Real Answers from Real Pilots

Nervous Questions for Our Mentors


(Dakota Davis) #1

Hi, Dakota here again with more odd questions. My question is: I heard ATP would make college look like kindergarten, with that being said how do I know if I can succeed in ATP?

I’m in college taking 16 credit hours current which is five classes and a lab. I also work about 50 hours per week. Doing so, I’m maintaining 3.25-3.5 GPA which isn’t too shabby. I know it’s an odd question I’m asking, but I’m very nervous about attending considering as of right now I’m stretched to my max and find myself having no free time (literally none). I’m always stressed and would not be able to handle more on my plate than I have right now. I will not work while attending ATP and will be a fulltime student starting from zero, I’m really looking for insight as to if I’m cut out for ATP to put my nerves away.


#2

Dakota,

The short answer is you won’t know it until you’re actually in the program. Work ethic is a HUGE part of the equation. You say you currently have no free time. If that’s a complaint trust me it won’t get any better with ATP. None of this is rocket science and the average person should have no issues with the skills or knowledge required. What I find is the willingness and desire to put in the work is where people come up short. If you really want to be successful odds are you will.

The bigger question you should be asking is will you be successful at an airline? If you question you’re ability to keep up with ATPs program what makes you believe you can handle actual airline training? I assume you’re doing this to become an airline pilot. ATP is accelerated and challenging not because they enjoy torturing people, it’s to prepare you for what’s to come at the airlines. Again if you’re willing to work hard chances are you’ll do fine but if you’re not then you won’t.

Adam


#3

Dakota,

Of course I cannot speak to your flying abilities, but it does sound like you have a good handle on things right now. Sixteen credit hours, plus a full time job, would be a lot for anybody to handle.

I don’t think I have ever said this before on the forum, but given your current schedule, you might actually find ATP to be a bit of a break.

That being said, it will be challenging, but so is airline training or any other kind of professional training.

Chris


(Tory) #4

Dakota,

I know how you feel. I asked the same question to myself before I started. I think a lot of people do. We all need some reassurance now and then, but the answer to your question won’t come until after you’re in the program. Everyone has their aha moment at different levels in the program. For some it’s immediate. For others it’s after their first solo, others may be after they pass their PPL, some later, and so on.

Focus more on what you can do to be proactive, and less on uncertainty. A lot of people have found it to be advantageous to get the written tests out of the way prior to starting. You should consider doing the same when you get close to securing your start date.

Tory


(Dakota Davis) #5

How would I take the test prior? This is going to sound sarcastic as I am typing it but I promise it is not meant to be, but since I’m not in training I wouldn’t pass the test? How would someone go about taking the test without the schooling?


#6

Dakota,

I always recommend taking the written exams prior as it lightens the load during training. Not everyone does, in fact apparently most people don’t but it’s ALWAYS a good idea. The writtens are required by the FAA and are simply rote memorization and have little to do with the course curriculum and require no previous flying or knowledge other than the course materials provided by ATP. You can take a look here: https://www.sportys.com/pilotshop/learn-to-fly/faa-private-pilot-test-prep.html
This is a very popular free test prep to give you an idea of what we’re talking about.

Adam


(Tory) #7

https://atpflightschool.com/faqs/acpp-prep-written-knowledge-tests.html

There’s the link that has all of the instructions. Also, do some research on this forum about the process. We’ve covered it in great detail.

Short answer, you don’t need to be enrolled. Let us know if you need further clarification on anything.

Tory


#8

Dakota,

I completely agree with the other mentors. Taking the writtens ahead of time is a great way to get started in the right direction.

Chris


(Dakota Davis) #9

I really appreciate the answers guys. That puts my mind at ease and lets me stress less. I’m a big stresser so it’s always nice to get good answers from everyone here. I’ll definitely take the test early, of course not done with college anytime soon but that’ll be the next step for sure. Thank you all!


#10

Dakota,

Just bear in mind that the test results are only valid for two years, so don’t get started too early.

Chris


(Dakota Davis) #11

Thank you, Chris. I plan on taking them after college so I have a very long time. I’m finishing my first semester next week for a communications major.


(Randall Bowman) #12

I am not sure if this was ever covered before but Adam, would you give us some idea as to what airline training is like? That is, what is it like after a pilot reaches the 1500 required hours and is interviewed and hired. What are some of the similarities and differences between that training and ATP training?


#13

Randall,


#14

Randall,

While they’re both flight training I think there are 2 major differences. First when you start at the airlines with your 1500hrs you’re expected to be a very competent instrument pilot with very good skills and knowledge. The focus is on training you to fly the jet, everything else is pretty much a given.

Second most of us come from flying twin engine props. With props a) the power is immediate and b) you’re traveling at much greater speeds than you had before so things are happening much faster. Turbine engines suffer from “lag” meaning it takes a few seconds for the power to kick in. Because of this you must learn to anticipate and be proactive with power. That gets multiplied since again things are happening faster.

Good times.

Adam