First Flight August & Hillsboro Location Advice

Hello dear pilots, and students of ATP flight school.

I am strongly considering to attend ATP (starting January) at their location in Hillsboro Oregon.

Has anyone attended this location? I know size and amount of instructors can have an impact on students.

Besides this I have scheduled a discovery flight on August 24th with my mentor (787 Pilot) and with an instructor. I studied typical procedures, parts of the aircraft, how the aircraft operates, checklist, clearance, aviation alphabet, etc… and the instrument panel of the Cessna 172.

(Mainly the “six pack”: Airspeed Indicator, Attitude Indicator/Artificial Horizon, Altimeter, Turn Coordinator, Vertical Speed Indicator, Heading).

I want to be able to understand what is going on to the best of my ability to get the best experience out of my first flight, and to show my mentor that I am dedicated to this path that he’s helping me with.

What are some things you recommend to study pre-first flight.

Thank you for your time and reading, ATP sounds like a great school.

I’m receiving more information through the mail (from ATP) and planning to do my admissions flight as well. I am just figuring out if I want to attend the closer location (to cut some expenses such as moving and relocating) or take up the extra costs and attend a location like in Arizona where there seems to be more stability for students (being that it’s a much larger location).

Any advice would be much appreciated.
Kaytlyn Sandu.

1 Like


With all due respect to your mentor (as I assume he’s giving you the advice) I recommend you study NOTHING. In fact I think you’ve already over-prepared. It’s called a “Discovery Flight” (or intro flight) not a checkride. The SOLE purpose of the flight is for you to go up in a small general aviation aircraft, see what it feels like, see if it’s something you enjoy and are comfortable with and that is all. In my experience when people start studying procedures, the six pack, checklists etc they have an expectation that they’re supposed have a certain knowledge and therefore should have a certain level of performance. There should be no pressure or expectations whatsoever and when people do they usually fail miserably, don’t understand “what happened?”, why they didn’t fly like Yeager, then come on this forum the next day crying about their shattered dreams of being a pilot because they didn’t perform as they believed they should. Frankly it’s ridiculous. We’re talking about flying airplanes not basket weaving and it’s unlike anything you’ve ever done and there’s nothing natural or intuitive about it.

My advice is to STOP immediately and simply try and relax until the 24th. When it comes around get plenty of rest the night before. have a good breakfast, have ZERO expectations and enjoy it. If you do trust be you’ll have YEARS of studying ahead of you to stress about.


He never advised I should, I took this upon myself. Mostly because I am trying to introduce these topics so I am familiar with them before training as well. I did this thrououfht college, biology class in particular. With more repetition, new subjects become familiar and helps to get settled into training as I heard from other students. My mentor never recommended this but other students who were in my steps. They said they felt intimidated getting in the aircraft and not understanding what was going on, but recommended having a good understanding would better your first experience. I decided to take their advice. I am very familiar with flying, and am not anxious about my flight. Rather, I have been really looking forward to it and wanted to prepare myself to the best of my ability.

I understand it is a discovery flight, but I also understand I am comfortable with flying in small/or big aircraft. I know it will go very well, especially with an instructor and my mentor.

Thank you for your advice, I appreciate it.
I fully understand your point of view as well.

Vaya con dios :slight_smile:


1 Like

Of course, you too :pray:t3:


When/if I go to ATP this will be my location as well. Good luck to you and let us know how it goes:)



I wouldn’t worry about anything, just show up and enjoy the flight. Discovery flights are simply meant to introduce you to flying and to let you see if you will enjoy flying a small airplane or not. I feel that by studying and tush’s applying pressure to yourself, you will not enjoy the flight as much as you could.


I’m starting there on the 26th (with PPL credit). I’ll let you know how it is.


@Kaytlynsandu @Marcus12280 hey just wanted to give you an update on the Hillsboro location. I’m about a month into IFR training. My schedule is I either fly or do the simulator once a day and it usually rotates back and forth (Monday fly, Tuesday sim, Wednesday fly, etc.) but last week I did a bunch of sim due to weather and this week I flew a bunch. I typically have Sunday off but only cuz my instructor wants that day off too. Weather has been great but starting to get cloudy and rainy more often (not a problem for IFR students usually cuz we just file an IFR flightplan and go). I’ve only cancelled once for weather so far.

The planes are amazing. Brand new 2016 Cessna 172’s with the G1000. Maintenance is amazing cuz it seems like the planes are never down for more than a few hours. I’ve never had to cancel for maintenance. I’ve swapped to a different plane due to the plane I was assigned to had a bird sticking out of the landing light but before I took off maintenance already had it cleaned up and ready and a different student was preflighting it to go.

KHIO is located in an awesome area. Plenty of other small airports around so you don’t get crowded by all the traffic coming into KHIO (you’ve got Intel and Nike that fly in regularly plus 3-4 other flight schools). KHIO is just about done repaving the main runway so it’ll be nice and smooth. At least until the other flight school does “slam and goes” on it (the tower literally clears them for “slam and goes” instead if “touch and goes”). ATC is very patient and understands most of the traffic is student pilots.

I’m not sure about the private pilot schedule but for instrument you will do your flight or simulator then be done for the day…what you do with that time is up to you. A lot of the students hang out and study for writtens, you can jump on the simulator and practice maneuvers (not good for practicing landings/takeoffs). The “self study” thing is no joke. It’s on you to have the knowledge and prepare for the oral part of your Checkride. Occasionally an instructor will lead a ground class. There are quite a few student led study classes. I’ve found that a lot of the students that are further along in the program are very helpful and will gladly hang out and give advice on how they did things. This isn’t a knock on the instructors, they’re just really busy with other students.

Instructors are awesome. They’re here from ~730am to 7-8pm, 6-7 days a week. Nice and professional. More than willing to help you out if you ask.

We’ve had two airline recruiting events. Horizon came the day before my start date (I didn’t know and missed it :weary:, they’re my #1) and TSA (Trans States airlines?) had theirs the first week of September. Those are fun to get to talk to their pilots, hear how they do things and what they have to offer. Plus they bring pizza and free food is always good haha.

As hundreds of topics, mentors, and prior students have said, training goes very fast and doesn’t necessarily follow the timeline ATP puts in their site. I’m a month in and my IFR Checkride is scheduled for Oct 18. According to the timeline when I started my Checkride was like Nov 20. Study, study, and more study!!

I’ll try and get more info on private pilot student schedule. If you have any other questions feel free to ask.


Luck on your up coming checkride btw! Mine instrument ride is on Tuesday. And I was in the same boat. It was originally predicted for October like 25th then got bumped up almost a month.

1 Like

Awesome! Thanks for the feedback and best of luck too u!