a degree in Business. I liked ASU overall. I didn't like the Tempe Campus too much, but the other campuses such as Polytechnic and West I really enjoyed.