Real Answers from Real Pilots

Preparing to Start

I am currently in the process of completing the requirements to get started at ATP. I have a loan application in place that is under review that I should hear back on some time this week. I also have an appointment scheduled to do my First class medical exam on December 28th.

At what point should I call ATP and schedule a start date? Should I do that after getting the loan approved or do I have to wait until I also have the medical done as well?

Also, I was told that ATP will typically schedule your start date about 1 1/2 to 2 months out. I currently work a full-time job I was planning (and wanting) to leave some time after I set the start date and before I actually leave for ATP. Considering I am planning to take at least my instrument and commercial written exams before I leave and the fact that ATP has study modules to complete before you arrive, when would be recommended to leave my job and allow myself some time to prepare for the move and start of training at ATP?

Kyle,

You will need to have the loan and 1st class medical in hand before
scheduling your start date.

Quitting your job before starting ATP’s program is the right thing to do.
The immersive program does not allow for any extra time for students to
work or take college classes.

As for your last question, that one is hard to answer. I don’t exactly know
how much time you need to move, and why you need to move in the first
place. My guess is perhaps you’re planning on living in student housing? If
so, the move should take you no more than a day. You’re not moving your
entire life. You’re just moving the essentials to get you through the 9
month program. If you ARE moving your life to your own housing
accommodations, then your guess is as good as mine.

I would give yourself at least 3 months to study for the written exams. If
you studied every day for 3-4 hours a day, you should be able to take one
written per month. ATP offers incentives for anyone that can get the
Private, Instrument and Commercial written completed (with a passing grade)
prior to their start date
https://atpflightschool.com/faqs/acpp-prep-written-knowledge-tests.html

Tory

Tory,

I certainly am not intending on working a job while at training at ATP. When I completed my Private Pilot training at a local school in a similar structured, fast-paced program, I made the mistake of working a part-time job on the weekends and got burnt out doing that.

Home for me at the moment is the inland northwest, particularly the Spokane, WA area. The closest ATP location, which is where I would likely attend, is one of the Seattle locations. The Seattle area is about a 4-5 hour drive from here, so I would be moving entirely and using the student housing available there.

As far as the question about when I should quit my job, I was referring more to when I should begin the process of transitioning to a full-time flight student. You mentioned approximately 3 months of studying for completing the written exams before starting at ATP. Would you recommend being unemployed if possible (or at least not full-time employed) during those months leading up to the start date of ATP to study, take the writtens, and to really be fully prepared for the start of training? I’m sure that’s a question that can only be answered on a per-situation basis, but I was curious if you have any general recommendations. I mainly just don’t want to hold on to my job longer than I should, and then find myself feeling unprepared as my start date approaches.

I’m glad you understand the importance of being unemployed while in the
program. I’ve whitnessed only one person that was able to work while in
training, but he was not as successful as the other students. I don’t think
he ever obtained his FII.

If I were in your shoes, I would switch to part-time, but only after your
start date has been confirmed. I say this because it will give you more
time to study for your writtens and also there will be some Self Study
Lessons that will need to be completed prior to the program as well.

As your start date approaches, I would put in your two weeks notice, but
don’t put it in too soon. Try to time it right. I would hate for you to
quit your job and have something happen that prevents you from starting
flight training on schedule.

Tory

Unfortunately my job doesn’t allow a simple switch to part-time. What I may do is put in my two weeks notice shortly after I confirm my start date. Like you said, this could be risky in case something comes up before my start date that prevents me from being able to make it to ATP and just leaves me unemployed. However, there are two things that I’m considering that could make that decision easier:

  1. While I don’t currently live with my parents, they do live nearby so staying with them before I move on to ATP may be a good way to reduce living expenses (such as rent and utility bills) while I’m preparing to move on to ATP.

  2. I’m not terribly fond of my current job, so I’m kind of anticipating leaving and wouldn’t miss it anyway when I’m gone :wink:

Ha! Well, there you go :grin: sounds like a good plan to me.

Tory

Kyle,

ATP will not schedule you for training until both the loan and first class medical are approved.

I would recommend at least two weeks of not working prior to starting ATP, perhaps a few more if you really want to focus on completing as many writtens as possible prior to your start date.

Chris

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