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 7th Sep 2011, 17:29
  #141 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Mare Nostrum
Age: 41
Posts: 1,427
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

Youīre not too young, especially in the US. If you can get hired in the next 4 years, you will still have a 30 year flying career. If you know the right people, and the timing and hiring are just right, you could end up at a major airline.

With that being said...

1. Will there be a hiring boom? We donīt really know, it depends on lots of factors. If everything goes as predicted, then possibly. If we enter a second recession, hit by a giant terrorist attack again, volcanic ash cloud, etc... it could affect world-wide travel, thus affecting the airline hiring. Itīs all a domino effect and nobody can really know exactly what will happen.

What I can tell you is that the regions in the US are hiring right now. If you want to catch this ship, you need to hurry because the hiring situation can just as easily reverse in a very short time. American Eagle is hiring with 500TT minimums if you go through All ATPs Regional Standards course, and American Eagle has a flowthrough deal with American Airlines (some changes are happening at AMR right now though)

2. Despite furloughed pilots and military pilots, currently, there are not enough pilots to fill the hiring classes at the regionals. Yes, US military pilots are planning on jumping to the commercial side soon, especially if the deployments and the extra queep doesnīt reduce, but I think this is a bigger concern for the military.

3. No, you are not too old to get started and potentially get hired at a major, but see first paragraph.

4. There exists a potential to make six figures as a captain at a regional. But starting pay will be somewhere between $17,000 to $22,000. If you go to a major, pay is better with a higher earning potential, if you get there. Southwest Airlines and Fedex seem to be at the higher end of the pay scale.
Airline Pilot Salary and Pay Rates
You can see what the payscales look like at different US Carriers. And when doing the calculations, pilots work around 65-80hrs per month (only get paid while plane is moving, not when you are parked and doing other things)

To be honest, you are not too old for the US. I know guys who didnīt start until their early 40s but their whole career ended up being at a regional. I also worked with a guy who had a full time job, and was slowly building up his hours. By the time he was 35 he had built up enough hours to get hired but didnīt want to go to a regional take a paycut from his current job that he had been doing for the previous 13 years.

I would say that in your position, and with the current regional hiring going on right now, you donīt have time to waste if it is something you really want to do.

Just my 2 cents.
zondaracer is offline  
Old 7th Sep 2011, 22:05
  #142 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: here
Posts: 87
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What I can tell you is that the regions in the US are hiring right now
they have one year to take everybody they can before the 1500h rule.
if the guys have 500h, and logg 1000h in one year at a regional, they are good for 2013.

mid 2012 they will ask for 1000-1200h.
and end 2012 1500h or go get yourself a fi job.

then what will happen?nobody knows.

Will salary at regional increase?will they close?
pilot shortage maybe? who is in the right mind ready to spend 80000$ for a cpl/ir/cfii then 4 years in a school to finish on a saab in a regional , and paid peanuts?

1) Is the current predicted hiring boom really going to happen?
boom if you have +1500 and mutiengibe aswell.

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?

yes they will, but some have found ther jobs which pay more.

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?)

if you can go in a regional, and fly embraerjet, you can get your chance

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?

nobody make good money in can just barely survive. it s a hobby ,remember!some guys fly for free.

Last edited by usualguy; 7th Sep 2011 at 22:20.
usualguy is offline  
Old 7th Sep 2011, 23:41
  #143 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Mare Nostrum
Age: 41
Posts: 1,427
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Wow Usualguy, you sound more bitter every day.

who is in the right mind ready to spend 80000$ for a cpl/ir/cfii then 4 years in a school to finish on a saab in a regional , and paid peanuts?
Lots of guys apply to Embry Riddle (and other schools) every year and pay even more to get a 4 year degree and end up at a regional, or even instructing even after graduating.

Besides, there is nothing wrong with instructing until you reach FAA ATP minimums. Lots of guys have done it in the past, are doing it now, and will continue to do it in the future. Heck, none of the airlines were doing much hiring since 2007 until just recently. I know lots of guys who slaved it out for 4 years as an instructor, or even bartender.
zondaracer is offline  
Old 15th Sep 2011, 18:12
  #144 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: IRELAND
Posts: 6
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Is 31 to old to start?

Hello all wanabee Irish pilots out there!
I'm thinking of a career change and becoming a pilot. Just a quick message to see if anyone thinks 31 is too old to do this. I'd be about 33/34yrs old before i'd be qualified to fly.
Would i find it hard to get a job with airllines due to the ageism as mentioned many times in threads on these forums?
Due to the cost of training id be at my age if i couldn't get a job.
Anyone else from Ireland in my boat?
ayrtonsenna is offline  
Old 15th Sep 2011, 20:06
  #145 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: EGYD
Posts: 1,073
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
if thinks 31 is too old to do this
Your young. The average CPL student is around this age nowadays - certainly was where I trained.

You are however, never too old to read the instructions and rules on this forum regarding reading archived threads before posting which covers this area :

Last edited by BigGrecian; 15th Sep 2011 at 20:44.
BigGrecian is offline  
Old 15th Sep 2011, 23:52
  #146 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Northern Ireland
Age: 40
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Ayrtonsenna,

Im 28 and having the same thoughts as you regarding a career change.
I will PM you.
flylogan is offline  
Old 16th Sep 2011, 08:21
  #147 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 14,183
Received 41 Likes on 20 Posts
Look, face the facts, at 28 and 31, you are old and senile, no good whatsoever for anything. Stick to what you're doing now, take early retirement at 50 and expect to be dead by 55.

All this stuff you didn't read on numerous PPrune threads because you were too lazy to do a bit of homework, about it being fine training over 40, likely extensions to mandatory retirement age, and passengers preferring to see somebody out of short trousers on the flight deck - it's all cobblers, and clearly doesn't apply to you.

Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 16th Sep 2011, 08:27
  #148 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 489
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
These threads come up on a regular basis and you will find that the yes go for it camp are generally people that work in a certain low cost airline where career progression can be quite quick eg: 3-4 years RHS to LHS. I would add caution to this as I am hearing that command is much longer now in outfits such as FR where there is little or no expansion with MOL parking aircraft around Europe and canceling orders.

If your plans are to join a national carrier such as AL (I see you are from Ireland) then consider the following:-

- currently people are taking on average 12 years to get to the LHS on the A320
- progression off the A320 (the starting fleet) onto the A330 was around 6 years but realistically this has slid out even further and with no expansion planned then conceivably you could see short haul command quicker. Recent rostering changes resulting in 2 day turn arounds on the A330 means they need even less pilots than previously.
- if you were fully qualified by say 35 years old then you would have your ATPL and around 3000 hours by the time your 40. Then a wait till your 47 for your command. Factor in kids and a family life and how your roster will be messing up all of that.
- if you did get into an airline straight off such as AL then you will be effectively locked in due to any seniority that you have built up. Further, other airlines may not be interested in a 40 year old FO joining them when their captains could well be 10 years your junior.

Essentially flying is for the young single folk now eg: 20 year olds. They can afford to get into an airline, gain some hours and not care about any lost seniority and jump ship to the bottom of someone elses list then sit there for the next 12-15 years and hey presto they are mid 30's and sitting in the LHS of some large metal. They will then progress to top of scale on any salary list and avail of all of the associated perks. If the company has a pension scheme then they will be fully funded and not have to worry about making any voluntary contributions. If the markets dip and erode their pension they have time on their side.

Good luck.
MCDU2 is offline  
Old 16th Sep 2011, 08:29
  #149 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Earth
Posts: 227
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I did my PPL in my early 20's and eventually got around to getting my commercial license's finished early 2008 as the down turn hit.

My age is 31 and have found some jobs, not all have rejected me and I think unoffically its been my age. A certain Irish low cost airline is one example that I am sure was age related.

Large schools that do integrated or have the relationship's get in the way if you are modular like myself and others trying to get a job.

If you were able to, I would suggest cadet / integrated scheme. It will be 3 years soon for myself looking and its somewhat frastrating when those airlines who only take from specific integrated / cadet school scheme's, that you cannot apply for the same job and may already have some AOC experience in the GA world.

So it's really all about timing and do your research with whats best for your personal situation and family.
turbine100 is offline  
Old 16th Sep 2011, 09:36
  #150 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: FRANCE
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Angel Tomorrow, you'll be even older !

Hi Ayrtonsenna, you are probably one on the many who one day, felt they ought to start flying !
So was I... ...long ago !
I started Club-Flying when I was 22, which "seemed old already", yet , I could have started at 21 if not delaying the thing by a month or two, each time.
I actually got my CPL and IR when I was 26 and a little bit older...
...and got my first salary as a Pilot (not just as employed to fly for free, to build up experience) as I reached 33.
There has been a long way since then, I'm now 57, not even thinking of retiring, and still meeting the age problems: Am I too old to go for a new Type Rating ?
An inside voice just tells me GO AHEAD !
Because I like this job, and if you ever felt like becoming a Pilot, you just have to go for it, but be aware you will have to make some hard choices and sacrifices, but whatever one can let you imagine, it is worth it !
So, if you've heard this inside voice, do go ahead NOW !
Because in any case, tomorrow, you won't be younger, there is nothing you can do about that, but you might well feel much happier if you do !
Good Luck in your carreer, because everyone needs some as well !
telfalconpilot is offline  
Old 8th Nov 2011, 06:00
  #151 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: india
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
is it tooo late to become pilot?????

Hi friends.

thank you for giving me this opportunity, where i can hope i will get right answer about my dream career.

i have few doubts and confusion about to become pilot.

1) I am 27 yrs old. my dream is to become a pilot. am i too old?? if i start my cpl training now,by 29 if i clear my CPL will i still have a chance to get an job?

2)regarding about training. In India some places are offering for 20000dollars and most of the agencies are marketing training in Philippians. could you please suggest me which is the best place to do in india or Philippians?

3) After completion of CPL, do i have to compulsory to do type rating (320/787) to get an job? is there any posiblities to get an job without type rating, i mean i don't mind to write a bond to the airlines in the world if they can send me for type rating.

4) am bit of scared to go for trainning,because this days young guys or doing the course, i am afraid i wil be odd person between the young guys..

5) if i do trainning from any other private school. how much does it cost for A320 or B737 type rating??

6) If i do fi course and work for 1 year add up around 1000 hrs.wil it be any advantage??

i would be really great if anyone can help me on this...
saireddy20 is offline  
Old 8th Nov 2011, 08:06
  #152 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Mareeba, QLD
Posts: 51
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi there

There are already lots of threads on this topic on the forum. I suggest you have a go with the search function.

Should find all the info you need.
taff_lightning is offline  
Old 8th Nov 2011, 08:43
  #153 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Scotland
Posts: 381
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The answer to all your questions is, maybe.

You're not too old for everyone, you might get a bond without paying for your rating but it's not looking likely right now. It might be better in India than the phillipines, then again it might not. You wont be feel odd with lots of young people around then again if you're not confident you will. Having 1000 hours will make you more employable but it might not be worth the money you paid to get there and then you have to find an FI job.

It's a gamble, nothing is guaranteed but nothing is excluded all I do know is that it's very expensive and expect it to be more expensive by 30% than you actually think.
Dan the weegie is offline  
Old 26th Dec 2011, 12:39
  #154 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Suffolk, UK
Age: 66
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
To be, or not to be.....

I'm 54 and coming out of the rat race. I've always wanted to be a commercial pilot but, is this a realistic aspiration considering my age? Is it worth spending my redundancy money on or, should I take up rose pruning? If I was successful, will the jobs be there or will I be a well qualified "has been"?

I don't have much flying experience but understand how planes work, am a qualified naval skipper (hobby) and have air navigation O level! (My maths master was a Mosquito navigator). I'm technical and practical so am not phased by the ability to fly but know it's a very steep learning curve too.....

All input very gratefully received!

Thank you
potential pilot is offline  
Old 26th Dec 2011, 13:13
  #155 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 238
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
To sleep, perchance to Dream; Ay, there's the rub...

If I was in your shoes I would get a PPL, an IMC/IR and enjoy flying for flying's sake.

There are a load of low hour CPL with IR holders flying supermarket shelves for the foreseeable future. Please don't join them!
rmcb is offline  
Old 26th Dec 2011, 14:47
  #156 (permalink)  

PPRuNe Handmaiden
Join Date: Feb 1997
Location: Duit On Mon Dei
Posts: 4,651
Received 32 Likes on 18 Posts
I hate telling people "no, not a good idea" but in this case it's not a good idea to spend your redundancy money on CPL flight training.

The CPL/IR with the ATPL theory is not easy, it's not impossible either but that's nothing compared to getting a decent well paying job. At best you'll have 5-8 years of productive flying before you'll be restricted to the RHS (at best) or instructing. In short, you won't recoup the money spent.

Best advice, go and have a trial lesson. See what you think of it. Get a PPL and enjoy flying when you want to. Not when the schedule demands.

Good luck.
redsnail is offline  
Old 26th Dec 2011, 16:37
  #157 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: New York
Age: 42
Posts: 105
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would have to say that it's how long can you stand with a challenge?
If you like it, and ready to spend your money (hoping you're covered for the rest get into it, or dye dreaming.....It's true your chances of a job may be very little comparing to a young pilot with more hours, but you never know what life is hiding to you....If it's your destiny, then you'll certainly do it.......

Once a singer said "Keep the faith"
kaptn is offline  
Old 26th Dec 2011, 17:07
  #158 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: A long way from home
Age: 44
Posts: 375
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Financially it's a ridiculous thing to do. Your chances of a job (other than instucting) once you qualifiy will be minimal.

On the other hand. If you can afford to take the risk and it's in your blood, then I suppose it's something that you'll have to do or spend the rest of your life regretting it.

I agree with previous posters here, though. Keep the day job (it pays the bills) and do the training for fun.
welliewanger is offline  
Old 26th Dec 2011, 20:27
  #159 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 302
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
As the other posters say, start with your PPL. If you get on really well, and love it, you might want to consider instructing. I know several people who've turned to instructing in their (semi) retirement. It's a cheaper goal to aim for than CPL/ME/IR, and the resultant pay is considerably less too, but you have a marginally better chance of getting a job as someone of a mature outlook...

Good luck and enjoy your flying no matter what!
fwjc is offline  
Old 2nd Jan 2012, 17:28
  #160 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Suffolk, UK
Age: 66
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you!

All input much appreciated folks. So, PPL it is and buy my own A320!
potential pilot is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.