View Full Version : How old are current wanabees?

4th Apr 2006, 15:04
Hey guys

I know there are a lot of us out there.

im only 23, but i hear a lot of comments saying wanabees are the wrong side of 40, and even 30.

I will be completing my atpl training by september, and i hope like so many others to work for an airline.

Does the fact that im only 23 make me more appealing to airlines compared to someone who is "the wrong side of 40"

If this is the case, why is ageism such a problem if we have all paid for our own training

How old are you, and whats your experience?

4th Apr 2006, 15:55
The govt. is bringing in anti-age discrimination legislation so it's good news for the golden oldies, but might make it a bit tougher for us young dreamers.

4th Apr 2006, 16:11
Im 18 and moving to florida in June to start my training so i should have a fATPL by the time I'm 19!

4th Apr 2006, 16:52
Age: 16 (17 in 2 months)

I'm in the process of getting 5 GCSE's which i plan to do in 2006 and early 2007. then mid 2007 start a modular course like multiflight JAA ab initio ATPL course which (depending on how long i took) would hopefully give me a f/ATPL by the time im 18/19 (not sure if there is any age restrictons on holding a f/atpl is there...?)

Thats assuming all goes to plan ofcourse

4th Apr 2006, 17:01
im 13 and have to wait :mad: :mad: 6 or 7 years before i can start my training

4th Apr 2006, 18:23
im 13 and have to wait :mad: :mad: 6 or 7 years before i can start my training

Try looking on the positive side, all the more time to save and do well in exams :ok:

4th Apr 2006, 18:40

Im 18 and I started my training late last year at Oxford on the intergrated course. I should be finished by early next year, when i'll be 19. In my class there are twenty of us the average age is about 22.


4th Apr 2006, 19:20

How can you afford to do a course that costs in excess of £60000 at 18 years of age? You must have had a hell of a paper round!

4th Apr 2006, 19:20
Try looking on the positive side, all the more time to save and do well in exams :ok:

True say ! :ok:

4th Apr 2006, 22:19
I'm 30 and will be starting my CRJ type training next week.

4th Apr 2006, 22:32
20 year old! modular! been flying since I was 18.

4th Apr 2006, 22:50
Exactly double the age of wbryce :ooh: :\

Studying the ATPL Theory the hard way - distance learning.

Have a PPL some 262 hours old, so at least I will have more hours than most when the dreaded tests are all over. Nor will I have to worry about having enough hours to take my CPL :rolleyes:

4th Apr 2006, 22:54
I'm 17 (18 in a month :D ) and i'm planning to start the ab initio (modular) course at Riverside in the US in October of this year, so with any luck fATPL before my 19th!

4th Apr 2006, 23:08
21, finishing uni this year and just got on to CTC Wings to fulfil my lifelong dream... am absolutely over the moon. :)

4th Apr 2006, 23:14
17, PPL, 70ish hours, about to finish A levels and start ATPL distance learning. Estimating the cost of hours building and exam times, hope to start CPL/IR in about 12 months, Hopefully all done by 19.


4th Apr 2006, 23:20

Sometimes life experience can be overrated.....:rolleyes: :rolleyes: All this from a 25 year old........;) ;)

5th Apr 2006, 07:24
Just turned 16 2 days ago ;)

David_Lid Air
5th Apr 2006, 08:00
I am 22yrs old. Finished with the ATPL training, now working on SE IR (Soon completed) and after that CPL, ME IR + MCC.

I am finished at my flying school by the end of may. Starting the MCC course in August

5th Apr 2006, 08:09
I am 26 years young and am starting an Integrated course at CABAIR in May. Can't wait! :}

5th Apr 2006, 08:41
Im 18, il be starting Oxford in Aug. But il be qualified when im 20 (hopefully)

All the best

Charlie Zulu
5th Apr 2006, 08:45
28 years old, that changes in two weeks and two days.

However I've been flying since I was 20 and have an FAA CPL/IR. The hair won't be blonde for much longer if the final seven ATPL exams have their way...

5th Apr 2006, 13:02
33 next week :eek:

About to take Mod2 ATPL exams in 5 weeks, then off to do hr building & CPL/IR MCC etc etc

6th Apr 2006, 01:47
i'm 20, 21 in October, and i'm busy trying to decide how to go about this, funding and choosing a FTO. :(

Lord Flashheart
6th Apr 2006, 10:49
As captwannabe pointed out there is new legislation coming out to try and stop age discrimination. I don't think this will make any difference what so ever as it is so easy to discriminate. An airline are not going to turn round and say, sorry you didn't get the job cause you're too old. They'll simply say, there was someone better.

Being too young seems to have its dissadvantages too. I don't know if it is insurance problems, or the fact that airlines don't want some 18 year old walking out of the flightdeck, but getting employment with an airline under 21 seems difficult.

8th Apr 2006, 16:54
I'm no longer a wannabe! ha!

8th Apr 2006, 18:09
I'm 24 i have a degree from Edinburgh University, a PPL with 90hrs, and i'm doing module 2 with Bristol GS in May, hope to have CPL/IR done by September :D :D

8th Apr 2006, 22:29
I'm 17 (18 later this month) got my PPL(A) about 3 weeks ago and have a place at CCAT to do the integrated course starting this September. I am also doing the assessment for OAT on the 19-20th this month.

8th Apr 2006, 23:05
22. And starting at OAT in August. :)

9th Apr 2006, 16:04
I'm 18 and planing to go to jerez at the end of the year:ok:

9th Apr 2006, 16:15
I've just turned 31. Treated myself to a PPL for my 30th. Now have 75 hours and a night rating. I'm slowly plodding through the ATPL's the hard way at the moment.

Will probably be another 18 months before I am holding a nice new (f) Atpl though.

I do however have 12 years experience working in the airlines on the ground and I am prepared to go anywhere and fly anything for my first job (which alot of people on here don't seem to be - they just want that 737/A320 job straight away :hmm: ) which I hope will set me apart from a younger 20something who might be younger but doesn't come armed with all the useful background knowledge gained by working on the ground.


9th Apr 2006, 20:32
I'm 21. BEng in Computing & Electronics, PPL with 73 hours, started integrated training in January.

9th Apr 2006, 23:42
I started flying with cadets at 13. Started PPL at 18/19. Groundschool at 19/20, CPL and IR, 20/21 and been looking for an airline job since.

Currently 23 - gonna be 30 by the time someone will employ me......so get in there as young as possible and then you have some leeway! :uhoh:

10th Apr 2006, 00:00
One year, and I can start on the PPL , if I want :)

Another Biggles
14th Apr 2006, 17:25
Couldn't help but reply here. How're some of you at such a young age able to afford the training unless you are sponsored or on a course of some description that "pays" for your training (CTC)???

I really just don't bloody understand it - here I am about to go into my first graduate job and thinking about saving all those pennies for the future and here everyone seems to be able to afford it straight off with out working - how exactly??

Unless you get your parents to re-mortgage their house, which seems to me just a little foolish/unfair on them given the number of wannabes flooding the market at the moment. Everybody can't get a job at the same time, thus if you've borrow some huge sum and the grace-period is up, how are you going to go about repaying the sum with no job???


Someone please, please enlighten me...


14th Apr 2006, 23:20
Because some young people are not as risk averse as they should be, collateral in the form of parents' houses is used, and people with a lack of life experience are clouded too much by pure desire and passion.

None of which necessarily make for a good pilot - without testing and ensuring one is capable, all that money may go to waste.

Me? I am young, and though having always aimed to fly, have no desire to throw 60k on a bonfire without any guarantee of a job. Though would do the training with a sponsorship, I will ensure my fallback is doubly secure before making any move, and by then the sponsorships may even have arisen from the ashes.

I would strongly resent any suggestion that me not borrowing the money shows any lack of commitment. I know I could borrow it all tomorrow, and also have passed aptitude tests, hold a PPL, UAS hours etc, but as a qualified financial professional consider such an idea to be highly foolish.

Besides my current position will ensure that I employ every last one of you sometime soon...!

15th Apr 2006, 01:57
I'm 28 and currently enrolled in an aviation program at a college in Canada. Luckily for me the program is heavily subsidized which means I'm only responsible for two years of college tuition while the government picks up the flight training costs. The other perk of training through an accredited college is access to government student loans and bursaries. I'll graduate with a CPL and Float Endorsement. I'll have to get my MIFR seperately though.

15th Apr 2006, 02:54
I'm 22, 23 in September and I'm planning to start flying when i'll be 25 (got to make money first !!)

15th Apr 2006, 19:50
I am 29 with ICAO licence with 1200 hrs, converting it to JAR this year. Good luck everybody :)

15th Apr 2006, 21:52
16 last week! I know its hard to become a pilot but I think I can do it.

"If you never have a dream, then how you ever going to have a dream come true?"

16th Apr 2006, 03:41
I dont see the confusion personally, anyone can work a job and earn or pocket at least 15>20 grand a year, even if it takes 2 jobs. Over a 2 or 3 year period your close enough to 60k. Yea if you have a family to support or business to fianance or a 4yr degree to complete its not the case, but for someone outta school or college or whatever who has the time to apply to nothing but work for the cash its quite feasible. I personally went through college worked part time jobs and full time jobs after college and it was my mid twenties before I could finance training but none the less I financed it outright without any loans, I have nothing against getting a complete loan but it wasnt for me. People do seem to get caught up with getting qualified asap and getting RHS in a jet etc etc but to be honest on my route I was the youngest even though I am in my late twenties.. which is still quite young in this game from what i have seen. Personally I have never encountered anyone under 25 training or working but thats not to say there is plenty of young lads/lassies out there doing it. Dont sink yourself deep in depth, work a few jobs whether it be on the ramp or office or whatever..and earn the cash and earn some experience. Maturity and life experience does count for something in some peoples eyes,, straight outta school and outta flight training college and barely into 20's has not been a sucessful route in my airline anyway.

16th Apr 2006, 06:21
Wow, a lot of you guys are starting training at a young age. I was like you guys - I felt a strong need to get my licenses young! Then 9/11 happened and thought a backup degree/career was the first step!

I am 23 and finished my Univerisity degree and post-graduate degree. Best decision I ever made! Now I can concentrate on the flying (with the help of a good credit rating) while working. If I decide I need to bail out of the flying gig, I will have the teaching to fall back on.

Mind you, all this when my parents offered to pay for my University degree AND my flight training.

Some advice for the young guys out there, get a non-aviation degree and always have a backup plan!


- TG

Dave Martin
16th Apr 2006, 11:43

Not sure you live in the same world as the rest of us, but pocketing 15-20K a year? Earning 25K a year in London, paying rent, living a pretty frugal lifestyle....I'm lucky to put 5K aside a year. And at a slow rate like that, it's all the more difficult to save it when it'll take a decade to accumulate the required finance.

Of course, if your parents are paying for accomodation or fixing you up with the job connections this would be different, but I do feelthe reality for most people is that finance is nigh on impossible.

16th Apr 2006, 12:04
I'm 24 (25 next month). I'll be starting my PPL later this year. I'm currently doing a PhD in Applied Physics having completed my BEng degree last July. Having spoken to the people at my flight school of choice, I have been assured that going down their structured modular route, I can aim to finish my Doctorate and fATPL at roughly the same time (I'll be 27 by the time my thesis is in).

At the time, I would have loved the opportunity to go integrated at 18. Sadly, neither my parents nor I were in a financial position to pay for it. And I wasn't daft enough to ask them to re-mortgage their house. I think my dad would have politely told me to :mad: off.

Today I'm happy with my choices. Working on some really interesting Airbus and BAE projects for my PhD, and I'm looking forward to start the old flying later in the year - can't wait :)

It will be nice (if all goes to plan) at the age of 27 to have the fATPL and be Dr easyPilot.

16th Apr 2006, 13:03
Started flying at 15, PPL at 17 and (F)ATPL at 19. Flying BAe 146 from 20, then B737 at 23 and finally B747 at 25. Now 26 and starting to feel over the hill.....

4th May 2006, 15:21
I'm clearly the odd one out at 49 in 3 days time. I can't wait to use my life experiences!

I have decided to start flying again after a 18 year lay off. I'm ex RAF with 2000 hrs fast jet. The advantage now is that my kids are grown up and I can be a bit more selfish with my time. I have really enjoyed having lunch with my wife almost every day and being at home for tea every evening.

I understand that I'm in for a shock however I am now looking for a fresh challenge as life running my own business is becoming less rewarding.

What's the rush guys? As previously mentioned you'll be over the hill by 30!

I'll get back to the Air Law then!!


4th May 2006, 16:40
i know guys that are starting at 40! it is harder though when you come to get jobs

lesser weevil
4th May 2006, 17:44
18, will have ATPL at 19 :)

4th May 2006, 17:56
Count me in with the golden oldies. I'll be 41 next year by which time I hope to have completed fATPL. Certainly restricts my options but there are operators happy to talk safe in the knowledge that you won't skip town on them after 2-3 years training, so yes it's a big gamble, but for me well worth taking for the sheer enjoyment.
When I hear of 26 year olds feeling over the hill, that is something I can't see happening as I only have a potential 20 years flying left in me. I am packing in a career that was good to me and persuing a whole new career (which can be scary and daunting) but if I don't get a job I'll be the best qualififed private pilot down my way!

4th May 2006, 18:13
I am 33yrs old and currently have my PPL ( Fixed ).
I have a career as a mech engineer/ engineering tradesman.
I am about to start my CPL(H) including
Instrument Rating
Mountain Flying
External Load
Commercial Pilot
Certified Flight Instructor
Certified Flight Instructor - Instrument

I guess the difference is that the "older" guys have their head switched on a bit more with life experiences ( not saying younger guys dont have them too)
As they generally tend to have a few more & tend to be a little more level headed.

Like myself , many other older pilots are paying their own flying, and are doing it in one hit , not spreading it out over several years, allowing to get into the flying ( career ) a bit quicker.

Having a second or 3rd career also allows a safety margin to fall back on incase something goes wrong ... like the aviation industrys ass falling out of it ...as it has done in the past or just difficult to get a job , at least I can earn the money to pay for my own flight time if I need to.

:ok: To anyone that decides thats what they want , Age makes no difference.

4th May 2006, 20:06
turning 23 4th of June. Starting my B738 TR June 5th. I'll let you figure out which company it is... :rolleyes:

4th May 2006, 23:35
26 here... well, 27 next week... ouch !

working in education during the day, playing gigs in clubs at the weekend (guitar) and just got myself a part time dispatcher job at EGPF.

And yes, flying during the spare time LOL Do I have any ? Well I don't sleep much I can tell you !

Unfortunately I don't have a money tree in my garden so I have chosen to go the only route I can afford : the hard one. Working 2 and a half jobs is hard but I am looking forward to the dispatcher job, sure will give a good chance to see airline operations up close.

Not really bothered about an airline job. Sure them shiny big pieces of metal look good but I mainly enjoy being in the air, soak up the freedom and look down at the silly buggers stuck in a traffic jam !
Would be quite happy to drop newspapers in Orkney or transport bananas from El Salvador. Beats ferrying a bunch of chavs/neds to Ibiza ! LOL
Does it still make me a wannabe ? What do I know ? I'm just a PPL student anyway, but as they say, you got to start somewhere.

Anyway I disagree about the use of the wannabe word - surely Diego Maradona knew he was a footballer even before he started getting paid for doing it ! :-)

Last but not least....I am not ageist and I do believe in training and that practice makes you perfect no matter what the age... but if I'm sitting on a jet as a passenger, I'd be happier to know my flight deck crew are in their 30s rather than in their 20s.
40s... even better. And I am not talking about women here before you get any ideas LOL

good stuff

4th May 2006, 23:55
im 17 and at the beginning of the journey, but ready to work

11th May 2006, 15:39
Hi, Im 20, did my ppl when I was 18, Pushing myself to complete distance learning with Bristol, I understand it but remembering it has always been the hard thing for me, hope their brush up weeks r as good as people say :) . Hopefull then CPL with multiflight at Leeds Bradford.

12th May 2006, 11:32
I'd like to second Another Biggles and Dave Martain in asking exactly how guys are achieving fATPLs buy the age of 19 and under.

I'm just finishing a Masters degree in Physics and am 22 years old. I've got hours under my belt from the UAS and I've worked in OPS and for NATS so I'd count myself as pretty committed to aviation. I'd be expecting a salary of around £20-25k before tax when I graduate and by my calculations that is not enough to replicate Dct_Bombi's required funds to pay for training loan-free (see below*).

I'm really curious to understand how less qualified/experienced guys are able to afford it before I'd finished my first year! Not having a go at people doing it straight from school, just mystified by the mechanics of it.

*If I assume my first job pays for food, rent/mortgage, bills, commuting and simply exsisting as well as saving £5,000 then I'll need another £15,000 earned from my second job to reach a target of £20,000 saved per year (reaching £60,000 in three years). Assuming I graft for 5 days in the week extra to my 1st job (at weekends plus a few days in the week too!) and knock off 10 days for illness, exhaustion and holiday then I'm left with 250 days in the year to fill with part time work. 15,000/250=£60 per day (ignoring tax!!). Thats a full working day behind the checkout! I'm pretty sure even Sir Alan's new Apprentice would think that a little ambitous to fit in at the end of a 7am-7pm commuting day!

12th May 2006, 12:06
I am 29 currently doing my PPL, I had to put it on hold for nearly a year because I was working abroad. I am planning on funding it all from my current career, but I have a worry that I might be too old by the time I have finished.
Its something I have always wanted to do, but never hand the money to do it, until now.

Sitting in an office 9-5.30 never interested me, but its a way for me to get qualified for something that I have always wanted to do.
One day, the office window will be full of blue skies and clouds below. :)

12th May 2006, 13:34
Started flying when i was 15. Got my PPL at 18, now on a two year degree course for avaition mangement and ops with the ATPL theory included. Should be finshed next year with my (f)ATPL when i will be 21.

12th May 2006, 13:38
im just gone 21, i have cpl/me and am just about to wrap up the IR, i worked with a regional airline every summer as an aircraft engineers assistant up until i finished school. I then got myself a job as an apprentice aircraft engineer. I worked as a mech for the first year then onto avionics for a year and a half. I then left to train to be a pilot at the age of 19. to date 26 JAA exams ( atpl ppl and mech exams) completed and 8 fas exams (mech exams ). when i wrap up the pilot training im going to complete my engineers exams. sure i only have another 9 JAA and 10 million fas ones to do, but sure what the hell else is there to do have fun? nah!!

all the best


12th May 2006, 14:47

Where are you doing your degree course? I'm trying to find out about all those sort of courses at the moment.

12th May 2006, 15:09
raviolis wrote;

I mainly enjoy being in the air, soak up the freedom and look down at the silly buggers stuck in a traffic jam !

That's the real spirit! I have the same tought daily! I have many friends who finished up a few years ago aged 19 to 23 - they completed flight training in 7 months and next straight in the airline sim. If I see them today they sound like me when I had an office job over the last couple of years. Complaining about their hours, paychecks (!?), days off etc - they have no :mad: clue what is out there in the real world and they seam already tired and ready for pension after only 10 years of being FO.

BTW I am 30 and fully ready for the big silver birds but it's a fact that I enjoy my life at my local airport, the flying and airport friends and the GA flying soo much that I sometimes doubt about the airline environment. I guess it's a balance you have to make.

13th May 2006, 12:04
In The Beginning I created the heaven and the earth, then took it easy for a while and how now decided to get the fATPL. So that makes me about 5 billion. Hopefully should have the license by the time I hit 5 billion and 1. :E :E :E

13th May 2006, 12:31
hehe, I'm a bit younger...34.

Doing integrated at the moment. I hope to finish in February next year.

Personally I think that changing any job (aviation or non-aviation) is going to be really hard after 35. (But maybe that's just my perception)

So that's why I choose to fast track and go to an integrated course as opposed to doing it the modular way.

OK, I know that you can get your licence maybe even quicker if you go modular but I think you will be missing out some additional "boosts" like career help. Also, the whole track towards your ATPL is of the same standard on the integrated course...


13th May 2006, 14:44
Might aswell jump onboard...

I'm 22, have a BSc in Biology from the University of Durham and am now half way through the CTC Wings Cadet scheme.

I'd definitely recommend getting a degree 1st, you never know when your medical may let you down or the industry take a downturn. I was told by many a pilot to have the degree as a back up, so I did.

University also teaches you so much more than you could ever learn in a lecture... something which I feel can only better you as a pilot.


rudder pedal
13th May 2006, 18:13
I'm with James Tigris, Another Biggles and Dave Martin.

I'm 22 and just finishing a Masters degree in Physics. As much as I'd love to start my training now, I've decided to go into employment to try and save up for the training - but with a £15k student loan to pay off first.

That leaves me with a fair few years before I can save up the necessary cash, even with a reasonably well-paid job. So I think I'm going to be ~30 (at the earliest) by the time I can squirrel away the figure required, which does worry me slightly.

14th May 2006, 12:24

almost 30y'rs old (young), having a bachelor degree in finance( yes yes i should have stayed at the stockmarket instead of trying to become a pilot :rolleyes:
Started 5 years ago atpl integrated and still without any job.
I would advice people after 29y considering to do a type.


15th May 2006, 07:38
You young guns out there have a considerable advantage... I'm 32 years old now and just beginning flight training. A point that is both fortunate and unfortunate at the same time is the fact that I'm already married, have kids, a big house with a bigger mortgage, and have already established myself in a different career. To put it simply, I doubt I'll ever be able to be an airline pilot, because I just can't afford to take the necessary pay-cut to "Pay my dues" before working up to the great gig in the sky. At best, I'll might be able to get a CFI and MEI and do some part time instructing at a small flight school as I charge ahead with my other career. You guys who are young and single have the future cut out for you. You can sacrifice here and there to pay the dues and work your way into that Boeing. As for me, spending 7 days a week instructing, for 1/3 the pay, and then relocating to take a first officer gig is just not possible, unless of course I politely inform the wife and kids that were going to sell the house, move to a shack, and be dirt poor for the next few years. I envy you guys; you got your whole life ahead of you, and you'll be able to live it in the air!

Abu Bebo
22nd May 2006, 07:33
35 this year and just starting my ATPL exams via DL. I've had a bit of experience in education and about 1000 hrs GA in Godzone. No wife/kids/mortgage makes a big difference (I guess) and having a partner who is willing to support me whilst I finish studying is probably more than I deserve.
I am glad that I have experienced the working environment in different areas and made (more than a few) mistakes in getting/keeping jobs and dealing with people, as an aviation career can be ruined by a bad reputation. Basically I was too young and irresponsible in my 20's and didn't really know what wanted out of life/love/work. Now I feel more 'grounded' and look forward to using my experiences to deal with a challenging work environment.
S#!t, that sounds good I think I'll copy and paste it into my next CV :p

22nd May 2006, 09:35
22 years lass will eventually work my way to CPL, more interested in tailwheelers and the sorts than heading to the airlines. I´ll probably go to Oz for the training and process the speed I feel comfortable with.

22nd May 2006, 11:07
45. Ex mil helicopter pilot, 1200+ hours, mostly twin, all turbine. Bored with current employment, although it'll provide funds to go modular.

Too old? Maybe, but hell, I could be doing this job for another 20 years and spend every minute regretting not having a go.

22nd May 2006, 11:47
I'm 22. Finished my fATPL at 19. Then worked in a bank for 9 months. Followed that with a year of dispatching and then six months instructing at egbw. Now RHS 737 with big uk carrier. Glad it worked out this way, i had to work at it and that makes the achievment alot sweeter. To all young guys don't be in a rush to get straight into an airliner. The jobs i did gave me good life experience and an appreciation to all aspects of airline operations.


22nd May 2006, 22:53
30yrs old and trying to sort finances out (remortage etc.) often wonder if I'll make it! I just need to get enough money together to throw at it as I need to support my family during training if I take a serious route .
Wife and kids all very supportive. Had some 'orrible set backs in my time so in agreement with others I think the life experience does help or could you become over cynical?
Just want to escape the motor trade !I'll be more than happy to fly cargo or something.
Great Grandad was a pilot for BOAC.Trained with Imperial airways
Grandad had three ATPLs from different countries?????? Logbook shows airshows and barnstorming, flew for BA.
Me not even started yet
I will get there !!!

Do you think so?:ugh: :)

Sorry for ending up with the thread title at the top here, thought it worked like another forum!

6th Oct 2006, 12:17
am 34 .....but if anyone knows if you can buy a birth certificate on ebay...I'll be 22 again..he he :E

6th Oct 2006, 16:32
Hi all,
This one again!
Age doesn't really matter, Market conditions do. However......

My advice would be go to Uni first then decide.
I have a fATPL (finished this summer). I am now waiting for my chance. In the meantime I have had job interviews for "graduate" jobs circa £30,000.
I am 35, so no spring chicken. If I was say, 20 without a degree, I would now be looking at jobs that pay less than half of that. Most airlines look for how much flying you do (in the last 12 months), FlyBE is one, they ask for at least 50hours. It's ok getting the fATPL but you need to keep the skill level up. I think most 20ish people will probably be heavily in debt thus all extra money going towards that and not flying. Therefore, decreasing your chance of getting a job, apart from life experience as discussed before, keeping the skill level up is the hardest part.
If you are 18 and undecided about Uni/ATPL. I would choose Uni, it's not just a case of keeping the skill level up but some airlines now expect you to have a degree due to the degenerating standard of secondary school qualifications.
BenAek - your imaturity in your post shines through like a gold coin in cow dung! You will find it particularly difficult to get employment after dropping your A level's. It comes across that you are not willing to take the boring/hard stuff and would rather quit. Flying, unfortunately, has a lot of repetitive/boring stuff that must be completed for a safe and efficient flight. I would return to college and do the A levels. Like I said before due to the standard of education in secondary schools GCSE are worthless and A's are going that way too. If I was an employer whom had to decide between say GCSE/A Level/ Degree (we're talking about low houred pilots) , 9 out of 10 would interview the graduate first then go down the list. I'm sorry but that's how the world is. Please prove me wrong

Happy landings

6th Oct 2006, 17:48
I'm 32, after my degree i went into the RAF for 6 years come out and now have the finances to do what i've always wanted....Got my PPL with night, and currently just started my ATPL's.....fly for an hour every week (have 102 at the moment)

6th Oct 2006, 18:10
Hey all. I am coming up to the age of 19. I started my PPL when I was 17 at Aeros In Gloucester. I am going into the army next month. My life long dream is to become an airline pilot. Once I am in the forces I am going to study for my fATPL at a discounted rate then come out of the army at the age of 23 and hopefully be employed with an airline. My other option is to stay in the army and after 4 years go for helicopter pilot selection and fly the apache. Then when I eventually leave the army I will just have to do conversion courses. All the options are there.

6th Oct 2006, 18:27

got PPL at 17
218 hours to date
ATPL Ground exams ( killers )
Currently 3/4 way through CPL
Will have Frozen ATPL whilst 18
i dropped out of a levels because i wanted to fly basically i couldnt be see myself going to university for 3 years and would rather go and do my ATPLs. Any younger ones who are unsure what to do- I am glad that Ive chose this route - please drop me a line if u want to chat

Thts wot i wanted to do - e-mail me if you can pleease mate [email protected]<hidden> thnx

6th Oct 2006, 18:32
Hi guys,

18. Currently in full time training with the aim of completing my fATPL at the age of 19!
Currently working away at the ground school!!

Do i regret not going to Uni, nope not really! You work harder then all your mates at Uni, but then again nothing in life is easy! And well by the time there in their third year you could be happily flying around the skies!
Also i would be spending 3yrs wishing i were doing what i am doing now so why wait any longer!

6th Oct 2006, 21:01
Ok, 37 years old, just recently completed IR(H). Have CPL(H) and FI(H). Just secured my first salaried position as co-pilot offshore. Having to sell house. Move to different part of the country. Wife has to give up her job of 9 years. One child. No money anymore. Oh, and take a pay cut of 50% from my last job. Would I do it all again? Hell yes!!

Life is too short to not give it a go!:ok: :ok:

6th Oct 2006, 21:39
Im 15(16 in 2 months) Just in Transition year leaving cert in 2 years :{ currently training for my ppl and hope to have my my f/atpl by my 19th.

6th Oct 2006, 22:28
Your post has just proved my point. Good luck.

6th Oct 2006, 23:46
Hi im 18 and i left school forever this year :{ !! oh well. got my GCSE's and A levels and am now sitting the exams for the ppl to hopefully go to america to get my ppl, night rating, imc and multi engine rating. Cant wait :ok:

7th Oct 2006, 01:02
Hi Guys,

I'm 41 and previously worked as a lawyer from the bottom at age 16, studied part-time as a mature student and then spent almost every cent I had on flying training from the age of 27. Used to work all week in the office and then take the bus/train/bus out to the airport every weekend to do my hour of flying. Took 2 years to get my PPL then about 1 year for CPL. Did weekend surveillance flying ( as a volunteer ) for a further couple of years whilst paying for my Instructor rating.

Left the law and trained international airline cadets for a while, worked part-time jobs washing aircraft, cleaning etc just to stay involved. Returned to law to pay for multi training and instrument training approvals, eventually got offered a job where I'd dropped a resume in a year before and built my multi time up, did some charter and started with one airline briefly before my current one came along 4 odd years ago and now I'm waiting for a command ( slow process where I work ).

This is entirely different to how I imagined the dream but the rich experience I have had along the way and the friendships I have formed could not be swapped for any amount of money or perceived prestige.

I would still love to fly a jet but must say it is tricky getting through the cull when you're over 40. I feel 25 but the application doesn't take that into account.

So for anyone considering a career change then consider going for it. It probably won't pan out anything like you imagine but there will be no risk of regrets in your room at the nursing home.....



7th Oct 2006, 01:49
Hello all,
I'm 16 just left school. My first step is to do an apprenticeship to get a trade this will take the maximum of 4years and then you can make a lot of money if you have a decent trade in the mean time hope to complete a PPL. After saving up enough money from a trade i will hopefuly do an ATPL. Failing to get employed straight away i will always have a decent trade to fall back on as a plan B. (hopefully it all falls into place first time :) )

Good Luck ALL. Hopefully cya's in the sky! :)


7th Oct 2006, 02:48
Just gone 17 in july, got PPL, night rating and have 169 TT. Been flying since like 14. Always been a dream to fly in the skies, but been working hard in education as a backup also, s far i'm half-way through my "masters of public administration" in aberdeen. Hopefully may go to do ATPL theory in january, or maybe go to imperial college to do my PHD, still don't know yet. But guess i'll have something to fall back on at the end. I think that older people just discriminate us young people, by thinking were not mature enough, but I think aslong as we are determined as a person to do something, you will always pass. But somehow i've been passing everything first time, like my PPL and my driving license, done my driving license in 4 weeks so was quite amazing. But I guess young people now are just lacking of determination sometimes. But thanks to my old teachers back in high school who motivated, I have picked myself up. Now hopefully will be finishing my masters of by december. Also currently on the pathfinder course in cabair which is cool. Just hoping from now on there is no age discrimination out there.

Take Care everyone

BRI ^^

7th Oct 2006, 06:22
You can spot a good attitude a mile off! Good luck, Brian304, I'm sure you'll be in the RHS before long. :ok: :ok: :ok:

7th Oct 2006, 16:03

With regards to the older generation starting flight training i would like to say they are taking far more of a risk then many of the young ones out there!!
I know 1 student who left a very nice job in London which paid well to enter a career in aviation, and my hat goes of to him as it does to you all who leave well paid jobs to take on the mountain which is ahead of us all, especially with family as well!!
Life’s to short to hang around if the flying bug bites you and you want a career in aviation go after it!
Everyone i knows has never looked back! I know of a gentleman who gained his first f/o position in his mid forties!
Also i have heard of BA taking a low hour cadet pilot onto their SSP scheme at the age of 34!

You’re never to old!!

But with regards to grades id say that ideally you should have at least A-Levels when you start your training, to show you can take education to the next level!


7th Oct 2006, 19:22
Well, I just hit 40, did 12 years in the British army (on tanks) and the last 10 years as a contrator in IT. I decided time to make the change and go do something I actually love doing. Im looking at starting my own business (here come the flames!!!) doing short business hops and local sightseeing tours for all you visiting westerners over here in the former Sovit loc countries.
Not sure what licence above my current PPL I will need, looking to get a twin prop and use that for the business hops, maybe a C172 for the sightseeing. Gonna head to the US I reckon for my IR and Multi. Like I said not sure what else Im gonna need to be able to fly and charge but no doubt someone here does.

I know its maybe seems crazy doing this but sometimes if you dont try something you will never know what could have been! If all else fails I will have got higher qualified and at least have a C172 without my other half moaning:ok:

All you "youngsters" out there, GO FOR IT!!!!!!I wish I had when I was younger!

7th Oct 2006, 20:10
I'm 16 and a half years old and have recently started my PPL training in Gloucestershire, UK. I've had the dream of becoming an airline pilot for about 3 years now, and I am extremely passionate towards it. I initially started on the FS packages out there, such as Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000; I now own a copy of FS2004 and use (not "play" lol) it during ALL of my free time. I also regurlarly use a special online server called "VATSIM" which has revolutionised the way we use flight simulators across the internet. You can simply log onto VATSIM and fly with tens of hundreds of other virtual pilots around the virtual skies whilst using extremely authentic ATC services, which are done by real people using headsets in the homes. I would certainly advise ANYONE interested in civil/military aviation to take a look into the world of Flight Simulators - I certainly think they are an amazing aid to flight training, and if I hadn't set foot on a Flight Simulator package back in 1999, I simply wouldn't be here and have such a huge passion for aviation and be so motivated to succeed in my field of great interest. Please take a look at my website for everthing FS, and discover how your passion too for any aspect of aviation can grow: www.freewebs.com/air1jwilkins1212 (http://www.freewebs.com/air1jwilkins1212)

Regards, Aaron

7th Oct 2006, 21:07
Please explain how my post projects my "jealousy"? I have wished you Goodluck which was genuine. How do you expect to get through your training and career without even listening to criticism or advice? Once again, I wish you the best of luck as I know you have a lot to get through and nothing is guarenteed even if your father is a TRE/TRI at Mytravel (it's a small world).


7th Oct 2006, 21:50
Ben, I've never implied that if you have a degree you will 100% get a job. What I've tried to imply,is that being educated to a higher level will in the long term be more beneficial not just for flying but for life. It's also away of processing applications, your enthusiasm will not be projected to an administrator in the HR dept. ! Sorry but it's a fact - they find it an absolutely mind numbing experience.
So many variables can bugger up your career as a pilot too. a recession, loss of medical, politics etc..the list is endless.
I know there is a industry saying that once your in your in. However, you only have to look at this website to see how many extremely qualified (pilot terms) and they are unemployed.
The problem is that when you are a pilot it is difficult to transfer to another occupation (one that pays the same).
Having a degree/ trade is an "Insurance Policy" and unfortunately times have changed. HMG now expects at least 50% of 18 year olds to go to Uni. That's an hell of a lot. We also live in a global market. Eastern Europeans are vastly higher educated than we are (soviet hang over) and are willing to work for lower wages (search Ryanair T+C). In India, the same.In China, the same.
If you don't consider Education worth while now, I would seriously consider it in the future. May be an Open Uni degree once you've settled into that jet job. I think they do Airline Managment/Operations stuff. That would be considereable ammunition on the CV for when you go for that DFO/Chief Pilot job in the future.
Thanks for the wishes.

Sean H
7th Oct 2006, 22:05
Im 18. Have a JAA PPL(A) and the JAA/FAA night rating. Have started Helicopter training and am going for my CPL(H).:=

7th Oct 2006, 23:55
33 here & climbing, starting CPL on Monday, IR after Christmas, then MCC, FIC straight after, 2 young kids, hefty mortgage, a well paid job that is about to be terminated (you gotta love cheap Eastern European labour), also started some A levels to "enhance" the ol' CV

8th Oct 2006, 05:02
You can spot a good attitude a mile off! Good luck, Brian304, I'm sure you'll be in the RHS before long. :ok: :ok: :ok:

Well whats the RHS may I ask please? because when I searched it on google it came up with like royal gardening society and history society, and I don't think thats what you meant.


BRI ^^

8th Oct 2006, 07:47
It stands for Right Hand Seat Brian


8th Oct 2006, 08:01
You can spot a good attitude a mile off! Good luck, Brian304, I'm sure you'll be in the RHS before long. :ok: :ok: :ok:

There is still time to become bitter and twisted.....:}

Good luck brian:ok:

12th Oct 2006, 11:21
I'm 25, 26 in November and have just put in the second part of my application for CTC Wings Cadet Course with an intention of starting studying in September 2007 ideally.

I left college with 4A*'s, 6A's at GCSE, an A and 2 B's at A-Level (which i did in a year) but didn't go to University. I've done lots of interesting things, including running my own record label and releasing numerous records including two of my own. I'm finishing up my album at the moment and then i'm done with that side of things for a good while. I'm also writing short stories and have my first book idea in my head. I've set up my own shop (nothing to do with the music!) and i'm a year and a half into that, having hit targets all the way through (though the last couple of months have been pretty slow and fraught financially). The plan is once i complete my first two years trading to sell the business, ideally for most if not all of the necessary money to do the CTC course, and probably sell my house as well - free myself of responsibilities, plus top up the finances available too if needs be. I'm doing my PPL (tho the downturn in sales has slowed my lessons - i've only done a few) and I love flying - can't wait to be up there in the sky all the time!

13th Oct 2006, 22:29

Im 19 years of age and at the moment im attending a 6month full time atpl groundschool course.

I left school 18months ago with 9 A*-B grade GCSEs and 3 good passes at Alevels inc Maths. I didnt go to uni or even consider it.

In the year after my alevels i did my PPL, Night and hour building along with working to save up for groundschool, cpl etc. Im half way through the atpl exams now, and its roughly 12months since i first started flying and the pursuit of the atpl licence. Im about to do my MER next month.

When i finish the groundschool in February im going straight into the CPL (well, ok maybe a week or so off :ok: ) as long as my money is sorted so i can start. Straight into the IR after that and then straight into the MCC.

I will still work part time as i have for the past year or so, but being young i just want to crack it all off, suffer some debt undoubtedly but then just get into a job or instructing while i wait for one as plan B.

I have it all roughly planned out, and im looking forward to the future and doing some more flying very much!


13th Oct 2006, 23:39
i'm *Just 23 :p ... am I still young enough ???:confused: ... lol... obviously I am ....
Done with my graduation in Computing frm Staffordshire University and doing job in HR ... adding funds to my bank balance... and i got enough of em already ... but u kno
"More the Sugar is, More Sweeter it will Get"
as I am very much settled in Job a break means Cutting of a Resource ? Yeah it does.... so, hopefully will be doing job like :mad: till next summer .... thn , u will see a Thread Starting by me Title "Now, What Should I do ?"...lol..
till thn , PEACE !!!:O

15th Oct 2006, 19:34

My problem is not my age but my brain, I have to be realistic with regards to ATPL exams, I was not any good at school with Maths or any Science.
I reckon I would really struggle with the tests, but never say never, Im just hoping to get my PPL within the next year and maybe I will consider working towards a CPL.

I wouldnt worry too much about the exams, if you undertake a full time groundschool course for example as long as you keep up with work and put the revision hours in you'll do fine. After all the papers are multi choice so the answers in there somewhere ;)

Good luck with your PPL too, the PPL exams are good small taster of atpl equivilants too. The atpl exams as youve probably twigged just go into far more depth than required of the farmstrip PPLer :cool:

15th Oct 2006, 20:01

I am over 30, and I suggest to all young student (around 20yo) to be very carefull with aviation and to not give up your university or yours professional training (IT,...) for aviation.

I know a guy with 20 years old, with high school degree, he missed to be enroll in an university cus he wanted go to the USA, and a few weeks later things are already not working very well for him.His friends are studing hard to become doctor, electrician,... during this time, he is still at home hoping to find a school in the states.

then he didn't think about the medical, there is still a risk that a JAA doctor find something bad in you.

the medical is much easier in the USA or in australia than in Europe.
the best would be to pass the 1st class before to spend lot of your cash in a commercial training, and have a good degree as a backup in a field other than aviation.

then consider than when you will be finished wth your commercial training, maybe you are in a good time, or you coud be in a 3 rd world war with N korean or Iran and who know how things will be in 2-3 or 4 years.

My advice is not to rush your aviation training, wait to be 25year old, finish your degree and then you will plan your avaition training.and don't sell your house...give it for rent and get a monthly cash!
good luck! (sorry for my bad english)

15th Oct 2006, 20:09
My advice is not to rush your aviation training, wait to be 25year old, finish your degree and then you will plan your avaition training

Thats all very well for people who have dreamed about flying and dont want to do a degree. I couldnt find a subject i wanted to go a degree in, purely because i wanted into aviation. Its all very well saying that too, ive planned carefully and sorted the money for my training, another £10-15k for a degree isnt possible.

why wait and be miserable, get it done and the sooner you can get into what you want. I would rather qualify young, and then get a job to tide me over whilst staying current that to get some horrible job for five years before training.

You say wait, but why? None of us are sure what the pilot recruitment system will be like in another 5 years...good or bad, nobody knows.

You've got to take life by the horns

Sorry differing of opinions here!


White Knight
16th Oct 2006, 04:31
Well said ScottieDog - great attitude.... Take the bl00dy bull by the horns:ok:

It's great to have the internet to have these discussions, sadly when I did my CPL at the age of 18 there was no internet. That was 20 years ago:} :} For all you young wannabes - keep going, flying IS the best job in the world:ok:

27th Oct 2006, 15:10
I'm just over thirty so, reading this, i'm feeling very old.:eek:

27th Oct 2006, 15:33
5N-VNA Don't worry too much, I'm 33 and my license only arrived last month.
I have already been offered 3 interviews with major airlines. I think life experience counts for a lot as well as youth.

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