Hi, my name is Cole I am 20 years old and I’ve always wanted to be a pilot but it just seemed a little far fetched. So I went to school to earn a degree in accounting but quickly realized I didn’t want to be stuck at a desk all day punching numbers. I just found this forum and was wondering would it be better for me to earn my PPL before attending ATP? Would it help financially? And should I earn my PPL first to make sure this is the career path I want to go down?

Thank you,


Great question. The only reason I ever recommend getting your PPL first is if you’re not quite certain flying is what you want to do (or you have any talent for it).

It’s a common (but generally incorrect) assumption that getting your PPL first will save you money. While you may actually be able to save a few dollars on the PPL itself, to get credit for it towards ATPs Career Pilot program you’ll also need at least 78hrs which will eat up much, if not all you saved. Further, the fact is training locally is often very inefficient which often ends up costing you more in the long run.

With that in mind if you choose to get your PPL locally, to see if it’s really what you want, keep in mind you really don’t have to go that far. Maybe just take it to your first solo? If you need more then by all means but what I’m saying is if it starts getting expensive or you’re not progressing BUT know it’s what you want, dont be afraid to move on at that point.



I am with Adam on this one. If you are not sure that you want to be a pilot for a career, earning your PPL, or even just getting to your first solo, is a good way to test the waters. If you are sure, then I would not spend any time or money earning your PPL outside of ATP. I got my PPL at a small, local school. It cost way more money than I was quoted and took significantly more time. Most schools will quote the FAA flight time minimums needed to obtain a license, very few of us are that good and most people take significantly more time. So while it looks like it might be cheaper to obtain a PPL outs of ATP, it very rarely is.



I do currently hold a European EASA ATPL CPL IRME MCC/JOC and FI(A). Since I have the US passport in addition to the french one, with a part of my family living in the US, I am more and more willing to work there as a Pilot.
I have been looking on some FAA documents and if I am right, I am eligible for the ATP CTP with my foreign Commercial and IR (delivered by the french CAA). But does this mean I still need to take and pass the different FAA CPL + IRME + CFI tests and then go for the ATP CTP at the end ?

Thank you

I recommend you contact your local FSDO but this should help:



Thanks Adam!

I have contacted a FSDO and I will see what they tell me. Apparently, I might have to take the theoretical exams (CPL IR CFI ATP). Then I will have to determine with the FSDO the amount of « acclimatization flying » that suits me.