A dream until it's reality

Does anyone ever simply not make it? Meaning they can’t retain the information, or they simply where not cut out for it? It must happen, because you’re not in flight training until you’re in flight training. So how can you really know until you’re there, right?

Does everyone feel anyone that works hard enough can make it? Yes we are constantly told you can do anything that you put your effort and passion into, however we all know that’s not always true and this isn’t 9th grade.

How often is this someones dream until it’s sitting in front of them and reality sets in.


FANTASTIC question and as you so eloquently put it, despite mommy, daddy and the purple dinosaur, or whoever is telling people these days, that EVERYBODY can do ANYTHING, the fact is that simply ain’t true. Flight training is hard, accelerated flight training is harder and the reality is not everyone should be a pilot.

That said in my experience it’s most often not a matter of intelligence, cognitive skills or coordination, but more a matter of lack of effort. People come on this forum everyday saying “i want to be a pilot, tell me what I have to do?”. My immediate thought is these people are already in trouble. Forget the internet which contains all the knowledge on this planet, this forum alone has the answers to almost every question on the subject imaginable. Problem is people simply can’t be bothered to look. Whether it’s ATP or the airlines, no one is going to spoon feed you the info you need. They’ll provide it and assist but if you want to be successful you’ve got to do the heavy lifting.

With that in mind let’s answer your question. ATP has on the average about a 20% washout rate. The good news is just the fact you’re asking shows an awareness of the challenge ahead and that’s a very good thing. If you’re not certain I always recommend people take a lesson or 7 at their local flight school (or even go to your first solo) to see what flight training is really all about, if you enjoy it and if you have any aptitude for it. You’ll actually find out pretty quickly and then you can decide whether you should move forward or continue your l life as a passenger :slight_smile:




I have worked with students that tried harder than anyone else, and it still wasn’t enough. I have also worked with students that had the ability, but they didn’t try hard enough.

For me, I had to prove to myself that I could do it so before deciding to train full-time I earned my private pilot license at a local school. This decision comes with its own unique set of risks. A lot of students that train part-time at a local school either never finish because life gets in the way or it just takes WAY too long to obtain a license for a combination of reasons. So, if you are considering this route, be sure to carefully inspect each school and hold yourself accountable.

That said, ATP has a very respectable success rate and it really would be better to start at ATP on day one. Plus, now that you are here, this forum is loaded with information to help prepare you for success if you decide that ATP is where you want to complete all of your training.

We’re here to help, but the decision is ultimately up to you. Please let us know if you have anymore questions.



Thank you both for great responses!

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Good question. If you hang around this forum enough, you will see that we do not sell sunshine here and that we do in fact say that flight training is not for everybody and that not everybody is meant to be a pilot. I, too get tired of the mantra of “follow your dreams, you can do it no matter what!”. That sounds great, right until you sit down with a FAA Examiner for a checkride.

So no, not everybody makes it. What I can tell you is that by and large, it comes down to how hard a student is willing to work. I have only seen a few students not make it and every single one of them had a motivation issue. One was there because his father wanted him to be a pilot, the other wanted a “cool job”, another just lacked all direction in life. All three of them resigned from the program and all three probably could have done just fine if they had actually sat down to study and had some motivation.


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One more thing to add. I once had a student whoo was not the best pilot and I did not think he would make it. This guy put in more hours studying than I have ever seen, he was at the airport every minute of daylong, listening to ATC (that was his weak point as English was not his native language). He did just fine on his checkride.


Thanks, Chris!

I’m thoroughly looking forward to this adventure, and challenge! No doubt the reward is amazing, however risks need to be evaluated also.

Thanks, everyone

Of course, let us know how else we can be of assistance to you.