Student daily start time

Hello all,

I am thinking of starting with ATP for commercial pilot program. My main question is that my wife is an RN working 12 hour days and we have 2 small children at home. What is the general start time of day for the ATP students? Obviously, there are some days where there will need to be earlier start times for night flights or travel to other airports for longer trips. I really just need to know so I can get my kids to daycare/school and not be late to the airport. Picking the kids up at night is not as big of an issue for us as we are able to get someone to help.

I have seen an older post about this from about 4-5 years ago and was hoping for an updated answer.

Thanks for your help.


While you will have some control over your schedule the program is dependent on your being available and flexible. There will be some very early days, late days and you’ll be away from home at least 2 weeks for CFI academy and don’t of your crew events may have you away for days. There’s is no way you you’ll be guaranteed to be home every morning.



Like Adam mentioned, as you do some some control, when it comes time for phases of the program like: Solo, Solo Cross-Country, Crew, and CFI Academy. The early mornings are especially common in Solo phase as that is when the weather is at its calmest and better chance to finish the solo flight.

I can’t speak on behalf of all instructors, the way I tried to schedule was based on where my student was in the program whether they were Private or Instrument; Since Elevate runs on specific days I would try and start the student in a later block if weather permitted to help eliminate the early morning from a potential late night.

Maybe some discussion with your S/O in which you find ways to coordinate with other helpers may work?


Thank you for the information. I should have mentioned that I would be starting with my PPL already completed.

I really just need to make sure I can get my kids to daycare in the morning since the daycare opens at 7AM. The 2 weeks away would not be an issue as that is a short period of time. The long hours do not bother me. Just the unsupervised children do lol.


The flight schedule runs from sunrise to sunset. The first flight of the day will be well before 7am in the summer months while the winter months could be much later.

You could talk to your instructor about your situation and request any flight block that isn’t first thing in the morning. However, your instructor has a lot to manage and it may not always work. Certain flights need specific weather conditions that are typically found in the early morning or late evening. Add the unpredictability of weather to the mix and deadlines, it may not always work.

You might want to come up with a backup plan for the mornings you won’t be available to take them.