New, exciting and scary!

Hello all!
I’m a 42 year old life long Alaskan who’s looking into a new and exciting career change!

I’ve been looking through a lot of the previous posts and want to first say how impressed I am with the quality of honest responses from the mentors!

I’ve worked in law enforcement for the last 20 years, but have reached a massive burn out phase in this field and I’m ready to make a career change, hopefully into flying!

As I’m taking my first steps into this process I know that reading the text books and manuals provided by ATP will be a good start, but are there any audiobooks or podcasts you might recommend I could listen to during times when I’m not able to sit down and read?

Are there any other tips or advice you could give me on things I can do now prior to starting the program?

I’m sure I will have many more questions as this process moves along!

Thank you for your time!


You don’t mention any flight experience? If you don’t have any (other than being a passenger on a commercial flight) you need to take an intro flight or lesson. Until you do you’ll have no idea if this is actually something you want to do.


I have flown in many small planes, and have taken the controls a few times for short periods, but basically, no real flight experience. I am traveling next week and I’m working with ATP to see if I can get set up on a training flight while I’m down south.
Training flights aren’t a possibility in my home town.

Perfect, next step is to get your First Class medical and arrange your financing.


Well, another downfall to living in a small remote location…. There is no one in my town that does 1st class medical. I have to fly to either Anchorage (2 hr commercial flight) or Seattle (2.5 hr commercial flight) to have it done…. :-/

I just purchased the ASA Airplane Flying Handbook and the Gleim Aviation Private Pilot Test Prep book as I won’t be participating in the program for several months and wanted to at least have a couple books I could read that would give me some basic knowledge and hopefully useful information.


Obviously if you can schedule your medical around when you take your intro flight the would be ideal. Regardless it does need to be done prior to starting.

As for reading the FAA has a number of great books available for the bargain price of FREE online. I recommend the Pilot Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge and the Airplane Flying Handbook.


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If you want to get ahead while waiting for a start date, this is my best piece of advice:

However, it is important to note that the programs actually designed to have the writtens done while you are in it, so anything you do before hand is just a bonus.