Real Answers from Real Pilots

Fall or Spring?

I’m currently a Sophomore. I’ll be taking a break either in fall or spring to start ATP. While I am at ATP I plan on taking an easy online 3 credit course such as an FKL (typical easy mandatory credits I need towards my degree) in order to stay enrolled at the university while also not wasting time. When my dad and I went to the ATP school down here in Florida the guy told us that he wasted a lot of time starting in fall cause of bad weather, but he entered with 0 flight time. I’ll be entering with a PPL and 80 hours, (finishing it up over the summer) so would that still mean i’d be bogged down by the bad weather? I’m assuming that students who lack a PPL are probably grounded more often then others with more ratings because the senior students have more exp = more turst? Or is it more of a school wide thing where if a person with 3 hours is grounded cause of a little bit of weather that means the guy with 100 is also grounded? Of course really bad weather is really bad weather but would a new student with 0 flight time have lower minimums then say a person like me who would be entering with 80 hours?

  1. Essentially, would it be better to enroll in fall or spring, weather wise? My argument for enrolling in Fall is that while at the start the weather is bad but I feel like it gets much better after a month or 2, and i’ll also have spring, if the program pushes past fall, which is generally good weather. My dad wants me to enroll in spring saying that it’s good weather the entire way. But it kinda gets bad here towards the end of spring. Also fall would have cooler weather which is also a nice pro.
  2. Would the bad weather effect a new student the same way it would effect a senior student, in terms of being grounded?
  3. Three credit hours is not gonna make or break my sanity while at ATP right?

Thanks for the continued help guys!

Imran

Imran,

We’re talking about Florida not NY or Chicago when we’re talking about the weather. While yes the weather does tend to be a little better in the Spring than the Fall down south there are of course no guarantees so I wouldn’t let that effect my decision. As far as whether you go up or not, obviously it’s more a question of what phase of training you’re working on. PPL training is all VFR and if it’s IFR there’s little point in wasting flight time. It’s also pointless to take a new student up when it’s a 30kt gusting x-wind so yes having more experience the weather will effect you less.

Now when it comes to your other courses I’ll be honest. Normally I’d say absolutely not BUT as I’m sure you’re aware ATP has added more time to the program so the workload has been reduced, somewhat. Obviously I have no idea what kind of student you are or what you’re capable of handling BUT I will caution you. The ATP curriculum is accelerated and requires a lot of self-study and focus. More important you have a FINITE amount of time to complete each phase of training. Your checkrides will be scheduled and you will be ready, if you’re not at best you’ll bust (which stays on your FAA record FOREVER) at worst you could be asked to leave ATP. If/when you feel the pressure you’d be wise to dump the credits.

Adam