Some Facts...


New Member
After a few extremely busy months as an instructor for ATP, I decided to stop by Jetcareers to see what had been going on lately. Needless to say, I was upset to see that most of the posts in the ATP section were rants about Jim Koziarski's post regarding the private pilot program.

I will not try to defend or justify Jim's post -- he has not asked me to do so, and it would no doubt unleash a torrent of angry responses from some of the others on the forum. Instead, I will remind people why I once wrote that the Career Pilot Program at ATP offers its graduates a chance at the best flight instructor job in America -- and why I still feel that way.

I got my private license on December 19, 2001. After looking at a number of schools, I chose ATP in Riverside, Ca. I started the Career Pilot Program on January 28, 2002. After getting my multi and my instrument ratings, flying the Seminole to 13 different states in three weeks of cross countrys (including a trip at fight level 310 from Jacksonville to Bowling Green, Ky. in the Citation), and receving all three of my instructor ratings, I finished the Career Pilot Program on March 28, 2002.

I got a call from Jim one week later asking me to join the company as a flight instructor. I made a difficult choice that day, and told Jim that I would be in Jacksonville to start "phone duty" five days later. Today, I call that decision to head to Florida the second smartest one I have made since beginning my aviation career (the first being to choose ATP's Career Pilot Program) I had no idea when I would get back out to California to see my wife and dughter, but I had a faith that things would work out the way they were supposed to.

Working in the office was not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. Yes, being away from the family was tough (despite the few visits back to the west coast). But, I liked the people I worked for and the other newbie flight instructors I worked with -- and, after being given the BS $ story by the flight school I got my private at, I believed strongly in ATP's commitment to offer flight training that is finished on time with no hidden costs.

After six weeks of working in the office, I got the word that I would be going to Riverside to fly a Seminole with a student from California to Jacksonville. My first assignment saw me log 21 hours of cross-country, dual given, multi time -- not a bad start to the flight instructor business! I was then assigned to the Riverside office.

After starting with a set of Career Pilot Program students, I am now in charge of ATP, Multi-Commercial, MEI, MEII and ASAP 35 Hour students. I work long hours, have an extremely long commute (about to get much longer since the wife and I just bought a beautiful house in Valencia), and have even spent a number of nights on the couch at the Riverside office.

But, here is why I would still say that I have the best flight instructor job in America. I logged just over 100 hours of multi time last month and will no doubt equal that number this month -- this past month, I even had to give 20 flight hours away to other instructors in order to not break the 8 hour a day rule. Since starting to instruct in July, I have logged 250 hours of multi dual given. Of that time, I have logged 48 hours of cross country (and not just local, but to PHX, SAC and LAS as well), 32 hours of night, and 12 hours of actual (not enough clouds in SoCal!). I have also proudly seen 92% of my 28 students pass their checkrides.

The long and short is this -- 9 months after getting my private license, I have 500 hours and 400 hours of multi time. At this rate, I will reach 1000 hours/900 multi sometime in February or March -- less than two years after I had my first intro flight. Even though most of our instructors are being hired right around the 1200 hour mark, I will start studying for the ATP written and sending out resumes at the end of the year. Had I not chosen ATP, both as a flight school and as an employer, there is no way I would be in the position that I am today.

Am I proud of my job and of the company that I work for? Absolutely! But, this is not an attempt to advertise -- I personally have more business than I can handle. By retelling my personal experiences, I am simply hoping to get the ATP discussion back to where it belongs -- focused on helping aspiring pilots determine if ATP is the right flight school for them. And after receiving so much information and inspiration from Jetcareers at the beginning of my journey in aviation, I only hope that my posts will help others in making their important decison as well.

I have posted a number of times -- both when I was a student and since I have been hired as an instructor. If you do a search with my username, chances are any questions will be answered there. However, I will be happy to answer any follow ups that haven't been previously addressed.

Doug, as always, I thank you for providing a forum to help so many realize a dream.

Travis Fine

I would also suggest looking at Alderson's posts as well -- he is my fellow flight instructor at Riverside and full of good information.
Good post!

Identified yourself and talked about personal experience!

No problem!
Thanks's been hard to get this thread back on topic and away from the crap we're taking from certain people in here.


BTW: Starting ATP Dallas Oct 28th.
He wasn't talking about you, Doug. Every last one of us appreciates the time and money you put into this site.

You know d*mn well that wasn't directed at you!
Can't say much more than what's already been said...but thanks again for providing this forum. I'd just like to see it get back to it's purpose rather than an ATP bashing.

WOW!!! Brilliant post. I really wish I had done more investigating before I went to Pan Am.
To answer your question jahoward;

Assuming you're done with the program and want to work for ATP as an instructor, and assuming ATP wants you, you go to Florida and work in the main office.
You man the phones there, so when you call our 1-800 number you're talking to ex-students of the ACP program.
You stay there doing that until a position opens up where you want to go, which could be everything from.. A week to 12 weeks. (It depends on how set you are in going to a specific place. Those that are flexible and willing to go anywhere will be there the shortest.)

Very well said Socal. You ought to be a movie star.

Before I get into trouble I should let every one know that I am also an instructor for ATP in Dallas.

Doug, I used your board more than a year ago to help me decide which school to choose. It was a great help. Thank you.
If you are open and dont get where to be relocated will they help you find an apartment? Will they give you a place to stay until you find an apartment?

If you go to a location where they do the ACP program you can stay in those apartments for $200 a month, but otherwise you're on your own.
(I do think they'll help cover a few days of hotel stay at a new non-ACP place though, so you can find an apartment.)