34year old Cop

The Self Paced program is no longer available.

Just an update*

I am halfway through my instrument ground school. My start date is June 20th at MMU. I’m going to try and bust it to get this exam done before my start date. I received my Bose A20 headset in the mail yesterday and am super pumped! I was out of the country for 5 days for my best friends bachelor party. I did bring my instrument flying handbook with me and studied some chapters while I was away. I am currently doing Kings Instrument ground school which was recommended to me by my instructor. He said Kings then Sheppard Air. Let me know if I’m wasting my time doing the Kings ground school. I enjoyed their lessons while I studied for the PAR and scored well on that.

-Kyle

In my opinion Kings gave me the knowledge to succeed during the instrument phase. Sheppard gave me the knowledge to pass my IRA and FII.

Kyle,

June 20th is just around the corner. Banging out the 2 Instrument exams will help big time and there’s plenty of time during the program to learn the material. I’d focus on the Sheppard and check those 2 boxes.

Adam

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Yeah for some reason I’m watching the videos on Kings Schools and kind of feel like I’m wasting time when I can just be looking at a question and answer and just get through the written and later down the road have time to understand the material.

Thanks Adam.

-Kyle

Kyle,

I am with Adam on this. Focus not he written exams and worry about learning the material more in depth later.

Chris

Kyle,

Make sure you’ve completed the material assigned to you before your start date (any elevate videos or knowing the supplement) and then finish the IRA. Since king schools is no longer a part of the ATP course work, I’m assuming you were just using that for background knowledge? If so, just stick with Sheppard air for the test.

Hannah

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Holy cow, it’s like looking into a mirror. I’m 34 and looking to make the leap from Narco Detective to ATP. I’ve been policing for the past 10 years and it’s worn me down for all the same reasons. Police work is just running in circles putting the same guys away while dodging bullets. When I began putting a UAS program together for my agency, I discovered Pilot Institute and learned that being a pilot isn’t as unobtainable as I thought. I’m in the infancy of making this a reality, and hope to begin in January 2023. This is my first day on this forum and I somehow came across this thread. I was shocked to see a person with a similar story as mine. My pitching arm may not be as good as yours, but I was USAF before police work and got the medical discharge for asthma. It won’t effect my medical cert due since I don’t need meds or treatment or anything - hell, I have been running with our swat team for the past several years without any problems, but I really wonder how many LEO’s are making this type of transition. I was thinking my ambitions were an anomaly in this career, yet there you are. I hope the best for you, I’ll keep an eye out for you.

#catchyusername

Shane, don’t be so sure. On the FAA First Class Medical application question #18 is clear:

  1. Medical History - HAVE YOU EVER IN YOUR LIFE BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH, HAD, OR DO YOU PRESENTLY HAVE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING? Answer “yes” or “no”
    for every condition listed below.
    f. Asthma or lung disease
    s. Medical rejection by military service

Now in all likelihood of you’re fine now you should be ok but you will need to supply your AME with paperwork explaining and clarifying which will definitely slow the process and could even require an exemption which could shorten the duration between exams. I’d get that process started sooner than later.

Adam

Obtaining the med cert will be the next hurdle to undertake. I’ve got my fingers crossed that all goes well - so far everything I’ve read [on the internet…] is pretty encouraging, but you never know until you do it.

Shane, thanks for joining the forum. Congrats on making the career move to becoming a pilot. I myself like you’ve read was burnt out by my career and was looking for something more. Good luck on your transition. I’ve been here for about a month now and they are a wealth of knowledge.

I am about halfway through the Sheppards air questions bank of over 1,000 questions haha, let me tell ya going through all these questions and trying to memorize the answers is no easy task! Will keep you updated. A week from today I start at Morristown!

-Kyle

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I decided to finish up the King’s instrument ground school and also finished up the Sheppards air IRA test prep. As I was about halfway through the test prep questions, 600 out of more then 1200, I had to stop and finish up the instrument ground school. I was trying so hard to just focus on memorizing the questions and answers that I couldn’t. I had to finish the ground school so that I knew what I was reading and was able to comprehend the questions even better when choosing the right answers. It might have taken me a little longer but I feel even more confident when I schedule my IRA exam. Especially going through holding patterns etc I just needed to know the material. I actually found it quite enjoyable learning about the ILS system, glideslope, decision altitudes, missed approaches, ILS minimums, LOC minimums etc. I always wondered how you guys touchdown when you were at minimums and how the runway would just appear! Good stuff.

Got all my materials ready for Monday morning 8am check in. I completed the PAR exam with a 92 but am ready to take the IRA even though I start Monday. I know you all recommended getting the exams done before I start but hey at least I got one done and am ready for the instrument. I will let you know how my first day goes.

Thanks everyone for helping me.

-Kyle

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Kyle,

I will let you in on a little secret. Even though I preach “just memorize the questions and answers”, that method does not work for me and it is not what I did. Now I had more time than you did. I started taking my written exams about a year before I started the program. I bought the King VHS tapes for each written and really tried to learn the material, then switch to studying the questions and answers from the books. I had the luxury of time, so I was able to study this way, plus it gave me an excuse to not study for the college business classes that I should have been studying for. Now that you are starting the program, you will likely need to switch to just studying the questions and answers.

Chris

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Kyle,

No worries. You had the time and you got it done the way that works for you! I had some that just wouldn’t stick and learned the material instead. Going forward, it will probably just depend on how much time you have for each exam. If you really are under a time crunch, the rote memorization method is the fastest way to achieve that.

Hannah

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Nice job getting a 92 on the PAR and prepped for the IRA/FII. No shame in needing to adjust your study strategy. Do what works best for you. What matters is that you get them done with a good score. At least now you have a better idea about how much time you need to prepare for these tests which is valuable information to know moving forward.

Tory

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Kyle,

Solid score on the PAR, 92% is a pretty good one for your first written - I’ve seen anywhere from 80-90% average when I was proctoring exams.

I was in the same boat for the Sheppard Air - Instrument portion prior to my start date. I met a fellow ATP student from here on the forum and we connected behind the scenes. He shared all his tips and tricks for success, he was approaching the CFI checkride so it gave him practice utilizing my desire to learn for his practice. Prior to my start date we would FaceTime and he would teach me Instrument things that I felt I had struggled with - holds, weather, etc. It took me nearly an entire month to complete the King videos, study for the IRA and then take the test. If my memory serves me correctly, I completed it in 25 minutes with a 98% - the proctor was geeked out that I completed it that quickly. If you feel you’re ready to take the IRA day 1, I highly suggest doing so and getting that off your plate as soon as possible.

Please keep us posted how your First Week goes!

Brady

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Hi Kyle,

I’m think I’m almost in the same position as you in debating career change, although I’m 15 years older. How is your journey going so far? I’m considering Morristown ATP as I live nearby. I’ve got a discovery or admissions flight scheduled soon but wanted to know your experience with Morristown or any suggestions you might have that you wish you would have known along the way. I’ve scoured the forums and have a general idea of what my path might look like. I plan on taking the medical exam first to make sure a career in this is feasible and then hopefully try to get the written exams out of the way before beginning flight instruction. It’s sounding like two years from start would be a realistic expectation to have before being a commercial pilot. It’s great that you have supportive family. But, two years of financial sacrifice and security is a big leap. How did you overcome this?

First Day at Morristown update*

Checked in at 8am and met my CFI, whom I was already in contact with prior to my start date as he did my Intro Flight. We went through the check in process and went over the rules and what’s expected of me. We applied for my student pilot certificate then went right to the simulator for an hour. After the sim, I had some down time due to check rides and walk in discovery flights. Did some studying and looked over the normal takeoff procedure and landing procedures as per the Archer supplement. Afterwards, we went through all the pre flight checklists, taxied to the runway and I took off. We climbed out to 6500 ft and worked on, climbs, descents, pitch power trim etc. I flew us back to the airport where about 1 mile out he took the controls and landed and asked if I wanted to give it a try. Of course I said yes!

Got our clearance, did the takeoff and went into the pattern. Went through the before landing checklist and was able to touch it down just past the 1000 marker. He had to add some rudder for me. Tons of info the first day. Biggest takeaway is being able to trim the airplane so that you can focus on avoiding traffic and reading checklists and making radio calls. He did all the comms talking. Great first day!

Have another flight today at 2:45.

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Hey Kyle! I love reading about your journey so far. I too am in a similar position as you. I am 30 years old, married, baby on the way and have been a police officer for the last 10 years. I was originally a police officer in NY but moved to Naples, FL about two years ago where I am still on the job. I absolutely love being a cop, but as I’m SURE you can relate, it’s just not the same anymore. I still find myself looking up at the airliners flying by wondering “what if”.

I was training for my PPL when I was in High School. I had about 40 hours in a 172 but took a break for college and the police academy. I decided to go back and finish when I was 21, but unfortunately my club plane crashed and the instructor (not mine) and the student both passed away, may they rest in peace. Stalled at about 300 ft AGL after takeoff with no way to recover. Haven’t set foot in a GA aircraft since.

Here I am almost 10 years later and I am really thinking now more than ever about going back and making the jump. I look forward to following your story as you progress and hope you are ok with questions! Your story is very inspiring.

For the airline pilots here now, can I ask an honest question? Is the “NOW IS THE TIME” slogan true, or is it just advertising during a volitile time? I see these direct paths to frontier, spirit, and all these other very enticing programs through ATP that make me think that in two years I could be in the right seat of an airbus…but is it all smoke and mirrors? I am well aware of the life as a regional FO. Low pay, poor schedule, not the best for home life, I am well aware of all that. But believe me, that has been the last decade for me. I am still on midnight’s slaving away to provide for my family, but I think the hard work and dedication would ultimately pay off in the airline field! It’s the only thing I’ve been passionate about outside law enforcement. Your honesty is MUCH appreciated!

Kyle,

I am glad you had a first good day. Trimming is key! I spent the last four years on an airplane that did all trimming automatically (A320). On my first simulator flight in the 737 this past winter, I kept thinking “Why is this yoke so heavy?” Then I remembered that little trim switch and life became much easier :slight_smile:

Thank you for the update, keep them coming.

Chris