Real Answers from Real Pilots

Actual study time for PPL

(Bradley W Backus) #63

It was a really bad cold for 2 weeks sickest I’ve ever been. I had to work the whole time too stayed in hotel for 2 days being too sick to drive home… it was -5 in Casper Wy! :frowning::sneezing_face:so couldn’t recover plus I was busy getting ready to move the last 2 weeks…my head was so foggy there’s no way I could focus on anything!


Ok, just hope you don’t get a “really bad cold” during newhire training at an airline. They can be much less sympathetic.


(Bradley W Backus) #65

Somehow I knew you were gonna say that!:rofl: I haven’t been sick for 2 years, so don’t plan on missing any work if I do get hired with airlines.

(Bradley W Backus) #66

Actually Adam, I dunno why I said sinus infection because I had a really bad flu that everyone was getting here ! I think my immunity is down because my job has gotten so demanding physically and really extreme temps and 12-14 hours a day, that I hate it!:angry:I’ve been trying to get in this school for 2 years now working on all the financial stuff and I’m really irritated and anxious, wanting to get started ASAP… I was hoping I wouldn’t have to go through another brutal winter driving on ice and delivering huge heavy parts again; thought I’d be flying right now and enjoying much less hours working per week once I am a new hire! I just wanna get my new life of flying started and think all the stress of this job got me susceptible to getting the flu! So once I’m doing my dream job, I probably won’t have a problem getting sick and it’s not gonna stand in my way of flying! Hope that clears it up :wink::beers:



Nothing to clear up. I was just curious.


(Bradley W Backus) #68

Oh I thought you thought I was being lazy!:rofl::rofl:

(FullHeartedy) #69

Tory, I’m sure glad I read this post. I haven’t started yet as I am getting my weight down before I take the First Class Medical; I’ve read that they look into BMI and I know I’m in the red right now.

I have a three part quetion:

The next question refers to your link:
Written Knowledge Tests from ATPFlightSchool - regarding the exerpt:

As an added incentive, if you complete the Private, Instrument, and Commercial tests prior to your start date

So about the links. It seems possible to get all the written exams out of the way before my start date, but I have to choose a start date and pay 995.00 first? Or can I also take the exams anywhere before I even enroll and save my receipts and get reimbursed after I enroll and show my receipts then?

Regarding that question, where is a starting place to research written exams? It seems that “Check Rides” is where it counts, and where the well-of-money is concerned. So I want to get get all my written exams finished before I even step foot into the program. I’d hate to be worried about exams while facing Check-Ride stress at the same time; which reminds me when I transferred from junior college to the university and had to take Physics, Differential Equations, and Discrete Math (all new conceptual math for me at the time) at the same time due to prerequisites getting in my way to take upper division courses; I was seriously stressed out and wanted to drop out, especially because I was at a quarter system university; I transferred a little too early now realizing the prerequisite classes for upper division and wasn’t quite ready for that type of stress and commitment which was lecture, eat, study, sleep and shower when remembering…

So it seems, for me personally, like like the smart thing to do and get all the written exams out of the way.

Also as I understand it, it seems that this is only exams in the program, which are exams that get you ready for the actual exams that make you a pilot? Is this right? Like law students taking exams in college to prepare you for the BAR exam? Like that? Can you clarify some?



The FAA is only concerned if your BMI is over 35 and even then they’ll simply test you for sleep apnea.

We always recommend people complete their writtens prior to starting the program. Just remember the exams expire after 24mos if you haven’t taken the practical exam for the applicable license or rating. For info on the writens just Google FAA Knowledge exams, there are 6 required (Private Pilot, Commercial Pilot, Instrument Rating, Flight Instructor Airplane, Instrument Flight Instructor and the Fundamentals of Instructing). Not sure what else you’re asking?


(FullHeartedy) #71

Thanks for that. My current BMI is 33 which is the BMI level of obesity, which scared me.

I think you may have answered the other question, but since you weren’t sure I should elaborate a little. Sometimes I can get wordy.

The exams on that link, they’re not “practical exams for license”? Which brings me to my point.

In short my question was phrased like this: In college to earn a degree in Law, you take exams and pass the exams, then you graduate college with a certified degree in law. But in order to be a lawyer you must pass the BAR exam.

So my question, are these exams one in the same, or are the exams (in the links) to get me closer to the “BAR” exam, the exam for licensing so to speak?


The FAA actually has no formal height weight requirement and at 33 again you’re below their “concern”. Obviously however for your own health you might want to get your weight down.

Ok as far as your question concerning the written goes the answer is yes and no depending on your goals. Each Knowledge exam is as I said for an individual license or rating (Private Pilot Knowledge exam is required to get your Private Pilot license. The Instrument Rating knowledge exam is to get you your Instrument rating, etc). Now if you want to fly light cargo or charter you need only get your Private, Commercial, Instrument and you’re done, BUT if you aspire to be an airline pilot than yes there’s the equivalent of the “Bar” and that’s the ATP which also has Knowledge and Practical exams. However, you cannot even take the written until you’ve built the required flight time and experience which usually takes 2yrs or more.


(FullHeartedy) #73

Yes, that’s the specificity I was unclear about. Thank you for taking the time to break it down. I shall start studying then.


(Tory) #74

I just want to clarify something Adam said. Forgive me if I misinterpreted.

The writtens can be taken at any time. If you have made your deposit for
ATP, the cost to take each written is included in the program. If you take
them before making the deposit, the cost to take each written is on you.

The practical exams is what takes flight experience. The written exams,
associated with each practical, is just one of many requirements that makes
a person eligible for the practical.



The exams are for each phase of pilot licensing, the final “bar exam” would be the ATP written, although it is certainly not as difficult as taking the bar.

(Bradley W Backus) #76

Hey Tory, I tried to send you a new message but system won’t let me or I can’t find where to send it directly to you without replying to a previous message? Anyway, I remember reading one of your replies on students running out of if they fail a checkride... are you saying a student can't get enough extra to cover more costs or they just aren’t able to borrow more? I was thinking maybe I need to save up $10,000 to cover any extra schooling or how much would it cost if I did fail a checkride? Not that I’m planning on it, just want to he prepared.



I’ll let Tory respond but I never met a single pilot who went over on their flight time or was billed a dime by ATP.


(Tory) #78

Chris is the only one that can receive direct messages from participants.

So, yeah failed check rides will result in spending money on extra training. Bottom line is some can afford to keep going and some can’t. It’s hard to say how much someone will incur from extra training since it depends on how much extra training will be required.


(Bradley W Backus) #79

Ok thanks Tory, it’s probably not possible to get any more loans from Sallie Mae if you do need extra training money huh?

(Tory) #80

If you’re going to borrow extra, you should do it on your initial application for the loan. That way, you have it ready to go if you need it.




Obviously you want to be prepared but should you go over. BUT, if you do need some additional time you’re probably talking a couple of hours for retraining and the aircraft for the recheck which in most cases you’ll only have to redo a few maneuvers. What I’m saying is it’s not going to be in the thousands.


(Bradley W Backus) #82

Oh I thought the max you can borrow is 80k including living expenses or maybe that’s including living expense but that would be like a total of 90k after examiners fees and other costs? If I can borrow and get approved for more to get in quicker, I definitely wiil… my pay is now 67k/ year to 72 in 6 more months, with new job so maybe I can qualify for more?