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The perpetual 'Am I too old?' thread

Old 29th Dec 2012, 22:48
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TylersDad
Welcome to the Wannabee forum

You will find lots of people here ready to help you but we do expect you to do a little research before posting and that includes the read before posting notices - where you would have found this thread!

Good luck with the career!

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Old 29th Dec 2012, 23:29
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TylersDad

Well, welcome to aviation!

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Please give him a break--it's his FIRST post. Happy New Years
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Old 30th Dec 2012, 01:02
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He who dares wins. If I was you, get back into private flying, get flying on a regular basis, if u want to do it professionally, start networking . You got plenty of years in you.....reading pprune will reveal people older than you have made a career change like you and got a commercial job. I met a taxi driver who was 54, he was part time f/o on a metro and part time cabbie, happy as a proverbial pig in....... He started flight training at 52!!!!
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Old 9th Jan 2013, 14:42
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Starting out - How Old is Too Old?

I'm considering a career move...

What age do airlines look at a candidate and consider them "too" old?
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Old 9th Jan 2013, 14:54
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If you're over 25 you wont get a job.
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Old 9th Jan 2013, 14:54
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Prob. around 45-50.
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Old 9th Jan 2013, 14:55
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@davve
Do you think its easier for guys u25 to get a job?
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Old 9th Jan 2013, 15:22
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I'm considering a career move...

What age do airlines look at a candidate and consider them "too" old?
There are a few threads on this subject knocking around. Probably more limiting than age is you life situation. The main questions to ask are:

Can you afford the training?

Do you have any of the responsibilities, likely to come later in life, that might prevent you taking a huge pay cut to instruct, and do you have commitments that will prevent you moving abroad to find work as a bush pilot/instructor, whatever?

Where do you want to end up? Flying a jet for an airline, or at a turboprop/GA operation?

If you've spent any time on this forum you'll know you're unlikely to walk into an airline job straight out of training, so you need to consider what you will do to get there, and how you will fund it.

I'm going through training myself so hardly a voice of experience, but the above is all food for thought. Make sure you do your research and have a plan in place before investing in training.
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Old 9th Jan 2013, 19:35
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My experience :

Line oriented ? 30 is maximum.
Executive ? Really doens't matter. Probably on your 40s is way too much.

Last edited by unflownsky; 9th Jan 2013 at 19:36.
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Old 9th Jan 2013, 22:41
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This thread is far more useful

http://www.pprune.org/professional-p...2010-12-a.html

Half the people who I know who were employed in the last year by the company I now work for were 30-35, so I wouldn't say anything over 25 is a problem.

Over 40 I wouldn't bother starting, you will be slower to learn the new skills required, particularly at the pace expected from you on a type rating, and other life issues and responsibilities are going to make full time training harder.
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Old 10th Jan 2013, 10:24
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Too Old?

You will find a wide variance of opinion here and whilst a fair amount is ill informed and inaccurate, some is valid and you should try to take account of this input.

Firstly, don't get sucked in to some sort of confirmation bias when you read a post telling you that age isn't going to be a problem because this is what you want to hear. There are always going to be exceptions. On the other hand don't be put off by someone telling you that you have no chance.

Whatever you decide, make sure that you make an informed decision and if you do decide to go for it, choose your route to potential employment carefully...give yourself the best chances when you get your licence. That probably won't be the cheapest route!

For what it is worth, I started training aged 39...I am 43 now and I am awaiting a date to start a type rating with an airline. It was stated to me that one of the factors in my recruitment was my life experience. There is the odd company out there who will look at older candidates but you will have to go and find them and as a top tip, don't send in a CV...

Having gone through the pain of hearing nothing from many, many approaches for a very long time, and watched as younger applicants with similar or even inferior flying records have walked in to jobs, if you asked me 'would I do it again?' I am not sure that I would. I know I have been very fortunate.
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Old 10th Jan 2013, 10:42
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Now tell me what cow experience do you base that observation on? Do you actually have any first hand information that backs up that claim? I am pretty sure you have none! But... easy to make such a comment, based on utter ignorance and arrogance!

Yes, it is not easy to find a job after 40, impossible? Hmmm not sure..., yes will be very hard, and if you can accept that it might never happen before you start the training, at least you know what you are going to!

I am over 40, when I did my initial TR, I was not slower, I was not dumber, I actually know of younger guys, who was much less focused needing extra sim time sessions!
Well, as a flying instructor it is my first hand experience that people over 40, and certainly approaching 50 are generally slower to learn the fundamental skills required to learn to fly, taking up to 20 hours longer than a young buck. This is fine at PPL, CPL and even IR level, but on a type rating an employer is unlikely to want to pay out for extra sessions.

Yes, there are exceptions to the rule, but in general younger guys are quick to pick up the actual physical act of flying the aircraft, but perhaps struggle with the more in depth stuff like navigation. For older guys the opposite is true, slower to get to grips with flying the machine, but once they have it's much easier to teach them complicated procedures.

So for your typical guy, I would say if you're over 40, I'd have to think long and hard about leaving an established career to chase this dream. I'm not saying there aren't exceptions, and perhaps you yourself are used to operating other pieces of machinery, or have some other engineering background which assisted in the way you learned to fly, but for most over 40 they just take that bit longer and an employer may not want to pay for the extra training, however good the end result will be.

The only people to ever fail the initial type rating in the history of the company I now work for were in their late 40s/early 50s.
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Old 10th Jan 2013, 11:23
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When I was 18 I took my PPL
So when you did your initial type rating, you actually had at least 22 years of flying experience as a PPL.

This guy is just starting out, with no flying experience at all. A completely different scenario.
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Old 11th Jan 2013, 11:36
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pfft

From my POV I would agree with truckflyer just dont do it . Unless you have a lot of excess money sitting around and can afford to never get a job flying .
I was 38 when I started and had about 200hrs in a ppl . Luckily I already had offer of a job as an instructor which was fortunate as I came out of training in 2009 just as recession was kicking in about 5 months after the demise of excel.
It was this instructing experience that led to current position as an AOC captain flying night freight. I am also in the hold pool to fly for a turboprop freight carrier.
I however am in the minority . Everyone of my class mates under 30 sold their asses to pikey air . All those over 30 are either instructing or have returned to their old jobs. The chap I did my FIC with hasnt turned a prop since .
It is unfortunately a young mans game and the PTF eejits are destroying it piece by piece.
There was a time when you qualifed became an instructor flew for an aoc moved to turboprops then onto jets , it wud appear those days are gone .
I have 2200 hrs now and it is worth diddly in the eyes of many airlines . They would prefer a spotty 21 yr old who is prepared to fork out go knows how much of his parents money for a TR and a gash contract.
It is a sad fact that as it stands at the moment I firmly believe there are 16 yr olds still at school who have yet to decide on a career path who have a better chance of flying an airliner than I do !
There are many friends of mine and friends of theirs out there with 200hrs sending cv's to anyone with an email address on a daily basis and getting nowehere . think arefully before you add yourself to this group.
Just my opinion
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Old 11th Jan 2013, 11:54
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In many instances, the bigger issue is funding:

Can you afford 80k?
Can you afford not to have an income for 2 years+?
Once flying, can you afford to live on 25k-30k, especially if you have a training loan + family commitments, in a location that may be countries away from home.
Can you afford to instruct/GA work on 8k/year?

You must know the reality of the industry today, as too many people seem to think that airline flying is still like the BOAC days and that their life will turn out brilliantly if only they were an airline pilot.
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Old 13th Feb 2013, 16:44
  #256 (permalink)  
 
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Question Middle Age Itch

What are the chances of someone in their mid-40s getting a job after completing their fATPL?

I have the funds, I love flying etc etc but I don't want to be unemployed after 12-14 months of hard work...

Any thoughts appreciated...
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Old 14th Feb 2013, 10:39
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Rather slim as an airline pilot in the current market I would say. For jobs like instructing, scenic flights, and more of those GA things I think age is less of an issue. Not that these jobs are plentiful though.
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Old 14th Feb 2013, 13:05
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Carry on with the job that earned you those funds you mentioned, buy a share in a light aircraft, go flying for fun.

Every man, woman and their dog has an fATPL these days. There are very few jobs out there. The maths is simple.

Your risk is too great in my humble opinion.
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Old 14th Feb 2013, 13:10
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If you've got the funds go for it and never look back!
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Old 14th Feb 2013, 14:00
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Middle Age Itch
What are the chances of someone in their mid-40s getting a job after completing their fATPL?

I have the funds, I love flying etc etc but I don't want to be unemployed after 12-14 months of hard work...

Any thoughts appreciated...

It is a VERY VERY VERY tough market out there. You can read what others have posted about the state of the industry so no need for me to go over that. However, if you decide to go this route, these are just my humble opinions.

My advice would be to go the modular route because it will be much cheaper than the integrated route and the certificates i.e. licenses are the same. So go about it the least expensive way. If a school wants you to spend a ton of money for a guaranteed job interview run as fast as you can. I can guarantee you an interview. That means nothing. So, spend your hard earned money wisely, do your research.

In terms of employment (and I'm speaking for the States), my regional has hired guys in their late 40's and early 50's. Regionals, in the States, do hire middle age guys because they will most likely end up staying with the company and will not jump ship to the legacy carriers. As a matter of fact, I flew with a fairly new FO who was in his early 50's. Get your FI certificate instead of your TR, cause at least you will be able to flight instruct while waiting for the industry to recover.


Best of luck. And my advice before you invest in any training program is to network and start making contacts now.

And if you have any questions, feel free to PM me.
Oh yeah, and before you spend a dollar ,or a euro or a pound, make sure you can get a medical.

Last edited by TheBigD; 14th Feb 2013 at 14:10.
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