Making my first post here, really just a little intro about me. I just obtained my First Class Medical this morning and subsequently locked in my start date of September 18th. I could not be more excited!!!
I currently almost 31 years old and work in the sports industry. My dad was in the Air Force from before I was born until around my 18th birthday, and with that gave me a lifelong passion for aviation that continues to this day. I have always wanted to be a pilot, but I lacked motivation in high school with a 2.5 GPA and essentially convinced myself I couldn’t succeed. I quickly rebounded from that mentality a bit with a 3.94 college GPA and then a Masters Degree at my dream school. I ultimately went into working in sports. I’ve learned the value of hard work, and something that sticks with me now to this day.
A few months ago is when I really started researching heavily into becoming an airline pilot, and I found that this is something I can actually achieve. That said, I have a wife and baby. I had lots of long talks with my wife about the career work/life balance, commitment to school, etc. and she is fully on board and supportive and believes with me it is the right step for myself and our family as a whole. I cannot express how blessed I am to have her support. I am prepared to work as hard as I have in my life, and overcome any obstacles, self-doubt, and challenges along the way.
I still waited until doing an Admissions Flight to decide if I was committed and if this was truly right for me, since I know not everyone has an aptitude for flying (despite what they may think). I had that flight this past Sunday, and I can honestly say it was one of the best experiences of my life. The instructor let me do the take off and some minor and steep turns (granted he handled the rudder the entire time). I wanted to stay up there all day! Once back on ground, I now know this is absolutely something I want to go after. My instructor said he thought I was a good fit and said he could tell I caught the “flying bug”.
I start at the Anoka County location in Blaine, Minnesota as it’s 20 minutes from my house. I’ve been reading through this forum endlessly for months, and the advice I’ve seen has already been a huge help! Right now, I’m going to knock out the initial Read, View, Do assignments. Then, I plan to knock out as many of the written exams as I can before my start date.
I plan to update my progress in here along the way, and if there are any other tips, please send them my way!
You’ve taken a HUGE first step towards a career in aviation! Keep us posted and as always feel free to ask any and all.
Awesome news, you are getting the ball rolling! I look forward to reading updates (when you can) on your journey and progress. One of my best friends who I did an intro flight for a year ago, is now instructing in Texas and had his first checkride signoff pass, it’s so awesome to see the full cycle.
I like hearing the plans of knocking out as many writtens before your start date!
Thank you for introducing yourself and welcome to ATP. I think your plan of working on the writtens is a solid one, try to get as many as possible completed while still getting a 90%+ on each.
Let us know if you have any questions.
Thank you for sharing your story with us. It’s cool to see how you turned your academics around and found great success. Now you’re applying that same level of discipline to this new endeavor and seem to be doing everything right so far. You’ve made all the hardest decisions, now time for the hard work.
Looking forward to following along your journey!
Checking in to provide an update since my initial post. Today marks a big day for me as this morning I completed my last of the 6 required writtens (FOI), and subsequently went in to work to give my boss a 3 weeks notice of leaving. Ready to dive in to this head first!
As for my writtens, my one regret is I wish I studied longer for the PAR. I used Sporty’s as recommended and used rote memorization for all the questions. I also luckily spent some time trying to understand some of the material behind it, since there were a fair bit of questions on the exam I had not seen before on Sporty’s. From there, I can absolutely double down on the advice of using Sheppard’s program for rote memorization to a T. If you walk through their programs using the steps they outline, you can absolutely get very nice scores. My scores for each exam (in order of when I took them):
PAR - 85% (already have been studying material I missed and diving into the ACS)
IRA - 100%
FII - 92%
CAX - 95%
FIA - 99%
FOI - 96%
My plan now before my start date in a few weeks, is to study my Piper Archer supplement, review some Elevate videos, and mostly make sure that I arrive feeling refreshed and ready to dive in for a lot of hard work. Any other advice on steps I should take in the meantime are much appreciated!
You’ve definitely put in the time. That’s quite an achievement to get them all done and with great scores. It will pay off in dividends.
Honestly, you’re doing everything exactly right so far. Let us know if we can help in any way. Please be sure to check in after your first day/week!
Nicely done on all the writtens! I love that you have indulged into the ACS reviewing the PAR and figuring out what you could improve (or prepare for). Plenty of time to polish the review of Training Supplement and Oral Review Questions in the back of the supplement for Day 1.
Nice work on the writtens! that 100% on the IRA is impressive.
It sound like you are right on track for where you should be and are doing everything well. Keep up the good work!
Just finished first day of school! Had my check in, then did fundamentals sim for 2 hours.
Now studying up for the rest of the week. Private Elevate classes the next two weeks, with sims, flights and ground mixed in. First flight is tomorrow afternoon reinforcing the fundamentals I learned in the sim today.
Feels great to be underway!
I am glad to hear you are starting the program. Study hard, but also try to enjoy your time in the program too, if possible. In many ways my time at ATP was the most fun I have had in aviation.
Thanks for the “first day of school picture.” We love to see that. How did your first flight go?
First week is in the books and it was jam-packed and very fun! Each morning had Elevate, and I had a sim or flight each afternoon. Spent every other waking moment studying to stay on top of everything. With nothing on the books the next few days except my Elevate class Monday morning, I’m planning on using this time to review what I’ve learned so far, continue studying and hopefully get ahead on some RVD’s.
Yesterday I had a Maneuvers sim followed by a Maneuvers flight. My instructor felt comfortable with my Maneuvers progress so far, so the final hour of each of these consisted of practicing TOLs. I actually did my first two landings in the plane after the sun went down - quite the way to learn how do these for the first time! Oh and that flight pattern sure goes faster when you’re doing it, instead of just studying it ha. Next week is filled with constant TOLs so looking forward to practicing more!