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-   Professional Pilot Training (includes ground studies) (https://www.pprune.org/professional-pilot-training-includes-ground-studies-14/)
-   -   The perpetual 'Am I too old?' thread (https://www.pprune.org/professional-pilot-training-includes-ground-studies/420877-perpetual-am-i-too-old-thread.html)

windypops 14th Jul 2010 09:08

There are "still" some cracking employers out there though, in EASA land too. So it's not all bad.

wilky 25th Oct 2010 18:46

Too old
Guys i've tried to follow the link of the "too old threads" and "age threads" from the archive links page but they are not working.

Started my PPL a couple of years ago with aim to achieve ATPL but took seriously ill and have been on hold for 2 years. Treatment done and given a clean bill of health i'm looking to carry on to get my ATPL modular whilst still working. I work 2 weeks away and get 3 weeks off so can get this done faster than the average modular route I think.

I'm 29 now, 30 in May and hopefully finished up by time i'm 31. Recession aside and obviously nobody has a crystal ball of wat the industry will be like then, is 31-32 too old for serious consideration for employment?

This must have been asked a few times so please accept apologies but the links dont seem to work on the archived links thread.

Many thanks

redsnail 25th Oct 2010 19:14

wilky, short answer. No. :ok:

wilky 25th Oct 2010 19:27

thank you red snail, onwards and hopefully upwards, if employment continues to get harder I can adjust training accordingly.

Thanks for the reply.

dwshimoda 25th Oct 2010 19:57


Finished at 34 at probably the start of the worst employment period for a long time.

A few up and downs (mainly downs!) but now well over 1,000hours B757 and loving the job...

Go for it.


Permafrost_ATPL 25th Oct 2010 20:07

Quit my job at 34, modular ATPL, first job at 35 (lucky me). 3,500 hours in shiny jets by now and loving it :-)

Go get it.


hasell 13th Jan 2011 16:42

Oldest inexperienced FO to join an airline/operator?
So further down in this forum there's a thread on youngest FO. Looking at this another way. Rightly or wrongly there seem to be fair number of mid-life career changers out there who want to fly commercially.
So my question is ...do you know of/can give examples of relatively inexperienced FOs who joined operators -and were/are beyond their mid-thirties...



BigNumber 13th Jan 2011 17:28

Yep; I know of several. (Don't believe the "you are too old cobblers!!" It's utter rubbish.)

One example joined Air Southwest with age circa 50 years and did rather well ie P1 / Trainer etc.. deservedly so.

Another mate flys the Phenom 100 - he was 47 prior to his career change.

These two examples are the tip of the ice berg.. grey cockpits are the way ahead.


Busbar 13th Jan 2011 17:49

Yes I know of two guys that were on my course at Flight School. When we started the ATPL ground school, one was early 40's and the other late 40's. Both were successful - one is now an SFO with EZY on the Airbus A319 and the other flies B737-800's for a Middle Eastern carrier. Good blokes to :D

It can be done, there is the proof! :ok:

CommunicationsOne 14th Jan 2011 15:17

Thanks for these inspiring stories!

At age 41 and just coming out of a compeletly different carreer, I just got my FAA PPL in November and am now working towards flying commercially, too. The plan is in place and if everything goes right I should have a commercial license no later than spring 2012.

And - yes - I too had these thoughts of "am I too old?" But I agree to the writers before me: if this is your dream then you need to go for it. AND it has been my dream since I was a little girl.

Blue skies!

nrl1965 28th Jan 2011 19:47

Does age matter if starting ATPL trainning
Hello all

Well it's like this; I'm 46years old recovered from cancer of the head and neck, I now have my PPL A and a night rating and 60 hours. Can I get a F ATPL and if I did would I be able to get work?
before I start spending too much cash, I would like someone else s opinion please.
Thanks all

downwind24 28th Jan 2011 21:14

Crikey , firstly well done on your personal battle against that terrible disease :D

Do you have a current class 1 medical? If not this would be the first stage along the way , im 36 and just finishing the CPL/MEIR and train with mostly 20 somethings. Too old? well who knows , iv been told i am on a few occasions , i suppose its down to the type of work you want. I would be happy short haul or regional and id also like to instruct so in my mind im not.

Whatever you decide Good luck :)

Whirlygig 28th Jan 2011 21:58

SO very well done for beating that pernicious disease - more power to your elbow and completely understandable that you have a different outlook on life and different ambitions.

As we're the same age, I trust that what I'm going to say will not be misconstrued .... Your first step must be the Class 1 medical. Call them at Gatwick and explain the cancer to them. It may well be a bar but you will find them helpful and may require your medical records. Secondly, us oldies can have other things go wrong with our bodies which we might not be aware of; hearing, eyesight, etc.

Secondly, if it's the airlines you're after, you might find an element of ageism. The perception could well be that someone of our years may not be prepared to work for a second officer's salary nor be prepared to work with a captain who could be younger. However, maturity will likely be an advantage for instructing or working for smaller operators in charter/VIP work etc.

As I'm sure you've worked out, there is not a lot of work out there but, if you are going to fly anyway using your PPL, the marginal cost of the exams and instruction for the CPL course will not be that great. While you're doing the hour building, try to make as many contacts as possible; it's more likely that you'd get work through word of mouth and networking when it comes to the smaller operators.

Only you know your finances si I would recommend you start costing the flight training and work out the minimum income you would whilst a) training and b) as a salary. I'm guessing that you have another career on which you can fall back.

Basically, I reckon it's do-able but it won't be easy in this economic climate.



nrl1965 28th Jan 2011 22:44

My next call is to the CAA as you have pointed out I currently only have a Class 2 medical, this call could potentially stop me in my tracks, well slow me down, I never give up, probably why I'm still here and not pushing Daisey's
Thankfully the CAA already have all my Medical records from my oncologist, so have to see how they interpret them, I've now been all clear for three years and improving every year.
I do have a back up career, and a young family so if all goes well I'll use the modular rout.
My parents have a friend who flies for a well known record sales man airline owner and space travel and so on. not sure on eyesight rules for ATPL ?
Its OK,I'm not bothered about age of those in charge, I use to be an RAF Engineer so use to it, now a teacher so have 20 to 30, 11 to 16 year olds telling me what to do on a daily basis.
Thanks to you both it looks like I may still get that dream career I always had since the age of 6.

Mr Grimsdale 29th Jan 2011 09:04

nrl1965, here are the CAA Class 1 eyesight requirements for the initial medical (things relax a bit for the renewals).

Have a chat with your optician and see if you fall inside them or not.

Best of luck!

welliewanger 29th Jan 2011 12:37

Technically there shouldn't be a problem (medical issues aside) but some airlines don't like having to teach old dogs new tricks. You may be the most versatile quickest learner ever, but I'm sure that some HR departments will dismiss your CV purely based on this.

fabbe92 29th Jan 2011 13:22

concerned about age and time.
Hello my fellow aviators, I have a small concern wich has bothered me for the last month now. I am about to turn 19 years old in march and I will graduate from upper secondary this june (wich is the graduation age in my country). I have been thinking for the last year and, I have come to the conclusin that a university degree before flight training is the best option.

However, I am quite stressed about this and I have a feeling that the 3 years at univeristy will be prescious time wasted. for a UK citiszen itīs easier because you graduate from upper secondary earlier and can finish university at a very young age. In my case however, I will be graduating from university at the age of 22 and by doing the modular training, I will be around 24-26 when finished with my training. Seeing that in many cases, it takes a couple of years to get the first flying job. I will probably be over 30 when I get into the RHS on a jet or turboprop. Maybe this wonīt leave any time for my ultimate dream of being a training captain on a longhauer, some time in the future.
Will this not limit my chances of a long and prospective career? By jumping straight into flight training, I could graduate at the age of 21-22 and therefore get a job and get on to a seniority list sooner. Perhaps it is possible to get a degree after completing flight training?

I feel a bit stressed since itīs time to apply for further education and to decide wich way my life should hed next. I would really appreciate some good advice wich can give me some perspective. and just to be clear, I know that there are no jobs available right now and that I may well have to do some instructing and other types of flying jobs before I get my first chance with an airline. I know this but, being an airline pilot is my dream and I am prepared to fight for it.

redsnail 29th Jan 2011 13:34

nrl1965, firstly congrats on beating cancer. That is one major hurdle you've overcome. :)

Ok, the ATPL thing. You're never too old etc. However, you may be too old to get a reasonable return on the investment.

The medical. The UK CAA are pretty harsh about cancer. I have a couple of mates who are going through the waiting game right now after losing their Class 1 because of cancer. So, good luck, but don't be surprised if they say no.

What you and only you can work out is can you afford the cost of training without seriously impacting you and your family's financial future. If they are ok with you spending (admittedly your money) on a CPL & IR and thus possibly missing out on holidays, uni whatever may come up then it's ok.
But you really do have to sit down and objectively go through the costs and what you'll need to give up.

Nights out & holidays & new cars become "hours".

Your dream is (now) your family's dream. Make sure they're in on it.

That's just the cost of training. You'll be about 48 or so by the time you've finished, possibly older.

If your goal is to be a captain on a 744, sorry, you are too late.
If your goal is to be a captain on a short haul 737 or A320, then you might just make it but more than likely, not.
If you want to instruct then age isn't an issue, may be a help (especially your background) but bare in mind you won't make a lot of money.
If your plan is to keep the "day job" and instruct on the weekends, I can see no problems other than lost time at home. (it could be a good thing ;)

If you want the CPL/IR as a reward for beating cancer then that's ok too. Why not? Although, to be honest, I'd rather see you go and have a huge flying holiday renting a bugsmasher and flying around Australia (a bit flooded at the mo) or Canada. That'll be worth something. You'll do something far fewer people have done. :ok:

Before all the apologists come on and bleat about "it's not about the money", try buying a trolley load of groceries with your log book. It won't work.
My log book(s) has over 7,000 hours in and Tesco's just laughed.
Sainsbury's took one look at my battered green book and threatened me with security.

The harsh economic truth is that you have a limited time to make up the money you'll have spent plus save for retirement.

I wish you the very best of luck.

Genghis the Engineer 29th Jan 2011 16:38

PLEASE, read the other several dozen threads on this subject already. There's nothing in your question that's not been answered many times already.


YYZ 29th Jan 2011 18:55

Thousands of threads cover this sort of question, short answer in no, if you can get a job then you will be fine, you are a lot younger than most so do your degree and get something to fall back on.


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