Real Answers from Real Pilots

Current PPL-SEL, I need some advice

Brady,

If you’re going in with your PPL you most definitely will get the opportunity to fly. That’s kind of the point. There have been people who have enrolled with credit for their PPL but aren’t current or worse. Frankly they’re no where near ready to start their Instrument training. You obviously should be.

Further you’ll be given a tour of the facility including the sims.

Adam

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Awesomesauce, I figured that would be, but I just wanted confirmation. Excited to begin this new journey!

You should be! Very exciting time to be starting!

Adam

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Brady,

Do not worry too much about the admissions flight. It is really just a chance for you to be introduced to the school and for the school to make sure that you have the ability and desire to learn. You might be asked a few questions, but it is not a check ride.

Chris

Brady,

I also came in with my PPL, and when I did my intro flight, the instructor let me do most of it. I literally controlled the aircraft from the time we hopped in it, until the time we parked. He talked me through the takeoff, landing, and in between.

In the air he asked what I wanted to do/see, we settled on a power-off stall, steep turn, then he talked me through a Chandelle and we did a practice approach back into the field.

It was actually pretty cool to experience all this in an Archer and get the feel for it, as all of my PPL time was in a 172.

The visit also included a tour of the facility, including the sims.

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Michael,

Thanks for your feedback! I scheduled my admissions flight for November 4th at the Trenton-Mercer County Airport (being closest to me) until I decided where fully to have my course location. I noticed the supplemental training they provided was the Piper Archer! I did all my training in a C172 L/P throughout the year, but once acquiring my license I got into a nice rental agreement that I’ve been flying a Piper Cherokee 180 C for over the last few months! I just met with the primary owner and went over my plan for ATP with him so he knows I’m not leaving him for good, but to accomplish a new career - noticed that the 180 and Archer are so similar!

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You’re welcome, and sounds like a solid plan!

They’re not too different at the end of the day, just a few differences getting used to…for me it’s the manual flaps handle versus electric in the Cessna, and even more so, proper cross-wind corrections…

I always did cross wind corrections in the Cessna, and although you could feel the wind sometimes pushing against the side of the aircraft, it’s nothing like in the Piper where is seems like a slight wind more 5 knots wants to lift the wing and flip the aircraft right over :scream::joy:

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@Tory, @Adam or @Chris, could either of you answer this simple question…do students have to carry their own insurance through a provider (e.g. AOPA) or are students covered under the schools underwriter?

Brady,

I’m 99% sure you don’t need your own insurance. I never had it when I was a student. I don’t know of anyone else that had their own while they were a student. If you want, you can call ATP to verify.

Tory

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Brady,

No insurance is required, you’re covered by the school.

Adam

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Thanks guys’, I’ll ask that question the day of my admission flight! Thanks for all your help. :slight_smile:

Brady,

You can ask, but I would not expect the CFI to know much about such things. That question is better geared towards the admissions department, but they will also tell you that there is no need for you to have insurance as far as ATP is concerned.

Chris

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Hey guys! :smiley:

Just thought I’d let you all know everything with the Admission Flight went well, I did it out at TTN in New Jersey. Definitely felt comfortable going from my everyday use of a Piper Cherokee 180 to the Piper Archer, the only difference was the updated technology of a G500 and GNS430 which the Cherokee doesn’t have.

My impressions of the school was interesting because they were using the second floor of the Signature building in what was like the size of an apartment…my CFI did inform me that all locations are different so I suppose some other places may be bigger or some smaller. I thought that what I saw was a nice set up, wish they had more than one main office for the CFIs, but they seemed to work well cooperating in the space. Two simulators, one that was newer for single engine and multi-engine that I was informed is older.

I was curious about the amount of aircraft at that base, my question to you guys is, does ATP relocate aircraft based on student population? At TTN they only had one Archer and Seminole, I believe they had another Archer in New York for a student’s checkride.

My next step in this journey is now visiting some other locations and tour a bit, get my first class medical out of the way, and put down a deposit for the materials and course start date once I figure where I’m going! Surely, but slowly the journey is coming together.

Brady

Brady,

Yes. Each location’s fleet size is reflective of the number of students at the school.

Tory

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How else would you think they’d do it? Not much point in having planes sitting with no students or students sitting with no planes. Same goes for the office space. I instructed in TTN and yes it’s a little sparse but that was more than OK in my opinion. I’d rather ATP spend my tuition on new planes, maintenance and instructor pay than rent on a fancy office.

Adam

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Adam,

Did not know you came from TTN as a CFI, I enjoyed the opportunity to check out a busy airspace. Plenty of traffic in and about during the hour I got to experience a busy airport. I just expected more offices for the CFIs instead of sharing one, but the materials/props (sims, books, etc.) there were there right in one area which is convienent for both student/instructor. The classroom atmosphere was unique, I felt it had a multi-use which I am sure is helpful.

Adam, since you went to TTN, what was the experience there like for you because that is an option to me and I am interested in that location since it’s relatively close to home for me and could take a day and go visit family if be. As I expect every experience is different, I would like to hear what yours was like.

Brady,

I did my training in HEF which was the closest location that offered the accelerated Career Pilot Program. TTN did a self-paced version which was discontinued but again I did instruct there which I thought was fantastic.

First thing was it was VERY easy for me to get the location since most people wanted to instruct at the big “busy” fair weather locations in the South. Even though TTN was not a busy location I was. ATP tries to do its best to spread the wealth. Smaller means less instructors. At the time there was only 2 of us and since the other instructor was slightly less motivated I flew a more than I wanted. Also TTN’s location airspace wise is perfect. It’s Class D towered field so you get experience in comms right off the bat but it’s not crazy busy where you’re waiting 30min to get airborne. It’s also sandwiched in between EWR and PHL’s Class B so when you go high or X country you get to talk to those guys (more experience). Finally it’s Jersey and there’s an airport in every direction. You never get bored and can practice every conceivable approach and there’s always somewhere to divert to. Great variety of weather. Seriously I couldn’t imagine a better place to train and my students all agreed.

Great pizza close by. What more could you ask for?

Adam

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I understand the training at a “busy” and fair weathered airspace, offers a lot more potential for flight time, etc. You mentioned about being sandwiched between the EWR and PHL B airspace which is a great point you made. Yesterday for my admission flight, RW 24 was closed due to maintenance or something of that nature, right when we booted the engine up, they opened it so from Signature it was a short taxi and we were rolling…makes life nice I noticed. - I generally fly at a non towered and nearest towered airspace is at least 25 nm each way (I have MDT and AVP and UNV) very close direct flights which I’ve been trying to do more of my personal training to get the radio practice. Plus, I have mostly “mountains” (more considerably called hills to me) around my normal that I have visual for pattern work, so the flat lands at TTN made it different to have that visual approach.

I met a few students there, did not get much time since they obviously had to do their thing, met all three current instructors, my guy was super cool, about the same age so we clicked and discussed our goals and found out he once started in the back of the plane being a flight attendant which I thought was inspiring that he wanted to be up front now. I also was able to find out more of their cross countries are in my home state that I did once when I soloed for my PPL.

You mentioned about the pizza, that’s the real deal right there…you can never go wrong with pizza. I’m sure Ramen and pizza is the real winners for training and instructing :smirk:. Since you’ve last been there probably, they’re building a Gulfstream hangar I guess to store or maintenance them. It definitely seems like a nice size class D airport!

Thanks Adam,

Brady

No worries Brady.

Not to belabor the subject but I honestly don’t think enough people appreciate the value of airspace when training. Good comm skills are critical and when I was an instructor at the Regionals there were pilots who washed out due to their inability to keep up.

The more exposure you can have early in your training the better. That was one aspect I never struggled with because I got it down early.

Adam

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Brady,

I think that training in or near busy airspace is beneficial. You will need to get accustomed to it sooner or later, so it might as well start in the beginning. Don’t forget that it is a quick flight to western Jersey/PA where there are wide open skies and plenty of space to practice.

Chris

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