Lapsed PPL Advice

Hello Everyone!

I am thinking about making the career change I have always dreamed of. I am currently 28 years old and received my PPL when I was 19 and only have about 100 hours of TT. However, due to finances I was unable to fly for about 9 years. Any advice on how I should proceed with ATP’s program would be greatly appreciated! I am looking into the TTN location.


Good afternoon Jay, and welcome to the forums!

Personally, I would say first of all you don’t mention anything about a current Medical Certificate. If you don’t have one, or it has lapsed, I would work on applying for and obtaining your 1st Class medical ASAP, as you will need that before starting the program.

Now, having close to 100 hours is good, as you’ll meet the required 78+ hours to come into the program with credit for private. You will, of course, want to get current and proficient however as well. Due to the accelerated nature of the program, there really is no time when you start instrument training to do so, as the program format requires that you currently are (and you will be evaluated on this during your Intro Flight.) I assume since it’s been a while since you’ve flown you may be a bit rusty (as would be expected in your situation.)
If you aren’t current/proficient, I suspect that you will find the easiest thing to do (and what I would personally do,) is find a good quality local flight school/CFI, book a couple of lessons with them as needed, to get yourself current/proficient, and have them give you a Biennial Flight Review.

Once you do those steps, you should be in a very good position to start the program at ATP.


Pretty straight forward actually. Get current! :slightly_smiling_face: Although not required, HIGHLY recommended that you show up current and proficient. Find a local CFI that can get you back up to speed. Have them give you a BFI before you start. You need to show up with your knowledge and skills polished up because you’re going to jump right into instrument training.

The other thing we always recommend is take your written tests beforehand:

Everyone that has taken the tests ahead of time all say it was worth it. Take all of them if you can. If not, even one would make a difference.


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Thank you so much for the advice Michael! Yes, I will need to get my 1st Class Medical completed. I have held one before so obtaining it should not be an issue.

Appreciate the rapid response!

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Hi Tory!

Thank you so much for the quick reply. That was my plan to get current again just wanted to make sure it was the right decision.

Thank you so much!

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You’re welcome, and I absolutely agree with Tory on the writtens. Although not required to complete them all before starting at ATP, from personal experience I would HIGHLY recommend it if time allows in your situation.

I completed all of mine ahead of time since I had time. I was one of the very few at my training location that did so, and I tell ya, it made a world of difference. I watched several fellow classmates struggle with this and add unnecessary stress to their days; in addition to trying to get all of their regular studying and other tasks done, they had to worry about studying for and taken the writtens. I was simply able to focus on the studying at hand that needed to be done and not worry about the writtens, and it felt like it took a huge load off my shoulders.

If time doesn’t allow to take all of them, I would simply study for and take as many as time allows in your situation. If you search for writtens here on the forum you will find several helpful posts that outline taking them and saving yourself some time, as some of them (for instance IRA and FII) more or less share the same question bank and can easily be studied for and taken at the same time.

That sounds like the way to go for the writtens. I couldn’t agree more. Do I need any endorsements before taking these?

Yep! See the instructions in the link I sent you.


FWIW, the credit for PPL program Now requires you to be current on the first day (or at least the intro docs say that). Of course day 1 is two hours in the pattern, so who knows how strict that is :slight_smile:.

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It is in your own best interests to actually be current (not just on paper) as the program will start building on private pilot skills right away. If the proper foundation is not there, it could be a rough road.


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Indeed. IMO, not being prepared as the course outline requires shows a lack of understanding of just what is required to succeed. I was just pointing out that it’s actually documented as a requirement.