Real Answers from Real Pilots

About half way through PPL training

Hello all.
I just wanted to share my experience with ATP so far. I attend the Denver location and started in mid April. Overall it has been an amazing experience. The instructors are great and are all willing to lend a hand when you need it. The schedule is busy at times, but definitely doable. My average day consists of 3-6 hours of self study and 2-4 hours of flight time. At about 6 weeks in, I am sitting with 40 hours of flight time. I just completed my busiest week yet which was finishing my take off and landing section and we did 2 cross country trips and my night flight. In the previous 5 days I flew a little over 16 hours. So far my favorite flight was the night flight. It came with an amazing view and provided a nice challenge when it comes to landing the plane. I start my solo prep next week and should see my first solo flight within the next couple of weeks. According to the program outline I am ahead of schedule by 10 days or so. We have had several weather days that haven’t allowed us to fly due to late spring snow storms. On those days I either self studied or got in the sim and completed some sim time.

I have really enjoyed my time with ATP so far and I’m really excited to keep improving. The program is challenging and keeps you learning all the time. As long as you study hard and keep a positive attitude, the fast pace of this program won’t be a problem. Best of luck to everyone!

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Gabe,

Thanks for posting about your experience thus far. I am glad to hear that you are doing well and enjoying the program. Keep up the good work!

Chris

Hello there, great to hear, I started beginning of April in isp, I just finished my solo work in the pattern, it was a. Great feeling, being up there alone, your gonna love it. Just a quick question about the Denver location, do you know what kind of hours the instructors get there, are you from colo as I understand there is something like 300 sunny days a year, I love it out there and hope it will be an option for instructing, I agree the pace is quick, but like life you get back what you put in, it’s an amazing program, I truly love every day. Best of luck.

Kris

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Good to hear you’re moving along as well Kris! I’m excited for when I get to solo. I’m from Wyoming so relatively close to Colorado. The Denver location has pretty good weather. Some people say Colorado has the most days of sunshine anywhere in the US. I’m not sure how true that is but for the most part it’s pretty sunny. They do get some snow even as late as May (we had snow on the ground last Thursday and Friday). They also get afternoon thunderstorms quite a bit in the summer months. Morning flights are definitely smoother typically but the afternoons usually aren’t horrible. Our elevation I guess takes some getting used to for people who train at lower altitudes. Centennial airport elevation is 5885. We had a density altitude on Wednesday at 8600. Makes for a nice and slow climb. As for instructor hours, they vary depending on how many students each instructor has. But I think if you make yourself available to work as much as possible, you’ll get your hours. I believe my instructor is pushing the 40 hour mark for the last 2 weeks. I do know they have been affected a little bit by the weather the last month or so. Overall Denver is a great location. I’m sure it’s just as good as any other ATP location out there. We also get the newer planes. All of our Cessna 172s are 2016 models and all have the G1000 in them which is pretty nice. I hope you continue with your success! Good luck on that checkride that’s fast approaching for you!

Gabe

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Great guys!!! Keep it up! I too started in April 4th to be exact and on Sunday I’ll probably do my XC Solo Eval. To the mentors, I am having a tough time during this specifically on comms with approach. For some reason I feel as if it hasn’t clicked yet. Checklist, comms, when to report, etc. Any tips?

Angel,

When we first start flying there’s ALOT going on and to keep track off. You need to develop a “flow” of what and how to do when. My best advice (and what’s worked best for me to this day) is “chair flying” (no you don’t need to be in a chair). Basically what you need to do is write down everything you need to do and more importantly when. Then keep reviewing it in your head. Go to a quiet place with no distractions (my favorite is on a run or bicycle ride) and start from the beginning of the flight, the approach, whatever you’re working on. After a few runs lose the paper and do it in your head. If you miss something or mess something go you must go back to the beginning. Keep doing it until you can visualize it in your head and move from step to step without issue. After X many times you’ll have it down. Give it a shot.

Adam

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Hey thanks for the input, Wyoming is a beautiful state also, I’ve been through there, devils tower was unbelievable, have the instructors at your location trained elsewhere or at centennial? Where do you go on cross countries? Thanks again and good luck.
Angel, the only other thing I can think might help with your radio calls is to go online to live act.net type in your location and just listen to others making the calls, my instructor suggested just to have it on in the background, it really does help, give it a try, and good luck to you too, I think I recall you saying before you were in DAB yes?

Kris

Thanks guys, I will keep on doing that.

Most of our instructors trained in Denver but we have a few that didn’t. The cross countries for the private we go to pueblo and Colorado Springs. For the longer cross countries we go to Amarillo Texas or Rapid City I believe.

Angel,

Adam gave great advice on this. Just play through the various scenarios and think about what may be asked of you and when. Eventually you will be able to make sense of it all and it will just “click”.

Chris

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That’s awesome to hear, I am preparing myself to attend the Las Vegas campus and love reading about other students and their experiences as new students it is a huge relief knowing that everyone that has started so far has had a positive experience so far with their training from zero hours,congrats and keep up the great work.

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Just a quick update on my progress. I finished up my last solo flight a little less than two weeks ago. Checkride is scheduled for July 6th. I was hoping for a sooner date than that but it’s out of my hands. On the positive side it gives me some extra time to study up. I did end up taking a week to go home and be with the family since I had some free time. I fly again Thursday and will have a couple more prep flights after that before my checkride. It truly is amazing how quickly things can go. I flew a little over 50 hours in the past 30 days. All in all, I should hopefully be a private pilot by next Thursday! Total time to get there was around 2 1/2 months. If anyone wants more continuous updates, you’re more than welcome to follow me on instagram. @gdub2006 is me. Hope this gives an insight as to what it’s like for a student going through ATP. Fly safe everyone!

Gabe

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Thanks for the update, let us know how the checkride goes.

Chris

Final update for my PPL training. Today I am officially a private pilot. It’s been 2 and 1/2 months since I started. I was really nervous for the test (not sure why) but I did just fine. The DPE said I did very well on all of it so that made me feel really good. To finally accomplish this is an amazing experience! The smile is permanently applied to my face today. I encourage anyone who has a dream to follow it. It sure feels good to accomplish this. Starting instrument training tomorrow!

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I felt the same way about my checkride, was really nervous but afterwards found myself wondering why and getting the liscense is a huge confidence boost! It seems that most people feel the same leading into it and after! Congratulations!!!

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Congrats Gabe! Nice job!

Adam

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Gabe,

Congratulations! That is fantastic news, thanks for the update.

Chris

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Gabe,

Congrats to both you and your instructor. Way to power through those nerves
too.

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Sweet! I start Denver next month, i’ll probably run into you!

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Look forward to meeting you! It’s a great location. I really enjoy it here!