Real Answers from Real Pilots

Introduction - Kyle

Hi everyone, my name is Kyle and I have been a reader on these forums for quite some time. I figured it was finally time for me to introduce myself. I’m 30 years old and have been a police officer for about 7-years. The main purpose for inquiring about ATP is for a complete career change. Although I love the profession of a police officer, there has always been an interest in becoming a pilot and I figured it’s better late than never. I also did an introductory flight back in September that was absolutely incredible and solidified my mindset on this change. I am currently looking at a tentative start date in May once I finish my graduate thesis and once I ensure the funds work out.

Per the advice of the mentors on this site, I intend to complete the exams prior to the start of training. Also, I know it is highly recommended to not be attending school during training as well, hence the May start date. However, I am exercising the idea of doing my private certification through another company while working and finishing school to further expedite the ATP training process. I have a wife and infant child so the primary reason would be to avoid a gap in pay as long as possible. I’m definitely trying to weigh the pros and cons between being at ATP for the full zero-pilot program or with private credit.

I really appreciate everything you all have done to make this forum such a wealth of knowledge and I really look forward to being part of your community.

-Kyle

2 Likes

Hey, Kyle welcome to the forum! Be sure to keep us posted on how training goes. Also thank you for your service! my father has been a police officer for the past 14 years as well.
Gabe

Kyle,

Thank you for introducing yourself and posting. Also, thank you for your service as a police officer. I for one am very grateful for the work that you do, I cannot imagine how difficult it must be.

I am very glad that you have paid attention and plan on completing the written prior to the start date. I feel that is simply the best thing you can do to prepare yourself for the program. If you can do the PPL with ATP, it really will be better for you in the long run, but if you can’t, I am sure you will be fine, maybe just a little delayed. I got my PPL outside of ATP, it was not an ideal training cycle, but it got the job done.

Thank you for your kind words about the forum, it is nice to know that what we do here is appreciated. Consider yourself already a member of this community and please check in frequently.

Chris

1 Like

Kyle,

Generally the only time I recommend someone training for their PPL outside of ATP is if they’re uncertain if they want to make the commitment. It doesn’t sound like that’s the case. I’m assuming you’ve decided to do the bulk of your training with ATP because you’ve done your research and were impressed with the program, their reputation, equipment, quality of training etc. If that’s the case wouldn’t you want to use ATP for what equates to the foundation for ALL your training? There’s a concept you’ll learn about while training for your CFI called the Law of Primacy which basically states what we learn first stays with us the longest. It therefore stands to reason starting Day 1 in the actual program you intend to complete would be beneficial. Further please know that to get credit for your PPL you not only need your PPL but at least 78hrs of flight time. While that doesn’t sound like much, it could be a challenge accomplishing that amount of flying by May.

That all said I totally understand and respect your desire to continue earning money for your family. With that in mind I’d like to suggest the following possible solution for your consideration. ATP also offers the Flex Track option for people who do need to continue working, school etc. They also allow you to switch from the Flex Track to the Fast Track if your schedule, life etc changes. Perhaps you could enroll in the Flex Track, start your initial training on the right foot and then when you’re comfortable you’ve got everything in order, transfer to the Fast Track. That might even enable you to start sooner before your even finish your graduate degree? Might be something to think about.

Ultimately the decision is yours and I’d be remiss if I didn’t say many ATP students earned their PPLs elsewhere and have done just fine. I just know many wish they hadn’t.

Adam

2 Likes

Kyle,

Welcome.
I would suggest doing everything at ATP for the reasons others mentioned.
You can probably get your PPL cheaper somewhere else, but you will have a mental and physical transition period due to changing schools and aircraft (like only shooting a glock 9mm and the your dept switches to 1911) , you also might be delayed more if their PPL program is not solid.

I did Asset Protection for almost 10yrs prior to my flying career. While training I worked 2-4days/week to keep some income. This is not recommended by ATP during Fast Track, but some students can swing it. If you find a flexible AP/security job it’s not a terrible option. But don’t put the job first. Training for future career should be #1.

Adam’s idea about starting in Flex and transition to Fast track is also a good idea.

Chris F

1 Like

Thank you all for the welcome and the feedback. I was definitely concerned about the quality of the private pilot training and the transition to ATP once I make the jump to the fast track program. I really appreciate the reinforcement on the importance of starting at the right place initially in order to set a solid foundation for this career. I’m obviously making the change for a reason and I need to make sure I do it the right way.

-Kyle

Kyle,

Any time. Let us know how else we can help you.

Chris

I went ahead and took the plunge, I officially have my deposit in and start on April 12th in Nashville (Smyrna). ATP marketing got me with getting in before the price increase! I am super excited to get this career in motion and now it’s time to start searching these forums for gear lists and study guides.

-Kyle

2 Likes

Congrats Kyle!

There really is no better first step you can take towards a career in aviation. Gear’s important but you’ve got 3mos. before you start. Get crackin’ on those written exams! While not required of you browse the forum you’ll see its highly recommended by all and will give you a huge leg up.

Adam

Kyle,

I am glad that you are making the leap and that you were able to save a few dollars by getting in early. Please keep us up to date as you go through the program, we love to hear how people are doing. Of course, please also feel free ro ask us any questions that you might have.

Now get studying for those written exams!

Chris

Adam and Chris,

Absolutely, that’s the first thing on my agenda, to get those written exams out of the way! It was awesome to see that the written exams can now be taken at the ATP location, that’s extremely convenient. Thanks for the support and I look forward to providing you all with updates.

-Kyle