Seriously considering ATP


New Member
I will be graduating in December with my bachelors in Aviation Management from Auburn University. I only recently decided that I would go the flying route instead of the desk/ATC/political route Im currently in. Ive been seriously looking into ALL of the flight schools for some time (even ones youve never heard of), and I am very impressed with what ATP has to offer as far as multi-time and all the other things they have. It seems to be the best bet as far as any of the schools go. I have spent a great deal of time on this forum as well as the ipilot one as well. ATP seems to be the ONLY school that has more positive posts than negative ones.

My question(s) is this: I have absolutely zero time (except for the occasional time flying around in a 172 with my roomate, but I dont think that counts), and am looking for the safest/fastest/most beneficial route to get me to my first paying job. Is ATP the way to go for me?

I understand you have to have your private and 85 hours prior. Should I enroll in their private course as well? I mean, unless Im a MORON there is no way it will take me 85 hours to earn my private....and Im not really financially well off enough to go rent a plane for 50 some hours just to build time.

So many questions...I dont even know where to begin. Someone help me.

Well before you start at ATP, you need to get a couple hours under your belt. LIke 2 or 3. they just want to make sure that flying is what you really want to do. I am going to start on my ppl at ATP in April in JAX. I have about 6 hours. 5K for 85 hours is I good deal in my opinion. If you calculate 85 hours in a 172, you'll see that it cheaper than some FBO's if not most or all. Also, someone mentioned that you should get your PPL at ATP in about 45 hours or so. The reason for the 85 hours is, I think because of the other ratings you are trying to get in the ACP program. because like how you need a minimum of 40 hours for your ppl, i think they have minimums for the other raings/ licenses. Good luck


I noticed in your post you spoke of finding the “fastest, most beneficial” route to getting to that first job. Unfortunately the reality of the current state of the industry is there is really no reason to hurry because at this point in time there are many more highly qualified pilots than there are available jobs. Taking this into consideration it may be wise to do your training at an FBO as opposed to a large academy. At least to get through your private.

Not knowing your current financial picture, I can’t speak for you, but in my case I feel I’ve made a good choice to attend a part 61 school. I save a lot of money, and also feel that the training I receive is top notch. Please note that I’m not saying this is the best way for everyone, but at least give it some consideration.

Good luck, and welcome to Jetcareers!
Youre right, there is no real hurry to get there I guess. I guess i just figure that the sooner I get my ratings, the sooner I can begin to build time however I go about it.

Money isnt really that much of an issue, i guess Im blessed in that aspect. But I still want to get the most out of mine, who doesnt? ATP just seems like such a great deal to me, awesome. I know flying is what I want to do....after getting a bachelors in aviation management, ive spent TONS of time on this type of thing....just how to get there?

Thanks for the help, any more info...please let me know. its greatly appreciated.
If you are graduating college and the money part of it is not a problem, I think the ATP program would be a great deal. $5k for the Private w/85 hours is a bargain. Mine cost $6500 at the local 141 school and it took me 50 hrs spread out over 9 months. As the others before me have posted, go out and get at least 5 hours before committing to something like this.

I just completed my instrument using an accelerated 10 day course and I liked being able to train every day. Now is the time for you to be able to do this without having anything tying you down, especially if the money thing is not a big hurdle.
There really isn’t a wrong way to do it, just different ways. If you choose ATP, that’s fine, many people do, I’m just saying not to rule out FBO flying all together. When it comes to getting things done faster it may be true that ATP’s course is more accelerated, but that’s not to say you couldn’t fly your butt off at an FBO if you find a willing instructor.

Either way you go, enjoy your training, and let us know what you decide on!
Auburn: You DO know that Auburn University has a decent aviation program, right?

Go check it out.

As for "the right way" - flyitup is 100% correct. There isn't one. It really depends on Y-O-U.

If you need/desire a more structured environment where you can live/eat/breathe/dream aviation - then the Part 141 academy route (FSI, Comair, Pan Am, ATP) might be for you.

If you want to work and do you training in the evenings (or whenever you're not working), keep an income, and go at your own pace - then Part 61 FBO flying might be for you.

NOTE: You can also do Part 141 on a "part-time" basis at some FBO's.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Hey Auburn! I actually went to AU too and I'm sure you know that they do have a flight school and it is "decent," but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone wanting to get there ratings fast, within a budget or in a given time frame. Most people are on the waiting list there for a year to a year and a half before they can even start their private! Then there is a waiting list for each additional rating. If ATP had offered the private course when I started flying I would have definitely considered it. It averages out to be about $58 an hour with an instructor which is a great deal!
The students going through the private in JAX are finishing within 40-45 hours then they are with another instructor working on cross country and instrument stuff to get a head start for the career pilot program. I had the opportunity to fly to Dallas from JAX in a 172 with a student who had just finished his private. We shot a different approach into each airport we stopped at along the way and he got about 3 hrs. of actual time during the cross country. Another student flew to Houston from JAX and back to build hours. So they are getting actual experience, not just flying around Florida shooting the same approaches. Some other places I know they have flown are Manassas, Va, Key West, Charleston, SC, Atlanta etc...
I got my private at Auburn and it took about $7000 and 5 different instructors because the turn over there is so great. I even started my instrument training there and it took 3 months for my first stage check to be scheduled. I've heard similar stories at other 141 schools.
Long story short, i went to ATP and now work as an instructor for them. It is by far the best decision I have made as far as aviation is concerned. If you have any other questions about ATP call there 1800allatp number and ask them some questions. Everyone that answers the phone has been through the program and they will be glad to talk to you about the program.
Thanks for all your help everyone. It looks like Ill be going there more than ever with all the positive feedback.

From what it sounds like, Ill get a FEW hours under my belt before I go out there because Ill need it.

So, now that is settled....anybody know anything about the ATL site?
I went through the program in ATL. It is a great location! The airport is at Fulton County/ Charlie Brown Field. It is off of I-20. The airport is in a part of the city that isn't great, but it is ATL. The apartments are a few exits west of the airport and they are nice and in a better part of town. They are 3 bedroom (double occupancy).
The ATP ATL office is good. There are about 4 other rooms besides the office that have white boards and a big desk for ground school and flight planning. There are 2 sims there and you can use them when ever you want. One of ATP's three maintenance places is in ATL so if you hav eany problems they can fix it on the spot. (I never had a problem with any planes and was never grounded because of a maintenance problem) The maint. is great! There are a variety of '79 and '00 model planes there. If there are any other questions you have feel free to post them. There are a ton of ATP instructors and former students that post here.
Check out The Career Pilot Program has a fixed price and you get all your ratings in about 90 days. Call 1800 allatps and talk to any one of us. We will be glad to answer any questions you may have.
60-70 Instructors in the company at a given time. I asked this same question when I visited them.