Real Answers from Real Pilots

Pre-Training Study Material

I have a while before I can get started so I want to gather up every bit of source material for in-depth study that I can find… preferably something more associated with what ATP actually teaches you. I want to minimize my ignorance and maximize my confidence by the time I start.

Can anyone share any links or resources for what I would expect to have to study for the non-flight aspect of training? I want to know everything I can about flying a plane without actually flying a plane before I officially start, especially if training is a grueling and challenging as it’s made out to be.

I have found a few resources here and there myself, but of course, you guys are experts so as always, I can’t thank you enough and I hope to pay it all forward one day.

Ryan,

The best thing that you could do is start studying for and taking your FAA written exams. You can read more about that here: https://atpflightschool.com/faqs/acpp-prep-written-knowledge-tests.html Keep in mind that the results are only valid for two years, so don’t take them too far in advance. Other than that, I recommend buying the Jeppesen Private Pilot manual, you can pick up a cheap coupon eBay.

I have to say though, flying is very much a hands-on topic to learn and there is only so much that you can learn from a book without also applying that knowledge in the airplane at the same time.

Chris

Ryan,

I have some things for you to look at. I’ll share them with you before the
end of the day.

What did you mean when you said that you had “a while” before you can get
started? This will help me know what to share with you.

Tory

I understand that the results of the FAA written are only valid for two years. As a prospective student, can you please clarify at what point in time we need the results for the respective exams to be valid so I know what the earliest date is that I could take them? Is it at the time of the corresponding check ride? Thanks

Robert,

Your question is a little confusing but I think I understand what you’re asking. It seems like you’re trying to time your written exams right so that when it’s time to take your check ride your written exam is still valid. This is actually not a good idea. Let me explain. I am a fan of getting the written exams done early, but not too early. There are a lot of factors that can delay a check ride that no one can control like weather, aircraft mx, and examiner availability. If you took your exams too early, everything would have to line up perfectly. Obviously you can do whatever you want, but personally I think that taking the written exams no earlier than 3 months prior to your start date is early enough.

Tory

Alright Ryan,

I am assuming that you don’t have any prior experience. I agree with Chris in that the best thing for you to do is get your written exams out of the way early. It may not seem like the right thing to study now, but what it will do is buy you some extra time during training. Instead of spending time between lessons cramming for the written, you will be able to study for more important things like a Solo Evaluation and ultimately the check ride. Remember that the written exams are only valid for 24 calendar months. So, don’t take them too early. A couple of months prior to your start date should do.

I thought I was going to be able to find a PDF of ATP’s Cessna Supplement, but only the Seminole Supplement is available for download. If the Cessna Supplement was available, I was going to suggest that you start reading it, but don’t worry. You will have plenty of time.

Once you sign up and pay the nonrefundable deposit, you will be given access to the Student Resources. In that, there will be a Self Study Module titled Intro to Private Pilot Self Study Course. Here’s a link that describes it in more detail. https://atpflightschool.com/faqs/bring/items_for_acpp.html That same link also explains everything else you’ll need to do to prepare for day one.

I know it’s tempting to start learning as soon as possible. You’ll have to trust our guidance on this one. Start with the writtens and then follow the checklist in the link.

Tory

Awesome, thank you. Yes, I will keep it all in mind as far as picking the right time to take the FAA written exams, and yes, that is absolutely the kind of thing I’m talking about when requesting info on being as prepared as I can be. So thank you so much. I know it’s impossible to learn to fly without being in a plane, but I’m talking more about terminology, whatever math skills I need to relearn, the basic instruments of a plane and how to read them, etc… you know… the basic stuff just so that everything is not so foreign when I begin. I’ll look into those resources given so far.

Yep, no experience. It will be awhile because I have to get financial stuff in order for the giant loan I’ll no doubt need, the lack of income, and making sure my family will be okay during this. What I basically mean is I’ll be doing some hardcore saving and debt paying. So yeah, it might be awhile, but it’s definitely doable.

Ryan,

Have you taken an introductory flight yet? Before you go any further at all, I would really recommend doing that. I am sure that you have flown as a passenger, but that is a very different thing from piloting the plane and some people that think they will love it end up not liking it at all, so the intro flight is important.

Chris

I haven’t but plan too soon (within a month).

Ryan,

I have to STRONGLY second what Chris said. Honestly I can’t fathom how someone can entertain a career in aviation without ever having flown a small plane. Not sure if you know but ATP will not allow you to sign up or take your money if you haven’t. “Being prepared as I can be” is much more than reading. Flying is a physical activity as well that takes us out of our natural environment and something you need to experience. GO FLY!

Adam

Oh I will, and I look forward to it. I’ll post when I do and then annoy you all with more questions, I’m sure.

I just finished the intro flight a couple of hours ago with a CFI in Charlotte named Jordan. I got to control the plane for about 20 minutes mostly unassisted. I want to do it and him answering all my questions makes me incredibly optimistic about it all. I admit I was kind of nervous when I had the controls, but not really at all nervous when he was in command. We went through the checklist and it certainly seems like a lot of memorization is required but nothing I can’t handle. Flying the plane seems like cake although I know it was just a basic intro lesson and I didn’t do much of anything.
It was a mostly windy, clear day, beautiful view, and the ride was much bumpier than I thought it would be but the fact the Jordan seemed 100% unfazed by it kept me at ease. The dude is great. I must have asked him 50 questions and he was very patient and knowledgeable.
As you advised, I went ahead and bought a Jeppessen private pilot book and have started with that one, and bought another one by a pilot named William Kershner to read afterward, as well as have been looking at the Sporty Study Buddy page and one I found for FAA study on a website called kingschools, so I’ll be studying when not working for the FAA test while working on finances, savings, and credit for trying to get a loan (hopefully without a cosigner). It will be at least six months.

I say all this partially due to the excitement of just kind of flying a plane a couple of hours ago and wanting to tell the whole world, but also feel as though I have a decision made and a good plan and positive direction. I want to thank you mentors and others who have offered advise because I honestly am not sure I would be this optimistic and self-assured without you. Thank you, thank you THANK YOU!

Ryan,

Sounds like you had a great experience which obviously is what you want. Congrats!

Adam

Ryan,

I am glad that you were pleased with your intro flight, it sounds like you have a solid plan laid out. Thank you for your kind words and let us know how else we can help you.

Chris

Ryan,

Thanks for the compliments. Hats off to you for being resourceful enough to
find us and for taking our advice to heart. Being a good listener is a good
quality. You will make your CFIs very happy :grin:

Tory