I’ll be frank. Good luck. Anyone can advertise a price to obtain a rating,
but the advertised price is the MINIMUM cost to obtain a rating. Who is to
say that you, or anyone else, I’m only using you as an example, can
complete a PPL course under ATP’s price? Mom and pop flight schools are
notorious for extending a student’s training for various reasons. Before
you know it, you could be paying almost double than you planned. IF you are
going to go this route, I would investigate the school very carefully.
Something else you need to consider is that if you were to get your PPL
elsewhere, I can almost guarantee that you will have to unlearn bad habits
when you get to ATP. Not only that, but you will also have to learn ATP’s
policies and procedures. Each flight school will require you to fly their
airplanes their way.
So, my point is, lean more towards quality over quantity. If you think
you’d be better off getting your PPL somewhere else, then by all means. A
lot of pilots started their careers this way, myself included. At the time,
I didn’t have much choice, though.
I will say, the one good thing that I appreciated about getting my PPL at a
local school, was that it gave me the extra time that I needed to
assimilate the information. In a sense, I wasn’t ready for ATP’s
accelerated program, but for me, it wasn’t about saving money. It was about
doing what was right for me based on my learning abilities.
Now that ATP has changed their program from 6-9 months, if I were to do it
all over again, I would have chosen to get all of my ratings at ATP. 6
months is doable, but 9 months would have taken the pressure off. By the
end of my training at ATP, I eventually became acclimated to the pace of
Everyone has different needs and learning styles. Choose whichever path is
best for you, but do it for the right reasons.