Confused on where to start

Hey, my name is Andrew and im currently in college finishing up my degree and wont finish up until around midway through 2023. Im looking to get into pilot school and become a commercial pilot.

Right now i have zero time with my school and work to go to a place like ATP, but once i finish college and move on from my current job , I will have the time.

I went ahead and downloaded King Schools ground school program and am currently going through it right now when I have extra time.

Where should I start with my training in the meantime? Also, how does one even start the ATP program? It feels quite overwhelming as im not sure where to start.


Starting the ATP program is easier than you think, maybe you’re overthinking the process because of the decision you’re trying to make? Below is a direct link to the step and process of enrolling at ATP:

Now in regard to your “best approach” to starting your training in the meantime, I would say what you have with King Schools is a good start. The focus right now should be finishing your college degree strong and obtaining a good GPA, that will help you later in the career. If you can intermix the college and aviation studying, go for it - none of us know how you study, what your habits are, any extracurriculars etc.

One thing we recommend to new starts is if time permits to complete as many as the Airman Knowledge Tests (aka the “writtens”) prior to program start date; however, completing these prior to start is not required, but will only be beneficial in the end. Because you’re looking to attend within a year, you should be fine with your expiration date of the results, which is 2 years after taking.

One question I have for you, do you have any flight experience (and no not sitting in the back of an airliner on vacation)? When you enroll into a flight school, you will complete an introductory flight, but if you haven’t already - I would take one in the meantime to make sure this is something you could see yourself doing. If you’re looking to attend ATP, I would make get the admissions flight out of the way especially if you’re looking to attend summer of 2023. Other than the admission flight, the only other two things you’ll need prior to enrollment is a First Class Medical and securing financials.


Hello Brady,
Thank you so much for your timely response, I will also be studying and keeping track of those Airman Knowledge Tests you mentioned. I would like as much prior knowledge as possible before starting ATP to make the process a bit easier.

I currently do not have any flight experience at the moment. I HAVE however taken that introductory flight over at my local ATP school. I loved it, and this seems like something that I would love to do for a career. The financials part would not be an issue, but where would I secure a First Class Medical?



You can use the attached link to find an AME in your area: FAA-Designee Management System
Also know before you go to your appt you must create an account and complete the application here:

While I appreciate your desire to learn as much as you can prior to starting, know that much of the material won’t make much sense until you’re actually flying. Once you know you’re going to start I would begin banging out the writtens but really not much else.


Thank you guys so much! Should I go ahead and get my FAA medical examination done so I know im in the clear?


Unless you have some concerns about existing conditions or substance abuse history I’d wait until you’re certain of your stay date. The First Class is only good for a year and you need a current one to start the program.

If however you have some concerns then by all means.



To start at ATP, you need to complete an intro flight, secure financing and have a first class medical. You can apply for financing and secure a start date as early as 9 months prior to starting with ATP. The first class medical is good for 1 year with first class privileges.

In the meantime, you can get ahead by taking some of your written exams. Those are good for two years.

If you have any more questions, feel free!


Hey hannah, what are the terms for financing here at ATP in terms of APR?

Financing shouldnt be an issue, as im most liekly gonna pay everything upfront, but I was wondering if there are any special deals


Rates and terms vary based on your credit. Give ATP a call and speak to finance for details.


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