Course of Action Advice

I am posting today to seek any and all advice from individuals in regards to my current situation. I have been in the medical device sales industry for the last 6 years and have begun to feel quite unfulfilled the last 2-3. Growing up I always had an infatuation with flying and while it was never a strong desire to become a pilot, I would occasionally mull over the thought of what a career in the airline industry would look like. I had several friends who’s parents were first officers and captains growing up so seeing their lifestyle was always a bit intriguing as well. Fast forward to the beginning of 2023 when an old buddy and I reconnected and he told me of his training to become an airline pilot and his experience thus far. I knew immediately that I had to get a discovery flight in and see if the experience was for me. I fell in love. I am now trying to figure out what my next course of action should be. I want to close out 2023 and attempt to save as much money as possible so as to only need the initial loan for the ATP program and no extra personal loans for help with living expenses during my 7 month’s of studying. With that being said, my plan is to finish all of my written testing this year. I am curious if anyone would recommend attempting to get my private pilot’s license during the remainder of this year as well or holding off to complete everything in the 7 month program. I would love to be proactive in completing as much as possible during this next year so as to shorten the program but my only concern is taking out loans with two separate companies and the pay back structure while I am enrolled with ATP. Any and all insight is greatly appreciated on the matter!


The only time we recommend getting your PPL first is if you have any doubts that flying is for you or lack the aptitude. If you browse this forum you’ll see far too many horror stories of people spending way too much money only to get frustrated and finish with nothing to show for it.



Welcome to the forum. I think that finishing off your written exams is the absolute best thing you could do for your future training. This will allow much more time for studying during the program and maybe even a few minutes of leisure.

I would not at all recommend getting your PPL outside of ATP, for a whole host of reasons.

  1. It will cost more than you will be quoted.

  2. It will take longer than you are told it will.

  3. The process will be cumbersome and not work to your advantage

  4. You will learn bad habits that you will then have to unlearn.

The list goes on. I know very few people that got a PPL outside of ATP that had a positive experience, myself included. My advice would be to focus on saving your money and completing the writtens, then start when you are ready to dive in and be fully committed.



It would just focus your energy on saving money where you can to supplement living costs while in the program, getting approved for the loan and getting ready for your start date by completing written exams.

As the others have said, getting your private elsewhere is really a risky move. It could work out fine, but most people have horror stories of it turning out to be much more expensive and much longer than ever anticipated. If I were you, I’d just hold off until you’re ready to start ATP.


Thanks for all of your replies! I have decided to take the advice and will be completing the written examinations over the course of the next ten months and saving. Will be enrolled in ATP January 1, 2024. Cannot begin to express the excitement!


Glad to hear it. Let us know if we can help you in the meantime! That’s what we’re here for.



Sounds like a great time to start a new journey. Forget New Year’s resolutions, you’re taking on the leap to a new journey. Please let us know if there is anything we can help out with. Seems like you’re taking the initial step now and working on the writtens: