Having My Doubts?

Hey everyone! I’m new here to the forum and just wanted some feedback on how you all felt before starting ATP. I enjoy aviation and would like to become an airline pilot. The corporate world is not for me, so I’m looking to make a drastic change in my career.

I’ve done the intro flight (which I enjoyed) and obtained a 1st class med. With my potential start date approaching, all these doubts and questions are popping in my head. ie Am I smart enough to be a pilot? Do I love it enough to become a good pilot? Will I be hired after graduation?
Can anyone relate? Thanks everyone!

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There’s a video on YouTube where the guy who goes to atp actually discusses these feelings exactly as you are. I think it is fair to say these feelings are probably quite common. But remember their are many people who get through atp (roughly 80%) that’s a good portion

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I can relate to your concern to some extent. For me I knew enough about
myself to know that I could do it, but I stressed a lot about being able to
do it so quickly. As I progressed I grew more confident in my abilities.

It’s totally normal to feel the way you’re feeling. Most of my students
felt that way. I think it’s because it’s hard to measure your progress in
the beginning.

Give it some time. Remember all you’ve done so far is an intro flight. Your
doubts should gradually subside after you’ve started training and your
instructor will teach you how to track your progress.

Let’s revisit this conversation once you’ve reached your Takeoff and
Landing Eval. You should have a good idea about whether or not this is
right for you by then.


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I think we’ve all experienced some anxiety prior to our start date. It really is a major task not to mention the expense etc. Here are some thoughts:

  1. Am I smart enough? This is a common concern. There’s this perception that all pilot’s are brilliant and while I am :slight_smile: that’s simply not true. You obviously need some level of intelligence but this isn’t rocket science. We always recommend that students complete as many of their writtens prior to their start date. This isn’t simply to lighten the work load it can also give you an idea of the type of mental work that’s involved. If you can study through the material, retain some information and do well on the practice tests, that’s a pretty good indicator that you won’t struggle too much. Conversely if you’re reading through the material and it may as well be written in Japanese that could be a problem.

  2. Do I love it enough? Only you can really answer that question. Honestly that was never one I questioned. While loving it is not a job requirement it does definitely help, particularly if things don’t go exactly as you plan. The truth is there are no guarantees in this life and aviation is no different but if you’re getting paid to do something you love it makes it all very palatable.

  3. Will I get hired after graduation? This is a fairly easy one. Work hard, do well and have a great attitude and you will get hired. Don’t then you may have some issues. This is perhaps the best time in history to become a pilot. In the past I would always say there’s no guarantees at all. Well the pilot shortage is so bad I can honestly say with no reservations that if you successfully complete your training and build your time you will get hired at a Regional.

Hope that helps some.


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Hi James!

Thanks for letting me know about the video! I’m gonna check out the ATP YouTube page and see! It’s good to know there’s a grad rate of 80%! I appreciate the info.


Hi Tory,

I think the pace is the part that gets me too. I plan to just focus on school and not work. Like you mentioned, I’m sure your confidence grows the more you fly, so it’s unfair for me to judge my abilities based on an intro flight.

Thank you for the insight and perspective! I actually feel a little more confident!


Hi Adam!

Thank you for all of the information! Haha I am sure you are brilliant!! I have heard a few people say to do the practice tests and get writtens out of the way! I recently graduated from college, so I am still in the college mindset of working hard and retaining a lot of information.

Loving the job definitely helps get through tough times. That’s a good way to look at it! I feel I am passionate enough to persevere through school and make it!

That makes me feel better knowing there is such a shortage for pilots. I have read about the shortage, but it’s nice to know actual pilots are confirming this!

Thank you so much Adam!


Thank you again everyone for your replies/feedback/insight. I feel a lot more confident in moving forward with my decision to start ATP!:slight_smile:

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