Professional Pilot Training (includes ground studies) A forum for those on the steep path to that coveted professional licence. Whether studying for the written exams, training for the flight tests or building experience here's where you can hang out.

The perpetual 'Am I too old?' thread

Old 29th Jun 2012, 08:46
  #181 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: U.K.
Posts: 529
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You're asking people to predict something infinitely random - life. Make your decision, live with the consequences, take responsibility for yourself and have no regrets. Any other advice is useless noise.
BlackandBrown is offline  
Old 29th Jun 2012, 13:49
  #182 (permalink)  

PPRuNe Handmaiden
Join Date: Feb 1997
Location: Duit On Mon Dei
Posts: 4,650
Received 32 Likes on 18 Posts
Eire wannabe,

As others have alluded to "it depends".
Have you done a medical? (eyes, ears, diabetes)
Do you have the money to throw away?
Do you have a family that is depending on you for a certain lifestyle and expectations, such as uni?
After you've finished the flight training, can you survive on an effective income of £20,000 for 5 years?
What's the economy doing? Aviation is very sensitive to it, and does follow the "boom/bust" cycles reasonably closely.
Have you researched the market for employability of 40+ YO new CPL holders?
(That should concern you)

If your goal is to become a flight instructor and possibly some charters (piston or turboprop) on the side, or a turboprop job suits (note, not big money), then by all means crack on. If you just want to do it for the intellectual challenge, go for it. However, if your goal is to be a captain of a B744, then perhaps you should rethink.

You may think "oh it's not the money" - believe me, it is. If you're going to invest a small or large fortune in yourself, you want the returns.
When it's your signature on the Flight Log, you want suitable compensation.
redsnail is offline  
Old 29th Jun 2012, 14:41
  #183 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Over the Pacific mostly
Posts: 1,043
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There is another aspect to all of this, I agree that if your goal is the airlines, the road is long and the sacrifices of low pay to gain the experience are high, but there are other aviation fields where you might get somewhat of a decent pay in a few years at it, helicopter pilot for example, I know of folks that are now working air ambulance in bell jet rangers that weren't even pilots 6, 7 years ago, flying for a sheriff's department, flying for a government agency inspecting electrical network, I know a good friend doing that now that started 5 years ago instructing in piston helos, flying turboprops for custom patrols, those guys don't make tons of money but they have some good benefits, whatever the case you will have a few years of growing pains, the person you need to discuss this is with your better half, without her 100% on board with making cuts the first few years, it's not going to work. Good luck
The Dominican is offline  
Old 29th Jun 2012, 16:18
  #184 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Aberdeen, UK
Posts: 526
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm 37yrs old, PPL and 120+hrs.....

I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole.

However, as the other have said, it depends on your situation. If I win the lottery or come into enough cash to leave me financially secure tomorrow, I'll go straight out and do it, just for the achievement.

But unless you're currently earning less than comparable amounts to an FO (in which case you're unlikely to be able to do it anyway), why spend many tens of thousands (if not 100k) of pounds for a job which will net you about 20k? IF, you can actually get a job.

You may be back in the same career, with a 100k debt, and nothing to show for it except a couple of hundred hours and an ME/IR which is quickly lapsing.

Really does depend on your dependants, social, financial, career situation etc.

But at this age, in this economy, and this market, you'd be mad. (imho).
Slopey is offline  
Old 29th Jun 2012, 18:18
  #185 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: EU
Posts: 626
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Personally I would go for it. Many will disagree but my motto is that you only have one life so make the most of it.

You've got to have the personality though. Getting through training is one thing, but getting a job is very different. And the social individual has a better social network, ie more contacts and more chance of job.

Of course you don't need that personality, but it helps when trying to find a job.

I feel that's often something that people overlook....make contacts with everyone. I keep in touch with a lot of people I meet in flying schools, at airlines while volunteering etc. I'm building a good network.

Being positive is so crucial to get through the training and get a job. It's very easy to get bogged down with it.

Last edited by pudoc; 29th Jun 2012 at 18:21.
pudoc is offline  
Old 29th Jun 2012, 19:22
  #186 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 437
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Its a double edged sword....don't do it and you will live your life kicking yourself and wondering what might have happened etc...

Do it, and (depending on your current level of income, life-comfort, family commitments) you may look at others and think that ultimately you might have been better off in a ground based job which does not necessitate such a large gamble and an even larger financial outlay.

I am a touch over 40, started just flying just after my 30th and now work for a UK regional TP operator. I've had a great time on my personal journey so far - done all sorts - air taxi, skydive work, and now TP. I haven't forked out large amounts on jet TR's (no disrespect to those that have mind,) and still enjoying it (most of the time!!!). Pay is not astounding tho, and yes I could have done better by sticking at the office job I had.

The somewhat clichéd saying "the grass is always greener" applies here. My inclination (especially if you're single) is to do it - BUT huge perseverance and self conviction are needed, and don't expect to be rich for a long time (especially if you end up flying TP's - which is incidentally a great experience!!).

Good luck!!

Last edited by Finals19; 29th Jun 2012 at 19:24.
Finals19 is offline  
Old 29th Jun 2012, 22:16
  #187 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: N/A
Posts: 1,190
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Good thread and great post YVRKid.

E.W. - It's not impossible at your age and it certainly has been done before. I know FOs who got their first job flying an Airbus in their mid 40s after a few years of flight instruction behind them.

I'm sure you're aware that you probably wont walk into an airline job as easily as someone younger than you, but I say again, its not impossible.

Be realistic, set yourself achievable goals in the sense of time frames and don't let the ATPLs get you down! If it all goes tits up at least you can rest assured that you tried (assuming you can afford to waste the money if that is the case).
student88 is offline  
Old 30th Jun 2012, 02:03
  #188 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Ireland
Posts: 9
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thumbs up WOW


Firstly, wow, am overwhelmed by everyones honesty & advise!


Honestly, didnt/havent come to pprune to sway my decision but its truly brilliant to get so many opinions! Not gonna single any one out for individual praise but, young and old, experienced and 'green', its great to hear other views!

VERDICT: WISH I KNEW SOMEONE 'CONNECTED'!!!! (and would prob' 100% go ahead with it!)

'til then, feel free to throw me out 6 numbers for the lottery
Eire_wannabe is offline  
Old 30th Jun 2012, 09:47
  #189 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: au
Age: 47
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've only added to one post. I logged in just to say thankyou my friend. I'm 37 and posts like yours are inspiring.
apt_idea is offline  
Old 30th Jun 2012, 17:03
  #190 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Ireland
Posts: 9
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Angry Waster

apt idea i agree with you....that city flyer aint nothing but a

must be bitter to have 'that as your input' to a thread!!??!!
Eire_wannabe is offline  
Old 30th Jun 2012, 21:07
  #191 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Dry bar
Posts: 351
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
WISH I KNEW SOMEONE 'CONNECTED'!!!! (and would prob' 100% go ahead with it!)
Rarely works these days, right place, right time and damn big chunk of lady luck and you still might not get a commercial position, the lottery is probably a safer bet than hob knobbing down at the local flying club. You might get one interview if you are very lucky. You will be up against a myriad of competition.

Heres some food for thought - Its a nightmare for unemployed jet pilots with thousands of hours to get back in to work (these guys have the plum ratings, 73/320 etc Captains and FOs), its a nightmare for type rated wannabes to get work, its a nightmare for integrated school graduates to get work, its a nightmare for experienced GA pilots instructors/ air taxi pilots to get work, never mind the modular guys. There are simply thousands of people armed with the bare necessities to apply for the minute amount of positions available. I know people who have multiple type ratings who are working the night shift at your local hotel, they can't get a flying job! There are people that qualified years ago still scratching a living as instructors, guess what?

If you have money to piss up the wall then go for it, if you value your life style then avoid. You will be extremely fortunate if you manage to carve out a successful career in the airlines as a late career changer. Have you the aptitude
etc..Lots of things have to be addressed, so many make the mistake and dive in. Don't be fooled, its a gargantuan undertaking to get from where you are now to the right seat of a public transport aircraft.

Fly for fun.
shaun ryder is offline  
Old 1st Jul 2012, 00:59
  #192 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Ireland
Posts: 9
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Angel Could Fly in Malawi....but!!??!!

@ s ryder

insightful & brutally honest......i like it

Opinions, real-life stories from people in circumstances similar from today and an era gone by can do no harm

Thanks (not sarcastic!!)

[may know more than i claim to be perceiving ]
Eire_wannabe is offline  
Old 1st Jul 2012, 12:53
  #193 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Moon
Posts: 23
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Unhappy Am I too late ?

Hello guys ..

I am 30 years old and I am holding PPL and Aircraft engineering degree. Currently working in an airline in engineering field. But now i am thinking to get my CPL done and work as a pilot. I just want to know whether I am too late to start flying training ? Is there any way to build up A320 hours for money ? I can finish all the license before 33 years of my age. Will it be too late ?

Thanks in advance
sheronfrd is offline  
Old 2nd Jul 2012, 17:30
  #194 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Belgium
Age: 29
Posts: 22
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It's not too late to start, but from what I've heard airliners prefer young pilots (I can be wrong on this!). And yes you can build hours on the A320, just rent a simulator, but this is VERY expensive!
TheSkyIsTheLimit is offline  
Old 2nd Jul 2012, 18:03
  #195 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Near EGCC
Age: 41
Posts: 178
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Short answer. No your not too old, life experience is very important.
But what is increasing is the ability of young teens and early twenties to spend money on TR's and hours.

I've seen people come into this and make it to TRE at age 40. It's entirely up to you.


wingbar is offline  
Old 2nd Jul 2012, 19:42
  #196 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 52
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
30 is not too late to start but just be aware that it can take a long time to get that first real flying job. I started flight training at age 29 purely for a PPL. 18 months later I decided to quit my career and try aviation full time. It took a lot of time and heart ache and a number of years living on little or no income but eventually after about 7 years I got a break and was hired by a multi-national corporation as a co-pilot.
14 years later I am a captain flying Learjet 45 series and next month I am going to school on the Gulfstream G650. So it can be done but there are no guarantees and it may be a long road.
Good Luck.
A Pandy is offline  
Old 16th Jul 2012, 17:54
  #197 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Moon
Posts: 23
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

thanks guys... really appreciated..
sheronfrd is offline  
Old 24th Jul 2012, 06:35
  #198 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: London, UK.
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Age is definitely a factor, but for a true aviation enthusiast there are no limits. I've seen guys drowning in debt, spending a huge load getting certified, then failing at securing employment, investing some more in p2fly, getting a TR, and still not getting a job... but they kept on trying till they eventually got a paying gig.

I come from a family where most of my Uncles were experienced senior captains in the national flag carrier with multiple TRs. As a child I idolised them, and wanted to be just like them flying B747s. But even then (BACK IN THE 80's!) they'd (my Uncles) tell me that it wasn't a profession worth pursuing, all the jobs had dried up, and batches of qualified pilots fresh out of Flight Schools were unemployed. I always knew that my parents would dish out as much as I'd tell them to when it came to my education, and they never stopped me from pursuing any particular profession... EXCEPT flying (thanks to my Uncles)! Anyway, I graduated from a top tier school in London with multiple majors (Accounting, Finance and Economics), wasn't even allowed to study aviation. Then my first Masters was from another red brick UK Business School with the same majors (Accounting and Finance), did my MBA from London, got my professional Accounting certification from ACCA (UK), got my professional finance certification from IFC (USA), and started working on a high paying salary at a Blue Chip company as a Senior Associate.

Born in 1984, I'm still in my late 20's, single, no dependants as such, or any financial obligations. As much as I love my life, my field of expertise, my job, I just wanted to be a pilot. Flying for a living! But considering the amount of money my parents had spent on my education (yes, I still fear that look of disappointment in my parents' eyes!), I couldn't in good faith just resign form my job and leave on a wild goose chase (an airline pilot's job). So, none the less, I got enrolled with a flight school and got my PPL/IR ME 650TT. Got my parents to pay for it, which they happily did this time around with one condition though; No CPL! For now, I'm still working as a finance professional, I'm stonewalled! But someday, I will manage a way to do what I have always wanted to do. A SUCCESSFUL CAREER CHANGE! Nobody believes in me, maybe they shouldn't, maybe I'm just living in a fool's paradise... so be it. I'll keep on trying anyway!


Last edited by JuggerD; 24th Jul 2012 at 23:22.
JuggerD is offline  
Old 12th Aug 2012, 07:54
  #199 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: 34.02.S 151.07.E
Posts: 35
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Too old??


I got my CPL last year (2011) and have started an Instructor Rating. My questions though is: I am now 54 years old, am I too old to really start out on a professional career? Flying schools and the like are always positive, but we all know they are just after our hard earned dollars. Any pilot out there that started this late in life? Should I continue on and get a MECIR?
jcr737 is offline  
Old 12th Aug 2012, 12:42
  #200 (permalink)  

PPRuNe Handmaiden
Join Date: Feb 1997
Location: Duit On Mon Dei
Posts: 4,650
Received 32 Likes on 18 Posts
What is your goal?
If you're looking at the airlines in Australia, then sadly, yes, you're probably too old.
Instructing, no, not too old but can you make a living out of it?
redsnail is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.