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The perpetual 'Am I too old?' thread

Old 23rd Jan 2014, 11:28
  #381 (permalink)  
 
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BIGS, you should be able to pick up a TP job with that experience. I would hold off doing a type rating, esp jet, until you've explored the UK job market a bit first. Could be a waste of money or even go against you.
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Old 26th Jan 2014, 08:58
  #382 (permalink)  
 
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This has been a real useful thread to read. I was wondering if 25 was too old to start training but I think the answer to this is no. My decision now is to make my mind up over airplanes or helicopters.
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Old 27th Jan 2014, 13:02
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you are exceedingly lucky you might land something but you need to be prepared for the possibility of finding an extra 30,000 or so to fund type rating and also be prepared to have travel to another country or continent to find work. ......

Correct in a fashion however Id add the following

To be clear on this point: even with a type rating and currency there is still quite a queue for these jobs.

I know of guys with ratings on B737 and A320 who cannot even break into the market half way round the world on chicken feed wages

Also there are guys out in these jobs with unfrozen licences and jet experience hours into four figures cant find a way back into the UK

Do comprehensive research on both the European marketplace and the UK marketplace. Never forget the training schools have thousands and thousands of reasons to tell you exactly what you want to hear.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 06:05
  #384 (permalink)  
 
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OK I'll bite. I'm 34, Australian, and considering applying for a pilot programme here in Melbourne (Jetstar). Just wondering whether it's worth it. It's an enormous amount of debt to get into (AUD$130,000) and I'm not getting any younger for career prospects.

Anyone got anything to say about the programmes down here?
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Old 19th Mar 2014, 15:41
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I have an FAA CPL/IR and I have spent the last few years based in the UK (I am a UK citizen) but flying all over the world as co-pilot in a turbo prop (MTOW over 5700 KG) I have managed to gain a couple of thousand hours doing this.
BIGS - great experience but how have you logged this time? Do/did you hold a type rating on your FAA CPL or was this SIC on a multi-pilot type? My point being that EASA differs significantly to the FAA in this area and as rewarding as your experience has been it may be considered inadmissible toward an EASA licence (in the event it was a single-pilot type). Additionally, employers views towards 'structured' experience in the UK vs US differs as well; US regionals tend to treat hours as hours regardless of the type of flying however it's a bit different in the UK.

I wouldn't say age was an issue for you though.
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Old 28th Mar 2014, 07:29
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The perpetual 'Am I too old?' thread

Hi everyone,

I am 37 years of age, have a son and a mortgage, plenty of experience in management and customer service.

I have been fiddling about for the last 7 years achieving PPL, 150 hours and a night rating plus an 8th of the ATPL course.

Now is the time to decide to put everything at risk and go for it or forget about being a pilot and have some life long remorse!

I currently live in the UK but happy to move my family (they consent too!) anywhere in the world, as far as there is education and healthcare available.

I am planning to finance for a type rating and not bothered whether I end up flying a jet or a turboprop as far as I fly, I am all too aware of the salary difference between jet and turboprop.

So the questions is what are the odds of me getting into a commercial cockpit considering all of the above?
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Old 2nd Apr 2014, 00:03
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Am I mad? Possibly.

I'm 21 years old, and I've always wanted to be a pilot, ever since I was a kid. I've been gliding for several years and love that, but I've also flown a Cessna a few times and it's just so much fun, and there's nothing I'd rather do than fly for a living.
I got into the best university in the UK (or the second best, depending where your loyalties lie!) but decided to leave as I wasn't enjoying it, and couldn't see myself completing my degree and finding a job I enjoyed and which paid well. Not many people leave my university for those reasons, but I'm still young and don't want to waste time doing something I don't enjoy. Money isn't everything.

Now I have a full-time job as a postman which I love. I don't see myself as defined by my job, I enjoy getting to know my community and take each day as it comes, and it's fun. For unskilled work, it pays very well and also we all got awarded free shares in Royal Mail which will be worth a few grand in three years when we can sell them.

I've worked out that if I save money frantically for 4 years, and only spend the bare minimum, I'll have enough money by the time I'm 26 to quit my job (or take a career break for a couple of years, which is like quitting but your job is guaranteed at the end of it) and do modular 0-ATPL training, and still have some left over for resits and landing fees. That would put me in the same position as I am now financially, but with an ATPL (f).

I'd then carry on working with Royal Mail and gradually fund hour building / keep current until I find any flying job in any location, and then do that to gain hours and eventually work my way up the chain. Maybe by then the market will be better and it won't take so long, maybe it won't be and it'll take years and years, but I won't have lost anything anyway.

How does that sound? Come on, how crazy am I?
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Old 5th Apr 2014, 19:31
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Smile Am i too old!!

Hi everyone,

I have a an mid level accounts jobs and am 41 now with excellent health required for flying.
I have extra cash and am single. I would like to shift from my current profession to be a pilot as i have been interested since many years and do have some basic knowledge as much as an enthusiast would have.
If i were to achieve fATPL, what would be the chances of a person of my age getting work in any commercial airline to private jet airline.
I'm a British resident and would be getting my ATPL from Far East, so technically I would be looking for work around far east and where ever my license is eligible.

Any advise would be highly appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 8th Apr 2014, 15:18
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Hi everyone,

I really need someone to be blunt and honest with me here.
In 2008 I joined NATS and trained to become an ATCO, almost validated and then for personal reasons had to give it up which broke my heart as I loved it.
I'm in a decent job just now earning a good wage but really miss the aviation side of things. I have never flown an aircraft but I'm earning enough money to start learning.
Realistically, is it worth my while, at the age of 32, to a) start training to become a pilot and b) expect a fruitful career as a commercial airline pilot?

As mentioned previously, I really miss the ATC side of things but now my life has settled down a bit, I'm considering getting my PPL and taking it from there.

All opinions welcome!
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Old 10th Apr 2014, 19:16
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There seem to be a lot of people on this thread describing their situations but nobody has offered any opinions in return.

So, here are my thoughts. Take them with a pinch of salt, but I was 30 when I decided to abandon my previous career and I'm now in my late thirties and a captain flying the 737 around Europe. When I look back on all the twists and turns I can see where I got lucky, where my hard work paid off, and where I ws just in the right place at the right time. But times have changed.

1967kev - Changing career is a huge call. If you're settled, think long and hard. If it's ATC you missed, seriously look at that option, but why not get a PPL to scratch that itch? Flying little planes around the countryside is some of the most fun you can have in aviation. If you get the PPL, check our the job market again, but still don't think the employment prospects merit the commercial training, you still have a PPL!

Momminz - Health is a small part of it. Most people can get a Class I medical. As you get older the initial commercial flight training becomes much harder for the majority of pilots. The old saying about teaching an old dog new tricks has some basis in reality! I know. It took me longer than my sim buddies to reach the same level of competency as those in their early twenties who found it far easier and are therefore perceived by airlines as a lower training risk. That said, age brings maturity, which is a quality that serves you very well in a commercial flying job. Your problem will be the hordes of youngsters who will be looking for the same 'first break'. Risky but possible.

ysbrydtawel - I changed career to start flying because I did NOT love my job. If you love being a postman, stick to that, cultivate that career, and in the meantime get a PPL to satisfy your flying desires. With a PPL and the right attitude, and age on your side, you will be able to gauge the employment market in a couple of years time. If things look up and your PPL revealed a hidden aptitude, then go for it - but remember: the airlines are mainly recruiting through the integrated courses and your PPL could be wasted if you are later forced to embark on one of those massively over-priced schemes.

Captainloulou - Arrgh. Tricky one. Put it this way and remember it's just one opinion: At 30, with financial security and no kids, I was prepared to take the risk of being unemployed for a number of years. Now, with kids, a mortgage and a lot to lose, I wouldn't enter the commercial flying market if I had the same decision to make. At my current age and seeing so many friends from my ATPL studies who never got flying jobs, I realise I am very lucky. But if you have a carefully crafted plan and family support, a bit of luck, and the right aptitude for commercial flying, you could make it work.

Overall, most people seem to be saying that money is not their motivation. Good, because you will not earn a great deal as a commercial pilot. Unless you buy a 100k lottery ticket into a cadet scheme you might do quite well, but for the majority commercial flying is quickly becoming a paid hobby!
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Old 15th Apr 2014, 14:29
  #391 (permalink)  
 
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Should I or Should I not?

I realise that I am setting myself up to get a bit of abuse here as it is a long running and tiring question but to be honest no one that i can see has came up with a real definative answer.
I am 45, ran the family business for the last 20 years (wishing I had taken the pilot route when I was younger) passed all my ATPL's with 95% av 1st time passes.
Last Summer I started my CPL (decided to do CPL before my MEP/IR) but one of the major contracts my business had ended due to the company going down finacially and I pulled out of my CPL to stabalise the business, which I have done. As I have said before, I wish I had trained in my early 20's as flying is something since the age I could speak have been intrigued with.
So the question is Am I told old and should forget my lifelong dream or should I carry on as "Life is Too Short and all that"? I do know there are a few bitter pilots out there!!
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Old 15th Apr 2014, 18:13
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Way tooooooooooooo old

Hello, I posted a reply in the Spectators Balcony the other day to someone who was worried that he was too old at 24 to start flying!!

The answer to your Q flyingsnapper is that only you can answer it.

I met a pilot last week at London City Airport who didn't start ab initio training until he was 49. He was a captain four years later.

Experience I would guess is a good thing to bring into the industry in such a responsible job, but if you don't have airline contacts, then I would go through an FTO that has really good contacts to maximise your chances.

Otherwise you're playing a poker game ...
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Old 16th Apr 2014, 12:50
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Thank you CaptainCriticalAngle, that does give me a little to think about (and some hope) and yes I do agree with the contacts as like every job really "who you know" can be very importatnt or an alternative is "what you know about who you know!"
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Old 16th Apr 2014, 21:44
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"CaptainCriticalAngle" - "go through an FTO that has really good contacts"

RED ALARM BELLS should go of when somebody writes such BS!

The truth is with no connections it will not be easy, but do not believe the FTO's will give a flying toss about you after handing them over 100.000, is extremely naive!

Starting now at 45, your chances are probably going to be very small to get an airline job. Of course depends on various factors, are you willing to go anywhere, and work for peanuts, even then it is very hard.

Family, children, house ... are you good to work for many years with little or no rewards, free time etc.

Big questions, with not enough facts to decide, but your odds are against you, not impossible, but not so positive outlook if you want an honest answer.
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Old 17th Apr 2014, 22:35
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Negative

Truckflyer, it's just as well that 49 year old didn't come to you for advice when commencing his ab initio training.

He wouldn't be a captain now ... but stuck in his old job and unhappy.

You only live once. Someone who is 45 could make a great pilot and someone who is 21 a useless one and vice versa.
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Old 27th Apr 2014, 21:53
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Not denying that can't be a good pilot smarty!!!

That is not the issue, however the odds of getting a job is closer to 0.01%, that is the reality and truth!
Apply the BA program when available, and if get in, good chance, other training will most likely be money lost!

Oh, why? Experience, I know so many, who don't even have age as an issue not getting jobs! Age will not put you first for sure!

Try if you willing to accept the real odds of not getting a job!
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Old 28th Apr 2014, 07:07
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The other thing to remember is the following. It is important.

If you beat the odds and get a job, you will be offered terms and conditions that will make you question the sense of your 100,000 investment.

If you're a mature candidate you are likely to have a reasonable career, hence you must also build into the equation your lost income for the training years.

That 100,000 cost has now grown to 200,000.

Still feeling lucky? Still married?
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Old 28th Apr 2014, 07:48
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MikeHotel has hit the nail on the head there.
But money is only half the issue - people established in professions tend to know their worth, and the total lack of respect afforded to pilots at the moment is unbelievable, almost laughable. And it will only get worse due to the growing trend to take cadets over experience.
Having qualified a few years ago (aged 33) I turned down an interview on the basis that I would not (and could not) work in the conditions being offered, not even for 12 months as a stepping stone. It was offensive.

Note : I originally said "people established in other professions" but that implied that "Pilot" is a profession, and it isn't any more :-)

Last edited by clunk1001; 28th Apr 2014 at 08:41.
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Old 11th May 2014, 09:52
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Angel Grass roots to Cpl ?

Having read some of the threads on here it has boosted my confidence a little, my story is as follows;

I've always known i wanted to fly from midway through high school, 21 years after leaving and a load of different jobs, i've never been happy in anything ive tried. Im 36 now, have 3 kids and a shared mortgage.

What i wanted to ask is if anybody knows of any kind of adult sponsorship/ similar where i could train for a career in aviation. I'm not too bothered about making captain, i just want to fly.

looking forward to hearing replies.
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Old 11th May 2014, 10:15
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Grass roots to CPL

Hi everyone, i've always been interested in a career in the skies but haven't got any of my licences yet.

Has anybody got any advice on companies that may sponsor mature students ( i know its unlikely) and what kind of Maths would i need to be conversant with to pass the training modules for a CPL ?.

I know that a PPL is the minimum requirement but im looking towards the future so i can ready myself for every outcome.

Thanks in advance.
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