Real Answers from Real Pilots

Current Students & Grads, WWYD differently?

Current ATP Students and Graduates:
I have a start date of Feb 28 at LVK (Livermore, California). I’m beyond excited.
I’ve received the course materials, login to the Extranet, etc. I’ve already gotten started with the ATP Elevate modules.

Here’s my question: What do you wish you were told before your first day?
Would you have prepped differently? Any insight you can provide would be great.

Thanks!
CM

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CM,

I know you’ve heard this before but the best above I was given was to complete as many of the writtens as I could prior. While I didn’t finish them all it definitely lightened the load.

That and have a real conversation with you family and friends. Explain to them you’re essentially going into the witness protection program for the next 7mos and they cannot contact you. You will when you can but until then they need to give you a whole lot of space.

Adam

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Chris,
I wish I was told to take responsibility over my logbook seriously. I thought, who knows best how to log things than the CFI and just handed it over post flight. My first few pages are covered with scratch outs from mistakes that can’t be undone. Things were logged incorrectly and in pen. Plus I didn’t back it up electronically until much later and 350 hrs of manual entries was quite time consuming. So my advice to you, get an erasable pen. You fill out your logbook and have the CFI/DPE simply sign. You will take that same book to interviews and it will become a reflection of who you are as a pilot. Make sure it’s a good one. (Also download an electronic logbook and keep that just as up to date as your paper one). You’ll thank yourself later.
-Hannah

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Hi CM,

Welcome to ATP! I came into ATP (credit Private) early November and I’m already gearing up for my Instrument CR next week. The time literally flies - work hard, but have fun with your training as well.

To echo Adam, get as many of the written exams out of the way as you can. Sheppard Air is your best friend to help you quickly and effectively achieve the test results you need.

Just as it is unideal to let the aircraft get ahead of you, do not let the ATP program get ahead of you. Expect (lots of) late nights and early mornings. Showing up for your flights and simulator sessions is not nearly enough. Join a study group with fellow students, “chair fly” on as many other simulator sessions as you can, start marking up your FAR/AIM, et. and you’ll do great. Congrats again and welcome!

Good luck!
Peter

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Welcome Chris!

You’re doing well by starting to review the modules and videos. ATP has a ton of content to set you up for success. A lot of the concepts might seem foreign at first, but you’ll gain a better understanding as you progress through the training.

I agree with everything which has been said and will add couple things based on my experience.

Everyone learns differently and it’s important to understand what works for you early in training. For me, watching the videos and reading sections of the PHAK and AFH helped, but I didn’t retain the information until I wrote it down. I also looked for opportunities to explain or teach others different subjects. As Peter said, study groups are a great time to get this type of practice.

As you begin flight training and get more comfortable in the cockpit, start talking through takeoffs, landings, and maneuvers. This not only helps you memorize the proper procedures but also recognize errors where you can make the appropriate adjustment. Acquiring this skill early will also help you in checkrides and facilitate the transition to later stages in the program.

Best of luck to you!

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Hey Chris,

Congratulations on taking the big step! I would recommend taking as many, if not all the knowledge exams as you can in this time before you start. Yes, there is time built into the program for you to study, but those times may be short, and you may find the time you would be spending studying for the knowledge test better served preparing for the flights or check rides. You will also have a leg up on having been exposed to the material and find it easier to stay ahead and maximize the time you are flying into learning new things faster, than if you were seeing it for your first time.

I personally completed all the knowledge tests early, and would have it no other way. I spent a few weeks before I started really grinding out those tests, it was unpleasant at the time, but I am so happy I did before then. The added benefit was I was in the “mode” to take test and used to the FAA knowledge test questions. Plus, the tests really build on themselves as you progress through them. I found that helped me retain the material better by going over it and over it prepping for the test: example, I was very poor at weight/balance and Time/speed/distance problems when I started, by the end of the test, I had really come to enjoy those long problems and still do to this day (working on my CFI now).

Also, in the last week or two before you start, I would put some time into going through the POH and the Supplement for the aircraft you’ll be flying. There are a set of questions in the back you should know all the answers to. If you can get those down before you head out to the airplane the first time, your first preflight will be a lot more meaningful.

I guess a little disclaimer: I can nerd out pretty hard on this stuff, and these are just my views.

But best of luck to you!

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Chris,

To echo the crowd here, work on completing as much of the writtens as possible. Any that you can do now, will help you greatly later.

Chris

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I spoke with @BFries, ATP CFI, recently and he says that he sees a difference in students that get ahead. Getting ahead in just about any way that you can makes all the difference. Whether it’s taking the written tests early, getting ahead on your ground school, flying on weekends…

That said you also need to know your limits. Getting ahead can be possibly counterproductive if you’re not understanding or retaining the information, but if you can manage, it helps.

Tory

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Thanks for all the feedback @Adam , @Hannah , @paitken04 , @AShabbir , @bellc09 , @Chris , and @Tory ! I appreciate the reccs and the insight. Embarrassing question, but most if you mentioned getting as many of the writtens done as practical. Where can I find these? Are they in the Program Outline? Thanks in advance.

CM.

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https://atpflightschool.com/faqs/acpp-prep-written-knowledge-tests.html

Will get you started in the right direction.

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YES! I’m surprised I didn’t see more emphasis on getting a jump-start on the knowledge tests.

In fact, it even says "Students should first complete the guided independent study required before their class date, then prepare and practice for airman knowledge tests using the recommended optional iPad apps".

Thanks again.

CM

Best of luck Chris, I’m starting the same exact date in MMU. I’ve finished a lot of the orientation videos and working hard now to finish the King School private pilot course.

My question to everyone, I appreciate the style of King school, but I feel that I’m not progressing as fast as I should?? I’d like to knock out PAR, IRA & CAX before Feb 1st and I’m not sure If I can.

There is a lot of information to retain and sometimes I have to seek additional sources to explain certain things, It’s just how I function. I need to understand everything 100% before moving on to the next point. Is that unproductive??

Thanks,
Marwan

Marwan,

While I understand and appreciate your desire to understand things, at this point that’s ridiculously difficult to do when you’re not actually training and much is out of context. You really need to trust the process and simply the absorb the info for now. The understanding will come later.

Adam

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Thanks, Adam. I’m scoring 99% on all questions I take after each lesson. Hopefully that will be the case with the practice tests.

Marwan,

I know it does not seem right, but just memorize the information. You really have no way of understanding it now without actively being in flight training. So memorize and move on.

Chris

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Marwan,

Instructors will teach you how to fly the airplane, the stuff you’re doing now will really click once you’re doing what you’ve already looked at. Memorize what you can for the written, once you start doing the flying portion, it’ll all click.

BTWs, I’m the Lead Instructor out of the Trenton (TTN) location, just an hour down the road! I’m sure I’ll see you in passings.

Brady

Marwan,

If you’re scoring 99% on your practice tests then you’re doing very well. I know it’s tempting to want to know the information well enough to explain it, but at this stage it’s more about efficiency.

Keep up the good work! Save your energy on learning the information for later. It will serve you well as you prepare to become a flight instructor.

Tory

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Thanks Tory, I’m scoring that on the questions right after each lesson, not the practice tests. I hear ya point.

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