Week 4 Starting solo phase

Seems like just yesterday I was starting the program. 4th week here at ATP, the previous 2 weeks were a bit crazy in terms of scheduling. Weeks 2-3 were spent studying for and taking the PAR (which I passed), as well as going through take-offs and landings stage. Take offs and landings are about 17 flight hours of flight at traffic pattern altitude, flying a rectangle around the designated runway for the day. Once on final approach, learning the feeling of ground effect etc…
My take offs and landings eval was graded as satisfactory with 3 safe landings, and an effective go around. With those 2 tests out of the way, the next 17 flight hours will be spent in preparation for flying solo with a solo eval at the end. Once this phase is finished I will have 4 flights until my check ride, which is terrifying to think about I can’t stress how quickly this all passed by.

I would like to encourage anyone who has the opportunity to take that leap to do it, but be ready to work. Also any tips for check rides or solo phase would be greatly appreciated.

Until next time!



Sounds like things are progressing well for you! Great job getting that PAR out of the way. That should free up some study time for you to be chair flying that traffic pattern prepping for the solo eval and working on studying for the oral portion of your checkride.

The best way you can prepare for your checkride is studying a little every day. Work through the ACS section by section and make a study guide or flash cards, whichever works for you. The ACS is the guide the DPE will use to evaluate your knowledge. No better way to ensure you’ve covered all the topics than going through it as a study technique. You can also complement that with the ASA private pilot oral guide books. They are a great resource with q&A format to quiz yourself, plus the source info will equip you to find the answer if it evades you on checkride day.

Also in the meantime flying traffic patterns, spend 30 mins a day chair flying the maneuvers. Your instructor will expect those to be solid just fine tuning to ACS standards in those last couple flights.


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Nicely done on the progress, the solo phase of flying is super fun and rewarding - it’s the moment you really feel the excitement and reward of all the hard work you’ve put in and will continue to do as you progress through.

For the checkride, I like to recommend reviewing the ACS to its entirety, have notes written next to every element under each task that is checked during the process. Anything in the ACS is fair game. Another source of preparation is your peers, you should connect with not just your instructor, but fellow peers and ask questions using the ACS. A simple Google or YouTube search for a Mock checkride could give you pointers on what or how you could answer questions. As Hannah mentioned, the ASA Private Pilot Oral Exam book is good, but I don’t know how quickly it could ship and you review it before your checkride. For future checkrides, I would recommend getting ahold of it for each ride as they are EXTREMELY beneficial.

The simulator is available to you anytime there is not a lesson, getting on there at least daily staying proficient with your flows and configurations will really help with staying ahead of the airplane. Practice everything from start up, to shutdown. Best of luck in the checkride, please let us know how things go!


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I am glad to hear that things are going well for you. Thank you for updating us. Now do not forget that picture when you solo!