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The perpetual 'Am I too old?' thread

Old 2nd Mar 2013, 09:02
  #281 (permalink)  
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What should I do hmmm.....

Anyone here start Pilot training while married with young children?
I have a baby arriving in 1 month, which I'm over the moon about btw...!

Is it completely the wrong time to think about stuff like this?

In started my training in Florida 5/6 years ago but didn't finish it.

My main concern is having to be based abroad should i end up getting a job, something I`m not really willing to do right now as i`m very much a homebird, Ireland is my home to stay as bad as it is right now

Thoughts? am I Mad?
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Old 2nd Mar 2013, 09:21
  #282 (permalink)  
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Not mad, but you do need to be able to go where the work is. Being unwilling to relocate from Ireland may severely restrict your options.

A certain person on this very thread has been moaning on pprune recently about getting his first job and that it was abroad (and boring, but thats another story...). Evidently it was something he didn't consider before starting training. Learn from his lack of foresight.
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Old 2nd Mar 2013, 15:34
  #283 (permalink)  
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TruckFlyer --I understand where you are coming from. The odds are clearly stacked against me.

If somebody of my age who is a senior FO said that he or she wanted to stop flying in favour of studying for an MSc in journalism with the ambition of working for Sky News or ITN, I would warn them that it would be difficult, but not impossible. I wouldn't discourage them.

So, your hard logic is going up against my dreams and my instincts.

I'm sure flying a light aircraft around at the weekend is fun, but I want to be a commercial airline pilot, which is something very different. I'm not sure what qualifies you to question my love for aviation, because I have a deep love for flying and a thorough understanding of what the life of a commercial airline pilot entails. Pros and cons.

And I'm not sure where you got the +5 re. my vision from, but I hope to get 6/6 in my weaker eye after surgery (I had a brief chat with my ophthalmic surgeon on Tuesday) so then the Class 1 should be OK.

Anyway, time will tell if you are right or if my instincts are right. I respect your opinions and I would appreciate it if your respected my ambitions.

Last edited by TizerTheAppetizer; 2nd Mar 2013 at 15:36.
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Old 2nd Mar 2013, 19:41
  #284 (permalink)  
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TF, you'll find that people usually find it difficult to trust the views of someone who says "do as I say, not as I did". If you hadn't had an ill considered mid life crisis yourself and then started moaning on pprune about the concequences, people might listen more.
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Old 3rd Mar 2013, 05:19
  #285 (permalink)  
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I've stumbled across this discussion and whilst I have noticed a few posts from current airline pilots, I feel compelled to chip in.

I've been lucky enough to fly Boeing's and airbus's best efforts. Im a slave to the company's roster, enjoyed the 5 day beach trips, endured the deep night flights, slept with too many hosties to remember, admired the nothingness at 30W, got the nod from mothers and daughters walking through the terminal, heard the best stories and Repeated the best jokes.

It's a job that I truly enjoy but the fact is, If I was getting paid Ģ12k a year for it, I wouldn't be doing it and most of you wouldn't be considering it.

I do this job because it gives me the right combination of money, status and job satisfaction.

Don't sit around waiting for a green light. If you think you've got what it takes, no matter what age, go get it, it's bloody brilliant!
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Old 3rd Mar 2013, 12:11
  #286 (permalink)  
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Thumbs up

That's what I like to hear -- positive comments from someone who's been there and done it and is still doing it.

Some of us are optimists and have a positive attitude to life, and enjoy life!!

Others, well...

If you want to do something in this world you have to go for it and take risks!!!
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Old 3rd Mar 2013, 12:21
  #287 (permalink)  
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Isnīt the key question at any age: "if you do not succeed, will you still think of the training and the flying as a worthwhile experience"

At least, thatīs what I asked myself in the end, after realizing that begging crystal balls for permission isnīt gonna get me flying. The answer may vary with numerous factors, and yes one of them might be age, money another one, committments of all sorts a third one, but the question remains the same.
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Old 3rd Mar 2013, 14:10
  #288 (permalink)  

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See how easy it is to send wannabe's into the que for the slaughter house! Post all the good things about this job and because its what they want to hear, all of a sudden, the Wannabe Rose-Tinted RayBans appear!

I don't wish to knock the dreams, it's a good job...the industry stinks! Be very very aware of your options and overall chances with a new CPL, bugger all experience and lots of debt...
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Old 4th Mar 2013, 10:51
  #289 (permalink)  
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I was very close to 40 when I started my flight training and I received my nice blue licence a couple of years later. I'm not going to go in to the reason why it was so late but your 'thats what I like to hear' comment set of alarm bells with me.
You are considering a complete change of career and I think that it has a lot of consequences that you need to think about carefully.
At some stage you will complete your training and you will head out in to the marketplace with your shiny licence, confident that you have the skills and abilities to be a very good first officer and that your 'life experience' will be a valuable asset to an airline. You may be right. However take a look at who is recruiting and whether or not they will look at an older new entrant. Ryanair, Easyjet, Jet2, Bmir? I don't know for sure about BMIR and while I can't say that the others won't look at you for sure, it is my personal view that you won't end up with them. So what are you going to do then?

Send out lots more CV's further afield and have same response. What then? Try some instructing or some towing or just about anything to keep you flying and current?

How will that feel for you? Would you regret investing money, time, effort and a career for what...? How about your family, how would they feel?
Thats what happened to me and I can tell is a bad place to be!
I guess that isn't what you like to hear but really you need to have a reality check, the odds of you finding a commercial job are far worse than a Grand National outsider. Do you take that risk or not?

Even now, with a current position, would I do it again? In all honesty I'm not sure that I would.
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Old 4th Mar 2013, 12:27
  #290 (permalink)  
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Gentle Climb -- I'm glad that it's worked out for you. Long or short haul at the moment?

I respect the advice that I'm being given here and it has dampened my expectations somewhat but my heart won't let logic get in the way. Even if I end up bush flying in Africa or Australia, I'll be OK.

The truth is that this is probably my last shot at something I've wanted to do all my life, but I've been prevented from doing so until not so long ago, when surgical advances mean that I can now get 6/6 in an injured eye (hoepfully). I've spoken to the CAA about it.

If I fly turboprops around Europe for the rest of my life I'll be a very very happy man.

And the age thing... some will consider me, others won't. Even if I didn't get my first FO job until I was 50, I'd still have 15 years or flying in me and another five years of teaching.

Why do we write people off so quickly in the UK? Being in your 40s or early 50s isn't old anymore. The airlines will have to catch with the rest of society on this one...
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Old 12th Mar 2013, 09:59
  #291 (permalink)  
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Thumbs up - what thumbs up!?

Did I miss something!? I thought Garcy just said the job was good??

He didn't seem to mention anything about getting a job on a jet in his 40s!??

And to say that you'll make it if you are willing to relocate to ME or China in your 40s is just wrong. Qatar won't take anyone experienced (non TR) who is over 40 fact. I imagine many others in the sand pit are the same, even if they don't advertise the fact.

Don't know anything about China but would be surprised if they don't restrict employment to their own nationals as soon as they possibly can.

Good luck Tizer as bloody hell you are going to need it. If you think advice from people within the industry are stamping on your dreams, then spend 2 years training, buy a ticket and join the game!

As you say, it's not impossible to get a job in your mid 40s but to get something that pays the bills is very tough indeed.

Good luck!!
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Old 13th Mar 2013, 10:22
  #292 (permalink)  

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Even if I end up bush flying in Africa or Australia, I'll be OK.
Really? You can get a visa for Australia? If you can, great.

There is a bit of a shortage for GA pilots in Oz. Too many cadet style pilots ignoring the "whole going bush" thing and when they do, they haven't been trained properly in engine management and frying the engines on the 400 series Cessnas. (Pistons).
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Old 14th Apr 2013, 17:33
  #293 (permalink)  
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37 years old and considering flight training in the US


I am looking for some guidance around whether it would be worth undertaking flight training at my age. I am slightly concerned I may be too old to start now.

On the upside, all going well pilots can fly till the age of 65. On the downside, the cost, especially with a family can be quite high and i need to decide whether continuing with my corporate career or making the shift.

If I do decide to undertake flight training it would be in the USA. My main motivation would be due to the cheaper comparative cost. Ideally the East Coast is preferred so that it is cheaper and easier to commute.


1) Am i too old?
2) Recommended flight schools. Good all round training and cost.
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Old 14th Apr 2013, 17:53
  #294 (permalink)  
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Are you too old? Not at all. I know of chaps older than you that started their flight training and they're flying right hand seat.

Having said that, I know 20+ year olds that can't find work.

It's all about who you know, not what you know..
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Old 14th Apr 2013, 18:44
  #295 (permalink)  
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When I was in new hire for my first airline job in my mid twenties, there was a fellow colleague who was in his early forties. He had left a career in finance to do what he had always wanted, so it's never "too late"

I don't think you're too old, but you should be realistic about the economic impact of the next ten years of your life. You need to cover the costs of training through at least CFI instrument, you can do the MEI later. You need to find a job that you can build the requisite 1500 hours towards your ATP. This is most likely 1 year for training (can be done in 6 months), and 2-4 years of instructing, flying small cargo, scenic flights, flying skydivers, etc. Multi time may be forgiven as regional airlines struggle a bit to find ATP rated pilots, but that can change as well.

Speaking of regionals, you are looking between 3 to 10 years of flying as a first officer. The first few years are tough both personally and financially, as 20 grand a year is tough to live on.

With a bit of luck, and some smart moves, you could be a regional airline captain in the next 8 to 10 years and fly to retirement making a respectable income, but you'll never get rich doing it.

A first officer spot at a major is also a possibility, but you'll be close to or past 50 at that point, and may not want to give up the perks of seniority (holidays off, choice of schedule/vacation, etc.) just to spend a few years sitting on reserve on the bigger iron.

Whatever you do, do your homework, make good training and career decisions, and be very sure this is what you want before you commit the time and money.
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Old 14th Apr 2013, 20:06
  #296 (permalink)  

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Friendly advice: just forget it; you have no chance.

Best wishes.
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Old 14th Apr 2013, 21:29
  #297 (permalink)  
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37 years old and considering flight training in the US

People regret action in the short term and inaction in the long term.

If you don't give it a go, in 20 years you'll be more senior in your current field, richer, with a bigger house, moaning about the things that you still hate about your job now and wishing you'd given it a go.

If you do it, you'll probably be moaning about a whole new set of problems, but you'll be doing it on your terms, doing your dream job.

I am 30 and going to leave my corporate job this summer to pursue my dream. If it all goes to sh*t I will go back to my current job or find something else to do, but at least I'll have given it a go.

I suppose the one caveat here is that I don't have kids yet so don't have to worry about providing for them. If you have the means to do it assuming no income for 2 years with £40-80k expenditure, then £20-30k salary for 2 years then go for it.
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Old 16th Apr 2013, 15:39
  #298 (permalink)  
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Thank you for your advise and guidance. I will still take the time to think this out. I have over 10 years experience in finance and that would always be an asset if i ever had to retire.

It is always tricky when you try and ascertain the opportunity cost of making a particular decision. At the same time the regrets of not doing something can come back to haunt in older age.

Decisions decisions decisions!!

What schools in the US do you guys recommend?
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Old 16th Apr 2013, 16:20
  #299 (permalink)  
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if you start to work immediatly after the licenses, income
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Old 16th Apr 2013, 16:27
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I've not posted in pprune for a while but for what it's worth my answer is....

No No and No do not do it. I retrained just over 10 years ago and the first job that paid a decent salary took me over 4 years to get, remember whilst looking for that first job you need to stay current, lets say instructing? unless you go the intergrated route (loads of cash, no promise of a job if older). Don't think you can go bck to your old job, thats not an option.... so can you afford on top of the training and possible type rating, to live on next to nothing for a few years.

A rough calculation on the back of a fag packet would tell me, my time out of paying work cost me over Ģ100,000 on top of my training costs.

It's a very real scenario, my view is don't even try. The previous poster had it right an outsider in the National has a better chance of winning!!!

Regards and good luck.

Ohhhh it cost me my marriage as well, just a thought
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