Real Answers from Real Pilots

Future Student

Hello All,
My name is Pat and am planning on starting with my local ATP location in the Spring. I live in Washington state where the weather can be beautiful one minute and pouring down rain the next. I am thinking that if I start in spring it will give me 3-6 months of somewhat predictable weather.

I plan on taking my Intro flight in the next few weeks.

I guess my first question is what happens when weather has you grounded? Is there plenty of work to do on the ground that I wont get behind?

I hope that once I Graduate and get my CFI I can transfer to a location with better year round weather, Like maybe Arizona.

My other question is, What can I do now to better prepare myself to start? are there any books I should get or a website or programs I can use to try and learn as much as I can?

Thank you for your Information

Hi Pat,

Trust me, good weather or bad they’ll be plenty of ground school and simulator to keep you busy so I wouldn’t be too concerned about that.

As for location for instruction that’s hit or miss. ATP offers positions to their students based on the needs of the locations and the company. When you’ve completed your training you’ll be given a choice of available locations and hopefully one will suit you.

As far as preparation goes we always recommend students complete as many of the required FAA writtens as possible. Keep in mind however the writtens do expire after 24mos so we don’t recommend taking them too early just in case you change your start date or there’s any delay. Once you give you deposit and set your start date you’ll be given access to the SheppardAir training software to study for the bulk of the exams. For the PPL ATP recommends Sporty’s Study Buddy which is free at any time. Other than that I really wouldn’t go too crazy. You’ll be buried in studies for quite some time so I’d enjoy the down time while you can.

Adam

Adam,
Thank you for the reply. I understand that training locations will depend on what is needed by ATP, I am just thinking/hoping that when fall/winter hits there will be more demand in warmer climate areas.

The Sporty’s study buddy you are referring too, Is that the APP? the only free one I found is limited and wants me to buy the course.

Pat

Pat,

Of course they want you to buy the course (that’s called business) but the free version is fine for preparing for the PPL.

Adam

I get that, I’m just trying to navigate the site and figure out how to use the training.

Pat,

I like your idea of starting the program in the spring. When I taught in
Sacramento it was common for a CFI and student pair to fly to Sac to
complete training during the fall and winter months.

Are you still having trouble with Sporty’s Study Buddy? Or did you figure
it out?

Tory

Tory,
Well Kind of. I see the knowledge test prep, the problem is I cant find the information to study so I can answer the questions.

Pat

Pat,

I know it sounds crazy, but just study the questions and the answers. Actually learning the material is covered in the learning modules.

Chris

Ok, would it be worth reading the 14 CFR I found online?

Pat

Just an update.
Chris,
I just started picking categories in the test prep section, Surprisingly I have found most questions to be fairly self explanatory. I am scoring much higher than I expected to without any real studying. It appears a lot of the questions so far are somewhat no brainers.

Pat

It’s worth a try. I wouldn’t read the FARs from cover to cover, but if you
come across a question that refers to a specific regulation then sure. It’s
a good idea to be resourceful. Knowing where information is coming from is
important.

Tory

Pat,

Don’t be too confident, it gets a lot harder. Flying is no simple feat.

Chris

Chris,
I totally understand and didn’t mean to come off cocky. I know things will get harder, its just nice to know that so far it is not as difficult as I had expected and that the more I learn the easier it will get. One of the reason I have decided to go with ATP is because of the intense training they have, I learn better under those types of circumstances.