The Time Has Finally Come! (TTN/ILG Experience)

From coming onto this site back in 2016 and learning who these people Adam, Chris and Yarden were, to annoying them with Tucker and Karmin my long journey has finally entered into its next stage.

I will be starting at TTN (Trenton, NJ) and then at some point transitioning into my scheduled base of ILG (Wilmington, DE). I hope to update this thread as much as possible but it will probably be more like after each stage.

To those debating on going to ATP from Zero to Hero or getting PPL first here is my 0.02. I was not in the financial spot to start from zero so I enrolled in a mom and pop school to get my PPL while i got my budget together. While I did happen to save a little due to the lovely weather last year in the Mid Atlantic instead of joining ATP last August/September I’m not starting until today. So while yes I did save some money what did it cost me to be so delayed where the 2 people above that most of you don’t know are now CFIs and grinding to the airlines (Karmin just getting an FO job recently). Point is while yes you may or may not save money what are you risking?

I just want to say Thanks to Adam, Chris, Tory and Yarden (if he still lurks in the shadows) for welcoming me here years ago, and dealing with my questions and being here for those needing new answers to old questions lol.

Talk to you all in a little and be sure to leave any student life questions you may have either of May 2019 starting or for the specific locations of TTN or ILG.



Thanks for the kind words, Tom. Way to stick with it.



Thanks for adding your insights on this. Good luck in the program and keep us up to date.


Good luck Tom! I look forward to hearing your experiences as you move forward.

Good luck! I’ll be watching your thread for sure.

That’s awesome, Tom! I’m excited to see your journey unfold. Congrats, man.


Congrats Tom!! We look forward to hearing your updates as you progress through the system.

Thank you all for the well wishes!

So just wanted to give a brief update for those interested.

Day 1 is like a normal job where you go through the paperwork phase and they verify your stuff. After that you will probably sit down with your instructor and the lead instructor to go over some of the expectations of you as well as yours of them. After all of that we fly!

The schedule for Private Credit is 2-3 hours of flying everyday and 2 hours of sim, progress evals every so often for the Lead to make sure your instructor is keeping you on pace and as well as making sure you are keeping yourself on pace.

Crew: After talking with a few people Crew will range from cross countries back and forth to your home Airport to doing a huge loop across the region to ATP sending you commercially to a location to meet up with your crew partner and do airplane movement.

TTN has another large flight school which can lead to some time on the ground waiting. The Tower is used to having both schools but they rarely have you line up and wait which can be a bit of a pain when there are 5 planes doing laps but if they aren’t comfortable doing it I’m ok with it as safety should be a priority.

It was an experience going from the C172 G1000 with autopilot to the Archer G500’s no autopilot with a full length “stabilator” trim. I’m currently well ahead of where I need to be at the end of week 1 with Flight Time and am planning on being scheduled 6 days a week with my instructor and possibly the 7th with the Lead to stay nice and comfy well ahead of my schedule so when hiccups happen (and they will) ill have that spacer.

I have diminishing hopes of getting to ILG as there is another student at TTN with a start time before me and was pushed here as well not to mention there are guys who are on crew 2 months after finishing their Instrument phase due to partial weather but also due to the lack of planes at the moment with Piper being behind. So this thread will mainly be for TTN for now.



Thanks for the update.


Hey Tom, just curious to how many students your instructor has and how many is the average at your location with all the instructors. Notice you are going to get quite a bit of flying time in quite quickly so I was just looking for some insight at other locations. Thanks.



This location is really good with scheduling stuff out so as long as there are no hiccups things run smooth and on time. Also I told them I’m open to flying whenever we can, that I would take any open spots that maybe a private student can’t fly and on the weekends so I can really maximize on time.

I think we have about 16 students. We have 4 instructors and a Lead instructor. My specific instructor I think has 3 or 4 of us.

A lot of students at the location are in the Instrument phase, a couple in the Private stage, 2 in the Crew phase and 1 in the commercial phase. There may be more that I haven’t met yet as I’ve only been there a week.

Our lead instructor is great about having an open door and checking in with things.

As Chris, Adam and Tory have said the standardization is there so the only thing that should differ is location/student size, and the personal style of the instructor.

Any other questions let me know and I’ll try my best to answer.

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I think it is great that you are flying so much, but keep in mind that book studying is every bit as important as flying skills, maybe even more so. Slow and steady wins the race.


Tom are you not coming to ILG now? I just finished crew and I’m working on the commercial training now.


I have no idea when or if I’ll make it there. Another student Grace is also at TTN who started just before me slated for ILG and she got pushed to TTN as well. So I’m using her as an idea of my indicator when she gets moved I’ll be next.

I’m just grinding out getting the studying and flying done. I’m also going over the pros and cons (budget, report with the staff, ILG being a hub with planes always coming in and what the current timeline is left) for when that time comes as now with already starting it changes everything. They unfortunately can’t give a time frame of when I’ll be transferred back.

Worst case I’m gonna hope to be able to go there to teach if it’s available then.

Also it’s great to hear you are done crew already I hope you had a blast!! I’ll have to come down on my own time and talk with you about it as the 2 guys at TTN have been on crew for almost 2 months so I’ll want your insight on how you got done so fast lol


I appreciate the concern but for every 1 hour of flying I’m doing about 4 hours of studying and practicing. I’m one of the first at the TC in the morning and one of the last to leave. I am constantly going through and then re-going through the lessons, prepping for the flights and utilizing the AATD in my free time to hone in on areas that need work! Just keeping the eye on the prize and filling in the gaps.


Okay, but it really is not a race. Just try to remember that.


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I will be sure to keep that in the back of the head as well! You guys haven’t steered me wrong yet…

Hey everyone!

Just wanted to give a quick update. I am now an officially Instrument Rated pilot as of Tuesday (just shy of a month ahead) and just passed my Crew Cross Country Evaluation today.

I’m now “owned” by Flight Ops and my schedule will be day by day but with the exception of a few people I’ve been told Crew will be one of the most fun times of the program and the best confidence builders along with getting the hang of CRM.

As always if anyone has any questions on Trenton or Instrument phase I’d be happy to answer the best I can.



That is awesome, congratulations! Enjoy the cross-countries.

Thank you for the update.


Thanks Chris. It’s thanks to you, Adam, Yarden and Tory for the persistent tips and updates that helped me get a month ahead