Real Answers from Real Pilots

Solo v w/ Instructor

Morning all,

PPL Checkride in sight (Not ATP, different school) so I am starting to get my ducks in a row for KAPA Location Flex Track Start in March 2021 with Private Credit.

One question I haven’t been able to locate the answer to is how much of the time I’ll be spending in the airplane at ATP will be with an instructor vs. solo.

Crew obviously will be two-pilot. But what about the Instrument Phase Cross Country PIC requirements? Is that accomplished Solo or with an Instructor?

Curiosity more than anything, thanks!

Chris from Denver


Once you obtain your PPL and are rated in ASEL, you will be able to log PIC time with a instructor on board. You can log PIC since you will be a licensed pilot and rated in ASEL and your instructor can also log PIC time because they will be giving dual instruction. You will have no issue getting the 50hr PIC time. Basically it boils down to this: you will be acting PIC and the instructor will be PIC. Once you are past the PPL stage, there is no more solo time in ATP. All your time in a ATP aircraft will be with an instructor, DPE, or crew partner.

Hope this helps.

Exactly what I wanted to know.

Thanks @ChrisH19!


All of it will be dual (with instructor).


1 Like


For those coming in with a PPL, everything that you do at ATP will be with an instructor or another student. I have not flown an airplane by myself since before I came to ATP.


1 Like

@Chris this was my hope.

I learn every time I fly, but that much more when flying with someone else!

  • Chris G.

Hi, IIRC, the ONLY time where you will be in the plane completely by yourself is when you do solo TOLS (4 hours) and solo XC (6 hours). After that, someone will always be with you in the plane. These two things are during your PPL stage.

Thanks @ATPhopeful!

1 Like