In November of 2010, we were asked to participate in the Flight Training Summit that was organized by the Airline Owners and Pilots Association and hosted by AOPA President Mark Fuller. ATP was represented by our Vice President Phil Cooper, who participated in the Summit with over 100 other industry stakeholders who had traveled to Long Beach to address the problem of aviation students dropping out of training at a startling rate approaching 80% at some training facilities.
Mr. Cooper had gone to the Summit to learn of the problems we had only read about since the dropout rate at ATP is closer to 10% then the 80% rate reported at the Summit. We were also there at the summit to share the reasons why ATP has a much higher rate of success among our students, and to help make suggestions as to how others might achieve that level of success.
The four key reasons for the dismal dropout rate at some flight schools were given as 1) a lack of educational quality, 2) a lack of Customer (Flight Students) Focus, 3) a lack of a sense of community and 4) a lack of information sharing.
The lack of educational quality is sited as the major reason that students become disillusioned and drop out of flight training, and you can add the complaint of a lack of student focus to that same sentence. It is easy to understand the disillusionment and lack of focus if a student is trying to get a quality education at a facility which operates only a few training aircraft and has a small staff of instructors. Students in that situation find themselves anxiously waiting around a lot for an aircraft or instructor to become available, and it can be hard to maintain any continuity under those circumstances.
ATP owns and operates the largest multi-engine training fleet in the world, with 86 multi-engine Piper Seminoles. Add our 54 single-engine aircraft and our 39 simulators to that number and it is apparent why our students don’t find themselves waiting around for aircraft to train in. ATP also has over 100 highly trained CFI/CFII/MEI Instructors on staff and they are available to fly 7 days per week. They all teach a highly polished and updated curriculum that has proven successful for thousands of pilots who have passed through our doors and on to successful careers in the airline industry due to the highest level of quality flight training available.
AOPA also reported that their research had shown that the lack of a sense of community, and the resulting lack of shared information, had caused a lot of students at some flight schools to drop out of training. The founder of ATP built a Flight Training Academy focused on giving the highest quality flight training possible to talented students in an uninterrupted stream of training. This allows students to proceed smoothly and adeptly through training, obtaining all of their Certificates and Ratings and moving on to use these skills to reach whatever goals they have set for themselves. ATP has also been refining this proven concept, and we have been doing this for over two and a half decades. Thousands of success stories among our graduates have created a close culture among ATP Alumni, who pass along this sense of belonging to a special group of highly trained pilots from generation to generation of ATP students. ATP students go on to achieve their loftiest career goals, and then reach out to other ATP Alumni to enjoy the benefits of one of the largest networking groups in aviation.
Where you receive your flight training for a career in aviation is one of the most serious and important decisions that you will make. Make sure that you receive the best fundamental flight training available, and that you receive it in a place where you will get all of the additional benefits of training with an academy flying a large training fleet, suitably staffed with instructors and with a proven history of training successful students. Making that very important decision wisely will benefit you not just while training, but for your entire career in aviation.