Have to leave ATP only a week in...

vladi34

New Member
Well guys this really sucks and my mind is still spinning so not sure if this will all make sense. I am a week and one day into my private training at ATP I passed my written exam with a 88 last week, and was so happy to have that over with and was looking forward to actually get to fly... Today I got the most devastating news I have gotten in a long time. I am 320 lbs (I know that is out of shape I am 6'-3" tall and working on getting the weight down) we did a weight and balance on the plane before takeoff the other day and found out that with full fuel on the Cessna 172 R model I am about 90 lbs over weight on my total takeoff weight with a 195lbs instructor and full 53 gal of fuel... So we thought no big deal, we will just have someone else go up before me and burn off enough fuel to get us down to about 38 - 40 gal... Today I found out that it is ATP's policy not to let anyone takeoff without full fuel, unless it is with a two year CFI for the purpose of spin training, or specially approved flights that happen 2 or 3 times a year... So therefor the facility manager had to tell me that I was not going to be able to continue with my program at ATP. After one week of hard studying I get the crushing news that I will not get to fly. The facility manager was very sympathetic to my situation and even went as far as call around to some other schools for me to see if the had a Cessna 182 that I could possibly train in. Jim has made a decision that ATP was not going to charge me for ground school and other things just $750 for material (that I can get on line for $250 but whatever at this point I am just happy that they are giving me my money back).
What really makes me mad though is that when I first called the 1 800 ALL ATPS number I asked them about my weight and if that was going to be a problem, the answer I got was "No, we've had guys as big as 400 lbs go through this, no sweat!" I wish I remembered who that was, so that if nothing else I could give them a piece of my mind. Also no where on their site does it mention anything about weight limitations... I have two kids and a wife back home, I left a very good paying job for this, and now I don't know what. I know I can't get my old job back, I also know that I can not afford to take 1 to 2 years to get my ratings else where... Also another concern is that SLM gave me $78.9 K to go to school at ATP, I don't think I can use that money for a different school, but that is something I will ask them tomorrow.
At this point I am just so depressed and disoriented I do not know up from down. ATP was a great school while it lasted (definetly not for the feighnt of heart) and my two instructors Jermaine and Brian were awsome! But unfortunately it has ended faster then it began.
 

anavalairman2

New Member
that's mind blowing! wtf? If you do find another flight school, SLM should work with it and possibly you may not have to pay as much. Good Luck, when their is a will, their is a way. Your dream is not over, keep fighting!
 

fletchersteel

Well-Known Member
That is horrible news! The 800 number guys make it out that everything is bright and shiney, and then when it begins, alot of things are different. Not sure what the C172 M models are, but you might be able to go full fuel with the weight issue. They only have 38 gals usable. Just a thought. Keep your head up and don't stop; just like anavalairman2 said "when their is a will, their is a way"! Let us all know how things turn out for ya!
 

N826AW

Snooki's Baby Daddy
Yikes! Any chance you can get your job back?

You will most likely have to reapply for another student loan with Sallie Mae since the school certification will be different. Don't give up hope!
 

wjmiller3

Well-Known Member
I dont know if there is anything else to this story, but that is not totally true. The exact wording of the fuel policy accounts for situations like the one you described. The fuel policy states "Full fuel tanks are required for each flight unless prevented by operational necessity." Planes leave all the time without full tanks. We have a couple of big guys and two big DPE's, and we have never not been able to get in CG by limiting fuel.
 

Murdoughnut

Well sized member
I have two kids and a wife back home, I left a very good paying job for this, and now I don't know what. I know I can't get my old job back, I also know that I can not afford to take 1 to 2 years to get my ratings else where... Also another concern is that SLM gave me $78.9 K to go to school at ATP, I don't think I can use that money for a different school, but that is something I will ask them tomorrow.
So let me get this straight - you're worried about your wife and two kids - which led you to take out an $80k loan and give up a job that would allow you to actually take care of your family? And you were willing to trade that for the chance (emphasis on chance) of making pocket change flying a regional jet? No offense - I hope this works out for the best for you - but it sounds like ATP did your family a favor. How exactly were you planning on supporting them when, given the current loan rates, 110% of your check would go towards paying down your loan?

I know every situation is specific to that individual, but I'm really hoping you're not abandoning your responsibility to your family to chase a dream.
 

Sidious

Well-Known Member
Hmm... That is surprising to hear. I've known some pretty big guys to be accomadated at my school no problem. I'm shocked that ATP had a customer in hand with money and they couldn't let you take off without full tanks for training.

Look around at other schools and good luck with your training.
 

v1valarob

Well-Known Member
Eh, be thankful. Youll be happy in the end that you didnt go to ATP with the current industry. Take your money and go to an FBO, your family and wallet will thank you for it later.

There is no point in rushing through ratings anymore. Its a "hurry up and wait" situation now.

-Rob
 

3green

Well-Known Member
Not to sound crude or anything, but welcome to the world of aviation. The world of aviation is littered with training horror stories. Ask any airline pilot and someone will tell their screwed up training experiences. I've got mine too...

That totally blows that they did this to you. I'm with Murdoughnut on this one, they did you a favor. Hopefully you can get your old job back(or the equivalent) or return the money back to SLM. If your intent on flying go to an FBO and work and that way you can take your time and lose your weight while you flight train. Good luck whatever happens.
 

Murdoughnut

Well sized member
I'll second what 3green just said - also, it's usually advisable that you get your PPL before throwing down money on all of the other ratings. Sometimes people get up there and realize they don't enjoy it as much as they thought they would. Work on the PPL first would be my recommendation. Then even if a career doesn't work out (like it didn't for me) at least you can still fly for fun (which I do).
 

CoffeeIcePapers

Well-Hung Member
Maybe it will motivate you. I can tell you right now it wouldn't be comfortable for someone of your size. Lose some weight first, it will be better for your wife and kids for you to live a long healthy life.

With that said, what kind of job were you expecting to get after ATP? There is really nothing out there right now.

I would suggest the following:

1. Get your old job back, or something similar in pay.
2. Get rid of the loan.
3. Lose a little weight.
4. Pay as you go and get your licenses in your spare time.

This may be a blessing in disguise. The job market, as you have read, is cyclical, and right now is in a downward trend. It will probably be 3-4 years at least (no one really knows) before it turns around again.
 

cj4pilot

Well-Known Member
This seems really crazy. I weigh 258 lbs., and was flying with the CG in the Seminole right at the forward limit if anyone that was with me weighed over 200 lbs. For every one of my checkrides, I had to limit the fuel to 80 gallons total. At CFI school they had old computer monitors for ballast. At my location we used cases of oil. On one of my commercial SE training flights we took off after the plane had been flown for an hour. Oh God!, 7 gallons missing from the tanks. I didn't go though the private program, so maybe they have more rules. Good point about the 172M, those things have alot more useful load, but maybe his location didn't have them, or had very few.
 

vladi34

New Member
So found out yesterday that ATP actually has Cessna 172's with 180 HP engines that are the same empty weight as the ones with the 160 HP but allow 100 extra lbs for takeoff weight. We did the weight and balance on these aircraft and found out that I am well within the CG and max takeoff weight for those models with full fuel and the heaviest instructor at our location. On top of that there is TWO of them at the Fulton County airport just 40 miles away! Spoke with Jim Koziarski, their Vice President of Operations, today on this matter asking him if I could continue on with my program since we found out this new info. His answer was no that I could not because even though ATP does have a few aircraft that would meet my needs and let me fly with full fuel my condition would not fit into their "Operational Standards", he explained that with saying that if they needed me to move an aircraft for them from one location to another and it did not happen to be the 180 horse then I would not be able to. I guess that I was under the wrong impression that I was paying them to teach me to fly and not to use my money to have me mpve airplanes around. He also said that basically each one of my flights would have to have "administrative oversight" to make sure that I was flying the correct plane, and that was just not efficient for them. Uuuhhh administrative oversight, what the heck?!? Bring one of the 180 HP Cessna's from Fulton to LZU and tell me that I can only fly that one, and that is what I will do... Does not seem that hard to me, or if you don't want to move that plane send me to Fulton for my Private Program.
Then he went on to say "We also need to look at the bigger picture and in your current condition you are going to be unhierable by the airlines. We train airline pilots here and I would not think it would be good if we trained you and you could not get hired by anyone." I kind of see where he was going with that, but once again I paid them to train me to fly and not to make the decision if I will be hierable or not, that should be up to me.
All in all I think that this is a bunch of corporate bull. To be fair I must say that Jim was very curtious during our conversation and he did say that if I took car of my "condition" I would be welcome back (like I would ever go back there after this). But at the same time "I'm sorry to hear that." response to me saying that I asked people that worked for him if my weight was going to be a problem and that the same manager of that facility saw me back in March when I toured the place and none of them gave me a heads up that I would not be able to fly, does me absolutely no good. I am the one that quit my job, I am the one that left his family back home, I am the one that spend money to come here. And you tell me that you are sorry to hear that while you fly around on a Citation jet. That is bull crap! And something I will not stand for.
 

N826AW

Snooki's Baby Daddy
Would you rather he took your money only to have you finish the program without a way to get hired? ATP does not guarantee they will have a 180HP C-172 in your city all the time. They move airplanes around all the time for maintenance.
 

Minuteman

“Dongola”
Then he went on to say "We also need to look at the bigger picture and in your current condition you are going to be unhierable by the airlines. We train airline pilots here and I would not think it would be good if we trained you and you could not get hired by anyone." I kind of see where he was going with that, but once again I paid them to train me to fly and not to make the decision if I will be hierable or not, that should be up to me.
I think he is correct. They are in business to train pilots to be hireable for airline flying. It would have been a bad turn to take your money with the belief that they could not help you ultimately achieve your goal.

It definitely would have been better if this information had come to light before you turned things upside down to make it happen.

I'll parrot what most others have said: get your Private at a local FBO on a pay-as-you-go basis and use that time to shape-up. If you are unable to make it happen in that low-stakes situation, that's a cheap life lesson for you and your family.

There used to be a rhetorical question, "Have you ever seen an overweight new hire?" Then it became "very overweight," and then, added to the end was, "that started out that way?"

(Not to sound like a djerk. I need to lose some too.)
 

mrmilagro

New Member
That's pretty bad that no one at ATP told you about weight restrictions before you went to the school! I am in a similar situation. I'm fat and I'm not in denial about that. It's the main reason that I didn't sign up for helicopter training!

I just posted in ATP's forum to see what their response is to my potential weight issue:

"Folks at ATP,

I recently read:
http://forums.jetcareers.com/airlin...p/69626-have-to-leave-atp-only-a-week-in.html

I am 6'3" and I weigh 280 pounds. If the math in the above listed post is correct, I will still be 50 pounds too heavy to fly in the Cessna 172 at ATP for my PPL. I have already paid my $1995 deposit for September in Pheonix.

If I'm too fat, then ATP should refund my deposit. I can finish my PPL at my local FBO and see if I can lose some weight. From what I read, my weight won't be an issue in the seminole, so I might choose to attend ATP for my advanced ratings.

In my view, the guy who made that post should have been advised of the weight issue (since he had visited the ATP location prior to attending) before he quit his job and got his loan. There was nothing on the ATP website or in any of the literature that I received that said anything about weight restrictions. I would like to get this question answered and resolved officially, in writing, before I give up my job and house.

Please advise.

Thanks.

Mike"

I will let you know what I find out from ATP management.
 

MikeFavinger

Hubschrauber Flieger
I just finished the private course at an ATP location and am about to start the career portion. Forgive me for not disclosing which. This site is closely monitored by ATP management. Heads Up.
So what?

You're paying them, right?

They should be worried students are monitoring this site.
 

BillH

New Member
Vlad, I feel for you. At my heaviest I weighed over 530 lbs and I lost 260 lbs with diet and exercise. It was always a childhood dream for me to be a pilot, a dream I thought I could never attain. Well now I have all my ratings and I went through ATP. Instant message me, I'll try to help you out all that I can with support and suggestions. And you can still flight train, if not ATP, at an FBO. Fly a 172SP or M model. The R's and P's are a bit of a bastard child as far as useful load goes.
 

vladi34

New Member
That's pretty bad that no one at ATP told you about weight restrictions before you went to the school! I am in a similar situation. I'm fat and I'm not in denial about that. It's the main reason that I didn't sign up for helicopter training!

I just posted in ATP's forum to see what their response is to my potential weight issue:

"Folks at ATP,

I recently read:
http://forums.jetcareers.com/airlin...p/69626-have-to-leave-atp-only-a-week-in.html

I am 6'3" and I weigh 280 pounds. If the math in the above listed post is correct, I will still be 50 pounds too heavy to fly in the Cessna 172 at ATP for my PPL. I have already paid my $1995 deposit for September in Pheonix.

If I'm too fat, then ATP should refund my deposit. I can finish my PPL at my local FBO and see if I can lose some weight. From what I read, my weight won't be an issue in the seminole, so I might choose to attend ATP for my advanced ratings.

In my view, the guy who made that post should have been advised of the weight issue (since he had visited the ATP location prior to attending) before he quit his job and got his loan. There was nothing on the ATP website or in any of the literature that I received that said anything about weight restrictions. I would like to get this question answered and resolved officially, in writing, before I give up my job and house.

Please advise.

Thanks.

Mike"

I will let you know what I find out from ATP management.
Yes please let me know what they say. I'm curious how they handle your situation. I'm glad that I could at least give one person a heads up.
 

vladi34

New Member
Bottom line, ATP is a business. I'm sure that over the phone they were more than happy to accommodate "your money". But once you got to a location and presented yourself as an obstacle, you become a liability. Again, ATP is a business. A business promising near magical results for back braking amounts. Woe be the individual who presents himself as an obstacle to the machine. -

I just finished the private course at an ATP location and am about to start the career portion. Forgive me for not disclosing which. This site is closely monitored by ATP management. Heads Up.
Bottom line, the line between opportunity and liability is razor thin at this school. Conform to the status quo and you'll live to see your debt become a reality.

Post Script: ATP employees are some of the most dedicated and responsible CFIs in the business. I am thankful for everything they have taught me. Amen.
You are right about one thing most of the CFI's that I met during my short stint at ATP were great! My instructors Jermaine and Brian were especially good. I am by no means dogging their instructors, what the problem here is the management, and not necessarily the local but company as a whole. This weight limitation should be made clear to all the applicants and should be on their website as well. I understand that this is a business but in turn they have really turned my life upside down, not saying that I will not recover but it will take some doing. Also on the comments about would you rather them take your money and then find out you are not going to be able to get a job, here is what I have to say. They are not doing that for my benefit, as much as they would try to get me to believe that they are, it's strictly them not wanting to hassle with one student. It is not up to them to decide that, I am paying them to teach me how to fly period. How do they know that back home I do not have some rich friends who's company has a flight department (which I do) and I might be going there to work instead of the airlines. Besides the way I see it, it will be at least a couple of years before any of us newbies see the regionals anyways, that is plenty of time for me to work on my "problem". The reason I wanted to go to ATP now is so that I can start building my hours NOW and be better prepared in the future. All I am saying is that is not for them to decide but me, and if there truly are limiting factors they should have been brought up from day one.
 
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