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Just turned 40, any pointÖ!

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Just turned 40, any pointÖ!

Old 12th Jan 2022, 20:26
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: ballymoney
Age: 40
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Just turned 40, any pointÖ!

Hi all,

Turned 40 a couple of months ago and still havenít had any luck getting that first start, I trained and completed CPL/MEIR etc about 5 years ago now but didnít manage to land a job in the first couple of years then life got in the way for a year or 2 but have recently revalidated my IR and wondering if there is much point pushing any further to get into an airline with the current climate or should I accept that itís too late, massive aviation fan and hate the thought of totally giving up on it!
ricky81 sti is offline  
Old 13th Jan 2022, 07:17
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Join Date: May 2004
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I have seen older guys than you making it into a cockpit, paying a price for it, yeah, but making it nevertheless.

Please do not take what I am going to say on the bad side, but I just don't understand posts like yours. You are not asking for specifics about job market or airlines, you are just asking for a general opinion about how things are going at the moment. So, what if we all say that things are crap? Are you just going to burn the CPL license and dust off the cab drivers license?

Dude, do not mind what anyone else tells you about the market because you will not know how things are until you actually try. PLOW AHEAD AND DO NOT GIVE UP.

I wouldn't be where I am know if I had given up during any of the other miriad of crisis I have had to face during my career.

Please persevere, and after you make it into a cockpit, come back here to let us know how hard it was so we can compliment you!
iggy is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2022, 20:05
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: ireland
Age: 36
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Legend

Hey man, well done for getting so far and still looking. Iíd say keep trying, but Iíll tell ya make sure u choose a good employer, the two main low cost ones a shocking at the moment and your treated horrible. So thatís my advice keep searching but make sure you choose whatís right for you and your family.
alvocaviat is offline  
Old 15th Jan 2022, 05:05
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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You're asking is it worth revalidating a rating you've already got, because your potential career will be ONLY 25 years? 🤷‍♂️
rudestuff is offline  
Old 15th Jan 2022, 07:08
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Join Date: Apr 2015
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Not impossible, but chances of getting a co-pilot job are pretty slim at age 40, especially as you finished training 5 years ago. Employers want young people, freshly qualified.
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Old 15th Jan 2022, 10:27
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Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: UK
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If you have the means to, keep pushing!
Iím sure there will be a school out there that would be willing to take you on as a flight instructor. Look for any job that will keep you current and eventually the market will pick up sufficiently for you to land your dream job.
things look grim atm but it will only be temporary, this industry always has a 10 year cycle and weíve just left the bottom of one so better times are on the horizon if you can just find a way to stay current
dobby88 is offline  
Old 16th Jan 2022, 05:32
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Join Date: Oct 2020
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I'd say that your chances of "making it" are severely diminished unless you are willing to make big sacrifices both moral as well as financial. Disregarding the "but we're all equal regardless of our age" PC BS, in the real world a significantly less number of companies would want to invest in a 40+ year old rookie pilot than those which will do the same for candidates who are under 30. Just look into maximum age requirement of any sponsored ab-initio schemes in countries where age discrimination is not yet prohibited. Age factor is real and that's the ugly truth.

Now that we are straight with the situation it all comes down on how much you really want (or need) it. Is the pilot job something you see as a nice-to-have while riding towards the sunset but not that critical? Then doing some part-time side hustles (ground instructing, even flight instructing) might put you in an advantage when proverbial good times are back and you might see reasonable opportunities surface again. Big emphasis on might and your have to keep in mind that your options are decreasing with every passing year. If you feel the pilot job with a decent package by the time you retire is a must for you, then the two only options for somebody in your position are: slaving for the low-costers or p2f (pains to say, but yes) for a year or two. Either of those will give you big jet time NOW which is really what matters in the long run. Disregard all the talk about p2f being frowned upon during interviews, rare few give a flying monkey's in regards to how you've clocked your hours. But again that is provided you can afford it bot financially as well as socially.

Good luck!
skygeek is offline  
Old 16th Jan 2022, 13:04
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It’a a sad but true fact that the over 40’s struggle with their first big jet type rating training. Another fact, all 12 over 35’s failed their Base training from light aircraft onto the B737 with a certain low cost carrier some years ago. Nowadays, most airlines won’t take you on, they stick with the youngsters as mentioned above.
Nightstop is offline  
Old 16th Jan 2022, 15:34
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I’m 40 myself, and I applied for Ryanair aps, and was not even asked to do an assessment, this is before they even looked at any of my credentials, I was asked my date of birth though in the form, so I assume that was the reason, as I know others who have progressed at the same stage, would have been nice just to be given a chance even.
Toro103r is offline  
Old 16th Jan 2022, 15:44
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Keep pushing, be prepared to move.
Your first job is the hardest one to get.
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Old 16th Jan 2022, 16:21
  #11 (permalink)  
pug
 
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Originally Posted by Nightstop View Post
Itía a sad but true fact that the over 40ís struggle with their first big jet type rating training. Another fact, all 12 over 35ís failed their Base training from light aircraft onto the B737 with a certain low cost carrier some years ago. Nowadays, most airlines wonít take you on, they stick with the youngsters as mentioned above.
Is it a fact or an anecdote? I know of three major U.K. operators who have taken a large amount of more mature cadets and put them through their first Ďbig jetí type ratings without issue. Not sure Iíve ever seen a study of type rating success based on age brackets, has this been done?

Many people canít afford the heavy training outlay without having a reasonably paid first career from which to save. They also tend to bring with them well developed experience in working with others and handling the non-Ďstick and rudderí facets of the modern airline pilot role that younger candidates donít often possess.

If we were talking about someone in their mid 40ís, Iíd be inclined to agree that you must think very carefully before investing huge sums - over 50 donít bother - but OP already has completed the training and is wondering whether itís worth revalidating ratings. In this case if the funds and time are there, then maybe so, if all the holes line up as much as practicable.

Were I in OPís situation, Iíd be saving for an FI rating, and doing that on the side of another career. That could open up networks with other operators not otherwise heard about, but also is in itself is a rewarding side gig.
pug is offline  
Old 16th Jan 2022, 17:34
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Is it a fact or an anecdote?
No, itís a fact. I saw them all come back into the Crew Room from their failed attempts at B737 Base Training, carried out by very well respected Base Training Captains. I felt so sad for them, lots of effort and money spent for nothing. At least one candidate was ex Cabin Crew for the same airline, made no difference. If you donít make the grade at the final ďhands-onĒ assessment, youíre out. Thatís the way it is, and how it should be.
Nightstop is offline  
Old 16th Jan 2022, 17:41
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Ryanair interviews and sim assessments - 2
johni is offline  
Old 16th Jan 2022, 17:57
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pug
 
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Originally Posted by Nightstop View Post
No, itís a fact. I saw them all come back into the Crew Room from their failed attempts at B737 Base Training, carried out by very well respected Base Training Captains. I felt so sad for them, lots of effort and money spent for nothing. At least one candidate was ex Cabin Crew for the same airline, made no difference. If you donít make the grade at the final ďhands-onĒ assessment, youíre out. Thatís the way it is, and how it should be.
Thatís fair enough, but my experience vastly differs from yours. I can think of one such event, but they were all experienced NTR new joiners having flown turbo props / other jet types and the like for years previous. I can also think of a disproportionate number having failed but were way below the supposed 30 age point cutoff.

Some operators might prefer the younger prospects, the ones with no commitments who they can base somewhere in the backend of nowhere. Others may prefer people who come from more experienced backgrounds from other careers, people who they can sit next to on a long flight and have something interesting to chat about - but are also capable of managing the flight.

It goes without saying that thorough research is needed for whoever is willing to take the risk and stump up the cash.

Last edited by pug; 16th Jan 2022 at 18:34.
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Old 16th Jan 2022, 23:56
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I know of someone in their mid 40s who started at a major Irish low cost carrier not too long ago. He said the type rating and base training was incredibly tough and a big learning curve, but he managed to pass it without any issues. I know his course had a fair range of ages probably averaging out at the mid-late 20s.

For the OP, age 40 means you have a 25 year career ahead of you. This isn't the 1960s/ job for life era and in the modern world, that is a pretty long career. If it is truly your passion, I think some good advice has been given above. You've now got a valid IR so are close to the cockpit. Look at what's out there.
Some have said there will be no jobs in Europe for the next 1/2/4/6/1000 years, but this just isn't the case. Ryanair, Wizz, BA, flybe Jet2 are just a few of the well-known names I have seen recently advertising. The Sandpit hiring gears are also being oiled up. Yes, some, like BA and flybe, were for experienced pilots, but even there at least some of them will move from somewhere else opening up a position somewhere else.
I have noticed an uptick in FI jobs recently too. The flight school market seems to have rebounded quite a bit since when the pandemic hit. My feeling is a lot of students (rightly or wrongly) are anticipating 2022/23 to be good ones for the job market. Though nobody knows for sure of course.

@Nightstop I wonder what on Earth was going on at that low cost carrier if all over 35s failed their base training. My first thought is there must be very serious deficiencies with both their recruitment process and their type rating course. Either that, or your anecdote is a little less truthful than you are letting on.
RedDragonFlyer is offline  
Old 17th Jan 2022, 07:54
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I was at Flybe before and can say that we had a huge mix of people join. They would be quite forgiving and provide extra training. One person failed line training twice. Third strike and he was out sadly. 10 years FI experience but he just wasnít up to commercial flying. He could fly the aircraft fine but as a crew member apparently he was dangerous. I struggled with my training. If I did it again I would do a better MCC but then everyone I spoke to says the first TR is always the hardest.

Best bets for you would be RYR/WIZZ or network like hell for a private jet job. I know many contacts who went in as low hours into private jet market but all had major contacts.
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Old 17th Jan 2022, 08:48
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I would say to the OP to have a long careful think about this. Do you want any flying or airline flying, and will you need an ATPL?

I you have a family, be aware that even if you get through the ATPL, then all the on-line pre-testing, the time limited classroom tests, the interviews, the SIM tests, the type rating, the line training, the final line check; that as a brand new pilot with no experience, you might be sent to the worst/ most distant base and you won't have the seniority to go part-time or choose your base, so your family will suffer. Not much point going down this road if you spend your life in a single room and only see your children for 1.5 days every fortnight. Then there is the cost of training, self positioning and digs to factor in.

That's OK when you are 25 with no family, but difficult in later life, and marriages can suffer.

Also; flying used to be fun, but nowadays there are stringent security checks, hi-viz police, Covid procedures, fatigue, very short turn-arounds, relentless schedules, positioning by road and air. It can be very hard work - before you even start the actual flying part ! (and even then you have locked cockpit doors, and maybe auto-pilot mandated operations and probably low pay). You will also fly at weekends and at Christmas and will not be able to see your mates down the pub on a regular basis, if at all.
Uplinker is offline  
Old 17th Jan 2022, 09:35
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Join Date: Apr 2015
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I totally agree with all this.

Unless you get posted to a base near your home, or you are willing to uproot you and your family to somewhere else, the "lifestyle" price you pay in an airline job is very very heavy indeed.



Originally Posted by Uplinker View Post
I would say to the OP to have a long careful think about this. Do you want any flying or airline flying, and will you need an ATPL?

If you have a family, be aware that even if you get through the ATPL, then all the on-line pre-testing, the time limited classroom tests, the interviews, the SIM tests, the type rating, the line training, the final line check; that as a brand new pilot with no experience, you might be sent to the worst/ most distant base and you won't have the seniority to go part-time or choose your base, so your family will suffer. Not much point going down this road if you spend your life in a single room and only see your children for 1.5 days every fortnight. Then there is the cost of training, self positioning and digs to factor in.

That's OK when you are age 25 with no family, but difficult in later life, and marriages can suffer.

Also; flying used to be fun, but nowadays there are stringent security checks, hi-viz police, Covid procedures, fatigue, very short turn-arounds, relentless schedules, positioning by road and air. It can be very hard work - before you even start the actual flying part ! (and even then you have locked cockpit doors, and maybe auto-pilot mandated operations and probably low pay). You will also fly at weekends and at Christmas and will not be able to see your mates down the pub on a regular basis, if at all.
johni is offline  
Old 17th Jan 2022, 19:01
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I was quite surprised to read that there are companies which treat base training as an examination event. How can one be examined on something they're doing for the first time in their lives, given that even the most modern FFS is not a 100% representation of what a real aircraft feels like? I always thought that the word "training" in base training and line training meant that those were primarily opportunities to learn while the intermediate (before safety pilot release) and final line checks were meant to validate the satisfactory learning outcome.

Back to the topic, I fully agree with the aforementioned. It's a matter of how much personal sacrifice you're ready for. If you can get a job that will have you based in your local area and living at home, then it's "just" the irregular work patterns you'll have to deal with. But how would you feel about spending over half of your time, often in blocks of a few weeks at a time, on the road with some randomly selected colleagues that you may or may not make friends with? This is the reality for many, if not most pilots.
PilotLZ is offline  
Old 18th Jan 2022, 02:12
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Join Date: May 2012
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Originally Posted by ricky81 sti View Post
Hi all,

Turned 40 a couple of months ago and still havenít had any luck getting that first start, I trained and completed CPL/MEIR etc about 5 years ago now but didnít manage to land a job in the first couple of years then life got in the way for a year or 2 but have recently revalidated my IR and wondering if there is much point pushing any further to get into an airline with the current climate or should I accept that itís too late, massive aviation fan and hate the thought of totally giving up on it!
Hi there,

I would say carry on if you have the resources to do so and expect little or nothing in return. Your ethnicity/background also matters as well depending on location, also consider small or bottom of the barrel operators to get a start and keep networking as much as you can, someone you came across along the way can give you a helping hand one day.
ZuluZuluAlpha is offline  

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