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Small School Vs ATP

thomasberry

New member
Hi everyone,

I am 29 years old and beginning my pilot training. My goal is to become an airline pilot. There is a small school near me as well as an ATP school. I have two questions:

1) I believe I can obtain all of my ratings (PPL, INS, Com, CFI, CFII, MEI) from a small school in 16 months. Would it be worth it to save the 7 months and go to ATP instead?

2) The small flight school rents C152 for $99/hr. and C172 for around $135/hr., and the flight instructors charge $50/hr. They also have a simulator at $50/hr. I have estimated that the total cost at this small school will be roughly 50k. In your experience, how accurate is my estimate of 50k? I will be flying in the Detroit, Michigan area.

Considering ATP will cost around 85K, I believe the small school at 16 month pace is worth it given my estimations are correct. Please let me know your thoughts.

Thank you for your time.
 

Zeede

Active member
I think $50k is about right. I'm going to end up around $39k for my Private, Instrument and Commercial. The Multi and CFI would probably be about that much more, maybe less.
 

thomasberry

New member
Hello and welcome to the forums.

How did you arrive at the 16 months/50k estimate?
I estimated that I would need 250 hours total for all of those ratings. So I did (cost of plane + instructor) * 250. This got me to around 45,000. I added 5k for fees, equipment, etc.

The 16 months was done by researching how long it took pilots to complete each rating. Research was done from online forums and YouTube. It seemed reasonable at a moderate pace.
 

Zeede

Active member
Thank You for your response.
Just some more data for you, if I pass my check ride on Monday, then I will have gotten my Private, Instrument and Commercial (250 hours) in just under 13 months. Everyone says I've been doing it at an accelerated pace though, so your mileage may vary.
 

MsHighAltitude

Active member
I estimated that I would need 250 hours total for all of those ratings. So I did (cost of plane + instructor) * 250. This got me to around 45,000. I added 5k for fees, equipment, etc.

The 16 months was done by researching how long it took pilots to complete each rating. Research was done from online forums and YouTube. It seemed reasonable at a moderate pace.
Keep in mind that you need 250 hours for commercial, and CFI/CFII/MEI come after that. That being said $50k is probably not too far off, although never hurts to budget a bit more to be safe.

Good luck with your training!
 

MsHighAltitude

Active member
Just some more data for you, if I pass my check ride on Monday, then I will have gotten my Private, Instrument and Commercial (250 hours) in just under 13 months. Everyone says I've been doing it at an accelerated pace though, so your mileage may vary.
Good luck on Monday!!! Man you went through your commercial fast!

It's been 4 weeks and I'm still planeless. Starting to question my ability to fly straight and level under the hood now. I guess thankfully I still have my day job? 😂
 

Siris

Active member
I estimated that I would need 250 hours total for all of those ratings. So I did (cost of plane + instructor) * 250. This got me to around 45,000. I added 5k for fees, equipment, etc.

The 16 months was done by researching how long it took pilots to complete each rating. Research was done from online forums and YouTube. It seemed reasonable at a moderate pace.
250 is the bare bare minimum you need to complete those ratings - plan on more just as a precaution as it is very rare for people to complete at the minimum time required. Also be sure you factor in the cost of the checkrides as well. I know my last was $650 but my previous test were cheaper. I would say budget plan for around 300 hours so you have a little leeway.
 

Zeede

Active member
I know my last was $650 but my previous test were cheaper. I would say budget plan for around 300 hours so you have a little leeway.
All of my check rides were $800. I had a discontinuance on my Instrument check ride so that was another $200.
 
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