Flight Training Timeline

With ATP's accelerated flight training program, you can become an airline pilot in about two years. Click the timeline to see a description of your flight training milestones in the Airline Career Pilot Program.

Private Pilot

The first step towards becoming a commercial pilot is earning your single-engine Private Pilot Certificate. Keeping your end goal in mind — ATP's philosophy is to deliver airline-style training and flight experience at the very onset of a pilot's training career. This is accomplished through standardized operating procedures and training students to a high level of proficiency. In your primary training stage you’ll learn the fundamentals of flight before moving on to cross-country and solo training. During this stage, all training is conducted in Cessna 172 moving-map GPS-equipped aircraft, or Piper Archers.

What's Included:

Typical Training Day5 Days Per Week

SSBSelf-Study & Briefings
FFlight
8am
noon
8pm
  • SSB: Self-Study & Briefings
  • B: Briefing
  • S: Sim
  • F: Flight
  • G: Ground

From a Student's Perspective:

Full immersion is an understatement... Two weeks into the program and I've done nothing but lived and breathed aviation – loving every minute. During the private pilot stage, my days start off with self-study, using ATP's online learning modules. Here I'm learning all of the fundamentals of flying, which I'm confident is setting the foundation for the rest of my training. Mid-afternoon, I meet with my flight instructor for a preflight briefing and to go over a few questions I ran into during my self-study session. With questions answered and lesson objectives covered, I head out to preflight the aircraft at about 4pm. I'm excited for the flight ahead, as it is sure to be plenty full of stalls, slow-flight, ground reference maneuvers, and inevitably finishing with a round of landings.

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Instrument Rating

Airlines conduct flights under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR), allowing them to fly in less than ideal weather conditions. Accordingly, these pilots must have an Instrument Rating. During this stage, students conduct flights under simulated instrument conditions in either the Cessna 172 or Piper Archer, and learn IFR procedures such as approaches, holds, arrival and departure procedures, and emergency operations.

Not unlike other stages of the program, students are trained using standard operating procedures, flows, and callouts. This practice not only increases safety and consistency, but will prepare students for flying in the airline environment.

What's Included:

  • Instrument iPad Home Study & Briefings
  • Instrument Written Exam
  • Instrument Single-Engine Flight Instruction
  • Scenario-Based FTD Training
  • Single-Engine Instrument Rating Checkride
  • Crew Procedures & LOFT FTD Training

Typical Training Day5 Days Per Week

BBriefing
SSim
FFlight
10am
noon
10pm
  • SSB: Self-Study & Briefings
  • B: Briefing
  • S: Sim
  • F: Flight
  • G: Ground

From a Student's Perspective:

So far the instrument rating stage of training has been the most demanding. After private pilot training, I am confident in my ability to safely fly the aircraft and so now the focus is on learning the procedures necessary to fly an airplane by instruments only, with no outside visual reference. Each day is intensive, starting off with self-study and a briefing in the morning, followed by taking what was learned and running through the procedures in the simulator. After a short break my instructor and I head out in the aircraft to run through holds, approaches, and emergency procedures. The long flight is grueling and tests your ability as a pilot, but after the flight, and at end of each day, the sense of accomplishment is unparalleled.

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Crew-Style Cross-Country Flying

Upon earning an Instrument Rating, students begin the crew-style cross-country phase of their training. Here you will be paired with a fellow pilot and fly either the Cessna 172 or Piper Archer as pilot-in-command, in an airline-style environment to destinations throughout ATP's network of training centers. This crew-style flying requires a level of currency, proficiency, and standardization that defines ATP's excellence in flight training.

All cross-country flights are operated in a FAR 121 airline-style environment using crew resource management and standard operating procedures, as well as enhanced scheduling with flight releases to assist with weather, routing, and performance reviews. ATP's network of nationwide training centers allows you to see new places and expands your options of destinations to fly to, while ATP's specialized Flight Operations team ensure safety and support through scheduling and monitoring all flights around-the-clock.

Typical Training Day7 Days Per Week

FFlight
FFlight
FFlight
6am
noon
6pm
  • SSB: Self-Study & Briefings
  • B: Briefing
  • S: Sim
  • F: Flight
  • G: Ground

From a Student's Perspective:

The cross-country stage of my training has felt like a much-needed vacation and has been a once in a lifetime experience. Today I woke up, and at about 6am met with my training partner at the airport – planning for a 7am wheels-up departure. We left Phoenix and headed off to Los Angeles (Riverside to be exact), where we grabbed a quick bite to eat before departing to Las Vegas – finally returning home at around 5pm. Each day has been new and different; nothing beats waking up each morning and flying to a different city across the country. From Sacramento to Dallas, ATP has allowed me to truly enjoy flying and visit many new places.

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Commercial Pilot

After completing the Cross-Country flying stage, students will transition to the multi-engine Piper Seminole, as well as undergo further training in single-engine aircraft, in preparation for their single- and multi-engine Commercial Pilot Certificate, eventually allowing them to be paid to fly. While the principles of flight remain the same, learning to fly the multi-engine Seminole will involve new concepts such as multi-engine aerodynamics, emergency operations, and more complex systems.

What's Included:

  • Commercial Multi-Engine Flight Instruction
  • Commercial Single-Engine Flight Instruction
  • Commercial Multi-Engine Checkride
  • Commercial Single-Engine Checkride

Typical Training Day5 Days Per Week

BBriefing
FFlight
FFlight
8am
noon
8pm
  • SSB: Self-Study & Briefings
  • B: Briefing
  • S: Sim
  • F: Flight
  • G: Ground

From a Student's Perspective:

After exploring different locations during the cross-country stage, it was time to get back to work and start the next step of training – transitioning to multi-engine aircraft and becoming a commercial pilot. In the morning, I met with my training partner, where we spent an hour and half studying multi-engine aerodynamics. The plan for the afternoon is a mix of simulator work and actual flying, practicing engine failure procedures and multi-engine commercial maneuvers.

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Certified Flight Instructor

The final two months of the program are devoted to developing students into Certified Flight Instructors (CFI). Here students learn the Fundamentals of Instruction (FOI) and hone the ability to effectively teach and communicate all the knowledge and experience they have attained throughout the program.

Upon successful completion, students earn all three of their instructor certificates — single-engine CFI, multi-engine CFI, CFI Instrument. The next step after graduating from the Airline Career Pilot Program, is to build experience and flight time as a CFI. Airline Career Pilot Program graduates are guaranteed a paid instructor job with ATP, earning up to $42,000 annually with airline tuition reimbursement.

Highly-Qualified Instructors

ATP's staff of experienced CFI program instructors are among the most highly-qualified and bring you an immense depth of knowledge and instructional insight, allowing you to efficiently transition from commercial pilot to certified flight instructor. Acknowledging this, ATP instructor Todd Shellnutt was voted "Best Flight Instructor" in the AOPA Flight Training Excellence Awards.

What's Included:

  • CFI iPad Home Study & Briefings
  • CFI Ground School
  • Multi-Engine CFI Flight Instruction
  • Single-Engine CFI Flight Instruction
  • Multi-Engine CFI Initial Checkride
  • CFI Single-Engine Rating Checkride
  • CFI Instrument Rating Checkride

Typical Training Day5 Days Per Week

GGround
FFlight
8am
noon
8pm
  • SSB: Self-Study & Briefings
  • B: Briefing
  • S: Sim
  • F: Flight
  • G: Ground

From a Student's Perspective:

One week to go until I complete the program... My time in the program has gone by so quickly and CFI school went by even faster. This is the sprint to the finish line and my days here have consisted of trying to take all of the knowledge and skills I've gained over the course of training, and be able to effectively and concisely teach it to others. Luckily, I'm with a great group of fellow students who, with support of my instructors, have enabled me to pass my initial instructor checkride. The program has been as equally challenging as rewarding, and the total immersion, fast-track training has allowed me to build a strong foundation of knowledge and skill that I know will be with me throughout my entire airline career.

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Guaranteed Instructor Job After Your Fast Track Airline Career Pilot Program

As an Airline Career Pilot Program graduate you are guaranteed one of the most desired flight instructor jobs in the country, where you can earn up to $42,000 annually with airline tuition reimbursement and build flight experience faster than anywhere else.

Benefits of Instructing with ATP

  • Earn up to $42,000 annually with airline tuition reimbursement, based on how much you fly.
  • Opportunity to instruct at any of ATP’s 42 flight training centers nationwide.
  • Gain ATP’s assistance with regional airline job placement.
  • Build multi-engine and total time quickly to meet airline and corporate hiring minimums.
  • Multi-engine dual experience rapidly moves you to the top of PilotPool.com
  • Work with dedicated, motivated students.
  • Fly the largest fleet of standardized multi-engine aircraft.
  • Free housing available during CFI SE and CFII training in Jacksonville, FL or Phoenix, AZ.
  • Housing, furnished with no lease obligation, is available at training centers for reduced rates.

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Guarantee Eligibility

Airline Career Pilot Program graduates must meet the following requirements to be eligible for guaranteed instructor job placement:

  1. Graduate from the Fast Track Airline Career Pilot Program
  2. Attend scheduled training events on time and meet knowledge test deadlines
  3. Fail no more than two checkrides (three or more checkride failures will require special review and may prevent your eligibility for guaranteed instructor job placement)
  4. Demonstrate professionalism, adherence to standard operating procedures, and uncompromising attention to safety at all times
  5. Have no prohibitive items on a ten-year background check, as required for airline employment
  6. Upon completion of your initial CFI rating, and prior to commencing training for additional instructor ratings, accept an instructor position at an agreed upon ATP Training Center.

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Airline Tuition ReimbursementInterview with Your Airline Between 300-500 Hours Total Time

Airlines have selected ATP as a preferred training provider to build their pilot pipelines with the best training, offering ATP graduates tuition reimbursement.

As an Airline Career Pilot Program graduate, you can begin taking advantage of this program between 300-500 hours total flight time. Here's how it works:

Step 1: Airline Career Pilot Program

Graduate from the Airline Career Pilot Program with CFIs.

Step 2: Build Experience as a Flight Instructor

Become a flight instructor with ATP — guaranteed instructor job for Airline Career Pilot Program graduates.

Step 3: Airline Interview & Airline Tuition Reimbursement

As an instructor, interview with your airline. If you accept the airline's offer, they make a financial contribution toward your loan payment and you make a commitment to fly for that airline. Depending on your airline of choice, you my also be eligible for airline health and travel benefits.

Step 4: Airline Pilot Job Placement

About two years after starting flight training, and with approximately $5,000 in airline tuition assistance received, you start new hire class with your airline.

Participating Airlines

Envoy Air

Skywest Airlines

Mesa Airlines

Horizon Air

GoJet Airlines

Trans States Airlines

Compass Airlines

Piedmont Airlines

Silver Airways

ExpressJet Airlines

CommutAir

ATP is working with more airlines to join the program. Request more info for notification when new airlines join the program.

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Request more information to discuss this training timeline with a current ATP flight instructor and recent program graduate.


What Others Have to Say

Airline Career Pilot Program graduates are being hired by the airlines

“ATP is a pilot factory. No fluff or frills. They pump out professional pilots with extreme diligence. I started the career pilot program in Jan 2012 and 5 short years later I just landed an Airbus A-321 with 230 passengers in Miami after doing a transcon [transcontinental flight].

After only three years with ExpressJet, I had offers to decide between, flying the 747 for Atlas Air, the 777 for Southern Air, or the A-320 series for Frontier. Not only am I accelerating through my career quickly, my ATP CFI is now working for Southwest.

When someone asks me how to become an airline pilot, the first thing I do is give them the link to ATP Flight School. I have recommended the career pilot program to my best of friends, and they have followed suit. I'm glad that something like ATP exists, it sure makes the dream much more achievable.”

Tayler Boone
ATP Graduate
HIRED: Frontier Airlines
Airline Career Pilot Program graduates are being hired by the airlines

“ATP delivers what they promise…and is definitely the quickest way to the regionals. I would recommend it to anyone who is serious about an airline career.”

Charles Gaouette
ATP Graduate
HIRED: Trans States Airlines

Becoming an Airline PilotLearn the training path these pilots took to achieve their professional goals.

Airline Career Pilot Program graduates are being hired by the airlines

“Since first experiencing flight at the age of 8 years old, flying was all I ever wanted to do. After obtaining my private pilots license at the age of 19 I found myself struggling to obtain the remainder of the ratings. ATP was the missing link that I needed to become a commercial airline pilot and fulfill the dream. I had a great experience with ATP with my Instructor Wes Lester. Not only did he become my CFI, but also a lifelong friend. Although we fly for different airlines, we still find ourselves texting every week. Thanks ATP for the great experience.”

Matt Steward
ATP Graduate
HIRED: Envoy Air

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Request more information to discuss this training timeline with a current ATP flight instructor and recent program graduate.