Need some direction

Very eager to get started with this process, I have been doing a lot of research plus a lot of reading on here (btw y’all are awesome for all the questions, answers, and stories). I really want to try ATP and just want to know the best way to get started. I currently live 4 hr away from the closest location. Would it be best to schedule a flight and just make the trip down to a location? or should I commit to a school and go take the flight at that one? I have like 3 places that would work pretty well for me. Basically I’m asking what’s the fastest way to get started with the program, or what worked for y’all? Thank you


The question is have you ever flown in a small GA aircraft? If not you really need to before you do anything else. If you hate it what’s the point of moving forward?


Thank you Adam for your response. I’m going to look into if there is anything locally I can try, and see if I can start flying, or even get my PPC.


I would be careful about getting your PPL at a local school. One of our forum members just posted about his experience doing such. Scroll to the last post on this thread: Starting ATP With a Private License


1 Like


Thank you for sharing this with me. I’m going to do a little more research about the local option. See how long they think it would take to get my PPL here. I don’t want to waste time, but more importantly I want to make sure this is something I want to pursue before diving all the way in. In y’alls opinion, I know I have read on here that if you have the resources, then getting your PPL locally could help you in the long run. Is there truth to that? Or does it depend on how you do by yourself at ATP?


I think that the idea of getting a PPL outside of ATP to save money is a fallacy. Most flight schools quote the bare minimum flight time to complete one’s certification. There are two problems with this. The first is that almost nobody gets their license that quickly. Sure, some do, but most (including myself) take considerably more flight time.

The second issue is that ATP requires incoming students that already have a PPL to have 78 hours of flight time. This is to meet FAA requirements for the commercial certificate.

So when comparing prices at other schools, make sure to do it off 78 hours of flight time.

I got my PPL at a small local school and it was an absolute disaster. It took twice as long as the school said it would and cost considerably more. Most of this was due to the school having too small of a fleet, constant maintenance issues and lack of instructor availability.