brown trout

New Member
Reading socal's success story at ATP makes me want to head down to the ATP here in Sacramento and sign up! All those ratings in 59 days is just...well, a HECK of an accomplishment (CONGRATS, Socal!!). I honestly didn't think it could be done that quickly!

But, before I DO sign up, I have a question for those of you who have indeed gone through the program. Did the majority of you have much difficulty in getting your Private? I know I did, personally. Granted, prior to starting training, I only spent about 2 hours in a small aircraft, and never really read up on aviation (got the "bug" late in life!) so I can't say I was up to the level of those who had been immersed in aviation for the better part of their lives. Needless to say, all the bookwork and flying just overwhelmed me. Yes, I passed the checkride, and actually aced the exam, but I also had breathing room in between each flight in order to study, and do some "armchair" piloting. But, by no means was it easy. Did the majority of you who went to ATP, and got through the program, get your PPL at, or near, the minimums? (versus 60-something hours like it took me!)

I'm sure getting the writtens out of the way first helps hindsight, I would have done just that during my PPL so I could have just concentrated on flying. And maybe being totally immersed in aviation for 95 days (or whatever it takes) somehow makes it more "doable"?

I know ATP works...I see success stories just about everywhere. And, if I indeed decide to go there, will put forth more effort than any undertaking in life I've ever pursued. Yet, I just wonder if it takes a certain breed to survive such an accelerated course...or, maybe an "average", albeit extremely hard-working, Joe like myself can get it done?

Thanks for your time, and FLY SAFE!
Took me 90 hours to do my private -- got a 93 on the written, but pinked the ride (VOR brainfart!!

I think that the difficulty I had in getting my private actually helped me to understand just how much work and dedication it takes to succeed in aviation -- and fueled my competative desire to never pink a ride again.

I too started this journey late in life (I'm 33). I didn't spend my youth at the airfield learning everything I could about planes. Does it make it harder for me now? I guess it does, but there's nothing I like more than a challenge...except sushi and sake...oh, and then there's sex...okay so maybe there's a few things I like more than a challenge, but not many.

If you're considering ATP in Sac, go in and have a talk with Clint or Adam -- they're both good guys and will give you all the details about the program.

60 hours is not a long time. Where did you get your license? I'm from Sac and got mine at Skywalk at Executive. If you need directions to the Sac ATP let me know. I went there about a month ago to check it out.
Thanks Travis...I just wanted to make sure you were indeed human! (although making it through in that little of time still boggles my mind!)

Really sounds like a great program...but, as you say, not for everyone. I'm pretty much in the same shoes you were in, so it helps to know that we were in somewhat similiar situations. I was curious about one thing...I know the ATP program is a total of 95 days (obviously, as you proved, that time can be cut down) but can the time be extended past that? In other words, what happens if a student has trouble with something, maybe takes a bit more time than there a cut-off point to where one would be kicked out? (or can you go past the 95 days...and maybe it just costs more?)

Scott...I think I'll send you a personal message and see what you thought about your visit there (I did my PPL at Executive, so I see the ATP planes all over the place). Sounds like you have some good things to say about it, so I'll be curious to pick your brain about it!

Thanks again, and fly safe!
The 95 days has a bunch of time built in for extra training should you pink a ride (or two). The flight partner who they paired me up with pinked his CFII and his CFI single add-on. It won't cost him any more -- it just means a few extra days of training. He started a few weeks before me, and I assume that he's done by now, so he's still well witin the 95 days. He was based in Sac, so when you go in you might ask about him.

Trust me when I say that you will not need the entire 95 days. Flying 6-7 days per week will hone your skills like you wouldn't believe.

Have faith and take the leap -- you won't regret it.


I graduated from the ACP program a few months ago, and I'm currently sitting here looking at socal's (ugly) back. /ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif
We were in the same class of new hire instructors for ATP, and we share a room in the 'bachelor pad'. (Unfortunately he's too nice and tidy to give me any ammunition to make fun of him here..)

Regardless, I just thought I would add my $.02 to the subject of how long it takes to go through the program.
I went through the whole thing in 68 days, which I was very proud of and thought was a record, until I met that bast.. *Cough*
I did meet people in the program who would actually extend over the 95 day range. One of them wasn't done until the 110th day. However, if this happens it won't cost you more. You pay the set price and you get your ratings, no more no less, so they don't charge you extra even if it takes a little longer.
Both Travis and I were very lucky with the scheduling of checkrides, some people didn't have that luck and had to wait around a little. So some people took a week longer than the 95, some took a week shorter to complete it. Like what happened to my partner in the program; I had my SE CFI checkride the 30th of January, I was out of there and headed back to my wife within minutes /ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif but he had to wait for two whole weeks until a checkride could be scheduled.
What I'm trying to say is, the 95 days outlined isn't a 'given', and don't be surprised by weird timing, both on the plus and minus side. /ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif
If anything, this program teaches you to be flexible, but that's a good lesson to learn, as it won't be much different once you make it to the airlines.

Hey all, sounds like things are chugging along there in Florida... just wondering, what is the pay like there answering the phones? I'm trying to get a good understanding of what the potential income could be like... it looks like I may be starting there sooner than I had planned since I just got laid off two weeks ago from work.