ATP Grads at Airlines

New Flight Training Program Provides Options

Published Apr 6, 2009 on Pilot Jobs

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I came across an article in this month’s Flying Magazine which caught my eye. The article does a great job of describing a sometimes misunderstood program with Gulfstream Training Academy and Gulfstream International Airlines.


The reason that the article captured my attention is that the nation’s largest flight training academy (ATP) has established a flight training program in conjunction with Gulfstream, and it goes like this:

  • An Airline Career Pilot Student begins their training at one of ATP’s 25 Flight Training Centers, which are spread across the country.
  • The student will earn their Private Pilot License (if they don’t already have it), then move on to earn their Multi-engine rating, their Instrument Rating and all of their Commercial ratings.
  • The student will then relocate to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to train on the Beech 1900 Airliner
  • After initial training is complete, the student will then don a uniform and be paired with very experienced airline captains to perform 250 hours of scheduled Airline operations as an intern.
  • After the conclusion of their Turbine Engine time-building, they return to the ATP Training Center where they began the ACPP, and they conclude their flight training by earning their Certified Flight Instructor rating (CFI), their Instrument Instructor rating (CFII) and their Multi-engine Instructor Rating (MEI).

At that point, the student will have almost 500 hours of quality flight experience, which includes:

  • 250 hours of Turbine Engine Flight time
  • 65 hours of Multi-engine Flight time in addition to the Turbine time
  • Exposure to an airline training program
  • 250 hours of Part 121 Airline experience

Upon completing this program the Career Pilot will have the choice of continuing to build flight time and experience by instructing students, or they will have the chance to build time flying for a Turbo-prop operator such as a Charter or Air Taxi operation. The turbine-time in their log book allows them to be insured by the operator of the aircraft, who is required to have a pilot show over a hundred hours of Turbine time before they can be insured.

I have heard a few very confused and convoluted statements made about training with Gulfstream in this manner, but I can tell you as a veteran airline pilot and equally long-time Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) Representative and Executive Officer that this is a very acceptable means of time building.

This program also allows a student access to financing that is the best the flight training industry has to offer right now. It allows students to defer payments for up to 18 months which gives them time to devote to building more flight experience in preparation for their first job as a professional aviator.

Having additional options at a time when flight instructor positions are harder to find is a very good thing. Having quality flight training and experience on your resume and in your log book will allow you to achieve your career objective of becoming an airline pilot much faster than you would otherwise. This new ATP Program has it all, and if you are considering a career in aviation there couldn’t be a better time to get started.

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