ATM Written and ATP-CTP at ATP Jets in Dallas February 24 – March 3, 2023

Following the Colgan Air crash in 2009 one of the legislative pieces that took effect in 2014 was the requirement that all ATP (Airline Transport Pilot) multiengine applicants complete the ATP-CTP (Certification Training Program) course prior to taking the ATM (Airplane Multiengine) written.  The class consists of (30) hours of ground instruction and (10) hours of simulator time.  While the course is available from many providers I decided it best to get out of the house and setup in a hotel without any distractions so I could cap off my studying for the ATM written.  Having gotten many recommendations for ATP-Jets in Dallas, Texas I booked a class date starting February 24th, ending March 2nd with the ATM scheduled onsite for March 3rd. 

I arrived via Uber to MCO Terminal A at 4am for my 6am Frontier Airlines departure from MCO for DFW.  The goal of the trip was to score as high as I could on the ATM written by spending all me effort studying to pass the written while getting an easy introduction to structured aviation training.

To accomplish this goal I went to the grocery store before I left Orlando and bought a variety of (vending machine) food that required water and a microwave to eat.  This would allow me to live in the hotel room without spending any time getting food.  While my plan worked I can say eating a high sodium diet void of any green substance took a toll on me.  After the flight to DFW I arrived at the hotel by taking the $3 DART train from DFW to a train stop a few hundred yards from the hotel, paid $17 for an early check-in, went upstairs to the 4th floor room and began studying.  As a matter of fact I studied in that room every waking hour that I was not in class with the exception of (4) hours on Wednesday when I watched TV (Indiana Jones – And the Last Crusade).  

The ATP-Jets facility is very professional, well run, and very efficient.  From my arrival at 7:30 on Friday through the completion of class and sim time I can say they are well versed at churning out students.  The instructors all had a passion for aviation and you could feel their love for the career along with their sadness their days flying the company metal came to an end.  The facility was clean, well stocked, and a comfortable temperature if not slightly cold.  The staff was professional and courteous.  If they had one demerit it would be that when the sim instructors got done with the lesson (ahead of time) they were all too happy to end the sim session if not prodded to stay until the end of the allocated time.  

After studying the entire week in the hotel I felt as ready as I was going to be for the ATM so I scheduled my time that ATP allots for the Friday following the class conclusion on Thursday.  The slot time was 0900 so I showed up at 7:15 with plans to study until the test began.  They told me that they would start the test early and I got in and started the test at 8:36.  After an hour and forty nine minutes I completed the test and got my score of 98%.  My highest score yet. Private Pilot – 92%, Instrument – 82%, Commercial – 96%, and now the ATM – 98%.

After the test was behind me I loaded up in an LYFT headed for the Mazsy house.  We had plans to watch Alice play in a scrimmage game but it got cancelled (along with school due to the storm knocking out power and internet to half of the district) so we went to the batting cages instead followed by a trip to Cheese Cake Factory.  


A few notes if you plan to stay at the Sonesta Suites:

  1.  You can catch the DART orange line from Terminal A at DFW and ride a few stops to a station (Hidden Ridge) within a 2 minute walk of the hotel.
  2. They have a fridge, microwave, and glass cook top in each room with some sparse cooking utensils.
  3.  They operate a shuttle bus from the hotel to ATP-Jets in the mornings and give you a Lyft pass good for $15 off each ride you take that departs/arrives at the hotel or either ATP-Jets training facility.  Most rides I took between the two cost bestween $12-14 so it cost me nothing to use Lyft when using their passes.

A few notes on ATP-Jets training facility:

  1. They have a fridge and microwave available as well as drink machines that you can make coffee, tea, and hot chocolate in with the “packs” supplied next to each machine.
  2. They also have a food service called Foodja that you can order food through from one of (4) or so restaurants each day.  They charge an 18% fee on top of the food cost and deliver your food to the break room.

Originally I had intended to fly N7ZK to Dallas and tie it up on a ramp but a few days before the trip I had a feeling I should fly commercial.  Early in my training week Dallas received a hail warning.  At the end of my week I heard the tornado sirens come on and watched the windows flex back and forth as the wind blew after I walked 0.8 miles to Walgreens for some Nyquil and got trapped.  The next day I saw multiple trees snapped in half and roof damage.  I was certainly glad that my RV-10 was safely home tucked in its hangar.

On the flight home I volunteered to give up my row 40A seat for an exit row seat and ended up sitting next to Jet Blue captain heading to Orlando for some training.  He shared some thoughts with me about the current opportunities and offered some insight to my plan. 


DART at the Hidden Ridge station near the Sonesta Suites.

The walk to the hotel from the DART line along on left with the Tornadic weather that came through during my stay on right.

Suite #420 was a nice study spot.

(3) meals a day worth of food for my (8) night hotel stay.  Missing from picture is my (3) pound bag of apples.

My view for most of the week while not in class.

ATP-Jets main location where class and some sims operate.

Check-in area.

Class room.

Break area with ample drink selection.  The machine on the left lets you fill your cup.  On the right it leaves you a few ounces short.

ERJ brief room.

ERJ FTD simulator (Mine was 4 hours on Tuesday).

Started to feel a scratchy throat on Tuesday.  Nyquil generic to the rescue.

FFS (Full flight simulator) bay at main location.

My first of (3), two hour sim sessions in an FFS at ATP-Jets.  This one being the A320.

Yeah I know, not an RV-grin but a grin none-the-less!

ATP-Jets other Dallas sim location a few miles from the school house.

Embraer briefing room.

Embraer sim at right.  Sim instructor leading the way with sim partner entrail.

FFS E-170 sim. Spent two back to back (2) hours session in here on Thursday.

My highest written score to date.  Woohoo!

Alice at the batting cages.

Maszy crew.

Seat in the exit row next to a Jet Blue captain heading to training in Orlando to get back on the A320.





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