Officially starting ATP

And so it begins… As of today I am currently enrolled with ATP ! I am excited , scared , overwhelmed , nerve racking , accomplished , relieved , anxious , hopeful and many more im sure havent come to mind as of yet. This is going to be one heck of a ride :slight_smile: but im ready for it !



That is fantastic! Congratulations! Training will be challenging, but it is fun, too. Just start studying as much as possible right now and work on those written exams!

When is your start date? What location?


PS. I moved your post so that it is its own topic, a major move like this is worthy of its own thread :slight_smile:

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Thanks Chris ! My start date is March 13th, 2017 however i am hoping to actually start in January. Admissions said it was easier to move me up than to push me back. Im hoping i will have all the loose ends of the business wrapped up by January and ready to get started. Setting it for March just gives me alittle safety net in case i have a remodel or project that needs wrapped up.

With that said… Over the last few weeks i have had to make some hard choices. 2 weeks ago i sold my 4 wheeler that i use for hunting in order to continue paying for my PPL. Also our new 26’ Camper gone… DirectTV gone and a over the air antennae installed. And today my beautiful fully loaded 2014 F150 went back to the dealership and traded in for a Ford Fusion … and my wife ( stay at home mother ) has been putting in applications to find some part time work to bring in what she can to help. It has been a humbling last few weeks. To see the things that you have work so hard for , have to go away in order to pursue a dream and a passion. Everyday we have to encourage each other that these things are only material things and that in the long run we will once again have this lifestyle back again.

Im looking forward to seeing what the future holds !


Reagon, don’t worry. I did the same thing you are planning to do 4 months ago. I moved my wife and 2 kids from a quiet safe town in the mountains of NC to Charlotte so I could start at ATP. I have not regretted anything and I don’t think you will either. I passed my private checkride a few weeks back and have started my instrument phase of training. It will be tough and the pace is fast but work hard and you can do it. Go on FAA. gov and read as much of the PHAK (Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge) as you can. That helped me get a head start when I got to ATP.

Stay confident and good luck on your endeavors. We have also given up a lot of things and thankfully I have a wife that was willing to leave it all so I could pursue my dream. Let me know if there is any questions I can answer for you.


Thanks for jumping in, it is really great to hear your perspective on this. Congratulations on passing you private ride. If you wanted to post some updates as you progress through the program that would be great, I am sure that the other forum members would love to read them.


I know it seems like you are giving up a lot now (and you are), but I think that someday down the road when you are watching the sun set over the Rockies from your giant office windows at 36,000 feet it will all be worth it.

Thanks for the update on where you are in the process, any future updates would be really appreciated.


Congrats Reagon! Please keep us posted on your progress.


Hey man in with you, I’m transitioning out of the military and when I decided to stay ATP I sold my giant 4x4 07’ Chevy Silverado my wife’s new 14’cruze packed my entire house in a 24’ trailer sold my condo here in NC and bought a little house in Phoenix. I know it will be worth it… I can’t think of a better place to have an office than flying Mach .8 over the Rockies at 36000 feet controlling a machine that produces over 50000 pounds of thrust. Just about done with the online private ground school. I’ve been studying aviation and reading books since high school so alot of it has been a breeze…I’m really excited to start in October. My goal is to have all the ground school done by then… I haven’t given up hunting though…my wife’s in Utah looking for an elk for herself now…I’m going to get us some general tags for Arizona when I get there. Good luck friend…

ATP recommends getting a Travel Bag (carry on size) and provides the following link

What are some good recommendations ? I currently use just a standard backpack for carrying my books and headset. Is this more for books , charts, ipad, headset etc ? or for previous plus a day change of clothes? I guess im curious as to what the intended use of the bag is and any recommendations from those that have them. I have always been the guy that rather spend alittle more and buy something once then to just buy something to “just get me by”

Thoughts ? Recommendations ?

Hi Reagon!

I used this one while training:

It held everything I needed for flight (headset, charts, spare battery for my ipad, ipad, flashlight, batteries, foggles, water bottle, pens, E6B and more). It isn’t big enough to hold all the books you need, but I used a regular backpack for those since they didn’t accompany me on the flights :slight_smile:

It’s a well made bag that will last for quite some time.


Hey Reagon,

This is actually a new one to me? When I attended ATP they gave us a backpack for our flight gear and we needed some luggage for the overnights while on our cross-countries. I suspect maybe some people have shown up with monster size bags that you can’t carry-on (if they need you to commercial somewhere, happens on occasion) or won’t even fit in the cargo area of a smaller aircraft, which is why they specify “carry-on size”. is a good source and offers a lot of quality equipment. A good roller will last you a while and you’ll def need one for the rest of your career. Now IF you really want to be one of the “cool kids” and look like a genuine airline pilot then may I recommend this website
Luggage Works bags are pretty much the industry standard, they’re bullet proof and if they ever break in any way they’ll repair it free for life and even give you a loaner. Yes they’re pricey but I’ve had mine for years and no one will confuse you for a Flight Attendant :slight_smile:

I just saw John responded so I may be completely off on what bag is required? I’m going to contact the powers that be but I’ll leave my response for future reference if/when you (or anyone else) needs a bag.


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Sorry, I was only talking about the flight bag. Not sure on a bag for cross countries :slight_smile: I didn’t get any bag when I started at ATP, so I bought my own to bring with me on flights.


ATP just wants you to have a decent sized bag to carry your manuals, headsets, plotter, view limiting device, etc in. I would say that a backpack is probably not the best option as it is hard to keep everything organized in it. Go out to your local small airport and see what they have to offer, but then I would always check online prices as they may be way better.

On the luggage side, intent is for you to have decent sized bag to pack your clothes in because at various points during your training you will be on the road for several days at a time, such as during your cross countries or your CFI training. Suitcase, duffle, it doesn’t really matter, just keep in mind that it needs to not be a monster suitcase as it will be going into the back of two relatively small airplanes.

Adam is right in that the Luggage Works bags are the standard suitcases that most pilots (including myself) carry. I use this bag:


For those of you that recall the posts above asking about what type of flight bags and recommendations. I have had the Brightline B7 now for almost 2 weeks and every time i show up at the airport i get tons of compliments on the style, look and functionality of this bag. $200 was a bit steep, but it is a solid bag. everything has its place. Remembering which pocket you stashed stuff in is the challenge now.

When people that have been flying for years… stop you ( the newbie) and ask where you got it, and if they can check it out, it sorta helps justify the cost. :slight_smile:

On a side note, working all day, flying at night, and figuring out where to fit in studying to finish PPL plus studying the required Sheppard Air instrument program before ATP start date, and taking care of the family, is all starting to become alittle overwhelming ! I can not wait to stop working and be able to focus strictly on flying and studying.

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That is awesome! Congratulation on your first solo!!!

How did it feel? I remember feeling slightly terrified, not so much that I was flying an airplane by myself, but that my 737 Captain-father was watching from the ground, lol.

Chris ,
All morning the airport was dead. Just me and my instructor in a 172. The moment my instructor said " ok , your on your own" and got out of the plane, 2 sky diving planes taxied out, 1 inbound 9 miles out, 1 other decided they wanted to do some pattern work as well. Everything came alive. I taxied into position, felt the anxiety, sat back in my seat and relaxed… and everything clicked like clock work ! It was a great day. I was unaware of this ritual of cutting the shirt tail.(wearing one of my favorite shirts) My face was red cause I was a little ticked off at first, until several other pilots came in seeing my shirt cut and all knowing the symbolism of it coming to congratulate me. It was an amazing morning !

Great, I am glad that it went so well for you.

Cutting your favorite shirt actually sounds pretty appropriate. I still have mine from that day.

Congratulations, you have officially flown an airplane by yourself, something that not many people can say.

Thanks for the update, I love hearing when students hit milestones like you just did.


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Very cool Reagon and congrats! First solo is actually a HUGE step so many kudos.

Hope that wasn’t your favorite shirt? :slight_smile:


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Is there a waiting period to start training at ATP? If I want to start in January, should I call within the next couple days?


You def want to get the ball rolling, particulately if you’ll be financing. January is less than 2 months away. I’d call sooner than later.