Training prior to ATP course


I’ve wanted to be a pilot ever since I was a kid and now I’m 33 and getting to a position where I can undergoing training and realize that if I don’t start soon I’ll be getting on too late and will limit career prospects with majors.

I wouldn’t be able start an ATP course until around Spring 2018 as my partner is currently on a fixed term contract ending later this year and will need to get either another good contract or a full time job before I can even consider giving up my job as we have a mortgage to pay for.

I was looking at doing some flight training prior to the ATP course to hopefully bring down the course length and price but from reading other messages on here it seems getting your PPL prior to ATP is not recommended as it breaks the continuity of training.

There is a local flight school which offers a PPL course with 50hrs of flying for a fixed cost and I could take some extra solo flying to get up the 80hrs required to start without the PPL but is this really advised against?

I really want to start flying as soon as I can but can’t justify $12-15k in private lessons if it really won’t help me much in long run.

Would it be beneficial at all to maybe do a sports pilot licence course since cost is much less than a PPL and would get me experience of flying and help fulfil my flying bug before I could begin the full time course.

I’m also only a permeant resident in the US right now (green card holder and UK citizen), will be eligible to apply for citizenship in 2.5yrs. Would this be an issue for the course or flying for regionals if my citizenship application takes longer? Being a UK citizen and green card holder shouldn’t restrict any travel within US or to/from Canada/Mexico which would be main destinations for regionals would it?



Listen, you’re a grown man, this is America and can do whatever you want. If you want to get your PPL first then of course you can. As you know we generally advise against it as there’s no real benefit, we like the continuity and you’ll probably spend a lot of money you don’t need to (all of which you state). Same for the Sport. Not really sure what you’re asking as you know our take but again you can do whatever you like.

As long as you have your Green Card you’re fine.



Welcome to the forums.

I strongly recommend against getting your private before starting ATP for all of the reasons that you mentioned. Also, I strongly doubt that you (or most anybody else) would be able to complete a PPL in 50 hours, it simply takes more time than that.

There is no value to getting a sport pilot’s license. While you will be flying, itisnt a step on the way to being an airline pilot and will just end up driving up your costs, without really benefiting you.

My recommendation would be to simply wait until spring and then get started. That is the most efficient and cost effective way.

You will need to check with the airlines directly, but my understanding is that a green card will be just fine.


Thanks both, I think I new the answers, like you said Adam, but just wanted the confirmation.

I’m hoping to schedule an intro flight at Addison soon and will probably just plan on saving my money to try and bring down course costs next year.