Real Answers from Real Pilots

Questions to ask during introductory flight

Hello all!

I have my introductory flight this weekend and I’m super excited. I am coming in with zero time and I’m prepared to do the work necessary to achieve my dream. I do plan on taking the written exams first and I have allocated 2 months to study and take them.

When I visit the location, can anyone give me some advice? What to expect? and what questions should I ask the students and instructors.

Thanks, Matt

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Matthew,
That is very exciting! So the first step to begin your flight training with ATP is the intro flight. Someone from admissions should be reaching out to you soon if they haven’t already. But also feel free to call the location a few days prior to ask where to arrive, access the building (if necessary) and who you will be meeting! Make sure you where something comfortable and close toed shoes. If you have your own headset already, bring that as well! You will be asked to sign a flight school agreement and covid wellness form prior to hopping in to the airplane. Other than that, soak up as much as you can! You should get a tour of the location, meet some of the students and instructors there already and ask any and all questions you have! Your instructor will take care of all the weight and balance and performance paperwork and preflight the airplane. Once up at a safe altitude in cruise flight, they may let you take the flight controls and feel it out! So have fun! Afterwards, you’ll head back in to the office and get a few handouts with program information and be briefed on your next steps: getting approved for a loan and putting down your deposit to secure a start date! From there, you’re all set. You’ll receive a box with all your uniforms and study materials and access to your king school materials to start studying for the PAR!
Keep us updated on how it goes this weekend!

-Hannah

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Thank you for responding Hannah!

I was approved for my loan last Wednesday and Tom reached out the next day. He was able to schedule my tour this weekend at Trenton, NJ. Docu signed the 2 forms and I’m ready to go!

Will I have to purchase any supplies like a headset and iPad or is that included in the box?

Thanks, Matt

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Okay great, you’re set up well! Unfortunately the headset, iPad, kneeboard (however you want to organize yourself in the cockpit) and foggles (for the instrument phase) are items you have to come with. Although, you can add the expenses of those items in to your loan if needed!

-Hannah

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Matt,

Everything Hannah said is dead on, I just want to stress the “have fun” aspect. In my experience place wayyyy too much emphasis on the Intro Flight and set unrealistic goals. You have zero time, you’re not a pilot and no one expects you to be one or know anything. We’ve had countless people come on and say “OMG! I just took my intro flight, I’ve got 5,000hrs on X-PLANE, how come I’m not awesome. Does this mean I can’t be an airline pilot? Is my career over?!?”. It really is simply an Introduction. The idea is for you to experience the environment, meet ATP and gain a better idea of what’s ahead. My best advice is relax and enjoy.

Trust my you’ll have plenty to stress about once the training starts :wink:

Adam

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Matthew,

Don’t overthink it. As the others have said, have fun. It’s an intro. Be a sponge, ask questions, and don’t try to be perfect. Just be willing to learn and enjoy the experience.

If you love it and want to sign up one way to help you get ahead is by taking as many of the written tests as you can before you start. More on that is in our FAQ section.

Tory

Thanks for the advice Adam, I’m certainly looking forward to it!

Thanks Tory, I do plan on taking the exams ahead of the training and will visit the FAQ section for some guidance.

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Matthew,

The others of course dispensed great advice that I totally agree with. Relax, this is not a check ride, your flying future in no way depends on how much you fly the airplane, if you land it or not, or really anything of that nature. Just enjoy the experience and try to learn a few things along the way. See if this is the right career for you.

I did come up with a list of questions that I think you should ask any flight school that you visit: Questions For Any Prospective Flight School - #14

Chris

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Hey Matthew,

If I read correctly I saw you’re going to be doing a tour and possibly training out of the Trenton, NJ base? I have done all of my training out of that location and have loved every moment of it. The training center is located on the second floor of the Signature Flight FBO, down the hall by JetEast Aviation (which is a maintenance center). The ladies at the front desk will phone up to the room when you’re there, just let them know who you are and that you’re there for ATP, they’re extremely polite.

Currently we have 3 Archers (1 of which is a brand new 2020 Piper Archer G1000 NXi with a G5 standby, pretty neat stuff there) and a Seminole on base. We have a brand new G1000 Simulator loaded with the Piper Archer which is approved by the FAA for flight instruction. We have a couple instructors which you can find them all on the ATP website under the Trenton location, everyone is extremely friendly and polite. I don’t feel the need here to echo what everyone else said about the writtens and you seem to gotten the logistics of the recommendations from everyone.

Enjoy your tour and first time experience! If you have any questions about training out of Trenton, give me a shout, I’m soon done, but I’ll be active on the site here.

Brady

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Thanks Chris, I will check out that list!

Thats awesome, Congrats!

I do plan on attending Trenton, its about a 50 minute drive from where I live along the shore. Steven reached out to me today asking to reschedule to Sunday due to bad weather on Saturday. Im looking forward to meeting everyone and seeing the facility.

Matthew,

Please let us know how the flight goes and of course ask us any questions that you think of.

Chris

Will do!

A few family members (parents, brother and sister) are very much interested and wanted to know if they can take the trip with me to tour the facility. I know they won’t be allowed on the flight but would it be appropriate to show up with some family support?

Thanks Matthew

Matt,

I believe you should check with admin due to Covid protocols.

That said I just want to offer this caveat. ATP spends its money predominantly on airplanes, instructors and maintenance. While I’m sure the office will be professionally staffed and well equipped for training, in my experience they’re often somewhat underwhelming. Many people (particularly those who don’t really “get” what ATP does) are disappointed there is no “campus” or other unnecessary decor or being. I say this simply because I have heard on occasion family members ask “this is it?” and you may find yourself explaining that ATP uses their resources on things that will benefit the students training…but it ain’t sexy.

Adam

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Hey Everyone,

I had my intro flight yesterday at Trenton, NJ! The instructor, Steven was great. He gave me the controls while we were up there and had me turn a few times and it was thrilling. (I have to work on making small corrections not big ones haha) It was a bit windy out yesterday and I will admit that I got a bit queasy and needed to get some air from the vent. I hope that’s not too much of a concern going forward. If anyone can give me some tips on how to avoid that it would be appreciated.

Other than that, I had a great time and enjoyed my tour!

Matthew

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Matthew,

The feeling of queasiness is very common and usually goes away with a few flights. I am glad your intro flight went well. What is next for you?

Chris

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Matthew,

Awesome! Don’t worry about feeling queasy. It being your first time on a day like that, that’s common. There are ways to combat nausea by focusing on the horizon, and the basic stuff like taking care of your basic needs before the flight. I imagine the sensation of the turbulence, mixed with not looking outside the plane enough played a factor.

Tory

Matthew,
Thanks for the update! I’m glad you enjoyed it! Please don’t worry or get discouraged at all about feeling queasy. I had really bad issues with motion sickness when I first started and was worried it would stop me from pursuing this career. But good news, your body adapts! Bumpy rides, warm cockpits, empty stomachs, etc all play a role and you’ve probably never experienced the sensations of a small airplane. Keep flying when you can and like Tory said, take care of your physical needs as much as you can. The flying conditions you can’t control but the rest you can. The more you fly, the more you’ll get used to it. There will be a time you’ll look back and think, wow I haven’t been sick once in the last month of flying, year, etc

-Hannah

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Sorry for the delayed response.

Thank you everyone for the advice and encouraging words. I took the last few days to ponder it over and I’m confident I will overcome it.

Next Steps: Eric from admissions reached out to me yesterday and informed me about saving $3,000 if I place my deposit by on or before Friday. I will probably do that and begin my Journey of becoming an Airline Pilot!! Planning my start date for April 12th and from now until then I’ll study and take the written exams.

My longterm goal is to fly for United! All my life I’ve been a United Airlines fan and have always tried to fly them on all my trips since I lived within an hour of Newark. I hope one day to call Newark and United home!

Thank you all for your guidance and quick responses, Matt

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