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How old is really too old?

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How old is really too old?

Old 5th Oct 2012, 13:59
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How old is really too old?

Hello everyone, at what age do fighter pilots generally stop flying fast jets other than their own choice to move on, and is there an age limit after you have completed advanced flight training that you are deemed to old for fighter training even if you have the right stuff?
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Old 5th Oct 2012, 14:27
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Don't know, can't remember...

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Old 5th Oct 2012, 14:36
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Originally Posted by lightningstriker View Post
Hello everyone, at what age do fighter pilots generally stop flying fast jets other than their own choice to move on, and is there an age limit after you have completed advanced flight training that you are deemed to old for fighter training even if you have the right stuff?
The second part is easy. In the RAF, because you can give 6 months notice to leave after the age of 50 they won't give you an OCU after 50. Even a 48 year old could go before his training was amortised.

In practise 45 was the cut-off point for a new OCU, as opposed to retreading on a type that you had previously been trained on as the failure rate for retraining was deemed too great.

Returning to the first part, when I was posted to Cyprus the captain on the Brit was ex-Lightnings. He had flown 12 brilliant years on them and earlier fighters and felt it time to move on. I guess he was mid to late 30s.

A nav, posted as a flt cdr on F4, a type he had previously flown, VWd at the age of 40 as all the aircrew on the sqn were so young.
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Old 5th Oct 2012, 14:55
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..they won't give you an OCU after 50.
I started my last OCU in April 2010 aged 51 years and 10 months....
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Old 5th Oct 2012, 14:59
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Old 5th Oct 2012, 15:05
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When my son joined 41(F) in '91 there was a 54 yr old pilot on the squadron, with 10,000 hours as a fighter pilot; he had fought in the Gulf War.
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Old 5th Oct 2012, 15:20
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I can't answer the question, but assumed that the OP is after some idea of the current situation, not what it was 30 or 40 years ago.

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Old 5th Oct 2012, 15:55
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Old 5th Oct 2012, 17:23
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I climbed out of an air force fighter at age 53 and the only reason I had to stop was that BAE could not insure me. However, the need for glasses to read the warning captions was already a bit of an encumbrance and as a chap who could never suffer fools gladly the patience was wearing thin more often . Could have gone on several years longer without much trouble.
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Old 5th Oct 2012, 18:23
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I flew fighters (well F4 and F3 any way) continuously until I was 52. Was told by my Boss that I could carry on until retirement as long as fit to do so. I do, however, think that going on Ops is a young mans game. My last was at the age of 45 and old enough.
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Old 5th Oct 2012, 18:40
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How old is really too old?
Sorry, I thought this was a question about Jimmy Saville.....

In which case, I would have answered "Allegedly, about 13 or 14...."

Last edited by BEagle; 5th Oct 2012 at 18:41.
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Old 5th Oct 2012, 18:41
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sargs, the rule I quoted was obviously not inviolate. What had you been on? When had you last flown it? What were you going on to?

If you answer those then we may see where you fit the profile.

There was an AEO. He last flew on the Nimrod Mk 1. He did a ground tour down south. He did a conversion to the Mk 2 and settled at Forres. He PVRd on arrival on the sqn at age 51. Thereafter the 50/6mths caused a rapid rethink.
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Old 5th Oct 2012, 19:58
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How come the question asked about fighter pilots and PN you have dragged the thread quickly to Nimrod AEOs. By the way, I know some very nice AEOs but none of them would have been fighter pilots, or vise versa.
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Old 5th Oct 2012, 20:14
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We had a pilot and nav on 92 "way back when" who held a "5 Over 50 badge" (RS05 over the age of 50. Both went on well towards their 60th birthdays but neither needed an OCU as they were qualified on the jet.

In my case, I realised 6G began to hurt as I got older...... It's a young man's (or gal's) game.
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Old 5th Oct 2012, 21:27
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Dominator, very simply because the rule was applied across the caegories and that was an example of why the 45-50 limit was placed. Secondly Sargs only qualified his post with his age; maybe he was a fighter pilot but who knows.
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Old 5th Oct 2012, 23:01
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"As a contribution to this thread, pathetic."
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Old 5th Oct 2012, 23:15
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Old 5th Oct 2012, 23:33
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Very funny I thought
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Old 6th Oct 2012, 01:04
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But Chuck Yeager kept flying fighters till very late in life.

And Ray Furnell kept flying as the CAS of the RAAF until 60 at least

Regards

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Old 6th Oct 2012, 01:33
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I was just about to post about Ray Furnell, not that I knew him but he turned up at I think Laverton Air base one day while we were training there. We asked and
were told he flew himself around to meetings without any fanfare.

I seem to remember the comment was made he sometimes turned up
at an airbase without any prior warning as well which kept people on their toes !!!
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