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 4th Aug 2020, 16:29
  #921 (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  
Old 4th Aug 2020, 16:53
  #922 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: U.K
Posts: 77
Always found flying with the guys who had a life before aviation much more enjoyable, they bought life experience and didnít have, for want of a better word, the rigidity of the books.
i think a lot of the problem for the oldies who now want to join is the training ainít the same and they have to pay!
when I joined an airline I was late 30s, the training was just that, training, canít remember details but sake of argument. 3 week groundschool and 15 the company paid.
towards the end of career changing jobs it was study on your own and 9 sims. That with being old made the conversion not enjoyable and for those that do the recruiting it ainít good for their bonus when someone fails.
with that, Covid and the fast dwindling terms, wages etc if I was doing it now at the age I was I wouldnít.
simmple is offline  
Old 5th Aug 2020, 04:32
  #923 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: UK
Posts: 22

Yeah ok then, let’s just plow on blindly, because I want it to happen, it will happen.... The reality is, is that it ain’t gonna happen. He’s making a sensible decision IMO. The odds are massively stacked against type rated pilots, never mind newbies.

Save your cash and your sanity.
Future Rodney King is offline  
Old 5th Aug 2020, 05:01
  #924 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Wherever I lay my hat
Age: 43
Posts: 565
Read the title of the thread mate. The question isn't should I become a pilot right now? - it's should I become a pilot at my age?
I agree, it's not the best time right now. But as long as people exist and the airplanes exist then airlines will eventually be short of pilots. The only way to catch the wave when it comes it's to be ready and waiting which is why anyone in their right mind who's looking into flight training at the moment will aim for a CPL/SEIR and then sit on their hands, having spent the bare minimum to get 4 weeks from the finish line.
IMO giving up on a dream leads to a lifetime of regret.
rudestuff is offline  
Old 5th Aug 2020, 07:17
  #925 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: UK
Posts: 22
Originally Posted by rudestuff View Post
airlines will eventually be short of pilots.
I canít see this ageing well to be honest. As we all know, airlines have never been short of pilots. Add the thousands of redundant/soon to be redundant type rated pilots to the constant stream of wannabes, I rest my case. We all know of the ones who have already been caught in the cross-fire, medium jet captains driving delivery vehicles and stacking shelves. Turbo prop pilots sat there with useless ratings, expats from the Far East/sand pit etc. Enjoy flying for fun, forget commercial aviation, save your money instead of pursuing a dead end outcome. We all know GA is the best fun, stick to light aircraft.
Future Rodney King is offline  
Old 5th Aug 2020, 08:26
  #926 (permalink)  

de minimus non curat lex
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: sunny troon
Posts: 1,354
Originally Posted by rudestuff View Post
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.
The present tsunami has severely knocked potential junior birdmen off course for five years perhaps.

Rudestuff is quite right..’if you want it to happen you will make it happen.’

Those who reckon that they have past their “tipping point” age, then private flying beckons. Enjoy it.

For those who feel that their time will come, it will.

As I tell those students self funding/modular, the analogy is a bit like joining the Church, you need to believe in GOD.
You have probably wanted to from the age of say ten.
“Plane daft”. Nothing else as a way of life.

And for those who succeed it is “better than having to work for a living”.

Those who think of joining for “the status”( parents who force their kids into medicine) or “the money”, go instead and join a hedge fund as a worker. Cheaper for the Bank of Mum & Dad.

These, in my view, are the acidic tests to be achieved.
As has been pointed out “age is just a number”
parkfell is online now  
Old 5th Aug 2020, 09:08
  #927 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 30
Thank you all for your personal opinion and experiences ... eventually, it comes down to the individual to make the decision... I will have another thought about it during the
holidays. I could continue modular as I already have my ppl and enough savings.

PPL doesn't satisfy me as I keep looking up even from 1500 ft! Who knows what the world will look like in 4-5 years - one thing is for sure people will continue to fly and pilots will be needed....
Buenas is offline  
Old 5th Aug 2020, 12:35
  #928 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Wherever I lay my hat
Age: 43
Posts: 565
Look, I wouldn't in good conscience encourage someone into aviation on a whim. The last time there were this few pilot jobs it was 1902.
But if someone has a dream, then I'll fan the flames beside there's nothing more demoralising than giving up on a dream and living a life of regret.
It won't be easy or cheap, but ​​​​​​ IF you're good enough and IF you want it enough you will get a job. There are only 2 things that can stop that:
1: giving up
2: reaching 65
(If you read some of the previous posts you'll see just how prevalent no 1 is.)

Getting the licence is the easy bit. Getting the first job is the hard bit. There won't be much hiring any time soon which is why you should be prepared to mark time if necessary, or move at the drop off a hat: but at some point there will be jobs. The conveyor belt of age and illness never stops. 3 or 4% of pilots retire or lose their medicals every year.

When the hiring starts you need to stand out from the crowd: Just sending CVs won't do you any favours. You need to network. Meet people. Make friends. Pilots hand in CVs for their friends. They vouch for them etc. Join an airline in a non flying role of necessary, whatever gets you close to the decision makers. Think outside the box.

The best time to introduce yourself to a chief pilot? Just after you've saved one of his kids from drowning. No one needs to know you pushed the kid in....😉
rudestuff is offline  
Old 12th Nov 2020, 14:21
  #929 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Maryland
Posts: 2
I'm retiring from the Air Force in Jan 2023 at age 44. If it looks like the aviation industry is on an upswing by then, I plan to start a commercial pilot training track at Blue Line Aviation. If not, I've got a BS in electrical engineering and a MS in project management to fall back on. So far, I've got the cash to pay for school without loans and a lifetime of retirement checks from Uncle Sugar. With about 9 months of training and 20-24 months of instructing I should be entering the job market in mid 2025 at age 47 with no debt. It feels like a solid plan but I'm always open to feedback!
Nuke Dukem is offline  
Old 13th Nov 2020, 09:03
  #930 (permalink)  

PPRuNe Handmaiden
Join Date: Feb 1997
Location: Duit On Mon Dei
Posts: 4,362
G'day Nuke Dukem,
It depends on where you see yourself WRT aviation. If you see yourself left seat with a major airline, I hate to say it, it probably won't work. If regionals are your thing, then it's feasible (caveat - check historical hiring). Bizjets might appeal more - it depends on home life stability and so on.
So I would think about where you see yourself in 10 years time, ie 57 and what your goals are. If you can do it all and still be debt free, great. I would research the hiring practices of where you see yourself. eg have they historically taken older low houred pilots etc. The US does have the 1500 hour rule too.
You still have a couple of years to assess the plan too. Oh - find out what the Class 1 medical requirements are and see if you meet them. You don't necessarily need to do the medical, just ask your local doc to assess you on X parameters.

Any way, you seem to have given it some sensible thought. Good luck.
redsnail is offline  
Old 13th Nov 2020, 12:31
  #931 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Maryland
Posts: 2
Thanks for the input, Redsnail. The training program I am doing includes 1500 hours so I will be entering the workforce at age 47 ready for the FAA ATP/CTP with about 6 months of reserve income in the bank to help smooth out the transition. Honestly, I think I would be completely fine just flying left seat at a regional or right seat at a major. My main motivation for flying is to have fun and travel, so the salary isn't so much an issue; especially since I will have additional income from my military pension. I can tell that corporate office life isn't for me (fluorescent lighting is bad for the soul). I want to learn a skill and then go out and do it!

My last two commanders retired and went straight to the airlines. I have spoken with both of them about hiring practices and the Class 1 physical. Neither of them thought I would have a problem finding work or getting medically qualified at that age. Heck, one of them gets disability from the Air Force and he breezed through his Class 1. If they are still in the industry by 2025 I will also have connections to the airlines through them.
Nuke Dukem is offline  
Old 15th Nov 2020, 10:38
  #932 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: everywhere
Posts: 4

Well done.I fully agree..Ex military started a new era at 48....
macho4050 is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2020, 19:38
  #933 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: On the Rock
Posts: 24
If you have to ask - yes!
SignalSquare is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2020, 19:43
  #934 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: South East
Age: 39
Posts: 28

That's a terrible thing to say...

I worried that at 38 I was too old but when I asked on here it was pointed out that if I qualify in two years I could still have a 25 year career.
dns is online now  
Old 29th Nov 2020, 22:01
  #935 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: KSLC
Posts: 8
Well, 32 is fine. Keep your current job and work towards a pilot career. I was hired by a major airline at 35, many others are older. Here in the US, I advise many to look into getting on with the Air Guard or reserves. Great military training, paid to train and build time.
Chris Wheeler is offline  
Old 18th Dec 2020, 00:24
  #936 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Midwest
Posts: 6
I haven't read this complete thread, but I'll throw in my own experience. Finished my ratings just after age 30, retired 8 years ago as captain on the 747-400 with a top-tier carrier, age 65. Flight instructed for a year, flew piston twin charter for 2 years, corporate jets for 9 years, then 121. Had the 4-year degree.

Last edited by crbnftprnt; 18th Dec 2020 at 01:20.
crbnftprnt is offline  
Old 24th Jan 2021, 17:59
  #937 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: UK
Posts: 25

Just looking through this forum. Am a career changer, wound down my old business late 2019 with the intent of training modular, but full time, left school at 18 & been self employed for 12 years, with enough in the bank to cover the training costs a few times over - no debts, but no degree either (UK).

I am 31 (32 in Feb) and passed my PPL back in March 2020, days before the world went into this tailspin.

Been working on the theory through lockdown and am sitting on 95% average no failures on 10/14 ATPL subjects (taking the last 4 in a month). Class 1 medical, no issues.

Bit unnerved by some comments that airlines prefer younger, realistically, what is the typical age for intake into airline cadet schemes??? Been looking at the Ryanair Gateway schemes with Bartolini & VA in Cambridge - seen some posts on here saying Ryanair - off the record - aren't interested in older.

I am aware of the dreadful jobs market, was dreadful when I was 18 (in 2008 financial crash) but it recovered.

My question, I am certain that the airlines will recover, but if that is slow & realistically my first chance at a job is late 30's (assuming CPL etc is all passed this year, then a few years treading water if there are no jobs). Do I stand a chance, or am I in the wind
PinguGoesFlying is offline  
Old 25th Jan 2021, 05:16
  #938 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Wherever I lay my hat
Age: 43
Posts: 565
Of course. You've got 30 years left. You either want it or you don't, stop looking for someone to talk you out of it.

"Several times over" you say... Just how much are we talking? Have you considered helicopters as well? A dual rating would give you more options.
rudestuff is offline  
Old 25th Jan 2021, 07:55
  #939 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2005
Location: uk
Posts: 29
I was 46 when I got my first airline job (2018) and I wasn’t the oldest on my type course either! Previous work/ life experiences can help, but for me things started opening up when I did my FI rating. But, bottom line is it comes down to supply and demand. Who knows when that will change but don’t let age concern you too much.
alfaaloop is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

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.