ATP and my first ever flight

Hello! I am highly considering ATP in Tampa, but had some questions. I am 24 years old with a full time job. I always enjoyed flying and even got an offer to be a flight attendant for Delta (ended up turning it down). I never thought becoming a pilot would be an option but after looking into ATP, it seems that it is something I can achieve with hard work and dedication.

I am 100% a car guy… I know 0% about planes or flying them. Although I enjoy flying ( sitting in row 23B) , I don’t start salivating when I see a certain model aircraft (like it seems a lot of people do when they are wanting to become a pilot). I took the first step and went to ATP Tampa to take a test flight because I have never flown a plane before. It ended up being way more involved than I expected… I was put into PIC and literally flew the plane, from take off until right before landing. The instructor said I did very well and even stayed within regulations when performing a steep turn. (The G forces were unlike anything I have felt, even when racing high HP cars on a track, hopefully I get use to that )

The whole experience was awesome and definitely increased my interest into becoming a pilot (end goal: flying for FedEx or Delta/United). I have my bachelors in Psychology/Marketing and know nothing about flight, I was told I should do some studying before I even apply for ATP so I don’t fall behind.

I know ATP offers great materials when it comes to training, once you have started. However, I was wondering if there is a certain test I should study for, or certain websites that have study material so I can at least go into my first day on a level playing field. Possibly to see if the material is even something that I have the ability to understand before taking the $70k dive.



To begin with, I wouldn’t expect you to know anything about airplanes now, there is no way possible for you to know these things. I also would fully expect your introductory flight to be a bit overwhelming, flying an airplane is a highly complex thing, but that is what we have training for.

I do not think there is any real need to study prior to beginning the program, with the exception of studying for your written exams. You can study for the private pilot exam totally free, check out this link:

If you aren’t sure of things, do another introductory flight. Just don’t expect yourself to be Chuck Yeager up there on your second flight, these things take time.


Thank you Chris,

I checked out the link, it seems that the “free” study section is composed of practice questions with multiple choice? “Study individual topics” Learning by take the test and seeing the answers essentially? I looked through their video lessons and those were awesome, although after lesson 4, it stops you and requires $200 purchase to move on. Is the “study individual topics” section the one you were referring to?


While the videos are great, they are not necessary. FAA written exams are really just a matter of memorizing questions and answers. When do put your deposit down for ATP, you will get access to the training material, which includes an excellent video series from King Schools.

In the meantime, I would just work on memorizing the questions and answers.



Thank you for always having fast responses. This forum actually helped me make the first step into taking the intro flight with ATP because of all the positive feed back from you guys.

I am glad we could be of help to you. Remember that we are here to help answer your questions at anytime, no matter where you are in your training or career.



I’m sure those will come in the future since I have some military pilots in my family and they are recommending I do the Air National Guard to get my hours, then go into the airlines. Still looking into that process and total commitment time because my end goal is to fly for one of the major airlines or FedEx as soon as possible.


I’m fly for Hawaiian Airlines and a good percentage of our pilots are current and former military. My FO yesterday is in fact an F-22 pilot in the Air Guard. I’ve had the conversation with many of them and they all agree. While you cannot beat the training and love what they do, none recommend joining the military strictly to learn to fly or get to the airlines. If you want to serve your country that’s great but there are much simpler routes requiring far less commitment if your only goal is the airlines.