Gear, and ATP

Hi! I am 25 years old, I currently work full time in a high paced Car business. I have about 4 hours of flight time in a 172. I have had a deep down dream to fly for a career since I was about 16 years old. Currently I’ve been approved for a loan through SM. I went in for my First Class Medical this Wednesday, I passed everything besides the Ishihara Plate test… I had to drive 3 hours one way to take a test named Farnsworth Lantern Test. Passed it (Thank God!) I have tossed around the idea of completing my PPL with my current instructor instead of starting from Zero time with ATP. So I could go in with my PPL and save money. Thoughts? Also I’ve beem studying the pilot handbook of aeronautical knowledge. I know people have recommended knocking out any knowledge tests I can before ATP so I can focus on other things. Is there anything else that would better prepare me? Lastly, for head sets what do you recommend… I want to be able to hear the motor, but I don’t want it to be distracting. My current instructor told me his Bose head set was so quiet, he really can’t hear the engine.

Thank you in advance


Ok a few things here. First the only time I recommend getting your PPL first is if you have any doubts if this is what you really want to do. If you’ve made the decision to do your training with ATP I assume it’s because of their reputation and the quality of the training. If that’s the case wouldn’t you want to start off on the right foot? ATP has been successfully training pilots for decades and has a proven method of instruction. Wouldn’t it be best to have continuity in your training using the same techniques and procedures throughout? As for saving money, when you factor in it’s not just your PPL you’d be getting from ATP, it also covers the 80hrs required for admission. IF (and that’s a big if) there’s any cost difference it’ll be nominal.

Not sure how soon you’re looking to enroll but completing all your writtens AND the required material pre-admission material from ATP should keep you more than busy enough.

Finally I’ve used a Bose from the beginning and had no issues hearing the engine. Your call.



Getting your PPL prior to enrollment is fine if you feel like you might need more time to learn at your own pace. Don’t assume that it will save you money though. It might. Based on experience, most likely it won’t.

Taking as many written tests as you can is the best thing you can do. That’s pretty much it. When you sign up for the program, keep this article handy:

I had no problem hearing the engine with my Bose headset. Maybe this headset would be good for you? It’s noise canceling, but the ear seals don’t cover the ear like the Bose do.


That’s why I wanted to ask for opinions. I didn’t want to pick up any bad habits from one school, then have to re learn or drop bad habits that I have learned. Good enough.

Thanks for your knowledge! I will do it!


I find that while many people think they will save money by getting their PPL outside of ATP, very few actually do. The reality is that many smaller schools quote a price based on the minimum number of flight hours to obtain a PPL, but most people take significantly more time and thus of course spend more.

Also, to enter ATP with a PPL, you will have to have at least 78 hours of flight time, so that will drive your costs up as well.


I got my PPL at a small FBO for about 10k and split time with another pilot so for PPL and 78 hours it costs me around $11,150 at ATP it will cost you 17k. I have no experience on if you will have to re learn stuff because I didn’t go to ATP afterwards but I imagine it will be minimal as you still passed the same check ride and ATP has that as an option because I assume it works. I also did my PPL in 11 weeks (but I was full time 5-7 days a week no job only flying and studying) and on the Bose I have those and can hear the engine fine I recommend them. I used Kings schools for private and Sheppard for instrument and currently commercial

Thanks for the knowledge! I will finish up my scheduled flights with my instructor. Then finish my enrollment with ATP

Okay! Thank you for the helpful applications for studying!

Tory would you know which model equipment headset, Ipad, etc ATP provides if you opt to receive it from ATP in the total cost of the attendance?


ATP does not provide Headsets, or iPads you must provide them when you start. You will also need to get Foggles (or another view limiting device), flashlights (red and white), a travel bag, and a kneeboard when starting the course.


Tom is right. The headset and iPad is not provided. Perhaps you were on the Financing page and came across a loan calculator that allows you to budget for equipment? If so, that’s just if you need extra funds from Sallie Mae or Wells Fargo to purchase your pilot gear.


Oh I see yes that is where i was, i thought that meant it was provided for by the school. Ok I need to find somewhere to purchase the gear i need.

@Tom what are Foggles?

@tom please disregard lol found it on google.

Tom I am looking into these foggles and i see different styles and for different purposes like IFR and VFR maneuvers. Can you shed some light or recommend me some good foggles you have used please?


No problem! So IFR limiting devices are what you would want. I just recently discovered VFR glasses and think they are just for lazy CFIs as mine broke me of looking inside non stop by just blocking my view of the panel.

These are the ones I used for my Private Pilot and worked fine. They are no frills and used by thousands a year.

I am purchasing these for IFR training as I expect to wear foggles a lot more and want to give the blackout a try as I’m not a fan of the sun and I found the diffused light from the cloudy lens didn’t do much.

And finally if you don’t like glasses on your face they make this mini hood I unfortunately don’t have any insight on them except that I have seen others around the airport have them

Ok IFR limiting is what i will buy. Thank you very much Tom this is very helpful

I am personally a fan of this device:

1 Like

Hood is good but takes up room in the flight bag. I’m a foggles guy.


1 Like