Question about ATP program


Well-Known Member
Hello all,

I know ATP's 90-day program is done in 5 different stages that range from like 9 to 30 days per stage... anyways im wondering if you are allowed to take 3 or 4 days between each stage or every other stage to take a flight home and visit the girlfriend/wife/family or whatever? Of course this would add to the total time it takes to get it all done but I dont think a 10 or so day delay in getting ratings will shatter my career?

I really like what they are offering at ATP but I'm not sure being away from everyone, being busy, and not being able to see the girlfriend/family for 3 straight months would be alot of fun.

Thanks to anyone if they can fill me in...

Tim Samples
I saw that 43 people have read your post and none have replied. Well that is pretty lame. Im replying for this purpose as well as the fact that what you are asking is essentially "on-topic" with what I have previously posted at in the Pan Am board.

If Atp is anything like panam, Then they may try to schedule you for each and every phase of your training without any breaks.
Granted you work out your schedule with instructors and dispatch, but I'm sure you can take a break every once in a while...especially if you go in with your writtens done! 3 months isn't bad...just think of it like college when you left school for the summer and your wife/gf was in another town...or when you were away at school from your family.'s not like you're meeting other people anyways except pilots and ramp personnel!

Thanks for the replies guys,

Does anyone out there in the program or involved with it know for sure? Socal? I know you are the head ATP pimpmaster, can you shed some light? Hmm maybe I will just call them and see what they say?

I asked this question at Comair and Pan Am and they do allow breaks between the stages for a few days but not in the stages unless of course an emergency...

Anyways, thanks again guys, Tim Samples
Hey Tim,

Like Wong said, if you have your writtens done first (including all 35 of the Dailys), you have tons of time. You don't fly every day.

My partner was notorious for driving 70 miles each night and morning to see his girlfriend, and drove home to Little Rock (we're in DFW) every weekend. Unfortunately, he did NOT tell dispatch he was going that far away, and screwed up a couple of schedules. That's the key- if you're going to be more than an hour away during a break, tell dispatch.

My daughter was born a week before my cross-country phase began! It isn't that big of a deal to take time off, as long as your partner isn't getting burned.

Another thing, too- you won't want to go home very long. You'll be having way too much fun. Tooling around in a Seminole all over the country is the best time you'll ever have.

Here's another question...I just received the ATP brochure in the mail, and it mentions approximately $2500 in examiners' fees, not included in the price. $2500??? Are the examiners charging $500 a ride?
Someone correct me if I'm mistaken, but you take the following checkrides in something resembling this order:

CFI - multi
CFI - single

So it's more like $350 per checkride, same as I paid for my Private checkride. I have read on here that the DEs they use charge full price for re-tests if you bust a ride.
Yup, there are daily quizzes. You are expected to hand them in to your instructor first thing- he grades them, then faxes them to the office. They serve their purpose; guage where the student is deficient.

The average charge per checkride is 300, and this is from talking to ACPs from all over. Some charge 350, some charge 250, and one in FL charges all three (depends on which ride.) Also, there is a chance you'll bust one, right? Better safe than sorry.

The order:

Private ME
*lots of time passes here, XC phase*
*out to JAX for initial CFI training/checkride*

I took my CFII ride last because I had to cancel the first one (sick baby).
Thanks for the info,

Im thinking I would probably want to fly home for 2-3 days once or twice during the program... It sounds like that shouldnt be that big of a problem to get a weekend or two off.

Thanks again!

Thanks for the info guys, I didn't realize it would be 7 checkrides.

How can you get daily quizzes done before hand?

I called ATP's 800 line last night and spoke to a CFI and got some great information. I ran down a checklist of questions and received good answers. I'll post my list with answers if anyone wants it.
... and Jim just let me know I'm now an ATP instructor! WOOHOOO!!! I start Thursday.


Wait a minute...I thought you were teaching out of Redbird for US Flight Academy. Are you moving down to Arlington now? If so, I've got to take my writtens down there. You can sign me off.


Sig was almost totally correct in his exam order. The 'normal' course is;

CFI - multi
CFI - single

However, as many a ACP student can testify to this is not always the set order.

As far as examiner fees goes they do vary between $250 and $350, depending on location. Some of our examiners charge full price for a re-test, some don't. (One examiner we use charged a student of mine $125 for a re-check, when his full price was $350.)
Again, we use whatever examiners are out there that have a rating to test in a PA44, and they're totally independent of us, and pretty much do whatever they want to do when it comes to cost of check rides and so on.

Last, but not least; Getting 2-3 breaks through the program is perfectly viable. I went home 3 times during the time I was a student, each time home for 2 days. Don't go into the program demanding to get a break though. Be flexible, and be ready for anything.

What do you mean by all 35 "dailys". Are these tests provided by ATP with all the study guides etc.? Do you feel like taking the written exams just a few days before starting is better than taking them now and starting, say, in May '03.
Thanks for your response.


FYI: I'm starting ATP Dallas on Oct 28th. I have all my writtens done except for the CFI which I'll take in a week or so. It's advantageous for you to get the writtens done before you start...but you can take them when you get there. I have friends who went through the program and didn't take the test ahead of time. They told me that if I did anything before starting, it was best I took the writtens to get them out of the way. Here's the order I took the writtens:

Instrument Rating/CFII (SAME TEST BANK, take on same day)

In my opinion, when/if you choose ATP, take the FOI right away. It's basic psychology (which was my minor in college and I quickly forgot). Then your instrument/CFII, comercial, and CFI. Each one builds on the previous one if you do it that way!

Thanks, good info! OK, so I am dumb, but what is FOI? And another logistics question: how do I take the writtens before the program without a CFI signing off for me? Do I just self study, and then go get an endorsement, or can you take them without an endorsement?

FOI - Fundamentals of Instruction. It's an easy test.
If you pay your deposit at ATP, and sign up for the program, they send you the Gleim Study guides and you can study on your own. When you're ready, you can go to the ATP office nearest you and take the exams there. They will sign you off for the exam. At least, that's what I did. I live in Dallas and went to the ATP office here and took my writtens.


P.S. Don't feel bad about not knowing what FOI was. I didn't know until I got my books!