PPL in a summer

Hello all,

I’ve been reading and researching for a while now, and every day I’m more confident in my decision to attend ATP.

Now, I am currently 21, in my junior year of an atmospheric science bachelors degree. My plan as it stands now would be to graduate in 2018 and enroll in ATP shortly after. Now, to expedite this process, I would like to earn my PPL this coming summer before my senior year to expedite the process. I am wondering, is it realistic to be able to begin and finish the entire process over the course of one summer (everything I read would suggest yes but looking to make sure. Also, would be in the northern Virginia area, looking at a school at Leesburg but if anyone is familiar with other operations in the area let me know!).

Also, I would love to be able to have a job during this. I’m assuming I would need to be working towards the PPL several days a week to stay on pace, so does anyone have any particular type of job experience that might lend itself to that sort of schedule? I’m interested in hearing anything you might have to offer.

Lastly, this plan would then entail me flying every now and then during my senior year to stay current and build up to the 80 hours required by ATP. I attend a strenuous school and thus flying would likely be limited to weekends and late nights. I also attend school along the front range of Colorado; I know there are complications with mountain flying but are there any other factors to consider that might inhibit this plan? I would be out of KCOS.

Thanks for all the help this site has provided, I’ll continue to read every day.

Hello Evan and Welcome,

Overall your plans sound good. You do however seem to have conflicting goals? You want to complete your PPL training in a single summer and are wondering if that’s even realistic BUT then you follow with I would also love to have a job? My friend you can’t have your cake and eat it too. You can absolutely earn your PPL in 2mos (give or take) but as you point out that means you need to be flying several times a week. Now you obviously won’t be flying more than 1-2 hrs a day but to maintain the consistency you need to be flexible. Will your instructor and/or airplane be available every day you’re available between work hours? What happens when the weather doesn’t cooperate? Will your job allow you to swap your days in a days notice? I’m not saying it can’t be done IF you find a job that affords you ALOT of flexibility. I don’t know what that job is? That and if you don’t complete your training because of said job you may have earned some money but you’ve also spent a lot on lessons that will probably have to be re-taken. I personally believe you need to prioritize on a single goal.

As for the extra hours, yes mountain flying can be challenging but as long as you’ve got the funds I can’t see why you couldn’t go flying? Weather permitting.



I think that it would be possible to get a PPL over a summer off, but only if you find the right flight school. It seems like a lot of the smaller flight schools seem to take their time and won’t really feel the urgency that you are expressing. Just make sure that you really vet out any school that you sign up for, make sure that they have enough airplanes and instructors to accomplish your goals.

As to work, I do not see how you could work and get a PPL in such an expedited manner, it would likely just be too much for you to juggle. If your plan is to go to ATP in 2018 I would just wait and do all of your flight training there, it will likely be far more cost effective over the long run.


Hey Evan,

You have to remember that flight training, especially during the initial phases, is 30% in the air and 70% on the ground. If you want to get the PPL in 2 months, which is roughly the same time frame allotted for private at ATP, you will need to devote 6-8 hours of studying every day (on the ground that is.)
I will agree with Chris and say that you would be better off waiting with the PPL until you start ATP. You will also find it a lot easier to continue on with the program with private still fresh in your mind, instead of trying to remember all the small details from a year or two ago.


Hey Evan,

Respectfully I disagree with Chris and Yarden. Personally I don’t think there’s anything wrong with getting your PPL sooner than later. The main reason is the majority of students actually quit prior to (or shortly after) earning their PPL. The reality as much as people believe that flying is their “calling”, many find out that it’s not really what they thought it was going to be or simply lose interest. I much rather see someone dive in and start working on their PPL and fing out sooner than signing on for a $75k commitment and finding out then. I also don’t see anything wrong with building some time and getting that much closer sooner. If you do go all the way the time certainly won’t be wasted.


Thank you all for the replies. I definitely did not try to come across as arrogant in my assumption that I could complete the PPL and have a job as well; I fully understand the amount of work involved and I suppose I just underestimated what that would entail on a daily basis, so it seems pretty clear that the job idea is out the window.

As for obtaining the PPL while at ATP, I am very much on board with Adam. I have based my whole plan around countless people telling me to absolutely not get my PPL with ATP but to do it at a local FBO first to solidify my study habits and make sure it is the right thing for me. A portion of that info I read here on this forum so I was a bit surprised to see Yarden and Chris suggesting that. I suppose to each their own, but I really don’t see myself considering that option. I am also planning on opting for the lower multi-time option, since many have suggested that the extra $10k for the 100 hours is simply not worth it in this environment.


No sense of arrogance was taken at all, it was a very good question. The bottom line is that they are both good routes to getting a PPL, either way will work just fine.

I would do the lower multi time option myself, as long as I was planning on instructing for ATP afterwards or had some other source of getting multi engine time. $10k is a lot of money to save, there was a time when the multi was far more important than it is now and CFI jobs were much harder to come by. As things are today, save the money as it really isn’t as much of a factor anymore.