Start at ATP with a private pilot license

Hello all.

There is an option to attend ATP with a private license with 80 hours. Does that mean even if I try hard to get my private license with ~60 hours, I will need to fly extra 20 hours in order to get 80 hours to start at ATP.

Thank you.

You will need 80 hours of flight time to enter the program with credit for your private license. You can either build this time outside of ATP or you can set up a time building program with admissions department to get you to 80 hours.

Would it be better to start off ATP is no licenses, or is better that you begin with sme such as a PPL so it will be a little bit quicker to finish


Well first it would only be quicker if you were able to get your PPL, AND build the required 80hrs, in less than 90 days. Now 90 days is 12 weeks which means you need to fly at least 7hrs every week to at least match the time. While that doesn’t sound like a lot keep in mind in the beginning you really don’t want to train more than 2hrs a clip (saturation) so that’s 4 days a week which is a lot at your local FBO. Based on my experience you wouldn’t be saving any time AND it also eliminates the benefit of doing all your training from day 1 as part of the ATP program. Getting indoctrinated in their procedures and methods that were all created NOT to get you to your PPL but to make you a professional pilot.

The only reason I ever suggest someone get their PPL first is if they’re not quite sure flying is for them. In that case then yea, before you get a loan and quit your job I’d get my PPL to make sure this is really what I want to do.


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I got my private at a different school than ATP. The whole program at that school was full of delays, from maintenance delays to instructor availability delays. In fact, it was that negative experience that initially drove me to ATP, where I finished exactly on schedule.

In short, there is no faster way to finish your private (and still have a good education) than at ATP.


Thanks, I’m 15 and will be taking my intro soon at my local airport, even though being airline pilot is one thing i wanna do I’m still gonna take it, just thinking what should i do after i take the intro and whether do the ppl while im still in school or in the ATP.


The best thing you can do right now is focus on your grades, then get into a good college and do well there. I would not worry so much about the private license or even the intro flight right now. The most important thing you can do is do well in high school and college as the major airlines will want to see a college degree.

In the meantime, feel free to look around this forum to learn as much as you can about this career.



“even though being airline pilot is one thing i wanna do I’m still gonna take it”? Not sure what you mean? How about since I “believe” I want to be a pilot but really don’t know for certain because I’ve never tried so I want to confirm my beliefs. I think that makes a little more sense? At least to me.


Thanks for the reply and like the forums so far

Basically what I mean’t to say

A little bit late, but does the 4 year degree have be a bachelors, or can it be a 4 year degree in general

I assume you’re talking about getting hired at a Major? Could you be more specific as you what type of degree you’re talking about if it isn’t a BA?


A degree in technology

Not to be flippant, but what other kinds of four year degrees are there?

No, a technology certificate will not be considered the same as a four year degree. The major airlines are going to want to see a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college.

Thanks for the clarification

Just wanted to update i just took my intro flight today at my local airport and i was very pleased with the experience. As soon as i took controls and started flying I knew this was something i can do for a career. Its nice now to “confirm my belifs” now that i actually flown. And didnt get any motion sickness :wink:

Great, I am glad you enjoyed it. What is the next step in the process for you?

I dont know really. I’m still young (junior in highschool). So could get my licenses or just continue on with school, im pretty sure i’ll figure it out

I am a big fan of college first, then flight training. I find that it is far easier for the students to progress along the normal path from high school to college. I know that you want to get in the air and get flying, but the major airlines will all want to see a college degree, so you might as well get it now.