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The perpetual 'Am I too old?' thread

Old 3rd Jul 2011, 10:35
  #121 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: UAE
Posts: 662
Loads of info on this subject already, luck plays a large part along with who you know, the industry seems ok at the moment but that can change overnight.
I was 28 when i started and fly a 777 now at the age of 37, it can be done but its a difficult path to follow.

Good luck
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Old 3rd Jul 2011, 13:19
  #122 (permalink)  

PPRuNe Secret Agent!

Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: West Sussex, UK
Posts: 1,547
Have to agree 100% with KAG, age is not an issue, you are young enough to embark on Pro Pilot training, what you should look into is what opportunities are available to you on the other side of completing and passing your IR test. What jobs are available for low-houred pilots and how the market is developing for your future earning potential.

Carrying lots of debt (?) and no job, starting out down the pilot road could end up been a miserable existence. You are old enough to not join the 'Wannabe Zombie Army' so go in with very wide open eyes...
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Old 3rd Jul 2011, 14:09
  #123 (permalink)  

PPRuNe Handmaiden
Join Date: Feb 1997
Location: Duit On Mon Dei
Posts: 4,287
The bloke's in Australia. It's not the same market as Europe.
At 29 you're starting to get onto the back end of the drag curve wrt experience commensurate with age.

It's not impossible but I wouldn't waste "too" much more time contemplating it if you're going to do it and become successful.
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Old 4th Jul 2011, 03:54
  #124 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 4
I appreciate the time taken and your feedback given that so many before me have asked similar questions.

Is there any evidence to suggest that getting your privates pilot license and then applying for a cadetship puts you in better stead for selection?
Aussiestinger is offline  
Old 4th Jul 2011, 06:06
  #125 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2009
Location: HKG
Age: 43
Posts: 973
Yes it does as shows you do actually want to do it as are investing your own cash in it rather than applying just to see. Specifically talking about the CX one. Your 29, their main thinking will be why have you not done any flying if you want to be a pilot? Assume you are just getting out of the military so you have a good reason but if you are serious about it at least have a few lessons before sending off the app, it may not be for you, who knows, if it is then continue with the PPL whilst waiting to hear back from them.

Dont just send an app and wait, it can be a long wait.

Would also suggest trying to get a job near home for a small outfit with some singles and also twins whilst waiting for a reply about cadetships, doing your PPL in spare time. Job doing anything, loading bags etc as if cadetships don't pan out you will be working for them for well over a year if you do your flight training whilst working and will have a great set of contacts, also if you know them they are likely to give you a flying job when you have the experience if you dont meet their requirements straight away when one becomes available.
(maybe dont mention you are waiting to hear back about cadet courses)

A lot easier said than done but in Aus, unlike Europe, if you don't get on a cadet scheme you have to work your way up the ladder and cant just buy your way into work.

If it is the CX one you are considering then pretty much all you need to know is here. Pros and cons.

Personally I think it is by far the most superior cadet scheme in terms of what you have to invest and what prospect you get in return for someone with little or no experience. eg, almost $0 investment (maybe tickets to get to first interview) and if you make it, in 6-7 years you will have 1000 hours on a widebody jet as an FO.

Cathay Pacific - Careers : Careers Home

Expect you have checked out both links before but just in case you have not.

Last edited by SloppyJoe; 4th Jul 2011 at 06:18.
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Old 4th Jul 2011, 06:28
  #126 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NYC Metro Area
Posts: 48
not too late

I changed careers and got my private pilot's license at 40. I am now about to turn 46, and I have 4000 hours, and 3 type ratings. I just finished a contract in Saudi Arabia that paid $9000 USD a month, with housing and car provided. 30 is nowhere near being to old. The reason I was able to advance quickly is because I have no attachments, and I am free to take jobs anywhere in the world. Also, the job market for pilots really oscillates between feast and famine. I was able to ride the job market to a pretty high peak before the economy crashed. Now it seems the aviation job market is on the verge of a comeback. If you can quickly work your way up to a commercial multiengine license, you may find many opportunities available in the next few years. I say go for it.
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Old 4th Jul 2011, 08:21
  #127 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 4
I can't begin to thank you guys enough for the valuable information supplied! I was already highly charged about shifting careers, but the feedback I have received has pumped me even further! Sorry I get excited easily! I've waited many years to be in a position to afford to fly and my time has come and I'm stoked!

I've already made plans to immediately begin my private pilotís license upon my return to Aus.

Cheers guys!
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Old 4th Jul 2011, 17:36
  #128 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: somewhere on this planet
Posts: 369

no problem aussi, give me 100'000$ and I can get you a "job", even at 100yo, I can find you something!

I don't understand all this idiots who try to renter into this market with their own money , when the market doesn't want them.

are people a bunch of retards?

Last edited by captainsuperstorm; 4th Jul 2011 at 17:48.
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Old 5th Jul 2011, 20:41
  #129 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Manchester
Age: 34
Posts: 1
Thumbs up Help the noob! Please!

This is my first post on this site so I do apologise if I've posted this in the wrong forum or this topic as been repeated around a 1000 times, but I like many who post on this site would love if you could aid me with my predicament with your aviation wisdom! It would be much appreciated!

Like everyone on this forum it as always been my ambition to become a pilot, and at the grand old age of 25 I'm not getting any younger so I want to at least try and live the dream as they say! Now I'm not naive, I no this country (uk) is practically on it's backside thanks to the recession and competition for jobs is greater than it's ever been, but I'm not afriad to work hard to get the job I haven't dreamt of doing for so long!

Sorry for all the waffle!

With me being 25 do you feel it's to old to start from scratch to become a pilot!

I'm very confused on which route to go rather with a school like Oxford, ctc or go for it on my own. I have got the money for my ppl and I can afford up to my cl. I have been down to Oxford before for the easy jet mentored scheme but I felt I was there just to grease there pocket with the £200 exam fee.

Being from Manchester I have 3 flying school around me these are Barton aerodrome, John Lennon airport and Blackpool airport, I was wounding if any one could shed any light on which is the better school for teaching and price etc!

I no everyones holy Grail on this forum is becoming a commercial airline pilot and it is mine to! But I'll be just as happy flying cargo/ freight or private jets etc I just wanna fly. Lol. Is there a different route for these or do you have to complete the same licences!

I'm also willing to become a atco rarer through the Nats scheme or trough the RAF, as I just wanna be part of the aviation Industry but my main goal is to become a pilot!

I do apologise if there is a lot of waffle in this thread and I Hope it makes sense these I phones have a habit of changing my words lol.

Any advice will be gratefully accepted as you can see I'm a little confused

Many thanks

Many thanks
Sheilas_Wheels is offline  
Old 5th Jul 2011, 20:50
  #130 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Aberdeen
Posts: 247
Sorry that l can`t help with advice, but may l ask what the £200 exam fee was about ?
l think l can guess.

l wish you well and good luck !
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Old 5th Jul 2011, 21:32
  #131 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: preston,lancs
Posts: 4

What a warming inspirational post for all of us old fogies.
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Old 5th Jul 2011, 23:53
  #132 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: citizen of the world
Posts: 14
I flew recently with a new f/o (technically s/o) in my company. He has been putting himself through training bit by bit for the last 6 years. He told me he's 38 and this was his first job. His ppl, cpl, and ir were done in different countries with large time gaps in-between and his groundschool was modular!. Now as his first job he's sitting in an a320 with an internationally respected airline based in his home town!.

By contrast I joined the same airline at 18 as a fully sponsored cadet and got my a320 command at 27. What a different path we took.

I have nothing but admiration and respect for him and anybody else who remains dedicated to achieving their goal. Aviation is a wildly fluctuating industry, especially in terms of prospective employment. Timing can be crucial but if you hang in long enough clearly there can still be hope.

Best of luck to all.

p.s. i'm now 31, is that oficially 'old' yet?!
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Old 16th Jul 2011, 01:24
  #133 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Ireland
Posts: 627
I'm 51, am I too old?

Yes I bloody am, too old to put up with the crap involved with being an airline pilot in this day and age. Having said that, I'm too old to put up with the crap with being any sort of pilot at the moment. The complicated reality is that I cannot avoid being a pilot as it's the only thing I'm qualified for.

I know it's sacreligious for you dreamers out there but I've reached a point where not flying is a good day.

My biggest dream is a steady income, organised hours and a decent pension. If I had that flying could be fun again.
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Old 16th Jul 2011, 07:03
  #134 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Aberdeen
Posts: 247
How dare you steal my thunder ?

Ok, your lrish. At a wild guess you have never carried a fare paying pax.

Or am l wrong ?

B*llshit ?

Give us the facts and we`ll check.
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Old 16th Jul 2011, 08:34
  #135 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Ireland
Posts: 627
How dare you steal my thunder ?
Sorry won't do it again, (whatever).

Ok, your lrish. At a wild guess you have never carried a fare paying pax.
Not sure why being Irish and not carrying fare paying pax should be interrelated. As for the pax, well they pay to be there and I'm getting paid to carry them. Does that count?

B*llshit ?
No it's just how I feel about it. It's just a job now.
corsair is offline  
Old 17th Aug 2011, 21:34
  #136 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: London
Posts: 77
Integrated providers and age

A few years ago, I seem to remember integrated providers like CTC, Oxford, and FTE had maximum age limits but when I checked recently this was no longer the case. I emailed them to confirm and received responses about aptitude, speed of learning, etc but no definite limits. But I'm sure that unofficially age is still a factor and want some more information before I consider applying.

For anyone who did integrated training, what proportion of the class was over 30? Over 35? Or is there anyone involved in selection at these providers who could give me some straightforward advice on when age is likely to mean an application doesn't make the first cut? PM is fine of course.

(The integrated vs modular discussion has its own thread so would be great if we can keep posts on those subjects there )
DiamondC is offline  
Old 18th Aug 2011, 07:41
  #137 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 1998
Location: London, UK
Posts: 1,948
on when age is likely to mean an application doesn't make the first cut?
Modern age discrimination legislation should mean that age should never be the criterion for being "cut" - hence no upper age limit now. Therefore Oxford, CTC etc could take you on (if you have the money) but job prospects at the end may be worse for the "older" graduate.
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Old 18th Aug 2011, 08:53
  #138 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 639
The age debate is changing, as traditionally mid-20s was often the cut-off. The job has changed and it is more of a management role than traditionally was the case, but needless to say the ability to fly well is still critical!

Different airlines have different views; RYR prefer youngsters as they're easier to bully, but the real point is that there's been next to no proper recruitment over the last few years, i.e. flybe haven't taken on any non-tagged cadets etc. so it's difficult to say.

A key consideration is whether you can afford to live on e.g. Flybe FO salary, as this is what stuffs up many esp if they've got a loan to service/mortgage /kids etc.

Also remember that on this forum you may hear of a 35 yr old who went straight into a 320 job, but others that have never worked - age is just one factor, but it's increasingly about the individual. Also remember that the industry has fundamentally changed so what was the case 10 years ago, may not be now but nowhere knows yet as proper pair recruitment is still very sparse.

Lastly. the training providers will tell you all sorts depending on how busy they are!
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Old 18th Aug 2011, 19:09
  #139 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: London
Posts: 77
I'm aware the official legal position is that selection isn't based on age, but lots of factors are "unofficially" part of the decision. In my industry (non-aviation) that's definitely the case. Are there any older candidates (say 30+) who went integrated who wouldn't mind helping with some information about their experiences with the selection process? (PM is fine too.)

As for getting a job, that's a while away yet (and I can live on the low salary, I'm obligation-free in my personal life so no issues there).
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Old 7th Sep 2011, 10:22
  #140 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 4
I'm 30, Is it too late for me?

I'm 30, I'll be 31 in 5 months.
I have wanted to be a pilot for while but haven't gone for it because I can't pull the trigger.

I have done my medical, I am fit to fly. I am going to train in the US and fly in the US. I'd be starting out at 31 and am giving myself about 1-2 years to get my PPL - CFI. I will have to take out loans to pay for about 30-40% of this.

Questions if you all don't mind....

1) Is the current predicted hiring boom really going to happen?

2) Am I most likely going to be turned down for a job because of
a) Military flyers jumping on to get a shot at flying for a major
b) All the Furloughed pilots are going to come back in an get jobs?

3) Do I have a chance of working for a major airline like United, American or Delta one day or am I too old for it now, just like the Airforce? Am I too old to fly abroad (Asia?, Middle East?)

4) Will I really make around 80,XXX as a captain at a regional? Will I ever make a good salary with a major airline, IF I ever get there?

I'm no spring chicken and older than most, but much younger than many.

I am totally open to any feedback. I prefer blunt and honest, optimism is one thing, but I would rather hear how bad it could really get.


Last edited by k30n1; 7th Sep 2011 at 10:37. Reason: Just want to make sure I give the straight dope on where I'm located.
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