ATOP offers any FAA certificated U.S. pilot with an interest in the airlines, especially those looking toward an airline career, a rare opportunity to experience the American Airlines Pilot Training Center and the FAR 121 training environment.

Multi-engine and Instrument Ratings are not required! Student and Private Pilots are welcome!

The Benefits of this program

“Test Drive” Your Career

First and foremost, ATOP is career education. No matter what your aviation background, if you hold at least a Student Pilot Certificate, have 15 hours of airplane pilot time, and have an elementary understanding of ILS approaches, you are welcome. Sixty percent of ATOP students are in the early stages of their careers, are enrolled in pilot development programs at flight training schools and universities, have 100 to 1,000 hours of flight time, and desire to sample the air carrier training environment as a basis for making career decisions.

Resume Enhancement

To position themselves as added-value candidates in the job search, ATOP graduates may claim in their resumes, “Two Day Initial B-737 Familiarization Conducted At the American Airlines Pilot Training Center By ATOP, Inc.” As Dwight Jeckel, a regional airline captain, says, “The only item highlighted on my resume when I was interviewed was the ATOP. He was most impressed with the fact that I had advanced systems and airline procedures indoctrination.”

True B-737 Introduction

In the two-day period, ATOP pilots learn the operation of every cockpit switch and system. Kevin Clark, a captain for a major airline, was ATOP’s first graduate to be hired by an all 737 airline. He says that, “The ATOP helped me in the interview. When the recruiter noted my B-737 experience and asked me some questions about the airplane, I was able to speak intelligently about the machine.” Instructors at Flight Training International, a B-737 type rating school, have stated that they can identify an ATOP graduate because they are “ahead of the game.”

Experience one of the best airline training facilities in the industry

The ATOP is inspired by company learning techniques. ATOP pilots are introduced to airline teaching styles, manuals and procedures. Throughout the two days, ATOP participants will have ample opportunity to network informally with flight personnel and speak to training center management as they visit the class (on a time-permitting basis). Additionally, an optional airline career and interview briefing is included in the

Although operated independently, ATOP is recognized for its mission to educate. Captain G. Moore, an interviewer for a major airline, has said to ATOP pilots, “Your taking the ATOP speaks well for you. We like to see that a person invests in himself and his career.”

Whether an aspiring aviation professional at a training institution, a flight officer for the regionals; a military aviator; a corporate pilot…or even an average “Sunday Pilot”…you will find that the ATOP is unique. There is no other experience available today that will put you directly in touch with your dreams of flying for a major airline for two full days, including simulator time.

The Program consists of the following

  1. Comprehensive Tour of American Airline’s Pilot Training Center
    • Orientation to the American Airlines Pilot Training Center and tour.
    • Introduction to the Computer Lab and CBT equipment.
  2. 10 hours of B-737/800 “Basic Indoc” Ground School
    • systems orientation
    • introduction to the Boeing 737/800
    • fire protection; trim systems; flaps and LED’s; avionics
    • electrical & caution systems; lighting; fuel system
    • pneumatics; anti-ice
    • engines, start procedure and power management
    • hydraulics and flight controls
    • forward cockpit panel
    • flight procedures briefing
    • self-directed study on Cockpit Management Trainer
  3. two hours in the B-737 cockpit management trainer
  4. two hours total in the fixed base and full flight simulators Each pilot serves as crew for one hour: ½ hour as “PF” and ½ hour as “PNF.” One hour of Boeing 737 simulator time may be recorded in the pilot’s logbook including two ILS approaches and two landings. One additional hour of observation time is included.
  5. networking opportunities
  6. airline career and interview briefing
  7. earn the “High Altitude Endorsement”

An additional 20-25 minutes is scheduled in the FTD for performance of rapid depressurization and emergency descent procedures as required by FAR 61.31(g).

The High Altitude Endorsement is a huge benefit to this course and has been added/included to the cost of the program.

The ATOP is in full compliance with Transportation Security Administration regulations:
As part of security measures, you will be required to show proof of U.S. citizenship in the form of a passport or birth certificate. You MUST bring one of those documents with you to Houston. IF YOU BRING A BIRTH CERTIFICATE, IT MUST BE AN ORIGINAL WITH RAISED SEAL OR A “CERTIFIED” COPY WITH A RAISED SEAL.