Real Answers from Real Pilots

First week as an ATP student

Hello everyone my name is Jawad (this will be sort of lengthy) and I am a student at ATP in Trenton, NJ. I have just completed my first week and wow was it an experience. Before I dive to deep into my first week I’m going to go into how I got here. I graduated college in January 2021 (what a time to be a college graduate looking for a job). I spent the first six months of the year applying to many jobs in the file of my degree (Public Relations). After many interviews I started to realize maybe this isn’t for me. I then started to poke around and see what jobs are out there that aren’t the typical 9-5 desk job. This lead down a rabbit hole of many career routes and specifically becoming a flight attendant. So I did further research into that and applied for some positions. A few weeks went by and I started to wonder about what it took to become a pilot. The number one thing I found was to go do a discovery flight at your local airport. Which I certainly did, luckily for me my local airport had a Groupon going for essentially three flights for the price of one. I scheduled a flight for the next day and from the moment I got to the airport I could sense that I was going to enjoy my experience. The flight instructor and myself headed out to the plane and he showed me a preflight inspection and introduced me to the flight controls when we got in. In my mind I figured I wouldn’t be taking control of the plane at all. Little did I know that I would be doing the takeoff (I’m sure he helped a little). From that moment forward I was pretty much speechless and knew that at minimum I wanted to pursue my PPL. Moving forward on my second flight he took me on the Hudson at night and we did some turns around the Statue of Liberty (what an amazing experience for a second ga flight) and for the third one he introduced me to landing and allowed me to do some with his guidance. After those three flights I started researching flight schools and what my best course of action would be. After much research and struggle with the financial portion I figured ATP would be my best route to further push myself to a career in aviation. I was happy to find out that my instructor at Trenton would be Brady as I came across his thread of his time spent with ATP. Once day one came around I wasn’t really sure what to expect but I knew I would enjoy it. We started with the fundamental flights which were great to get back into the cockpit and moved on to maneuvers from there. Many things I had never done before but with great instruction I was able to grasp and put into effect. Now I am on to the take off and landings phase which has very challenging yet rewarding to even get a couple good landings done by myself. Though this week we have thanksgiving so I will be getting a break I know this program is intense and fast but Im up for the challenge. Look forward to keeping everyone updated on my time with ATP



Thank you for sharing your insights into the program, I look forward to reading more as you progress.

Having Brady as an instructor shows what a small world aviation can be. Thanks again for posting and good luck in the program!


Hi Jawad,

Thanks for sharing, looking forward to hearing more about your progress in the coming weeks.


Welcome to the forum! Thank you so much for taking the time to write up a thoughtful post. Your first week experiences will help so many future students know what to expect starting training. Crazy how small the aviation world can be!
Please continue to keep us updated with other big milestones like solos, cross countries and your first checkride!

Welcome, Jawad!

Brady is an exceptional Instructor. You are lucky to have him. Please keep us updated!


Thank you Chris! Aviation really is a small world. I will be sure to keep up the updates.

The updates will keep coming. Thank you for the kind words Hannah.

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Very excited for what he will be teaching. Thank you Tory!

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