Real Answers from Real Pilots

In The Meantime

Good Morning or Good Afternoon,
Im really interested in enrolling at ATP next year, currently I’m working off paying credit cards down, so when I apply for the loan i can get accepted without a cosigner. I was thinking about re-applying for the loan either Feb or March. I was wondering do you guys have any suggestions what I can do in the meantime to prepare or have a better success rate at the program. My ultimate goal is to become an pilot for one of the majors, and I believe this is just the stepping stone.

And one last question (off topic)

Do you guys recommend flying for an airline with a flow through program (e.g envoy)? Do flow through programs really worth it?



You could begin studying the Private Pilot material, one of the best books out there is this one: (check eBay for better prices, an older edition is just fine). There are also several good video series by Jeppesen, Sporty’s and King Schools. Rather than spending any money on there products though I would really focus on paying down those credit cards. Every single dollar you can put towards it helps and will get you that much closer to your dream.


ahaha yes you’re right Chris. Thankfully I have the needs to pay them down, just waiting for it to say on my credit report. Currently thats the only thing holding be back from ATP and becoming an airliner pilot which is financing. But I will look into that link you posted… Do you have any insight on the questions I asked about the regional airlines?


Flow through programs can be great and can work really well, they can also have the affect of locking you into a certain seniority date whereas being hired off the street does not. For example, when Continental Express had a flow through to Continental there were pilots who actually quit COEX and then applied to Continental independently as they could break out of their seniority date that way and get to mainline faster.

That being said, to me the determining factor for you should be your level of education. If you do not have a college degree and do not intend to get one I would try to find a regional that has a flow though as this can help circumvent the college requirement that many major airlines have. If you do have a college degree then I would not put too much concern into a flow through as you should be able to get hired at a major without any kind of flow through.

Bottom line, they are great programs but I would not make it a determining factor when choosing airlines to apply for.



Thanks a lot for the insight. Currently I do not have a degree, however once I get rolling with the regionals I planned on taking online courses to obtain my 4 year degree. In the case I’m unable to get the 4 year degree I wanted to have a stable back up plan for going to the majors.

Again this really helps out a lot as I mention before.

Thanks Chris so much! I watch these forums daily to get the best information as possible, so when I apply for the loan next year I’ll be successful in ATP and on the right path to become an airline pilot.


I’m with Chris on this one. Doing some reading is fine but there’s plenty of time to study. Save you’re money as there’s plenty of free material available online (the FAA offers ALL their books oniine for download the Airplane Flying Handbook is a good place to start). While the Jepps is definitely a better than read the FAA books (more interesting) free is free!

Also flow-thrus are great but again seniority can be a factor and keep in mind they’re all based on demand. If a Major has a flow with multiple Regionals they’re going to need to spread the wealth, they can also suspend them as needed. They’re definitely not a bad thing I just wouldn’t put all my faith in it.


Thanks adam! so much! Just to be sure are you saying I should start studying now or I shouldn’t and just read the materials on FAA. I plan on applying for financing late March. .


Doing some studying is fine and nothing wrong with learning a few things. All I’m saying is once you start training your nose is going to be buried in the books everyday for a while and even when you’re instructing you’ll also be studying as well. THEN you’ll be buried again once you’re hired at a Regional. I’d enjoy my time now and let your brain relax a bit.