Almost Ready --With a few asterisks

Hello All,

I’ve been perusing the forums and I’m just about ready to take the leap! However, I know I still have a few hurdles to contend with…
*I’m old–I spent 5 years in the USAF in the back of the plane, but that was many moons ago. At age 49, this is my chance to do what I should have done many years ago…Enjoy flying for a living. I understand my cap on years and I’m quite willing to find a job with a nice QOL and fly into the sunset.
*I have my flight physical at the end of the month. I don’t foresee any issues, but again, I’m old! :slight_smile:
*I’m also a big guy! I’m 6’2" and 275lbs, but in a quality weight loss program to get below 250 in a healthy manner.

So my question is this…
Other schools in the Detroit area don’t have a 250 lb limit. Should I work on my private license while I lose weight, and then ATP, or just get to 250 and not bother with other schools. Could I be using this time to just focus on ground school?

Any thoughts are certainly appreciated!

Best regards,


Totally your call but the majority of people who attempt to train locally end up frustrated and spend way too much time and money. Also keep in mind to start the ATP program with credit for your PPL you need at least 78hrs of flight time which could take a while. At 49 I really wouldn’t delay my start any longer than necessary.

Finally I assume you’ve decided to do with ATP for to their reputation and the quality of their training. Why not start off day 1 on the right foot with the school and the program you’ve decided to take you all the way?

Your call.



Welcome to the forum. The weight is something that you are going to need to address for your long term health anyways, so to me it makes sense to work on it now. You are close to the goal and hopefully can reach it in a few months.

I did my PPL at a local school, it was a disaster. It took way longer than I was told it would and cost more money than I was quoted. If I had it to do all over again, I would have gone to ATP for my PPL. /most smaller schools are simply not equipped to handle pilots that want to train quickly and professionally. I would use this time to focus on the ground schools and the written exams.


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Thanks, Chris & Adam! I greatly appreciate the feedback. Your perspective makes perfect sense. I’ll keep working on weight loss and preparing for the exams.

Thanks again!