I am currently in my last semester of college and I want to start ATP in early 2020. Aviation has been my passion my entire life… After I graduate college, I want to take a few months to recoup and hopefully complete my writtens prior to staying ATP to lessen my workload a bit. I would be starting from 0 hours. Alhough I’ve read about the enrollment process a few times on the ATP website. I’m a little confused, after I complete the intro modules on the website. Can I schedule a discovery flight without obtaining my first class medical? Or the first class medical is first and foremost. (I know the medical is a most, just unsure about exactly when it’s required) Also, as someone who has never flown before, or even been in a small aircraft before. Other than being open to learn, being cool, calm and collected. Will this fight be used to determine my flying or learning capability in the program. (In other words, can this fight disqualify someone from the program or affect enrollment chances?)
To answer your question first no the Intro will not be used to determine your abilities to learn or be a pilot. They couldn’t. You have no abilities, you’re not a pilot.
You say aviation has “been my passion my entire life” yet you also say you’ve never “even been in a small aircraft before”. I have to ask then how do you know? I’m not trying to dissuade you in any way but to me that’s like committing to living on nothing but pizza for the rest of your lives but have never had a slice. You’re talking about investing $80k+ and 9mos of your life, don’t you think maybe you should dip your toes in the water before you dive in head first? Now chances are if you have a passion for aviation you’ll really enjoy but there are also people who have a VERY negative reaction to the whole thing.
This was my very long winded answer to your short question. No, you do not need to obtain (nor would I drop the $150) on a First Class Medical prior to your Intro flight. Frankly I wouldn’t even think about enrolling, a future as a pilot, how spiffy you’ll look in uniform, etc until you go fly! Go up. Enjoy the flight, enjoy the view and the experience and don’t put any pressure on yourself to do well or that your future is dependent on it. It’s just a flight. If it goes well great then you can proceed. If not, maybe go up again or even take a few lessons. Until you do this is all academic, including your passion.
I appreciate the insight Adam. However, I meant passion as in, aviation has been my main interest since my childhood. (Like yourself grew up in the New York area, aviation was all around me) I have read numerous books on the history of aviation, pilots and just the career and industry as a whole. Also, I got into some aviation colleges in the NY area, prior to enrolling in my current college, however I wasn’t able to attend them due to the financial burden it would’ve put on my family. College for me as opened my eyes up to alternatives to aviation so I’m preparing myself just incase, I do find that it is not something for me. You brought up a good point, I wanted to know if I could just take the flight before I invest in the medical. In terms of knowing if it’s something for me, I think having studied 4 years of something in my other interest and still having that desire to become a pilot despite, is what is driving me towards the decision. I do look forward to just enjoying the flight though. Was your first flight experience a love at first sight kind of experience or it took some time to grow on you?
For me it was love but that was me, for many it isn’t. For some it’s terror but I think for most it’s somewhere in between. As I said the key is not to put too much pressure on yourself to “love it”. For some people it takes a few times going up before they get comfy. Until you do you’ll never know so you need to try.
Btw, I just flew with a guy with your exact name (first and last). Thinking that’s a good sign
I found my first flight to be a little intimidating. I felt overwhelmed, but I also really enjoyed the flight. Just see if you enjoy it, that is all.