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The perpetual 'Am I too old?' thread

Old 29th Jan 2011, 18:55
  #101 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: UK
Age: 39
Posts: 40
I don't think you've got anything to worry about. It depends on how much you really want to become a training captain. Let me briefly explain my position.

I left school (UK) at 17, and then went to college for two years. I left at 19, then took a year out to work as I had no idea what I really wanted to do. My plan was to join the RAF as a pilot, but that dream was torn apart when I went for a 4 year check up at hospital. My consultant told me that a minor heart problem that should be gone, had actually gotten worse. Heart surgery was the only option. At this point I abandoned flying all together, assuming that I would never be a pilot with such a medical history.
I chose to go to University at 21 to study Astrophysics, as my passion for astronomy has never gone away. In 2006 at age 25, I graduated with an Masters in the same subject.
After realising that Astrophysics was not really that enjoyable as a career, I looked back at avitation. I went to Gatwick and got a 1st class medical (although it took 7 months to get the paper work due to complications between the CAA and my consultant).
April 2008, now 26 I start my PPL. 2 and a half years later, now aged 29, on 2nd Sept 2010 I pass my PPL and start building hours. I'm enroled to start my ATPL theory in April. We'll see how it goes from there.

Only two months ago, I had almost the same conversation with two young (early 30's) junior FO's flying for BMI out of Heathrow. They both told me not to worry, as getting a job in my 30's would not be a worry, as that is the average age that pilot's are recruited.
Having a degree or Masters on your CV might even increase your chances of being called to interview.
If the S**T hits the fan and I can't get an Airline job, at least I have two degrees to fall back on. Hopefully I've got all corners covered.

You have plenty of time. I even met a pilot last year who got a job at 42.
Paul H is offline  
Old 30th Jan 2011, 10:40
  #102 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 13,899
Just look at Brian May - music career petered out, went back to Astrophysics. Win-Win !

Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 30th Jan 2011, 12:08
  #103 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: London
Posts: 521
I chose to go to University at 21 to study Astrophysics... In 2006 at age 25, I graduated with an Masters in the same subject.
After realising that Astrophysics was not really that enjoyable as a career...
Absolutely priceless!
The500man is offline  
Old 30th Jan 2011, 22:00
  #104 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 145
Did Brian May have a music career ??
downwind24 is offline  
Old 8th Feb 2011, 20:04
  #105 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 2
Another similar situation for me - i'm 42 so rather old to be changing career. However I was wondering if my current career will benefit and compensate slightly for my age?
I'm a police officer and work at a Police Air Support Unit, as an observer. My unit is one of the units earmarked to be closed next year which is why i'm considering the move.
I was hoping the experience of working as part of a crew in police air operations may help? Any thoughts appreciated.
high_light is offline  
Old 9th Feb 2011, 20:36
  #106 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: South
Posts: 133

I can't say for certain, but here are my observations (no pun intended)

You are aware of MCC factors and how they can affect efficient operation of an aircraft. You've probably got a fair few contacts, and in aviation networking is everything as far as I can see.

But that's about it (it is late, so I may be missing some fundamental points). The difference between Police chopper work and flying the big jets is huge. You'll definitely have something to talk about at interview however!

What licence are you going for, (A) or (H)? Where do you want to end up? What are your aims for 5 years, 10 years, 15 years?

Just my (tired) tuppence worth, I am by no means an expert. But if you want something enough, what's to stop you getting it?

4015 is offline  
Old 22nd Mar 2011, 19:15
  #107 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 1
Question Am I Too Old!

Stats: 45 years old, FAA CFI/CFII/MEI, 850 hours, but only 10 hours flown (per year) and no instruction given for the past 8 years.

So, before I invest in getting some recent hours and any Bridge or Fast Track programs, does anybody have any thoughts on the Regionals and if the would hire me at my age (USA or any other country). I know many Majors around the world would not consider a candidate at my age as a new recruit.
dmjs15 is offline  
Old 23rd Mar 2011, 08:00
  #108 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: at the whim of people I've never met
Age: 43
Posts: 607
Shall we just say Yes to save you having to look through the 100's of posts on here all asking the same question?

Here is a small snippet from the sticky post above:
Are you too old to begin training? This has been covered hundreds of times; the threads included here are just a selection!

The perpetual 'Am I Too Old? And How Old Is Too Old?' thread

Too Old to Get A Flying Job?

Age A Problem?
hollingworthp is offline  
Old 1st Jul 2011, 22:29
  #109 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 4


I'm currently 29 and considering a change in profession, I wanted to see at my age, whether or not it would be too late to consider a move into the commercial world of piloting. Although itís possible that I'm not too late, I'm making an uneducated guess there would be a ceiling of the type of work and or aircraft that I would be capable of flying given my starting age. I'm hoping someone on here would be able to clarify this, so as I can make an educated decision about my next step.

Your assistance would be greatly appreciated.
Aussiestinger is offline  
Old 2nd Jul 2011, 05:13
  #110 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Mare Nostrum
Age: 38
Posts: 1,427
You make 29 sound so old. You are still young enough to get in the game without a ceiling on this career. You still have over 30 years if you start now.
zondaracer is offline  
Old 2nd Jul 2011, 18:45
  #111 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: earth
Posts: 516
I started at 33, first job at 37 on B737 Classic and NG.
Lots of friends well in to their 30's and even 40's with Jet aircraft jobs.
BTW we are all in JAA land
ford cortina is offline  
Old 3rd Jul 2011, 02:48
  #112 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 4
I can't begin to thank you enough! I had asked a South African pilot here in Afghanistan who was adamant I was too old to start a career in aviation. I guess the next step is the right school, thanks again for the feedback!
Aussiestinger is offline  
Old 3rd Jul 2011, 07:33
  #113 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: somewhere on this planet
Posts: 369
Thumbs down

age is not the probleme these days, the problem is to get enough cash to pay for line training and make a profession where you will never be paid.

so can you afford a life of rich boys? are you confortable when employers will spit in your face when telling you :" how much do you give me to fly my airbuses?for me you are a sucker"

don't belive all the shit of people who tell you "yeah, can do it, I am now on 737..."
captainsuperstorm is offline  
Old 3rd Jul 2011, 07:44
  #114 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Denmark
Posts: 15
Ive just started my training and Im 33 now. I asked a lot people the same question there seems to be a lot of people starting and getting their first jobs in the 30s
James78Au is offline  
Old 3rd Jul 2011, 07:58
  #115 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 13,899
Oh for goodness sake, I was well past 30 before people stopped saying I was too young to be given any real responsibility.

Anybody under 45 now is unlikely to retire below 70 anyhow - don't get caught up in the cobblers cult of youth that pervades the world these days. Sooner or later we'll have a series of "Dobby the over-50 vampire slayer" and it'll all settle down again to a realisation that if you can get the medical, do the job, and have at-least 10 years before mandatory retirement, and you're fine.

Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 3rd Jul 2011, 08:20
  #116 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Australia
Age: 60
Posts: 200
as long as you handle the study, your age can be a " maturity " advantage. I find guys starting really young can sometimes be a greater risk in terms of safety attitude
Mimpe is offline  
Old 3rd Jul 2011, 08:27
  #117 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: QLD
Posts: 60
i find the older guys get promoted quicker as the bosses feel sympathy for them when paying such low salaries, not so much for the 23yr old punk!
tried any cadetships?
built4flying83 is offline  
Old 3rd Jul 2011, 08:28
  #118 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: QLD
Posts: 60
mimpe, regards to your comment about younger guys being a safety issue sometimes, maybe but i have found the opposite to be true. The older guys in a different industry (mining, electrician, mechanic) tend to be abit more gung ho and rough around the edges and less likely to do what they are told when they switch over to aviation
built4flying83 is offline  
Old 3rd Jul 2011, 10:15
  #119 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2009
Location: HKG
Age: 44
Posts: 992
Try the cathay cadet scheme, many guys getting into that whilst in their 30s. Good program if you have 0 hours or close to it, not so if you are already on your way to having descent experience.

Just bear in mind that you will be pretty much locked into CX until you are 37-40 living in HKG before you have the experience to go back to Aus. Don't count on a base.
SloppyJoe is offline  
Old 3rd Jul 2011, 10:31
  #120 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: France
Posts: 750
Becoming a pilot is not that easy, an happy one is even more difficult.
The secret of success doesn't hide in the fact of having 24 or 29 years old.
Age is not a problem, especially 29, you are young. you still have more than 40 years to work. Question shouldn't be about age. It should be about the viability or not to be a pilot for the next 40 years... And here I can see an issue...
KAG is offline  

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