Credit for PPL


I have currently taken a few lessons from a small, private flight school and in the process have decided that I’d really like to make being a pilot a career. I currently work a full time corporate job and am looking into enrolling at ATP next March due to prior commitments that wouldn’t allow me to start until then.

My question is, would you advise working to try and get my PPL prior to starting at ATP or holding off, saving money and starting from scratch in March? I asked my instructor if I would be able to obtain my PPL with him before March and he made it sound like it would be possible, but had hesitations about building enough hours because they are only able to offer ~2 lessons per week. I also read on this forum that ATP requires a PPL +87 hours to actually get credit for it in the program, but couldn’t find any information about that on the website.

Thank you for you time,


The only time we recommend getting your PPL before starting ATP is if you aren’t certain this is something you really want to do. Otherwise there really isn’t much point. I assume you have good reasons you’ve chosen ATP to do your flight training with. Why wouldn’t you want to start at the beginning, building a strong foundation with ATP?

As for credit for your PPL should you decide to continue locally, ATP requires 78hrs. This is clearly shown under the prerequisites.


Another Brady :scream:

Welcome Brady! As Adam mentioned, we recommend the PPL before ATP if you’re unsure about the career. However, since you have taken a few lessons and decided this is something you want to do, then take the leap. For your hours concern, ATP does offer (as of right now) an option to pay per hour to build the 78 hours PIC and 8 XC minimum if you don’t meet the requirement, it will just add onto the Credit Private entry cost. See below screenshot:

If you are deadset on getting your PPL outside of ATP, you should be flying 2-3 times a week (if possible). The one down sight to training outside of ATP and coming in Credit Private is the bad habits you pick up on. I trained 13-months (when I thought it was going to be a quick journey) outside of ATP for my PPL, after 3 months of waiting for a flight school to reopen, I sat and lost proficiency.

You need to make sure that you are training consistent and once you finish your PPL (if you decide to continue outside of ATP) to build good habits and continue to work on the skills you build. No matter what phase of training you are in at ATP, you are consistently building the skills and foundation for the next phase.



I got my private outside of ATP and strongly recommend against doing so. Smaller schools just do not do well in finishing people up quickly. Two times a week is simply not enough flying. Oh, and what it rains one of your days? or even both of your days? Now you will be more than two weeks without flying. This will simply end up costing you more money. If your plan really is to enroll in March, then I would secure a start date as soon as possible and start working on your written exams.