Professional Pilot Training (includes ground studies) A forum for those on the steep path to that coveted professional licence. Whether studying for the written exams, training for the flight tests or building experience here's where you can hang out.

The perpetual 'Am I too old?' thread

Old 13th May 2020, 07:56
  #901 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Wherever I lay my hat
Age: 43
Posts: 565
Originally Posted by franks View Post
Hi, Iíd like some advice on the below as a modular route. By way of background Iím 36, with a well paid job in public relations. Own my flat in South East London. Gay, so no kids and have had a lot of fun holidays across the world. My living costs are such that each month I could bank £2K in savings. I tend not to; most of it goes on fripperies but the point is it could be spent on other things.


I enjoy my career but the idea of doing that alone full time for another 30 years fills me, if not with dread, then a certain amount of sadness. Keen to populate my life with some additional people, experiences and skills. Frankly I need something hard and a bit scary right now. I considered sailing but itís too cold around England to be enjoyable year round.

This leads me back to flight. Took a few lessons in my teenage years, loved it but turned 18 just before 09/11. I also remember reading on the early pilot forums how exploitative entry level flying jobs in the US were before the introduction of the 1500 rule. and the emerging European low costs didnít represent a type of flying that appealed. Always thought Iíd want to either fly ultra locally or medium to long haul. All told aviation seemed like a route to heart break. Until C-19 that seemed like a big mistake on my part. But equally Iíve really enjoyed my life till now and also believe Iíd have been ill suited to 35 years + in an airline job.

What Iím considering is throwing myself over the next few years into becoming a very competent pilot. Mostly for the sheer satisfaction of it and Iíve no firm goal in mind other than reaching the point where I could instruct to ME/IR level part time, and hopefully get back some of the money Iíd spend on this. Equally, maybe if/when the industry picks up there might be a turboprop gig, or I dunno, something in bush flying if this turns into a total mid life crisis. Iíve lurked on here long enough to thereís no point making firm plans as to what the industry might want or need.

This is the timeline Iíve sketched out (doing this on weekends and during my holidays). Does the order seem logical or have I overlooked anything important?

Year 1
Take a class 1 medical. Assuming all goes to plan pursue PPL; night rating; hour building; IMC IR(R). Aim to finish with about 75 hrs. Review

Year 2
Take another class 1 medical. 100 hrs worth of PIC time in the UK and the US. Take some short courses in mountain flying; beach landings, tail wheel training and soft/short field landings. Start studying for ATPL theory tests. By this point have reached 192 hours. Review.

Year 3
Class 1 medical. Take the ATPL exams. Aim for first time passes at 90% or above to keep in contention for an airline job. If fall at this hurdle, accept my options will have narrowed further. Do some light hour building in the UK and pursue the FI (R) rating and have the night restriction removed. Get a part time instructor job. Aim to end the year with about 350 hours logged in total. Review.

Year 4
Class 1 medical. Acquire MEP and MEP/IR ratings. Keep instructing part time and do some ME hour building in the states. Aim to end the year with about 450 hrs logged in total

Year 5

Class 1 medical. Keep instructing part time and acquire the ME CRI rating. Aim to have logged about 630 hours in total.

Year 6
Class 1 medical. Acquire the CPL and do the MCC/JOC courses. Keep instructing. At this point Iíd be 43 with a minimum of about 700 hours logged. Either I keep instructing part time or Iím in a position to start applying for FO positions, probably for a UK based turboprop operator. If the airline thing doesnít pan out, probably keep at instructing, maybe even taking a FT role if the money were decent, or take an unpaid sabbatical and go flying for Wilderness Air or the like for a different experience. Or buy a non equity share in a multi engine piston and go on flying holidays in Europe.

I estimate Iíll spend about £78K at 2020 prices over 6 six years for ratings and hour building but would hopefully have earned some back in instructor fees. My only true red line is I wonít pay for a type rating or line training to keep me in contention for a commercial job.

Does the above seem sensible (accepting upfront that it is rather mad to spend any money on aviation right now). Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
Sorry mate, I'll have to disagree with the guy above (who doesn't seem to understand that a CBIR is a full IR).
Sure, it'll work. But it's an awful plan. You need 150 hours pic to become an FI without a CPL. A CPL only requires 100. It will be a lot cheaper to get your IR then CPL then FI - than it would be to get the FI on its own. You'd be employabe as an FO within 2 years and as an FI shortly thereafter. And for under £50k.
rudestuff is offline  
Old 13th May 2020, 09:53
  #902 (permalink)  
Educated Hillbilly
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: From the Hills
Posts: 877
"Also with the Competency based IR you can upgrade the IR to a full IR", was meant to write upgrade the IRR to full IR; take time to read the context of the statement you would have realised that it was a omission of a single letter.


Last edited by portsharbourflyer; 13th May 2020 at 11:26.
portsharbourflyer is offline  
Old 13th May 2020, 11:37
  #903 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Wherever I lay my hat
Age: 43
Posts: 565
Fair enough 👍
rudestuff is offline  
Old 13th May 2020, 13:09
  #904 (permalink)  
Educated Hillbilly
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: From the Hills
Posts: 877
Actually Rudestuff, thanks for highlighting the error (indirectly). It was my error to start with, didn't mean to come across as abrupt.
portsharbourflyer is offline  
Old 13th May 2020, 14:21
  #905 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Wherever I lay my hat
Age: 43
Posts: 565
No worries, sorry for being a condescending ****!
rudestuff is offline  
Old 13th May 2020, 18:35
  #906 (permalink)  
Educated Hillbilly
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: From the Hills
Posts: 877
No problem Rudestuff.
portsharbourflyer is offline  
Old 14th May 2020, 10:32
  #907 (permalink)  

de minimus non curat lex
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: sunny troon
Posts: 1,355
One of the consequences of C-19, and the tsunami impact on aviation, for what will be a considerable period of time, the ďAM I TOO OLDĒ criteria will undoubtedly reduce in age.
The curve will move significantly Ďto the leftí to adjust for that, at present, undefined recovery period.

Those at the margins of what was a sensible (perhaps?) cut off age band, have now moved into the Ďprobably best forgotten, unless you have money to burn bandí. They should consider doing the PPL and fly for pleasure on nice days if they have a real interest in flying.

The paradox is that C-19 might have done a few hopefuls a huge favour, and not incurred a vast cost with hardly any chance of a return on the investment by securing a job. Money better saved & spend elsewhere as a result.

For those of a certain age deep into the process, you have my sympathy. Difficult choices to make.

parkfell is offline  
Old 14th May 2020, 10:37
  #908 (permalink)  
pug
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: A post-punk postcard fair
Posts: 967
Originally Posted by parkfell View Post
One of the consequences of C-19, and the tsunami impact on aviation, for what will be a considerable period of time, the ďAM I TOO OLDĒ criteria will undoubtedly reduce in age.
The curve will move significantly Ďto the leftí to adjust for that, at present, undefined recovery period.

Those at the margins of what was a sensible (perhaps?) cut off age band, have now moved into the Ďprobably best forgotten, unless you have money to burn bandí. They should consider doing the PPL and fly for pleasure on nice days if they have a real interest in flying.

The paradox is that C-19 might have done a few hopefuls a huge favour, and not incurred a vast cost with hardly any chance of a return on the investment by securing a job. Money better saved & spend elsewhere as a result.

For those of a certain age deep into the process, you have my sympathy. Difficult choices to make.
Can you elaborate as to why that might be? From what Iíve seen the older age bracket (career changers etc) tend to be looked on favourably. You may not have meant it but your post reads that the older candidates are the secondary consideration when experience tells me quite the opposite.
pug is offline  
Old 14th May 2020, 10:45
  #909 (permalink)  

de minimus non curat lex
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: sunny troon
Posts: 1,355
There is an age cut off for most occupations. “Old dog and new tricks”. Aviation is no exception.
For those aspiring to start from scratch after a certain age will find it increasingly difficult.

And your experience contradicts this?

parkfell is offline  
Old 14th May 2020, 10:53
  #910 (permalink)  
pug
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: A post-punk postcard fair
Posts: 967
Of course if we’re talking someone late 40’s/early 50’s then that might be the case, though I’ve seen people that age come through and happily (until recently) flying ‘shiny jets’. I tend to believe people are taken on merit and not on age these days, and not sure whether there has been a detailed study into Type Rating success when age is the benchmark. Operators tend to take a range of people from a range of backgrounds and age brackets. They have done for quite some time. For many people they can only afford to make the jump in their 30’s!

What I do think will matter more is getting first time passes in everything, high average scores in ATPL’s and doing something worthwhile to keep current whilst the market is none existent,

Last edited by pug; 14th May 2020 at 11:15.
pug is offline  
Old 14th May 2020, 12:25
  #911 (permalink)  

de minimus non curat lex
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: sunny troon
Posts: 1,355
Back in the early 1990s, BA Flight Engineers were no longer necessary with fleet upgrades etc.

A number ended up at BAe Prestwick to train for the CPL/IR under CAP509. Various ground school credits due to their FEng qualifications.
Age band 28-44.

The youngest had no problems, whilst the oldest wisely gave up the unequal struggle at the end of the SE phase.

It was certainty the case that on the whole they did learn slower and found it harder than the usual BA cadet in their early twenties. That I doubt would come as any surprise: “old dog and new tricks”

I see no difficulty those in their 30’s starting to train. Modular route is probably best, with the PPL course a good point to assess whether continuing on the route is worthwhile. An experience instructor is best placed to access your potential.
Those with a low golf handicap aged 40 - 45 will more than likely be successful as well. Demonstrating good hand to eye coordination and a sound temperament when playing those difficult shots out the rough or bunker.

Once you pass aged 50, on balance, the odds are not in your favour. Stick with PPL flying and enjoy it. Choose your days carefully.
parkfell is offline  
Old 2nd Jun 2020, 04:08
  #912 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Orbit
Posts: 16
pug

I agree, with your first statement, until recently, guys in their 40s, 50s, and I even knew 1 guy in his 60s who got into a regional jet! So it WAS happening. C-19 has probably changed all that for the next 5 years at least, although it is possible that some airlines may see opportunity in less experienced guys in their 40s/50s, as they may be more likely (than experienced pilots) to accept poor working conditions in order to get their shot. However in general I think (and hope) that they will choose experience over newbies when the time for hiring comes around.

I am curious about your last statement, what would you say are worthwhile ways to keep current whilst waiting for the hiring cycle to begin again?
MADMAX190 is offline  
Old 2nd Jun 2020, 08:20
  #913 (permalink)  

de minimus non curat lex
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: sunny troon
Posts: 1,355
Those unfortunate pilots need look no further than Virtual Aviation, Cambridge who are offering simulator time on A320 & B737 at attractive rates. Going as a pair of pilots is probably ideal.....?
parkfell is offline  
Old 3rd Aug 2020, 11:48
  #914 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 30
How are the oldies doing nowadays?

It seems to me that at 38 years old, I "now" really have to throw the towel in the ring. On one side I'm super-happy the corona crisis has hit now and not later as I was scheduled to start an MPL programme in June ( can not imagine the mess I would have been in right now).

My heart really hurts as I have to say goodbye to something I have been achieving for my whole life, but just being able to do it now financially( did not want a 100k loan).

Any other thoughts or experiences here? are people still pursuing their dreams hoping for a quick market recovery?

Curious to hear from you guys and gals..

Buenas is offline  
Old 3rd Aug 2020, 11:58
  #915 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: FRANCE
Posts: 13
31, 32 in october for me, finished my PPL summer 2019, about to finish ATPL theory, I'm keep going, knowing the future is probably not so good, I won't go in debt, got enough cash to finish training going modular. You can still go for you PPL, flying is fun, nothing to rush for now. I don't know if the market will recover, I don't expect much anyway, I'm just looking for any kind of flying, instruction, GA, whatever is possible in the future. I would't start an integrated training today. Going modular you can probably get away with 50K.
jackrabbitslim7 is offline  
Old 3rd Aug 2020, 15:49
  #916 (permalink)  

de minimus non curat lex
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: sunny troon
Posts: 1,355
Obtain your Class One medical.
After the PPL, slowly start the EASA exams learning.
The clock starts ticking after the first exam sitting.
18 months to complete.

Then 3 years to complete the flying for licence issue.
By 2024 should with any luck be back to near normal.
parkfell is offline  
Old 4th Aug 2020, 05:09
  #917 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Wherever I lay my hat
Age: 43
Posts: 565
Buenas

So you didn't really want to be a pilot then?
rudestuff is offline  
Old 4th Aug 2020, 09:24
  #918 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 30
@rudestuff -Haha give me a break I might even need to go in therapy to get over this disappointment! 2020 was the year that I was going to realize my life goal !! But I get your point..

@ jackrabbit - Thanks, age-wise you are also still in the green zone so would make sense to go ahead modular.

My overall concern is age obviously, I could do it all modular and be ready in three years. For airlines to consider oldies i.e. 38+, the market should at least be recovered to pre-corona levels to make a 20-30% chance for a right seat.
Buenas is offline  
Old 4th Aug 2020, 16:03
  #919 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 2
Buenas,

Iīm 33 and thinking of going modular, taking my PPL and see how I get on and how the situation in the industry develops. I have noticed you are in Barcelona too, have you looked at any of the flight schools around here and would you be up to exchange notes if so?
F1l1p3 is offline  
Old 4th Aug 2020, 16:29
  #920 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Wherever I lay my hat
Age: 43
Posts: 565
If you want it to happen you will make it happen - age is just a number! You could start at 45 and still have a 20 year career. You can't guarantee that you will get a job, you can only guarantee that you won't - by not getting the licence in the first place.
rudestuff is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.