Real Answers from Real Pilots

Later Admissions

I am considering to start at Atp this coming august. I have both my private and instrument rating that I received at a local ma and pop school. I spoke with admissions and they told me that they can start me on a “custom scheduled” program. My worries are that I start with a lack of knowledge they are looking for. Could this be a problem? Or are they able to teach me what they would like me to know in a valid period of time?


Welcome to the forum!
The admissions department will make sure you meet all the hours requirements so you can come in day one working in your commercial certificate. As I’m sure you are aware, commercial is similar to your private but more advanced maneuvers and ground knowledge. If it’s been a while since your private or since you’ve flown in general, I recommend you rent a plane and refresh your skills before you start and hit the books. As long as you come in feeling fresh on all private and instrument knowledge and current in your stick and rudder skills, ATP will get you where you need to be for commercial. You can also knock out the CAX written exam to help ease the stress transitioning to an accelerated program.



That’s really up to you. If ATP is creating a program for you, based on you having your PPL and IR, they expect you to be a competent Private Pilot and more importantly a competent Instrument rated pilot.

If you’re a little rusty than a BFR and an IPC are the bare minimum you should complete first. If you’re not capable of completing one or both, you might want to consider beginning the program with just credit for your Private and starting by redoing the Instrument portion. Many people do and it will give you the opportunity to really hone those skills.


Thank you! I have already completed the CAX written exam. I think I am more or less worried about the book work knowledge due to the fact that I was at a part 61 flight school prior.


ATP is also a Part 61 school. If your concern is the book work then I’d relax and maybe do some reading. You obviously had enough knowledge to pass both the PPL and IR knowledge and oral exams so I’d simply review that info.



If your primary concern is book knowledge, I would just start hitting the books, maybe check out some videos online. Also, once you are an ATP student, you will have access to all of their study material. I would not sweat this one too much.

If you are worried about your actual flying skills, you might want to talk to Admissions about adding a few extra hours into your custom program.



There are tons of written resources for knowledge, the FAA provides digital copies for free via their website and on ForeFlight (if you have a subscription). You can also go to YouTube and do simple searches and find mock checkrides being conducted, in-flight demonstration videos, and study material that is in audio and visual format.

ATP provides all materials upon confirmation of start date, it is available immediately. ATP provides not only reading material, but also video modules during phases of training to help assist with knowledge. Recently they have designated a team in Jacksonville for creating videos with current instructors to help present material in a different format.