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The perpetual 'Am I too old?' thread

Old 9th Jun 2016, 12:56
  #561 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Ireland
Age: 35
Posts: 26
@ Union Jack ambiguous open to more than one interpretation; not having one obvious meaning!

If i do not believe I will get to that big jet then I may give up now

Thanks for the reply's. I am looking close to home and do have my choice of aircraft, however if and when the time comes I will be only to happy to take a position any where on any aircraft!

Currently I am looking at buying a C150 next year for hour building. I would like to travel to the UK and mainland Eurpoe so I am not sure if the 150 would be the best option...maybe a C172 or PA28

Last edited by BravoSierraKilo; 9th Jun 2016 at 17:29.
BravoSierraKilo is offline  
Old 10th Jun 2016, 15:43
  #562 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Europe
Posts: 79
There's no way you will get a job close to home and on your choice of aircraft !!

If you're one of the lucky guys, you will spend a few years in western europe or asia on a rodster.
If you're not prepared for that, don't do it...

I wish you all the best, but it's a long way to the top if you wanna rock'n roll
Marlon Brando is offline  
Old 3rd Aug 2016, 07:26
  #563 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: FL060
Posts: 148
Cool OK, here you go....

50 years old, just finished ATPL(A) modular taking 3 years minus 5 days. I passed my final 3 exams last week in Braunschweig, Germany. Now onto IFR, CPL, MEP, and finally FI(A). It was reassuring to see that the LBA has slackened off in the fill-in-the-blank questions over the last 18 months. I only had maybe 2 in Flight Planning and none in PoF.
cavok_flyer is offline  
Old 19th Aug 2016, 16:23
  #564 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: ireland
Posts: 42
age can be an issue but so can expectations

I was reading this thread and I will just make a few general observations from my experience so far which I hope people looking to get into the industry will bear in mind.

I was working as an instructor for 5 years and more recently became an FO with an A320 operator(not PTF btw) at age 31.
Basically age won't be an issue if you have the right connections, in fact getting a good career in flying won't be too much of an issue if you have the right connections.

However if you don't have the right connections(like me) then life becomes a lot harder both in trying to break into this super-competitive industry and also when trying to progress within the industry. It is quite unfair but this is the reality.

If you don't have connections and are say over 40 then I think one has to have a long hard look at the situation. You will probably find work as a flight instructor if you are ok but it is hard work - more so than airline flying in my opinion - and I am someone who is passionate about instructing. Also it dosen't pay well unless you are instructing multi engine IR at a big school which usually takes a few years to achieve - and even then it's subject to the schools level of student turnover etc.

If you don't want to go down the instructing work then you might get something with parra-dropping or aerial photography but these also while fun don't pay much and can call for long hours.

Otherwise one has to look to going to Africa or Indonesia in the hopes of building their way up in GA there to eventually flying something like a turbine single cessna caravan. These eventually lead to a reasonable salary but you are very far away from home and eventually most want to return to their roots.

All of the above is very interesting flying and great if you are in your twenties or even thirties if you are single and enjoy this type of flying. But financially it's very hard. Particularly if you have a family.

Also say you do get lucky like me and get to fly an airliner - the pay is very good but you have to factor in the time spent away from home. It can be a big big problem if you have a family or even just a partner. There is a price to be paid for having a job like this so it won't suit everyone.

So I don't want to sound overly negative - The point I'm really trying to make is age is not a huge factor if you are happy to just have a flying job, but not necessarily a well paid jet airliner job.

I really love flying and it's all I've ever really wanted to do. However if I didn't love flying so much and know what I know now then I wouldn't go near professional aviation with a barge-pole....just something to bear in mind.
whistling turtle is offline  
Old 20th Aug 2016, 23:13
  #565 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Papua New Guinea
Posts: 6
I like your 2nd last paragraph..I am also doing the same. I am not looking at big paypacket, i just want to that all i want.
lsililai is offline  
Old 26th Sep 2016, 10:28
  #566 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Brighton
Posts: 3
It doesn't have to cost £100k to train, only £60-70k if you choose the right flying school and not one of the big corps trying to take your buck. An article looked at this to really look at the cost...

Where your money goes - the true cost of pilot training - Pilot Career News

Start flying at any age - its never too late to live the dream! It only takes 16 months to qualify if you really give it your all so what are you waiting for??
rosiew16 is offline  
Old 9th Oct 2016, 17:34
  #567 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Dubai
Posts: 29
Greetings all - any and all feedback welcome....

So the bad news is I'm planning to start flight training having just turned 41. I can almost hear the sniggers at the back. However, as we older folks tend to cling onto the fact, age can have its advantages in certain situations. I've already built a career (IT contractor) and am financially set without any kids, mortgage free and a supportive wife with a good salary herself. Any flight training will be paid out of savings without impacting our quality of life.

I'm under no illusions and recognise my chances of success are slim, so I plan to pursue this first and foremost to fulfill my love of aviation and finish off the PPL I started 20+ years ago. If that is all I achieve having learnt to fly safely with a new hobby then I'll be a happy man. However, I do have one eye on the dream of flying professionally - even this is just air taxis/sightseeing/instructing/or getting really lucky and flying turboprops somewhere. As such I want to give myself the best chance of success should I find I have the ability/desire to keep learning and improving all the way up to CPL/ME/IR.

As long as everything goes ok with the PPL, I'll be looking to buy a share in a 172 (or similar) then get out and try and develop my skills, have some fun & build hours to see where it takes me. I'll be starting the training early next year when my current contract (in the IT dept of a certain middle eastern airline) comes to an end and am taking a two year sabbatical to indulge myself and pursue this. So at the end of this two year period I'll hopefully have my frozen ATPL, a few hundred hours (95% on a SEP) and most importantly a shed-load of fun.

I'd love to hear any advice from people who have done similar. Thanks for taking the time to read and safe flying everyone.
Basil Fawlty1 is offline  
Old 11th Oct 2016, 13:25
  #568 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Somerset
Posts: 418
Hi Bas

A few words of advice, most is common sense and will have probably already occurred to you:

Do not burn your bridges with your current IT career, you may have the opportunity to make a few quid doing some ad-hoc work while you are training and after training you might be grateful of the income while you are looking for a flying job.

The secret to finding that elusive first flying job is networking, I note that you are currently working on a contract for a ME airline, do your best to get to know some of the pilots, maybe sorting out some IT tech issues for them and stay in touch with them while you are training. The airline that you work for might not take on freshly qualified people but the pilots might hear of opportunities elsewhere for newly qualified pilots.

If you have friends or family who fly commercially, make sure that you stay close to them.

When you’re training try to enhance your network amongst other trainees and instructors within the school, any one of them might go on to fly commercially and could help you get into your first job. All these contacts will be invaluable to you.

Try to do the CPL and MEIR at the same school, some airlines like to see continuity in training at least during CPL and MEIR (not so much for PPL and hours building).

If you can, do the hours building within the area that you intend doing your CPL training to get used to the area and the visual landmarks around. I did my CPL with a chap who did all his hours building in Florida using an expensive GPS, his aircraft handling was great but his visual navigation was rubbish because he did not know the area well and he was not used to navigating without a GPS.

Do not believe any of the flying school marketing BS, they just want to separate you from your cash. I attended a very good modular school, they boast that all of their CPL/ MEIR students are now employed as pilots, which is rubbish as myself and the bloke that I was paired up with for CPL and another bloke that I was paired up with for MEIR are not working as commercial pilots.

Good luck with your PPL and taking it further if that is what you decide to do.
magicmick is offline  
Old 11th Oct 2016, 13:31
  #569 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 639
Given your positive financial situation, why not join up with a CTC etc?
FANS is offline  
Old 12th Oct 2016, 18:01
  #570 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Dubai
Posts: 29
Thanks Mick - some very good advice there....

FANS - I'd have thought I'm a bit long in the tooth for one of those cadet schemes.
Basil Fawlty1 is offline  
Old 13th Oct 2016, 10:42
  #571 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Somerset
Posts: 418
Hello Again Bas

You're welcome to my ramblings, if any of them are useful to you then happy days!!

As far as I'm aware there are no age limits on the integrated courses whether you go in as a self financed wannabe or as a cadet linked to a particular airline and I have heard stories of people in their late 30s or early 40s getting accepted as cadets by airlines. I suppose if you can pass the medical and the selection process then you're in.

Obviously the integrated courses with CTC, CAE, FTE etc are vastly more expensive than modular courses but the integrated schools have the valuable links direct into the airlines so you make your choice and pay your money, as always there are no guarantees of employment with modular, integrated or even the airline cadet schemes.

Good Luck
magicmick is offline  
Old 13th Oct 2016, 11:21
  #572 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 639
You need to look into, as I would have thought it's worth a look and could be a lower risk & quicker route to RHS of an A320
FANS is offline  
Old 18th Oct 2016, 12:31
  #573 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Somewhere
Posts: 143
32 years old. I'il be old to find first job ?

Hi guys.
What do you think about the real possibility to find my first job when I will 32 years old? Much old for the aviation field? At the moment I'm 26 and at the first step so the PPL. I'm from Europe (Italy). What do you think about the p2f? Thank you everyone that wanna sharing opinions. Have a nice day.

Last edited by inabw; 24th Nov 2019 at 11:33.
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Old 18th Oct 2016, 15:38
  #574 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Where I am told
Posts: 74
Hi Basil

I read your initial post with some interest. I was in a very similar position to your own. I started full time training age 39 at a well known integrated school and finished my training in 2010 just as recruitment slowed down stopped in aviation. It took me a long time to get a job and it is painful! You will need to be very resilient and there are many obstacles along the way that you will need to overcome. You are going to be up against it but clearly a commercial career is possible.
You will be up against some very switched on/capable/quick learning people who are attuned to learning volumes of information quickly. It came as a shock to me how much longer it took me to 'take things in'. You catch up and learn to learn but this can hit you hard.
Don't put too much emphasis on 'life experience'. My CP said that he translates that phrase as 'takes a bit longer to make the same decision and at 500mph time can be precious'.
Like it or not, the majority of employers will not look at you will be viewed as a training risk.
I don't wish to put you off but you need to make a fully informed decision.
Gentle Climb is offline  
Old 18th Oct 2016, 17:20
  #575 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Dubai
Posts: 29
Hi Gentle Climb - many thanks for taking the time to respond and congratulations on successfully making the switch into the cockpit. I'd love to know if you're happy you made this move and are ultimately more fulfilled or has it just become 'another job' to you ?

I'm keen to get the warts and all view to ensure I make the right decision, so I appreciate your honesty...
Basil Fawlty1 is offline  
Old 18th Oct 2016, 17:23
  #576 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Dubai
Posts: 29
Originally Posted by inabw View Post
Hi guys.
What do you think about the real possibility to find my first job when i will 32 years old? Much old for the aviation field? At the moment i'm 26 and i'm at the first step so the PPL. I'm from Europe (Italy). Abd what do you think about the p2f? Thank you everyone that wanna sharing opinions. Have a nice day.
Not at all you're still a pup, the perfect age for training I would suggest. If you get your first job at 32, you'd have 33 years flying ahead of you.

DON'T p2f !
Basil Fawlty1 is offline  
Old 18th Oct 2016, 22:04
  #577 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Somewhere
Posts: 143
]Thank you very much mate, i really appreciate your opinion.

Last edited by inabw; 20th Oct 2016 at 16:20.
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Old 19th Oct 2016, 05:02
  #578 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Home Counties
Posts: 37
I'm forty years old in two months and I'm currently doing my ATPL training. I am on a sponsored scheme otherwise I would not have made the jump from my previous career. I don't think I am finding it any more difficult than the other lads on my course who are nearly half my age, and in fact being older gives you much more of an insight into important skills like teamwork and leadership.

I am realistic about my new career, its work... Its not meant to be fun all the time. You turn up, do as professional a job as you possibly can then you go home to your family and your other interests.

Despite the fact that the profession apparently isn't as good as it was in the 1970's I cant wait to get stuck into flying for an airline...
Capewell is offline  
Old 19th Oct 2016, 07:33
  #579 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Somewhere
Posts: 143
Where are you from Sir? In Italy there's the legend that if you don't pay to fly (type and hours) you never will find a job with fresh atpl (In Europe). So, after i saw you history i think you are very strong person, and i share everything about your opinions 'n about leadership and skills... Have a lucky life and career.
inabw is offline  
Old 19th Oct 2016, 15:44
  #580 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Where I am told
Posts: 74
I wouldn't go so far as to say that it becomes just 'another job' but the initial novelty and excitement does fade fairly quickly. Getting out of bed at midnight to fly overnight in to a CAT C airfield at the end of the second sector loses it's glamour rapidly.
However, the enjoyment of seeing and feeling improvement and progression in all of the different facets of flying an aircraft is very rewarding. It's a cliché but climbing above clouds in to the sunshine on a miserable rainy day still makes me smile, but not as much as a CDA with a landing in the right place at the right one of our aircraft with no vnav capacity.
It is a very different career from my other business but I enjoy that a lot more now that I get away from it regularly.
You should also not underestimate the impact upon your family. Suddenly, I am not available...with 2 days notice I can be away for two weeks. Can you deal with that...can they?
Gentle Climb is offline  

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