Hi, MY name is Chris and I am also interested in Airline Training Academy. I really dont know much about them, but if I find out any info I will be happy to pass it on ok, and If you find out any info please pass it on to me ok
I would not go to ATA. ATA is no longer Part 141, but is now Part 61. Although there is nothing wrong with Part 61, because they are 61, none of the airlines will deal with them (such as bridge programs, as they had when 141). My suggestion, look into FSI or COMAIR.
Actually, it doesn't matter whether they have a 141 or a 61. Part 61 actually gives you and your instructor more freedom to concentrate on your weak areas. AS far as not having airlines, that is completely untrue. You have gotten some bad information sir. Currently ATA has hiring contracts (bridge programs) with American Eagle, ACA, Skywest, Horizon and Pinnacle Airlines. True, things are a little slow in the hiring process right now, but it's that way industrywide. I just graduated from ATA and would recommend it to anyone. I would also recommend checking out Comair and FSI. Both are very good schools.
I recommend searching for past threads regarding ATA. Others have posted their experiences with ATA's programs. Paying $20K or more for 250 hours and the possibility of being hired (PFT, but that is another heated subject), is a risky avenue to take with your training dollars.
The 'bridge' programs may or not be intact. I know some of the airlines canceled the contracts with some of the 'fast track' schools. American Eagle has 305 pilots on furlough, and with the ASM and scope with APA and the financial troubles with AMR, recalls are not expected for a long time (> 2 years). Pinnacle has had difficulty filling classes due to their policy of no pay until a successful checkride (no salary, no per deim, no housing, no travel). Recent threads have detailed Pinnacles' policy ( I believe a $10K PFT if < 1000 hours TT).
Don't discount other flight schools and NEVER believe what the recuiters and glossy ads tell you.
I spoke with a couple of ATA guys on the phone about three years ago, and the last guy really stuck in my mind.
Far from being upbeat and positive about aviation, this guy was pretty much down on the whole experience. He told me of one FO he knew at a Major who had a standing offer to buy any captain a motorcycle, with the belief that the captain would wreck and create an open slot on the roster above him.
I found the conversation that he had with me, a total stranger, to be so distasteful that I never called them again.
No, there's no rival between FSI and ATA, maybe between Comair and ATA, but I think that's really stupid. We are all pilots and we need to stick together for the good of our chosen proffesion. To act like a bunch of high school kids during a football rivalry is immature to say the least. Skywest took only a handful of guys from ATA but they all had at least 1000 hours, not what most grads have. These guys had built time either flight instructing or 135 ops. Now that was a few months back and they haven't called for any more yet. I should correct myself about Pinnacle. They came to look at ATA as a source for FO's but have yet to request any grads which is probably a good thing since they seem a little shady. I think they do have a PFT but I would hope that no=one would lower themselves to that level, I wouldn't!!! I, unfortunately am treading water in the dreaded hiring pool unlike many of my fellow low timers! Things were great at ATA before 9/11 when I signed up. Had I been able to see the future I would have done things differently but now I can either wait it out or go work on the CFI's. Doesn't matter to me, I'm not gonna let it get me down, just gonna keep on working on that dream flying career!!!
Not to bash marcus in particular, but didn't you do a bit of research? These "Become an airline pilot" in 10 months are notorious for ripping people off. The New England Journal of Medicine has never posted " Become an MD in 14 weeks" the last time I flipped through it. One must prove his or her self through dedication, persistance and SWEAT. An MD must endure 7 to 8 years of study to be considered a competent physican. A safe, informed and consistent pilot is developed over time, not in a microwave. Wearing that one stripe after you got your private probably made you feel proud(and you should have been), but they also made you look foolish. Oh yeah, and the three silver stripes in ASII are pretty much useless aren't they? You stated you had no money for a CFI........ I wonder why? Now sir, how do plan to remain current and safe if there is no money left in which to fly with. This is not a personal attack on you my friend, I just get upset when good people get taken for a ride. Best of luck to you in your "Hiring" pool.
Do not believe everything you read. All vocational-type schools, of which flight schools are a part, use similar sales pitches.
So many schools prey on people's troubles. Try watching some weekday afternoon TV sometime. Along with the ads for sleazy PI attorneys, you'll see the ads that proclaim: "Earn GREAT MONEY as a Surgical Technician in only THREE WEEKS!!" Somewhat exagerated, but not really. People who can barely read and write take the course, and find out that you need five years of experience to be hired.
I can say that the same is true with paralegal schools. I've found from being on both sides of the desk that there is no shortage of paralegals. Moreover, new attorneys and third-year law school students compete for these jobs. In a way, that's like a furloughed 747 captain competing for a 135 SIC or banner job.
Of course, flight schools, don't prey on people's troubles but prey on their dreams. So, that's why the "Be An Airline Pilot in Ten Months" pitch is so powerful. In any event, you are where you are. Get something that will help you get work. Get your CFI.
I don't know ATA but I know FSI in Vero very well. If I were to choose and had the financing, I'd choose FSI. It is a six-month program and you can get your CFI there. You can't beat the name recognition. It is expensive.
it always cracks me up in this day and age to open up an aviation magazine such as flying, aopa pilot, etc. and see all of the advertisements for flight schools promising to get you hired in a short amount of time. the irony is that almost without exception every single one of the airlines they claim to have connections with has pilots on furlough or is not even hiring. it should be a crime that schools get away with advertising such as that. saying that the magazine is produced months in advance and the ads can't be changed is no longer an excuse either. it's been nearly a year now...IMHO.
as i was based in vancouver for a number of years, i met a number of pilots who fly for horizon airlines. i became friends with all of them. there is NO bridge program between ata and horizon. infact there is only one pilot from ata at horizon and they did not speak highly of his skill. i was told he was hired only due to a family connection.
i would advise against being sucked in to the marketing lies of a place like this.
As a FlightSafety grad, I can tell you without reservation that their training program is excellent. I went from a private pilot with 50 hrs, to having my comm, multi, inst in less than four months.
A very good option at FSI is to get your CFI with them and stay on as an instructor. Their CFIs typically got around 60 hrs/mo (most of it multi) and make $1,500/mo which is pretty good for an instructor.
Two things to consider about FSI: first - it's REALLY expensive; you certainly get what you pay for, but it may be cost prohibitive for some (about 40k from 0 to Comm, multi, inst). Second - they certainly are not hiring as many CFIs as they used to (not many leaving to the airlines, obviously).
In short, there are many many options out there. Do some research, decide what works best for you and plan on full time instructing for a year or so once you're done. Good luck!
I have mixed feelings regarding ATA. I enrolled there Jan 2001 with a Private license and by mid May had my Instrument and Commercial Multi license. I felt that although the training was not cheap, I received a good education from a very good instructor. That was not the case with some of my friends there. They either had bad instructors or numerous mechanical problems that kept them on the ground. In that regard it was just luck of the draw, and I lucked out.
AirStage II I felt gave me a good understanding of what to expect from an airline. We were taught by "current" Comair check airmen (they were still on strike at the time) who really seemed to know their stuff. I also learned a lot about the ATC system through the flights I took. At the end of it all, I was hired by Eagle, which at the time was the only airline affiliated with ATA. When 9/11 happened I was in Dallas taking my flight physical and received a letter a week later saying I was no longer needed, but to keep my resume current.
Up until that point, I was very satisfied with the program at ATA (and still am). My problem comes in with the refund of my money. ATA came out with a contract gaurentee for ASII of $15000. I had already paid my $30k, but now have a legal document stating I will receive a $15k refund 90 days after completion of ASII. 90 days was mid-Dec 2001 and still no refund. I will soon be contacting a lawyer to collect my money since ATA will no longer talk to me. There are other people in similar situations and from what I hear, there may also be a class action lawsuit in the works.
Another rumor I have recently heard is that they don't have enough money to consistantly meet payroll. Some of the Comair instructors I had will no longer teach there because they don't always get paid. Sounds to me like they spent too much money on their prize CL65 Simulator, Jet trainers, and expanding their building.
The big negative to ATA is that you aren't going to get a Single Commercial License or a CFI. I spent the time and money to get a Single Commercial after the fact and am now working on my CFI. My recomendation would be to find a local FBO and get your licenses and ratings there, and then go to one of the bigger schools for their "airline prep" courses, if that is your ultimate goal. Earning your CFI along the way can only help you in the long run.
The bottom line is that no matter where you go, be willing to spend whatever the price is they are advertising. There is no school in existance where you don't have the possibility of having a negative experience.