Hello, I am a senior in highschool(17 years of age) and am thinking about starting my privates license now so I can hopefully have it done by the time I am out of high school and ready to join ATP. Or that I should maybe wait and just do it all through ATP. Do you have any recommendations for me? Thanks.
The only time we recommend someone get their PPL first is if they’re not certain they can or want to fly for sure. Otherwise there’s no reason not to do so your training with the program you’ve chosen to do the bulk of it with.
Keep in mind ATP just raised their admission requirements to the following which means you could not start fresh out of HS without one of the qualifiers.
Hey Adam, thanks for getting back to me. And when you say one of the qualifiers I don’t really know what you mean. What would I have to wait for or do?
The qualifiers he is talking about is the admission requirements to start the program he posted a screenshot of. Take a look at those and see where you’d fit in. You must pass the COMPASS test. If you had one of the 4 bullet points listed the test would be waived.
Typically we recommend you start college first. Some work towards your bachelor’s or even an associates degree before starting the program. College degrees are still highly preferred. You will be limited without one. It’s very difficult to get college done online while at the regionals. Since you’re so young already, start college first then come back to flight training after. It will save yourself the headache.
Okay so even if I could get in with my high school GPA you’d still recommend me to get or start a degree? Is there a benefit when trying to get with airlines or what’s the main reason you recommend it?
I am not a fan of getting a PPL outside of ATP. I got mine from a small local school and it did not go well. It took way longer than it should have and cost significantly more money than I was originally quoted. The school was simply not prepared to handle the number of students that they had and I was too busy with my school work to really focus on the flying. I would recommend waiting until you are ready to fully delve into training and then get all of your licenses and ratings in one place.
The main reason that we recommend degrees is that the major, legacy airlines still want to see a degree when it comes to hiring pilots. It is a box that you will need to check along the way.
We also find that the additional years of school and age make for a better, more responsible student pilot.
Do you think it would be possible for me to get a degree while I am a CFI getting my hours in or would that be to much to handle?
I think that would be too much to handle. Many people have gotten their degrees while they were flying for the regionals, that is always an option.
And Regionals don’t really look for degree’s? Sorry for so many questions!
No, regionals do not require degrees.
No problem on the questions, that is what we are here for. Ask away.
Okay I really appreciate it. So many options I just don’t want to mess up. My options are to just get a degree first and then go to ATP or try and get a degree after completing ATP. Do regionals have an hour requirement or do you just need your instrumental and commercial?
The regionals require the minimum ATP license hours. The hourly requirement is 1,500 hours with a breakdown of criterion. You may find the specific breakdown via 14 CFR 61.159: Aeronautical Experience.