Real Answers from Real Pilots

Newly Registered and starting June 7th in Birmingham

Hello all!

Just this last week I was able to get my financing figured out with the help of my in-laws and have signed up to start June 7th at the new Birmingham, AL (EKY) location.

I’m starting to work through the Orientation and got Registered for King School and wanted to find out about any “best practices” when it comes to getting the training done in a timely manner. The website says to have the required training done 2 weeks before I start, so on the 24th. Is this a “do or die” kind of date?

I’ve also purchased my iPad and Headset but haven’t yet gotten the rest of the list of needed items due to finances; Will I be good to purchase them after the first bit of loan disbursement, or should I try and order them and have them before I start?

Thanks in advance!

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Congrats on securing your start date, Charles!

I’m not sure if the due date is set in stone or not, but I would ask yourself, “Is it worth finding out the hard way?” ATP models their program similar to how airlines train pilots. So the best approach is to treat ATP like an airline. At my airline due dates are a big deal. Don’t complete the assigned training on or before the due date, you risk becoming unqualified to fly. So, if ATP wants the videos completed two weeks prior I would abide by that for the sake of principle.

As far as the training materials go, I looked at the list of things that are the student’s responsibility to supply. Of those things, the only other item that I suggest you buy before Day 1 is a kneeboard. The rest can wait. But FYI, again airlines expect that you show up will all required materials. But seeing as the other items on the list won’t be required until you have to conduct night ops or Instrument training, technically you can wait to get those until you need them. Consult with your CFI about it.



It didn’t take me long to get all the books and shirts sent to me from Pilot Mall. I guess the back packs are on back order currently. I don’t start until July but I would like to knock my written tests out for at least my IFR. I am starting with credit for PPL. If you are investing that much money in something, why wouldn’t you want to be ahead of the game of you can? I have liked Kings School so far. They break things down for you to understand. Good luck on your training and stay focused!

Welcome to the forum and congrats on your upcoming start date! As Tory said, the recommendations from ATP as to your study materials being completed are there to set you up for success. Have others started and that hasn’t been done? Yes, have they been successful? Some but not most. Your first week will feel like you’re drowning not sure what to do first when it comes to studying so that recommendation to get your king schools done ahead of time and your PAR is to help make that first week and first month as easy as possible. You will thank yourself later for putting in the work.
Materials wise, you need your iPad, headset and kneeboard from day one because you will be flying that first day. Other stuff for instrument or night can wait a little bit until you reach those stages.



Welcome to the forum and congratulations on taking a huge step forward in your career.

As to deadlines, if ATP says that you need to have something done two weeks prior to start, then you absolutely must do it. ATP has been producing pilots for decades, the system is finely tuned and there is a reason behind everything. Anything they tell you to do, you need to do. Would it be possible to finish the training later? Maybe. But why on earth would you start out on a nine month journey with being behind?

As for materials, I would get everything required right away. Sometimes flights happen out of the normal order due to weather or other operational reasons. If something is required, then it is required, period. My airline requires me to carry a flashlight at all times, I always have it with me, even when flying during the day. I would sure not want to explain to them why I did not have a required item.


Congratulations! Welcome to the ATP family! I know time is short now, but if you can get your PAR written out of the way it would help you keep moving along during training.

Thanks for the replies.

Sounds like I at least need to get the kneeboard and it would be a good idea to get the rest of what I need. Are only ATP branded outerwear (jackets etc) allowed during training?

I’ll buckle down and push through the required training and then use the time until I start to get as much done ahead of time as I can, thanks.

Here’s a link to ATP’s uniform policy: Professional Pilot Uniform Policy / ATP Flight School


Hi Charles,

First and foremost, congratulations on securing your class date with ATP!

As far as the coursework goes, make sure that you complete the orientation modules. Those are going to detail how to navigate your student extranet and shouldn’t be too time-consuming to watch. You’ll also want to register with Kings School and we encourage you to get as much as you can get done before showing up your first day. I know that it details to complete up to the “Communications & Radar Services,” but since you are starting relatively quickly, it is fine if you do not have that complete for Day 1. If you have any additional questions, feel free to reach out to training support (their direct line can be found in the top right of your student extranet.)

Hope this helps!

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Thanks for the clarification! I don’t see any reason I would not have those sections done before my start date, I just was unsure if there was something else that needed to happen in those 2 weeks before I start. I will work on finishing as much of the King School work as I can.

Are you able to answer the question about approved Outerwear? I don’t see any specifics listed in the Uniform Policy. I just wanted to make sure whether any type of jacket etc was acceptable, or if I should plan to try and order an ATP branded one (although I only saw an ATP zip up hoodie when I looked)?

In addition to your king schools you should get your PAR written exam completed. The modules help in study prep so the faster you get those done the more time you have to apply that knowledge to practice tests. Shoot to have that written scheduled a week before your start date, at the latest, the Friday before your Monday start.
As for the jacket, you are allowed to wear non atp outerwear over top of your uniform shirts as long as it’s professional (no profanity or inappropriate material).


Hi Joshua,

I also started with my PPL in hand and jumped into instrument. If you’re scheduling your IRA, knock out the FII on the same day if possible. It’s basically the exact same content and required for the instrument curriculum at ATP. I went through all the Kings modules and got the endorsement from there then used Shepherd Air for additional prep. Ended up
Scoring higher on my FII than my IRA. Good luck!