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The perpetual 'Am I too old?' thread

Old 9th May 2023, 06:28
  #1001 (permalink)  
 
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I take it you're from Canada? Are you prepared to move for a job? Assuming you take 2 years to become employable, you'd still have a 15/20 year career ahead of you.
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Old 5th Jun 2023, 01:00
  #1002 (permalink)  
 
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31 fresh from an ATPL+Degree

Hi,

I'm an aspiring pilot, currently in the preparation and securing funds stage and aim to begin my ATPL in Summer 2024.

I realize I'm of an advanced of age, and I didn't have the best math and physics grades over a decade ago. I have been preparing for University entrance exams (for over 25) to the best polytechnic in my country with a focus on engineering and architecture. I've been hitting the books hard. I figured of I had very good marks in physics and maths on an official entrance exam it would compensate for the age and academic background.

Once I receive news of my acceptance into the university--fingers crossed--and given my official results this coming spring (usable all over my country to access public universities similar to a leaving cert or a levels for over 25) I would then take a PPL on my own for a few months just to see how it goes. I then want to apply to a cadet program (fat chance, I know) or an ATPL+Degree option at a reputable ATO.

Either of these trajectories are looking to have me be 34 or 35 at graduation. If I could just get into the assessment and interview phases at a cadet program or a big ATO, I am confident I can perform competitively. I just don't want them to toss my initial application to selection phases into the bin.

I also know most ATOs will be happy to take my money and make appeals to my dreams lol. With that in mind I figured since I'm at an age disadvantage my best bet would be to go to the big ATOs such as CAE or FTE for example--and assuming I would pass their selections and even be offered a spot.

Maybe it's a big financial risk, maybe it's my best bet.

If I cannot get into a cadet program (at 32) and go the self-sponsored route, what are the odds I'll get picked up as a second officer at a regional or a small cargo airline? A lot of those ATOs say they have official recruitment agreements, or showcase where their alumni have gone off to. They must have spent 2-3 years time building right out of the ATO with CFI and later self-funded Type Rating right? Or do pilot's get recruited our of ATOs like that?

I am sure every flavor of this same story has graced these forums but I'd love some advice, insights, takeaways from anyone's experience. Pleasantly surprising news or hard truths welcome, too

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Old 5th Jun 2023, 06:12
  #1003 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by mhurley
Hi,

(1) I realize I'm of an advanced of age... (2) Pleasantly surprising news or hard truths welcome, too
(1) Bull****...
(2) The hard truth is this there is a goal pilot shortage and this is the best time in a long time to become a pilot - As long as you don't waste your time with a degree and miss the boat. 🤣
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Old 5th Jun 2023, 08:56
  #1004 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by rudestuff
(1) Bull****...
(2) The hard truth is this there is a goal pilot shortage and this is the best time in a long time to become a pilot - As long as you don't waste your time with a degree and miss the boat. 🤣
Trust me, I am well aware of the time waste that could potentially be! I figured those degree+atpl programs (3 instead of 2 years) would at least compensate for my perceived "advanced age" haha.

I also have US citizenship (along with Spanish). I am seeing US is cheaper, easier to finance, and better prospects at employment--would going EASA CPL/MPL and later qualifying for FAA be better, or vice versa?

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Old 16th Jun 2023, 15:42
  #1005 (permalink)  
 
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Timing is everything, a young aeroclub friend with dual nationality did his licenses in Florida and was offered an instructor job at his flightschool. At 1500 hours just over 2 years from starting he got a regional CRJ position and starts next week having got 1000 jet hours with United. He was booked to upgrade on the CRJ but turned it down due to the mainline job. If you have the chance I would strongly recommend the US. Having said that one of my favorite german copilots has just upgraded to 777 captain in his early thirties. I acknowledge there is a bit of thread drift in the last couple of posts. These examles do however suggest that the market is picking up.
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Old 22nd Jun 2023, 22:42
  #1006 (permalink)  
 
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Modular or integrated for later entry

Hi,
just looking into costing up a modular route or integrated ATPL. At 45 time is a factor so the integrated route would seem to be a quicker way in, but more costly. Divorce settlement is a helping hand but dont want to bet too much of the house at this age. Both routes at this stage would come with no guarantees, so given the investment is it better to hedge bets on a cheaper modular route or go balls in on the integrated route. I have a lapsed ppl and some air squadron time around 20 hours, total about 65 hours. Most of the hands on skills are still there as I took a lesson / refresher recently. Keen to give it a shot as the nagging feeling never goes away.
thanks all
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Old 23rd Jun 2023, 12:31
  #1007 (permalink)  
 
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You will get very little credit for holding a PPL on an integrated course also you might feel out of place with most half your age and of a different mindset. Stick to pay as you go modular, I can assure you that it is perfectly possible to complete a modular UK/EASA FrATPL in the same or occasionally less time than integrated course if you work at it full-time. Also as discussed on other threads the financial risks are significantly reduced, I know a number of former student of a similar age do very well in the corporate sector (biz jets).

All the best - now go and get a class one medical.
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Old 23rd Jun 2023, 12:54
  #1008 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by mhurley
Trust me, I am well aware of the time waste that could potentially be! I figured those degree+atpl programs (3 instead of 2 years) would at least compensate for my perceived "advanced age" haha.

I also have US citizenship (along with Spanish). I am seeing US is cheaper, easier to finance, and better prospects at employment--would going EASA CPL/MPL and later qualifying for FAA be better, or vice versa?
No contest. The USA has cheaper flight training, plentiful jobs and they pay more.
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Old 23rd Jun 2023, 12:55
  #1009 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks RichardH for confirming my thinking, am keen to go into bizjets, have one stuck to the fridge as a reminder, cheers
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Old 15th Jul 2023, 07:23
  #1010 (permalink)  
 
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Hello folks, 39 here from Europe. Just want to share my experience with you all, maybe will help somebody.
I completed all my beloved training, after lot of study, happiness, madness, anxiety... I can be proud of myself. I did not accomplished something of extraordinary but with family, job ecc ecc was not easy, also economically.
Now I am facing the other side, much more disappointing, trying to find a decent job, a job that pay for my job, not the opposite.
Only one company answered me besides lot of CV sent everywhere in Europe.
For a job, need to pay lot of money for the type, live without salary for few months during the training, after that the salary is peanuts for almost one year. In this mean time the old new pilot need to survive, pay a new rent somewhere, still provide for the family, ecc....
I am a civil engineer with a good salary with the dream and the love for aviation but facing a real budget plan, be pilot will just make me go through hard time and will take more than 10 year for get back this new investment without considering all the licence cost.
I did a budget plan considering all the cost, the missed gains, housing, living and all the predictable factors, also with the option to become captain after the 5th year. Make no sense for me "tight the belt" and also my family do not deserve to face difficult time because I have a dream.
I believe Europe do not really need pilots for now, maybe in the future, I will try to be ready for that moment. I think in US the situation is different.
cheers!!
​​​​​​

Last edited by Flyingdog84; 15th Jul 2023 at 09:07.
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Old 26th Jul 2023, 00:27
  #1011 (permalink)  
 
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Greetings, all!! I'm the resident FNG here and thought I'd say hello and also get a feel for things. I'm 55 years young and flew commercially for 20 years here in the Caribbean from the tender age of 19. I quit when things took a downturn here and the family life became all-consuming. I've been itching to dust off my wings and just did a Class 1 medical to make sure I was still fit for duty. When I stopped flying, I had accumulated around 13,000 hours of turbine time (mainly Twin Otter and Dash 8 100/300) and figured that in the current market, folks might be willing to overlook my age and concentrate on the experience. I'm seriously considering splashing out for a type rating to make things easier, either ATR 72 or Dash Q400 (my preference given my history on the Dash).
What do you good folk think should be my route going forward?
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Old 13th Oct 2023, 22:23
  #1012 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Flyingdog84
Hello folks, 39 here from Europe. Just want to share my experience with you all, maybe will help somebody.
I completed all my beloved training, after lot of study, happiness, madness, anxiety... I can be proud of myself. I did not accomplished something of extraordinary but with family, job ecc ecc was not easy, also economically.
Now I am facing the other side, much more disappointing, trying to find a decent job, a job that pay for my job, not the opposite.
Only one company answered me besides lot of CV sent everywhere in Europe.
For a job, need to pay lot of money for the type, live without salary for few months during the training, after that the salary is peanuts for almost one year. In this mean time the old new pilot need to survive, pay a new rent somewhere, still provide for the family, ecc....
I am a civil engineer with a good salary with the dream and the love for aviation but facing a real budget plan, be pilot will just make me go through hard time and will take more than 10 year for get back this new investment without considering all the licence cost.
I did a budget plan considering all the cost, the missed gains, housing, living and all the predictable factors, also with the option to become captain after the 5th year. Make no sense for me "tight the belt" and also my family do not deserve to face difficult time because I have a dream.
I believe Europe do not really need pilots for now, maybe in the future, I will try to be ready for that moment. I think in US the situation is different.
cheers!!
​​​​​​
First of all you are not to old, I was in similar situation as you, it took me over 12 months to get my first job, and a few yours ago I got my LHS in a major European company. So it is possible, it's not easy to have to wait, but there are opportunities out there.
The obvious ones are Ryanair and Wizz, they are good companies to gain your initial experience and have European bases. The 5 year Captain plan is putting pressure on yourself as you should not do yet, worry initially about gaining experience and that will come when it comes. Things happen, such as we just saw 2 years of Covid delay and stop everything, but now there is a great demand for pilots, but you can't be picky.
But do to Pay2Fly, I have seen and heard many stories, and most of them do not always end well. Sure you might need to cover your TR, but make sure you have a contract with a company before you commit to this.

The question I have, is what are you expectations for a decent job? The companies I mention are hard work, and neither are for me long term solutions, but it gives you a start. Me and many I knew, were commuting few hours by air, staying away from our homes / families for 5 - 10 days at a time, some even more, and only got relative short time home with our loved ones, and pay was not great either for the first 4 - 5 years.
Many times "older guys" need slightly longer time for Command, again this is a very individual thing, and we are not all the same.

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Old 9th Jan 2024, 18:43
  #1013 (permalink)  
 
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If you qualify via the modular route over the next 2yrs, how long can you expect to take to find an airline job in the uk?
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Old 10th Jan 2024, 16:10
  #1014 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Careerchanger3
If you qualify via the modular route over the next 2yrs, how long can you expect to take to find an airline job in the uk?
How long is a piece of string? It's difficult to tell what's going to happen in two years time, however the market is quite buoyant at the moment. The fact that BA and TUI opening up sponsored schemes for low houred pilots/0-fATPL cadet schemes looks primising because they've obviously done their maths and realised they are going to need quite a few pilots. That says something about the future in the UK.
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Old 10th Jan 2024, 17:16
  #1015 (permalink)  
 
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Some get hired immediately. Some get hired never. Expect to be somewhere in between. A lot depends on timing. Sometimes is possible to qualify, send out some CVs and get hired. Other times you need to get creative. If I had to do it all over again I would start by getting an airline job, then I'd become a pilot and try to get hired from the inside.
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Old 22nd Jan 2024, 08:35
  #1016 (permalink)  
 
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Am I to old for this...??

Hi guys,

Hope everyone is doing fantastic!
I know, that there are a lot of similar discussions, but I would like to raise this topic again, just for the internal discussion I've been in aviation since 10 years now. All my experience was build in aircraft maintenance field. Today, I've done my PPL(A) and considering to move forward towards the big dream. Fly the Jet. Currently, I am 31 years old with total flight time around 61 hours, this is including training hours. Considering that I should live my life, go to work, take care of the family, pay the bills, raise the child, I could afford my dream in approx. from 3 to 5 years, which is means, that for the right seat, I am ready at my 36th. This is the timing, where I can be confident and within comfort zone considering that life is moving on and as well as financial aspects. So, the question is, am I to old for this at my 36th??

Would be lovely to hear your story regarding the full path of becoming commercial pilot.

Have a lovely day everyone!
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Old 22nd Jan 2024, 12:24
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Originally Posted by Steponas
Hi guys,

Hope everyone is doing fantastic!
I know, that there are a lot of similar discussions, but I would like to raise this topic again, just for the internal discussion I've been in aviation since 10 years now. All my experience was build in aircraft maintenance field. Today, I've done my PPL(A) and considering to move forward towards the big dream. Fly the Jet. Currently, I am 31 years old with total flight time around 61 hours, this is including training hours. Considering that I should live my life, go to work, take care of the family, pay the bills, raise the child, I could afford my dream in approx. from 3 to 5 years, which is means, that for the right seat, I am ready at my 36th. This is the timing, where I can be confident and within comfort zone considering that life is moving on and as well as financial aspects. So, the question is, am I to old for this at my 36th??

Would be lovely to hear your story regarding the full path of becoming commercial pilot.

Have a lovely day everyone!
Labas Diena Su Vistiena 😄✈️.

You still have about 30 years of career ahead of you from your 36th 😄😉.

The question is, what do you wish to achieve? Cpt. Big Jet or is Medium Short Haul Jet also OK? Will you be satisfied as well with Turbo Prop Job or Biz Jet?
Especially in your country, aviation biz is small, everyone knows eachother.

Many Lithuanians Go to Wizz, Ryan Air, AirBaltic, DOT/DAT and some Bizz Jet Operators. You have good chances there.

There are so many different fields in aviation as you know of course.

If you wish to go for it, and you dont put yourself and your family in financial problems, then go for it.

Do lots of networking during those years you are training.

Also expect that you might have to pay for your first Type Rating. Somewhere between 15 to 35K.

Once you make hours, other doors open up for better positions.

I know of quite a few guys who finished training halfway their 30s and made it into the cockpit, BUT, aviation os the first business getting hit when any crisis strikes.

The market now is pretty good, but for instance when I finished in 2013, the market was not very great. It took me 4.5 years until I landed my first airline job, which btw was paid horrible in my first season. Only my second summer season was paid kinda normal.

Then moved on to another airline. The Covid hit, BAM, 2 years at home. Doing all kinds of Odd Jobs just to survive.

Now almost 2 years on the line in my present company, doing long haul. Im end 30s.

Make a list of Pros and Cons.
What does the training costs?
USA and then conversion to EASA?
Hour Building cheap by buying a participation in an Aircraft? This way you can do cheaper hr building.
Check it out maybe in Paluknys.
Contact Iron Wolf Pilot. He is known there.

Read through the Topics here on Pprune, maybe Lietuva has a Forum just like Pprune as well. Here you can discuss in your own Language.

Sekmes 😉 If you really want it, there is NO limit.

A friend of mine is also B1 B2 engineer, is now FO in a known LoCo in Europe.

Keep us posted.
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Old 22nd Jan 2024, 18:57
  #1018 (permalink)  
 
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Nice one!!😀

Have you been in Lithuania?

Thanks very much for the honest opinion. It is always a good thing to hear what other sees in the situation. Well, everyone of us would love to get the highest rating, but you have to always see the reality. For me personally, I will be happy by accomplishing the long, hard but enjoyable road to the goal. Of course I am thinking about Ryanair or Wizzair, but it will depends on the current situation. We have there local companies as well, like Avion Express, GetJet and etc, they are the option, but priority would be the low cost due to hours you can make annually.

Agree with your opinion, there are plenty of stuff in aviation, me personally started to work as a 737 mechanic and right now I am in the management position with responsibility of various projects, but the dream always stalking me 😀 When I finished my PPL, I told to myself that its going to be the thing, when I am going to an airfield, renting a Cessna and enjoying it as a hobby. Of course its a lot of fun, but deep in heart, you want more. Thatís why I made my decision to continue towards it. Worst case scenario, I can end as FI which is not bad to be honest.

Of course will keep you posted! And also, if you have a chance to visit Lithuania again, let me know! 😉

Have a good one!!
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Old 23rd Jan 2024, 06:10
  #1019 (permalink)  
 
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The answer is No. Please read the Stickies.
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Old 23rd Jan 2024, 06:37
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Originally Posted by Steponas
Nice one!!😀

Have you been in Lithuania?

Thanks very much for the honest opinion. It is always a good thing to hear what other sees in the situation. Well, everyone of us would love to get the highest rating, but you have to always see the reality. For me personally, I will be happy by accomplishing the long, hard but enjoyable road to the goal. Of course I am thinking about Ryanair or Wizzair, but it will depends on the current situation. We have there local companies as well, like Avion Express, GetJet and etc, they are the option, but priority would be the low cost due to hours you can make annually.

Agree with your opinion, there are plenty of stuff in aviation, me personally started to work as a 737 mechanic and right now I am in the management position with responsibility of various projects, but the dream always stalking me 😀 When I finished my PPL, I told to myself that its going to be the thing, when I am going to an airfield, renting a Cessna and enjoying it as a hobby. Of course its a lot of fun, but deep in heart, you want more. Thatís why I made my decision to continue towards it. Worst case scenario, I can end as FI which is not bad to be honest.

Of course will keep you posted! And also, if you have a chance to visit Lithuania again, let me know! 😉

Have a good one!!
Labas Rytas,

Yeah I did my Integrated training in BAA. I was in the very first group in 2011.

So stayed like 2 years in Lietuva 😄.

Also flew in GetJet.

There are some good options, there especially as you are a local and have your background in Aviation. Especially the technical part.

Geras dienos 😉.

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