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The perpetual 'Am I too old?' thread

Old 3rd Jul 2013, 17:41
  #321 (permalink)  
 
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The only thing I would add is to be aware that some cadet schemes (I'm thinking BA FPP specifically) rule you out from applying if you have taken any of the ATPL exams so just make sure you take that into consideration before taking them...!
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Old 3rd Jul 2013, 22:47
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Even fly for Ryanair!!

That's hilarious!! Do you know how tough it is to get into Ryanair or any airline for that matter!??

One failed flight test and you won't get an interview and besides, as someone has already pointed out, you're too old for Ryanair.

Your location is Exeter, why have you discounted the modular route already? I doubt you will get on a tagged integrated course and an untagged integrated course, graduating when you are 37 is a waste of money over modular. It won't give you any advantage over modular and the FTO is extremely unlikely to be of any help. And even if they do have airline connections, although they probably won't admit to it, they will think that you are too old as well.

If I was in your position, I would go modular and use the money you will save for the almost mandatory type rating, if you secure employment? I think you've missed the boat on going integrated, but have a throw of the dice if you go into things with your eyes wide open. Unfortunately, your Ryan comment doesn't seem to indicate that.

Good luck - it's tough out there!
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Old 3rd Jul 2013, 22:52
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Thanks for the tip Libertine!!

Thanks truckflyer

Didn't intend to sound naÔve about Ryanair, I was just paraphrasing an earlier contributor.

I do have a partner and we have a one year old daughter. I also have some tidy reserves of cash which I can dedicate to training plus a couple of years max looking for work.
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Old 5th Jul 2013, 11:03
  #324 (permalink)  
 
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THE DADDY

Yes it did amuse me and probably dozens of others, so thanks for that!

And no, I doubt you offended anyone at all, probably not even current Ryan pilots. You just displayed quite a level of naivety of the current job market and the aviation industry as a whole. Fepilot just said that they were 'options', you said 'even' Ryanair! I don't think that's paraphrasing. But we digress.

I agree with Truckflyer, you need to do some more research. Out of curiosity, do you know what FOs start on at Eastern or Flybe for example or what an integrated cadet is likely to take home in their first 8 month flexicrew contract, before being stood down for the winter at Easyjet (before the cycle repeats itself)? Or how the integrated flex contracts tend to work for tagged schemes? These are just tiny snippets of information in the bigger picture of the industry that you are hoping to work in and that's just on the recruitment side.

Thanks for the put down 'I'm glad it amused you' comment, that amused me also. But why do you think that your biggest contributors to your post are from Truckflyer and myself so far!? We are both older and have young children and have been through all of exactly what you are planning on doing and it aint no walk in the park!

If you re-read my post, excluding the bit about Ryanair that you didn't like, you will see constructive comments about both modular and integrated. You are ideally positioned to take advantage of 2 good modular schools on your doorstep (it's gold dust to train close to home with a young family - I had a weekly 5 hour commute each way to get to Exeter). And don't discount doing your ATPL theory distance learning so quickly. Being a teacher you obviously have more study techniques and discipline than most. I did it full-time and passed all subjects first time with quite a high average, like most who do the course to be honest. It's tough due to the length and breadth of the subject, not that the course material is actually hard (give or take a few bits and pieces like Polar Steriographs or whatever they are called!?). 6 months of study at home versus 6 months of theory study away is pretty attractive. Probably like you I could be flexible and be away from home for extended periods, but **** always happens and its nice to know you can get home if needed?

I initially considered integrated, but the advantages were outweighed by the disadvantages due to my age and personal circumstances. Consider how long and where each of the different elements of training are conducted and how they will affect you? Like how long you are going to be away from home at anyone time and how easy would it be to get back should you need to? A good FTO doesn't necessarily mean that its the best fit for you? This only tends to apply to people in their early 20s with no ties etc. I wish I lived where you do as I could have done my entire flight training on my doorstep!

Don't be taken in by the gloss of FTO marketing. Unless you're on a tagged scheme, integrated or modular, you're still effectively on your own. A new employer is always going to ask you to pay for your first type rating one way or another. If you go modular, you will probably save the cost of a type rating. And the gloss of an FTO on your CV doesn't tend to open any doors for you and if anything, can sometimes put some TP operators off?

No one is trying to bash your enthusiasm, just trying to help you see and consider all options that are available to you. So many people post on here who have already made up their mind and discount anything that they don't like to hear. Posting from the outset is a great start, use pprune as the powerful tool it can be to gather and draw upon experience from like minded people who are doing it or have done it.

Like I said before, good luck - it's tough out there!
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Old 6th Jul 2013, 06:24
  #325 (permalink)  
 
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Ok, thanks 119. I certainly had no intention to show any naÔvety about the industry at all with my use of the word 'even'. I've taken on board what your saying though.

I've not dismissed modular training at all. In fact, right now that is almost certainly what I am going to do.

I won't allow odds to stand in the way of my aspirations. I'm very determined to have a damn good go at this.

This will probably be my last post on this particular thread as I think I've been given most of the answers I need for the time being, but I ought to say this first. Thinking philosophically, in three years time I will be 39, will have my PPL, CPL, IR and possibly a TR, I will be £50k-£100k (or maybe more) worse off and I might have a job as pilot. What I definitely will have, though, is three years of great experiences and a whole load of achievements I can be proud of.
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Old 6th Jul 2013, 09:59
  #326 (permalink)  
 
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TD - if you're going modular, you definitely have to pay AFT (although they don't do ppl) a visit. I can tell you straight off that they are certainly not glossy and their aircraft are old, but they are extremely well maintained and the whole time I was there, I never lost a single lesson due to an aircraft going tech. But what you will be impressed with is their quality of instructors, the personal level of training you receive and all the photos on the walls of past students - it's full of harrier, tornado and red arrows pilots to name a few. They are a good price, no hidden extras and they are the opposite of money grabbing. I travelled the width of the country every week to get there for a whole summer and it was worth it.

It depends on how quickly you want to get through everything, but you could happily stay working through your ppl, atpl theory and hour building and quit work when it comes to doing cpl/me/ir full time. As a teacher, I assume that you get chunks of time off, so you could start and finish your ppl during the summer hols for instance? You're in a very good position in this respect and even with working up until cpl/ir, there is no reason why you couldn't finish everything within about 2yrs.

That's a great attitude and enjoy your training and the lots of friends and contacts you will make along the way. Quite often it is these very same friends and contacts that will get you your first job. Whilst late 30s is getting on a bit by airline standards today, it's by no means impossible to get into the RHS commercially. I started too late really and had hoped to be qualified by 39 but the recession bit hard, so I used the whole 3 yr atpl theory validity period before doing my cpl/ir. I got my first and current job on a light jet at 42. Not the heavy metal that Truckflyer flies, but my goals were always to get into bizjets for the lifestyle and I was lucky to have some good friends in influential positions.

In 3 years time the industry could be and is likely to be a very different place. We are seeing the green shoots at the moment, albeit primarily in the increasing number of cadet schemes. But whilst it is extremely unlikely that we will ever see another boom time in recruitment, in 3 yrs time it probably will be a lot better than now - hopefully!

Good luck with your training and let us know how it's going? Please feel free to PM me with any questions, especially if you want some more detail on AFT? Exeter is a great place to train and the scenery in the area is fantastic. You are very lucky, even if you chose to train further afield.

Last edited by 119.35; 6th Jul 2013 at 10:00.
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Old 6th Jul 2013, 10:41
  #327 (permalink)  
 
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Class 1 Medical

TD - one thing I forgot to add is if you haven't already, it's a good idea to go to Gatwick for your initial Class 1 Medical?

You don't need Class 1 for your ppl, but it's always wise to get it out of the way early and to give you peace of mind that you can get one? You don't want to be ready to start your cpl and then find out that you can't get one for some unknown reason?
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Old 6th Jul 2013, 16:36
  #328 (permalink)  
 
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Yep. Hoping to get my medical done in 3 weeks time. Tried to book it on Friday but got an answerphone. They haven't replied yet.....
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Old 8th Jul 2013, 03:08
  #329 (permalink)  
 
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35 isnt exactly old lol, he still has 25 years left in a career and I would be shocked if he would spend 25 years at RyanAir, so realistically what would their reasons be for not hiring him? With age more often than not comes maturity (sometimes not all the time) and other life experiences. Saying 35 is old is like when you're a 10 year old and you think your parents are old. In the states you would be lucky to be in a 737 by 35...granted our retirement age is 65 but still.


I think anyone that is older and trying to get into the industry should consider their situation, its fine for people to follow their dreams etc etc etc but that doesnt put food on the table for your family and spending a large sum of money on a second career takes away a lot of funds that your family could use. If you still want to go for it, then do it as cheaply as possible whilst still working pref at your original job, that way if it works out that you make it in aviation then great if not you still have your work. Time is obv very important factor, my experience with students is you learn faster and progress quicker the more often you fly, and that doesnt mean flying 8 hours a day either but more over a period of time, find balance between training and your responsibilities at home.
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Old 8th Jul 2013, 03:12
  #330 (permalink)  
 
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25 years left in a career is longer than most people flying at RyanAir have been alive...just saying
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 11:10
  #331 (permalink)  
 
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Reading with fascination / Starting flying in 30's

Good afternoon all,

Ive just been reading this thread (for the past 30/60mins) and was left excited and daunted at the prospect of changing my career and becoming a pilot...

Im 36, a teacher (a-levels) and have '£20k for training' - one of my biggest concerns has been age and the chances of getting a job. The general consensus is its not too late, but its going to be difficult. Am I right in this?

I am taking my Class 1 Medical first (at least Ill have peace of mind / or will save myself 000's if there is a problem identified now).

I have already decided that I will train at local schools in a modular method whilst continuing working - this with my savings should prevent any large debts occurring - I am also fortunate that my wife has a very good salary who can cover our cost of living. Would you agree this is the best way forward?

Its funny that the people I have spoken to (at flying schools) are all very 'optimistic' about job prospects whereas there is far more caution on here (maybe the salesmen coming out of the schools?). My dream is to fly and if I can get paid for it this is a huge bonus... can anyone provide advice as to the types of employment opportunities there are if getting a position with a airline isn't probable. Obviously instructors and banner ads type, but are there any others? Are there any job sites for pilots? Also how difficult would it be to set up a business ding leisure/tourism type flights? (just as another avenue of gaining employment).

Finally, as I mentioned earlier, im looking at doing the training at local schools - probably at Teesside or Newcastle airports, does anyone have any experience with these airports or any schools in this area?

Any comments, suggestions or feedback would be appreciated. Stuart.
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Old 10th Jul 2013, 17:11
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@TheDaddy

FWIW I was not successful in my career change plans and so after accumulating 1300 Total hours / 300 M/E PIC I gave up and concentrated on financial recovery. 3 interviews in 4 years, oh I was 40 years old when finishing training / hour building.

Yeah I know, obviously a failure, not made of the right stuff whatever that is anyways the point of this is I had 3 years of great experiences seeing things from the air that others would never see, popping into ATL in a Seminole sequenced among 75's and 73's. I hung on to the "experiences" as a useful place to justify the 100K spent (costs plus loss of earnings).

I am lucky. I have made a fairly strong financial recovery just not "there" yet. Every day I look at my wife who kept it all together, mortgage stress, downright bad attitude and thank my lucky stars because the home reality right now could be so much worse.

So what is the point of this?

I have had some great experiences so why bang on... The reason is that at a rather later stage of my working career I find myself having to now suck up life in another sandpit country. It has some "good" points, hell I am still earning a salary but that 100K would now have allowed me to say thanks but no thanks. Roll back time, with that old benefit of hindsight then would I have started training, no way!!!.

Just saying......
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Old 10th Jul 2013, 18:29
  #333 (permalink)  
 
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...I believe flight training is not something you should do with a wife waiting for you at home, counting the days to have the satisfation to tell you "I told you so"...
Gotta be on your own, to smack your head on the wall or succeed.
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 14:59
  #334 (permalink)  
 
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Really...

Anybody in a relationship who starts off without the full and unqualified support of their partner is probably not only going to suffer from the stresses of training but also ending up with a separation.

So your relationship is going to go down the crapper about as fast as getting a non-SSTR job. End result a whole lot of nothing, except of course a mountain of debt but "great experiences"
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 16:19
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Also, in the unlikely event that you do find a job, you will find that the joys of rostering/being on the wrong side of the planet, lead to a rather high divorce rate anyway.
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Old 17th Sep 2013, 06:03
  #336 (permalink)  
 
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The perpetual Am I too old thread?

I am getting tired of the debate raging on when a prospective aviator is 'too old' to launch a career in aviation.

I have had 'old crusties' looking at me, in my mid-thirties, saying "Ah son, you're too old now. Better give up and do something else"

I have had the younger "upstarts" boasting that they have 8-10 years advantage over me.

Either way, it's never nice to have someone telling you that what you have been fighting for, for many many years, is now beyond your reach.

Peronsally, having put in 12+ years in operations, commercial and other aviation fields, and having achieved a PPL under JAA and 130+ hours, thats not a bad way to go so far. Yes, time is always against self-training pilots, but, it begs the question - when IS it too late?

I know a gentleman Captain from the Scandinavian region, who kicked off his career in his early forties, and blasted through his training, and straight into a job. Currently, as he approaches fifty, he is flying a gorgeous private jet round the world...

On the other hand, I also know people who have given up in their late twenties, because of cost, time, and disillusionment...

Either way, the preconceptions about age are saddening.

What do we think about this? Is a mid-thirties person too late to get flying? Doesn't necessarily mean flying an A380 straight off the bat, but even small commercial ops, like sightseeing, parachute drops, seaplane tours, commuter hoppers...

Would love to have some opinions... bonus points for up-lifting positive opinions!

Cheers all

Last edited by SuperJet; 17th Sep 2013 at 06:04.
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Old 17th Sep 2013, 07:21
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You say you're tired of the age debate and then start a new thread on this very topic!

You're not too old!

(Is that what you wanted to hear?)
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Old 17th Sep 2013, 07:49
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Its subtle phraseology - "tired of the debate" meaning, would be nice if it came to a distinct conclusion for everyone, but of course, this is not a real expectation that anyone would hold to. Its purely a phrase.

As for hearing what I wanted, no, honesty is preferable... Good or bad, in my opinion...

The thread was intended to explore aviators', current and aspiring, views on age limitations and the realities of achieving our goals against the background of an industry which seems to punish the more senior protagonists...

If you're serious (Squawk 7500) about mid-thirties not being too old, then that is a nice sentiment, and reassuring for the struggling ones out there, myself included.

I had recently read a comment on a thread concerning licencing gaps in regulations, relating to transferability and validity, where someone was complaining bitterly about their current job - right hand seat in an A380!!! - calling it "too restrictive" and "going nowhere"... Yet some of us will not be lucky enough to reach that kind of role, despite having the talent, skill, drive and ambition... and the longer we fight the battle to get there, the less chance we have...

Some people eh..?



Keep the comments coming...
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Old 17th Sep 2013, 09:35
  #339 (permalink)  
 
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Hey there!

First post so I'll try not to brag too much.

I started the PPL course at 34 (last year), I have only 35 hours, my goal being to reach as high as I can while at the same time enjoying the ride.

I don't know where I am going to end up, PPL, Frozen ATPL, astronaut, but I try not to listen to opinions based on stereotypes, 'cause they tend to keep things and life in general from being different and interesting.

Your topic came up through a google search while I was a bit sad from listening to thoughts about such age-based stereotypes and, I have to admit it did made me glad.

So, thank you for this!


Have a nice day, you all!
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Old 17th Sep 2013, 10:09
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If you're happy to be an instructor in a small flying club/school (god knows why) then you're never too old.
If you want to finish as a longhaul airline captain in a legacy/major airline then you should already be a professional pilot in some capacity by age 30, otherwise you're probably too old.
Everything else is somewhere inbetween.
There are exceptions of course (if you have "connections" for example) but generally the older you start out the narrower the options become. Thats a fact of life i'm afraid, not just in aviation but in most lines of work.
My advice, dont start at all now unless you like gambling with a lot of your own time, effort and money. Only start if you have a guaranteed job to go to. The pilot market is flooded, and i dont see it changing anytime soon.

Last edited by Private jet; 17th Sep 2013 at 10:17.
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