Real Answers from Real Pilots

Starting ATP without Finishing my PPL

Hello everyone,

So I started my PPL at my local airport here in New England. I currently just did my first Solo XC flight (Took a month of waiting for good weather). Even when I can dedicate my whole week to training and flying it still took me that long due to crazy New England Weather. My goal was to finish my PPL and join in for my Instrument rating and beyond at ATP. Now that winter is nearing and weather is worse on most days. I find myself inpatient and not wanting to wait till next spring for decent weather. Money is very limited so if I go to a different school to finish my PPL in AZ where I have family. I’d be wasting money proving to that new CFI what I know. I recently saw that you can join ATP and they will help finish your PPL as long as you have all your Solos done. In which case I only have two more. Throughout all my training I seem to have been the one student that’s always getting canceled due to weather and even other instructors said that. For those of you who had similar struggles what would you recommend? Thanks



It’s unfortunate, but you seem to be learning the hard way that training at your local flight school can be very frustrating and unproductive. Good weather or not, the reality is most local flight schools simply don’t have the resources (instructors and airplanes) to provide the consistency needed to successfully complete your training.

While it’s obviously your decision, I believe you’re simply throwing more money at a situation you already recognize is less than good. Aside from wasting money you’re also wasting your time and efforts. If you really have aspirations to have a career in aviation you need to cut your loses and start training like a professional.


As Adam hit on, your training experience at the local flight school is more common than you think. Our advice for you is to stop hemorrhaging money ASAP and get on the ATP fast track when you can. It is a relatively new addition so I can’t say the specifics requirements needed to get started with your current experience but do reach out to ATP admin. They can review your logbook and come up with your custom plan to get you back on track and on an expedited timeline.


Thank you Adam and Hannah,

It looks Like I’ll need to complete my final two Solo XC’s in order to take advantage of the Private Pilot Finish Up. I’ll focus on getting those done asap and contact an ATP Admin and start the admissions process. Thanks for the advice.


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Of course! Please keep us updated. We’d love to hear when you start and how you’re progressing! :slight_smile: