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The perpetual 'Am I too old?' thread

Old 21st Jun 2010, 23:38
  #61 (permalink)  
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Ah ha. Gotcha!
Learnt a few crucial points about you from your last post.
Very inspiring.
Thanks for your words to my original post. I needed to hear them from someone in the business.
Miss B
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Old 21st Jun 2010, 23:44
  #62 (permalink)  

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Now, being an accountant? That's your major hurdle
Reddo ... you cruisin' for a bruisin'?


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Old 10th Jul 2010, 15:01
  #63 (permalink)  
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Question How old is too old?

Hey guys!

Just heard from a chap who got charged a load of money for a Ryanair interview/sim check, and was then told "off the record" that he was too old for the job anyway - and that no-one else would be interested..

He is 36.

This has got me worried - I'm 33 this month and can't start the CPL until my wife finishes her maternity leave in 6 months time - so I'm going to be pushing it and probably end up in the same situation!

So - realistically, what are the age limits? Can I still break into the industry in my mid 30s - and more to the point... how?

Thanks in advance for all constructive comments!

TSR22 (I know the extra 2 shouldn't be there - it was a typo I couldnt change..!!)

P.S. Not just thinking about the big jets here - turboprops would suit me just fine..
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Old 10th Jul 2010, 15:51
  #64 (permalink)  
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There is still every chance that you will make a good career in aviation starting in your mid 30's. You still have 30+ years left to fly.

Some operators prefer older career changers as they can bring more to the position than a 20 y/o who has never worked anywhere else before.

If that really is the case for FR, it explains why I haven't heard from them, oh well their loss and has saved me £30k + !!.

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Old 10th Jul 2010, 15:53
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I have completed my CPL, and I am 40. (Profile typo). I have heard of pilots over 40 getting jobs with Ryanair, if that is your goal. Personally I would not mind working for them, once you get going I don't think is that bad.

There will be mixed messages on this, but you are defo not to old now, or in 6 months. TP seems to have maybe more chances, just cross our fingers and hope for the best.
Retirement age is 65, so there is still few years left to get some flying done. At the moment there are no jobs anyway, so not really a major rush. But get going with the ATPL's and class 1 medical - and take it from there. CPL you do in one month, the ATPL's is a different story.
Had a newborn baby when I started - after a while your wife will maybe not appreciate so much the studies - because they really become time consuming. Did them in 6 months, full time - distance learning can be hard for some, but things you should get out of the way as soon as possible. Then you can see if it is still for you.
Also instructing is an option for the future, not now at the moment, but when the airlines start hiring that will probably be the first step in the right direction to get enough experience.
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Old 11th Jul 2010, 11:20
  #66 (permalink)  
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Don't worry, I was 31 when I started and 33 when I got my 1st airline job (via a bit of instructing).
Your age makes you interesting and there are other airlines out there. TP - as mentioned - are a good option and Jet2 are a good bet (when they recruit again).
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Old 11th Jul 2010, 18:28
  #67 (permalink)  
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Am I too old at 32 to become an airline pilot?

Hi, I need some advice.

I'm 32 and have been accepted to train at a UK Training Academy. My concern is my age. When I finish my training I will be nearly 34 and I have been told that I will struggle to find a job with a good airline such as Easyjet, Ryaniar, BA. etc because of my age.

I need honest advice from people in the industry who were the around the same age as me before I spend £75,000 and end up struggling.

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Old 11th Jul 2010, 19:10
  #68 (permalink)  
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Hi Aviator78

First of all I just want to say, Don't be concerned about your age.. you are not too old. in fact your age could work out to be an advantage in landing a job after your training. Many airlines out there value real world experience especially if your experience is seen as something that will make you a better/more mature pilot.

Having said that I would like to bring to your attention that finding a flying job can be very difficult even with thousands of hours of experience and more so when you are stating out. So be prepared for a lot of rejection until you land that first Job.

1 last bit of advice.. If you do decide to take the leap then be very sure that it is what you really want to do because life as a pilot means you will probably need to sacrifice many little things that one takes for granted when working a 9 to 5 job.

I wish you success in whatever road you decide to take.
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Old 11th Jul 2010, 19:25
  #69 (permalink)  
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Absolutely not.

But the wiser question (and you've alluded to it yourself) is, "Am I young enough to spend £75k on a qualification, and maybe still have to find a new way to pay my bills?"

Good luck.

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Old 11th Jul 2010, 19:41
  #70 (permalink)  
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Your age will not be a hindrance to you getting a job.
However...remember that despite the glossy brochures and the "holier-than-the-rest" flight school that is Oxford Aviation, they are simply not in a position to offer, guarantee, find, assist or garner you a job in any way.

If they are so concerned about your age being a factor then I have two questions:

Why are they "approving" or "accepting" you on the course?

Why are you agreeing to risk 75 grand on training?

The fact is, you can get your training done for a hell of a lot less and STILL HAVE AN EQUAL CHANCE OF GETTING A JOB AT THE END OF IT ALL!

This bull**** about where you go to school being influential on where you get a job has to stop.
Consumer watchdogs take note.

This business is all about WHO you know!
Those of you who got into a flying gig without an internal contact, number a very lucky few.
Everyone else....knew someone on the inside.

That, my dear wannabes, is the reality of the industry you are entering.
If you are not good at making friends and'll be a paper-pilot forever!

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Old 12th Jul 2010, 09:37
  #71 (permalink)  
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41 this year and have been flying the 737 for just under 5 years. Stop making excuses. The only risk is yourself and how determined you really are. Plenty of older pilots in our company.

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Old 12th Jul 2010, 10:00
  #72 (permalink)  
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Flying really is a young mans game these days, for a number of reasons. Firstly the pay is pretty crap when you take into account the loss of weekends, Christmases, kids birthdays, important events, getting up early being away from home etc etc.

Younger pilots starting say in their early to mid 20ís have the age advantage. By that I mean they can take a job to build their hours and then move on to a better carrier not caring about things like seniority. They could get a few thousand hours in Ryanair and jump across to someone like BA (assuming they were hiring), sit in the RHS for arguments sake for 10 years on a 777 seeing the world and then still only be in their mid 30ís when command comes around. Seniority isnít really a factor for them as they will have approximately 25-30 years in the LHS once promoted to move up the list and enjoy all of the benefits that entails. They could also have spent a few years in the sandpit building up their experience before heading back to Western Europe. Nothing would have been wasted as they were young enough to enjoy the experience.

Remember that the days of quick commands are gone for now. There are long lists and a wait of 8-10 years at most of the airlines these days as recruitment and expansion has dried up. ICAO has pushed out the retirement age which means the guy sitting in the LHS isnít going anywhere fast. Even more so since their pension has probably been decimated in the current recession and they will need to be working longer to save for retirement. That means you will be in your mid to late 40ís at the earliest before you see a command. You will more than likely be flying as a 40 year old f/o with a captain who could be 10 years or more your junior and will have 30 years of sitting in the LHS that you want so much. If you decide to switch airlines then you drop to the bottom of the seniority list and may never see a command and be a career f/o so to a degree you will be hamstrung.

Now I am not saying that anyone in their mid 30ís or later shouldnít become an airline pilot but please be under no illusion of what you are getting yourself into.
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Old 12th Jul 2010, 11:22
  #73 (permalink)  
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Given the way the industry is right now, it doesn't matter if you're 20, 30 or 40, there are hardly ANY jobs available for anyone. Until one of the big movers starts a decent sized recruitment drive, expect a stagnant jobs market for some time to come...

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Old 12th Jul 2010, 11:36
  #74 (permalink)  
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I have been told that I will struggle to find a job with a good airline such as Easyjet, Ryaniar,
Laughs out loud, they really are spinning the BS there nowadays.
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Old 12th Jul 2010, 19:57
  #75 (permalink)  
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Well, a fellow PPL student is currently on the Cathay Pacific Cadet scheme. I thought he was wasting his time filling out the application form - he was 35.
He's currently in New Zealand - training with Cathay Pacific. He'll be nearly 37when he finishes.
If its good enough for Cathay Pacific then I'm sure that the thirties are just fine.
Another chum was 41 when he started his ATPL theory - now flies Biz Jets.
Another is a Training Captain for EasyJet - PPL and instructing from age 34 - F/O for EZY aged 39.
I can think of another 2 who started at about 34 and are now F/O's - one at the other Ryanair.
Sure by the time I get to be 60 they'll have upped the retirement to 70 so I've got 33 years flying ahead of me.
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Old 12th Jul 2010, 20:44
  #76 (permalink)  
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I'm really happy to read all these things. I was think that at 26 I was "almost old" already! It's really nice to see that some other people make it, even at 35/40yo!

At that age, the good point is that you have probably loooaads of finance available! Hehe!
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Old 13th Jul 2010, 17:53
  #77 (permalink)  
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Hey - thanks guys!

It's good to see that people on this forum, whether already there, or trying to get there are supportive
I think that by your 30's you are much more sure/realistic when considering such large financial adventures - and many of us by that time have worked in non 9-5 jobs so have some idea of what is involved.

I just hope that we can all make it - I'm going to give it a damn good try!

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Old 13th Jul 2010, 19:10
  #78 (permalink)  
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thanks for all the advice and experiences, greatly appreciated.....however i've got the impression that many pilots are unhappy with their job, is that really the case?
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Old 13th Jul 2010, 20:16
  #79 (permalink)  
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however i've got the impression that many pilots are unhappy with their job, is that really the case?
Yes it is.
The glory days of aviation are slowly but surely disappearing.
As a thirty something, you will I am sure remember things like flight engineers, proper nav with slide-rules, real gauges and pilots who were treated with respect.

The above is now more or less all gone.
Airlines are run by people who are geo-anatomically challenged (they know not their arse from their elbow) when it comes to what happens on a flightdeck, or before and after a flight - especially around the area of Human Factors!

Take here in the Middle East, for example.
Or check out the Emirates or Qatari threads.

Days off are constantly invaded by Crewing (wobbles head) who either did not realize you were on a rest day - or more than likely knew, didn't give a stuff and called you out of bed anyway, then take the hump when they're told to sod off!

Standby days are no longer standby days - they are days off for your less than scrupulous colleagues who like nothing better than to f*ck you over in exchange for a few more hours sleep.

The cadet schemes are all but gone, and it is beginning to show in the quality of some new jet-jockeys.

Guys over here call Met to find out what the weather is like at destination and use that to determine whether or not they are fit to fly.....a crosswind over 15kts or OVC on the TAF is enough to send a few folks here into a state of apoplexy.

Getting leave is like trying to get blood out of a stone.
Allowances are being eroded away and some pilots are getting ditched because they can be replaced by self-sponsored, debt-ridden newbies who are willing to work for a handful a rice a week and enough salary for a monthly loan repayment.
They will even buy their own uniform!

The dream sir, has fallen on it's arse, rolled over and died!

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Old 14th Jul 2010, 10:08
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There are "still" some cracking employers out there though, in EASA land too. So it's not all bad.
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