Finally booked my admissions flight date!

In just a couple short weeks I will be leaving my university teaching career of almost 10 years, moving to the Detroit area, and the first thing I’ll do after I get unpacked is head to KYIP for an admissions flight! I can’t believe it’s really happening; I have been obsessed with aviation since I was a kid, and I couldn’t even tell you why I never pursued flying as a career until now. I only wish I didn’t have to wait 3 weeks to finish my contract.

The admissions office was so nice on the phone, and advised me to come up with questions to ask the instructor when I’m being shown around and going on the flight. Naturally I have about a thousand questions ranging from industry information to granular detail on aircraft performance to little things I’ve heard mentioned by pilots on Youtube, and obviously I can’t ask everything. What kinds of things do you recommend I ask that would be pertinent and helpful right away? What do you wish you’d asked before starting yourself?

Can’t wait to meet y’all soon!

Logan Murphy

Logan,

Sounds like you’ve got a lot of big but excited changes ahead! Honestly, don’t stress about the intro flight. Just relax and enjoy it! You’re already going to be a bit nervous naturally, plus your body isn’t used the the sensations of a small airplane.

As for questions, just focus on what immediately ahead. What your next steps should be (medical, applying for a loan, buying your materials, etc). Once all that is taken care of, you can focus on how to best prepare yourself for your start date.

Often students get too worried about industry questions like which cadet program to go with, which regional to fly for if you want to get on with X major, etc. It’s wasted energy at your stage. So much is changing right now, the best thing you can do it focus on whats right ahead of you. The rest will come with time and passing a few major hurdles.

Hannah

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Logan,

It just so happens that I have a list of questions that I recommend asking: Questions For Any Prospective Flight School

Let us know how the flight goes and what you think of it.

Welcome to the forum.

Chris

I figured questions about where to work would come about naturally later on (and yes, I have a hundred of those since to me right now I have no idea how to differentiate any of the various companies, other than the fact they’re different colors). I have a medical appointment already set for a couple of weeks from now, and I’ve started looking at the gear I’ll need.

Most of my questions will be about day-to-day stuff, what they think about flying in that area so close to the Detroit class B, dealing with the weather, and if I can play with that fancy simulator :wink:. Sure beats my cheap stick and throttle at home that barely works!

Logan,

Congrats on signing up and welcome to the forum!

If you have any spare time between teaching (and grading), I would actually encourage you to begin studying for the PAR. The PAR is the written test for the Private Pilot License. You can learn about how to prepare for and how to take the test by visiting ATP’s website. There are also links to the information throughout this forum, including the FAQ section.

I am recommending this because it will buy you some time during the program to focus on other things and possibly get a little ahead.

All of ATP’s simulators are available to students 24/7 as long as the sims are not schedule to be used for a lesson. That said, I would caution you to spend a healthy amount of time in the sim. Flying, while not easy, is actually the easier part of aviation. From my experience, most students need to spend more time in the books than in the sim or the airplane.

There really isn’t a bad question, but I also agree with Hannah’s advice, keep it relevant. The program is designed to be completed one day at a time with the exception of the written tests and the ground portion. So, I would just focus on preparing for each day as they come.

I would also not spend too much time overthinking which questions you should ask. If you haven’t already, take a look at the FAQ and Student Experiences section of the forum. You are likely to find the answers to most of your questions there.

Tory

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I’m also scoping out potential locations when my current job contract comes to an end in a few months, and I know the general answer is “whatever works for you!” but the question about Detroit class B did raise something I was wondering.

If I stay where I’m at near Washington DC, I’m equidistant with a not-so-happy commute to either Richmond or Manassas in Virginia. Pros/cons of training at a commercial airport like RIC? It seems like being thrown off the deep end to me (which in life I’ve always seen as an advantage if you work hard) but curious to hear from some of the instructors on this.

Other option would be to move for the roughly 7 months, and that would open up a million options…but I’d want to move somewhere I’d be happy for two years since I could hopefully stay in the same place (possibly) as an instructor.

Jason,

A few things. First what kind of not-so-happy commute you’re talking about but if it’s over an hour I’d seriously consider making the move. There will be some VERY long days, early starts and late finishes. The program is highly accelerated and getting good rest and having time to study is critical and can literally make the difference between success and failure. Just something to consider.

As for busy airspace I’m a HUGE fan of learning in that environment. Comms can be a problem for many people and the longer you push it off the longer it’ll take for you to get comfortable which is essential. It’s one thing I never had a problem with and that’s because I started in busy airspace Day 1 and it just became part of my routine.

Finally I would get the idea of moving to where you think (hope) you’ll be teaching out of your head. You may luck out and get to stay but you also may not. Def not a good reason to move.

Adam

Thanks Adam, that’s exactly what I needed to hear and was thinking. Appreciate you taking the time to answer.

RIC and RDU both work well for me for 7 months or so, and are a short drive back to the DC area if needed for a few days to take care of things. (I’ll still be technically employed, but not have to work…) Both also have the advantage of being busy airspace - and while I have some familiarity from years of listening to liveatc (and Channel 9 on United for decades for anyone who’s familiar) rather learn in a challenging environment.

I fully expect to have to “go where the jobs are” when it comes to teaching, but hey, isn’t that part of why we do this? See new places do new things?

Logan,

Absolutely get looking at an Admission Flight at the Willow Run location. When you’re in your introductory flight be open-minded and relax, loosen up your shoulders and take this amazing experience in full blast.

Before I took my Admission Flight at ATP in 2019, I used this forum for a lot of my questions, and I even found a lot of “famous” YouTubers that produced videos that sparked my interest to really pursue my dream.

Hannah brought up a good point about the cadet programs etc., I had a student ask me about what cadet program would be best for them to progress through. This individual has not yet soloed and the first thing I said to them was, “focus on your solo evaluation coming up, the cadet programs aren’t going anywhere nor is the aviation industry.” The whole industry is changing even since I first started at ATP in July 2020.

Please let us know how your Admission Flight goes afterwards and your experience.

Brady

Jason,

Like Adam said, commuting over an hour can be extra taxing on your body. During your time as a student, you will undergo long days whether it’s flying or studying at the training center, and even at home. On top of studying, you will need time for you, where you can relax and breathe.

The busier the airspace, the better in my opinion. I trained and now teach at the Trenton location, smacked between two beautiful Class Bravo airspaces. We see a lot of jet traffic and training traffic in every which direction, it really helps us build our situational awareness and skill in communication. I couldn’t imagine the thrill of the DC/VA area, I have yet been to our locations in Virginia and Maryland.

Please let us know if you have any other questions that can be answered. This forum is filled with amazing questions and answers from Mentors, Alumni, Current Student & Instructors, I recommend browsing around for a little.

Brady

Tory,

I would love to start preparing. I was under the impression that the videos and study material I needed was gated behind paying my class date deposit and getting access to the student extranet. I’ve read the PHAK on my own time over the past month or so. People don’t use Sheppard for the PAR, right? Just the IRA and CAX?

Are the two FAQ posts up to date with what to study? They seem to be a few years old at this point, and I’ve read here that ATP doesn’t use King anymore for ground school, so I’m wondering which parts are still relevant advice for testing in 2022. The Sporty’s app, maybe, but what else that I have access to before becoming a student?

Anyways, thanks for the answers!

Logan

Brady,

Yep, I have my admissions flight in just a few weeks at Willow Run, and I couldn’t be more excited!

I’ll try to keep my attention focused on the now and not get lost in the weeds of things like which cadet programs to look at. I’m sure I’ll get lots of great advice once I get to that stage.

Jason,

I am more familiar than I would like to be with I-95 between Richmond and Manassas. Do yourself a favor and avoid making this part of your daily journey.

I have not heard anybody mention Channel 9 in a long time. That went away when people started turning pilots into the FAA for things they knew absolutely nothing about. It only took a few of those instances for all of the Channel 9 switches to permanently move to the off position.

Chris

Thanks Chris! Yeah absolutely never on the daily - I hated my 30 minute DC commute before all the offices shut in 2020. I’ll do a bit more reading to see if it’s something I want to do once a week possibly to maintain some friendships and such here.

…you’d be amazed how often I can still talk them into Channel 9 even in 2022. But yeah, like everything else in life all it takes is a few bad apples :roll_eyes:

I’m actually noticing those two FAQ posts about exam prep don’t seem to exist anymore. I swear I just read through them a few days ago. The ones that listed which apps and programs to use, for how long, and at which stage. Is that all being rolled into official ATP software?

Logan,

I deleted those posts as they were both rather out of date. I would suggest Sporty’s Study Buddy for the Private exam and that you purchase Sheppard Air for the remainder.

Chris

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