Real Answers from Real Pilots


(Matthew Dean) #1

Hey guys,
So unfortunately after talking with my future wife we either having a wedding Or I go to flight school. This however just means I wait the two years and will ready and learn what I can before going there. Are there any books that you say I should read. Plus I also have a goatee and look like I am twelve when I shave I always keep it height and tight though. Am I going to have to shave it for school?

(Eric) #2

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The books that Eric suggested are top notch. You could also purchase one of the private pilot ground school video series to help familiarize yourself with the basics of flying. I found that I learned a lot better from the video series than the books.

As to the goatee, once you get to the airlines you will need to shave it, so you might as well start now. All of the US airlines with the exception of Hawaiian limit facial hair to mustaches only. Hawaiian will allow a neatly trimmed goatee (as my friend Adam has told me). Generally speaking this is an FAA requirement because the cockpit oxygen masks need to seal securely around your face. Some of the foreign carriers will allow full facial hair.



Mathew there are a ton of great books and videos out there and those recommended by both Eric and Chris are great. That said if you’re not going to stay for 2 yrs I wouldn’t get too wrapped up in the manuals or tech guides. Fact is if you read the books now chances are you’ll dump most of the material long before you start training. Personally I’d keep it light (forums, articles etc) until you’re in the home stretch (maybe 6mos out). Most of the stuff is pretty dry and reading it twice certainly doesn’t help.


(Matthew Dean) #5

Thankyou guys for the congratulations and for the book / video references.


Anytime, that is what we are here for!


(Blake Johnson) #7

Are those book recommendations part of the purchased curriculum books of the ATP program or supplemental?

(Eric) #8

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(Emmett Jackson) #9

Hello everyone,

I plan on starting ATP next June. In the meantime, can I study these books for the written portions of the Private, Instrument and Commercial exams? If so, can I knock out the written exam for all three of these exams prior to starting ATP next june? Thanks again for answering my questions.




You can study for your writtens in advance, in fact I highly recommend taking them before you start the program. However, written exam results are valid for two years, so don’t take them too soon. You will need a sign off from a Certified Flight Instructor before you can take the exams, I will look into what is involved in getting that before you are actually in the program and report back to you.

When you take the Instrument written be sure to study for and take the Instrument Instructor exam on the same day, they are almost exactly the same.

I will get back with you this evening on the sign off process.


(Emmett Jackson) #11

Thank you very much! Have a safe flight.

(Emmett Jackson) #12

Hello Chris,

I was wondering if you had any information on the steps required to get a sign off for a CFI prior to taking the written exams. Thanks.




Check you private messages.


(Yuran Di Cianni) #14


Can you please advise me on the process? I’m interested in knowing how I can take the exams before I start training. Thank you!




Once you put your deposit down ATP will send you the necessary study material for the writers. When you are ready to take the test you can contact ATP to get a sign off from an instructor, which you will need before taking the tests. It will be all self taught, but it is doable, I did it.

If you want to start taking writtens before signing up for ATP you will need to purchase the study material on your own and then find an instructor who is willing to sign you off. I would caution against doing this too early as the results are only good for two years.


(Yuran Di Cianni) #16


Understood! Thanks!