On August 1, 2014, the FAA Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate requirements become significantly more difficult and expensive to qualify for.
To be “grandfathered” under the old requirements, applicants must pass the ATP Part 135 or Part 121 written test before August 1. (The passing score is 70%, but many airlines require 90%. You can always write the test again, every 30 days.)
After that time, ground school and simulator time will be required, costing $5,300 for ERAU students and up to $20,000+ at FlightSafety, if and when it becomes available to the public.
There are several ways to prepare for the ATP written test, among them:
- self-learning using the usual reference manuals (good to know, but not recommended for achieving a high test score)
- Gleim test prep book and/or software ($99.95)
- ATP Flight School ($295 including class, test prep and test)
- Dauntless Software
- King Schools ($149 til Oct. 1)
- Sheppard Air test prep software ($75, but call before their July 28 deadline).
Both Gleim and Sheppard Air offer a free trial download to test your computer compatibility, and a money-back guarantee (refund below 70% for Gleim and below 90% for Sheppard Air.)
I chose the Sheppard Air ATP Part 121 test prep software.
I didn’t see any README or installation instructions for the Sheppard Air ATP test prep software, so here’s what I had to do to get running on my Macbook Pro with OS X 10.5:
- if you installed the Sheppard Air trial version, remove it first: Mac Finder … Applications … “Uninstall Flight Test 5″
- call Sheppard Air at (940) 642-4945 (before their July 28 deadline), leave message for ATP test prep signup, wait for return phone call, pay $75 for 121 ATP test, wait for Receipt email, login to their web site, view computer system requirements, click on software download link, double-click on zip file after it’s finished downloading
- type these 2 commands:
cd /Users/james/Downloads/Install FlightTest5 ATP.app/Contents/MacOS
- Open Finder, click on Applications … “Study with Flight Test 5″ and type in the username and password from your Receipt email into the Sheppard Air software login dialog.
Some suggestions to Sheppard Air would be to:
- automate purchase via the web
- provide installation instructions online and in a README.txt file in the zip file. Requiring phone in for purchasing and then expecting people to phone in again for mandatory installation help is an archaic and expensive way to sell low-dollar software products today.
If you use a Jeppesen Tech Star electronic flight computer or basic calculator without mach calculations, use the following formula:
TAS = approximate square root to one decimal place(Celsius + 273.15) * 38.94 * Mach number
avweb.com: ATP Written Prerequisites About to Change Drastically
dauntless-soft.com: Part 121 or Part 135 ATP Written Test?
Sheppard Air References