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-   -   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)

Lightheart 19th Sep 2008 21:44

The perpetual 'Am I too old?' thread
 
I'm 40. Have no family/children (yet.) or mortgage (had one) to concern myself with.

At 37 I started my flight training. When I went for my Class 1 medical the Spanish psychologist asked me "What the hell are you doing becoming a pilot at your age?"

I asked him who he was to tell me what I could or couldn't do. He didn't reply.

Got my FAA and JAA licences. Was away from my partner for 1.5 years and had to move back with my parents for a year. But I finally got there.

Flown commercially in USA/Carib (yes, paid to do a First Officer Programme.) So what! You do what you gotta do to get on in life. It was a strategy to overcome the age aspect. It worked. After that I made a vow never to pay for training again. And I haven't.

On returning to Europe was offered a job in the UK before even had my licence in my hand.

Left that job to return to Spain (for personal reasons). A market where aviation is not strong. "Don't do it!" people in Spain with more hours than me said.

If you're on a desert island, you have a choice. Survive or not. It is your choice. You decide what you want to manifest in your life.

So on arriving back in Spain I boarded planes, trains, cars, got on my bike and visited all aviation companies I thought I could get into. I got two job offers in 6 weeks!

Now I currently have two types current on my licence. I didn't pay for the rating either!

I'm living in a great part of the word, even though I'm in rented accommodation and I'm earning a third of what I used to earn. But hey, I know that as soon as I get to 1500 hours a lot more doors will open. My life has had many changes.

If you don't like change, don't take the plunge. But if you're like me, you now that in life change is inevitable. You want to get there no matter what the nay sayers say. You have to be FOCUSED, DISCIPLINED and SEE yourself there.

There's only so much anaylsis you can do. The fear part is not knowing how things will turn out. That's normal. But if you have faith, are confident in yourself and know how to listen to that voice in your soul, you'll know what to do.

Don't give away your power. Hope this has been of help.

Lightheart 19th Sep 2008 21:47

Too much thinking...not enough feeling
 
I'm 40. Have no family/children (yet.) or mortgage (had one) to concern myself with.

At 37 I started my flight training. When I went for my Class 1 medical the Spanish psychologist asked me "What the hell are you doing becoming a pilot at your age?"

I asked him who he was to tell me what I could or couldn't do. He didn't reply.

Got my FAA and JAA licences. Was away from my partner for 1.5 years and had to move back with my parents for a year. But I finally got there.

Flown commercially in USA/Carib (yes, paid to do a First Officer Programme.) So what! You do what you gotta do to get on in life. It was a strategy to overcome the age aspect. It worked. After that I made a vow never to pay for training again. And I haven't.

On returning to Europe was offered a job in the UK before even had my licence in my hand.

Left that job to return to Spain (for personal reasons). A market where aviation is not strong. "Don't do it!" people in Spain with more hours than me said.

If you're on a desert island, you have a choice. Survive or not. It is your choice. You decide what you want to manifest in your life.

So on arriving back in Spain I boarded planes, trains, cars, got on my bike and visited all aviation companies I thought I could get into. I got two job offers in 6 weeks!

Now I currently have two types current on my licence. I didn't pay for the rating either!

I'm living in a great part of the word, even though I'm in rented accommodation and I'm earning a third of what I used to earn. But hey, I know that as soon as I get to 1500 hours a lot more doors will open. My life has had many changes.

If you don't like change, don't take the plunge. But if you're like me, you now that in life change is inevitable. You want to get there no matter what the nay sayers say. You have to be FOCUSED, DISCIPLINED and SEE yourself there.

There's only so much anaylsis you can do. The fear part is not knowing how things will turn out. That's normal. But if you have faith, are confident in yourself and know how to listen to that voice in your soul, you'll know what to do.

Don't give away your power. Hope this has been of help.

boogie-nicey 22nd Sep 2008 10:31

Good one Lightheart I am happy to read about your past experiences and pleased to see that you're getting there, well done. However was there really any need to give that poor medical officer a talking to like that ...? He might just have been inquistive or a bit of a tongue and cheek remark perhaps.

Anyway you have proved that with a though-through gameplan and discipline you can succeed I am happy to see it works.

Good luck to all ....

Brachetta 6th Oct 2008 06:16

Just another guy...
 
Hi folks, as an introduction, I tell you all my thing.
Iíve been PPL for 17 years but for different reasons I left the activity years back pursuing other career and interests.
After long time of working on different fields I found out that what I was doing wasnít satisfactory for me, so the flight bug returned and stayed this time.
See, Iím 37 now, I will convert now my PPL to UAE compliance, will do immediately my instruments, multi, CPL and hopefully will get a job doing what we all here like.
Some say Iím mad, especially my girlfriend who only thinks of the long trips and not having me around for daysÖsome other encourage me (less people, honestly) but hey, I donít tell anybody when or what to do with their dreams, do I?
At the end of the day, I donít see any better way of making a living than being what you like, and I just donít want to say ďif onlyĒ one day in the future.
So wish me luck if you will and see you around, air or landÖ
You guys take care.

weltweites 6th Oct 2008 07:11

@Lightheart

Great info !!!
Im now at that age and trying to find the proper way how to achieve the goal, the only license i have at the moment is a gyro-license and i want to achieve much more... but the way to take is sometimes difficult to go.
I have a great job and everything is beeing paid.... am singel and free and also no credits or whatsoever .... and still im trying to go a way with the less riscy one.

I want to go for a PPL(JAA) in the US, hopefully later next year the "extras" like multi and instruments ... then if im still goin on ... ill do cpl/atpl here in europ.

Hope my message broughts some lights to other people too with some crazy thoughts like i have ;-) ;-)

To mention, my psychologist at the medical said ... go for it ;-) ;-) !!!
Heres also the reason why .......

i dont want to ask myself the time im retiring ... why didnt i try it ??!!!!!

CJ2 22nd Dec 2008 20:10

Bad advice?
 
An acquaintance of mine asked my advice some time ago. He's 34 now and has planned to go for CPL next autumn. He asked if I think it is too late to start from zero at that age. Without giving second thought about it I told him to go for it if it is that he really wants. Anyone started at this age? Was it good or bad advice? :confused:

Flying Squid 22nd Dec 2008 20:15

Two guys on my groundschool were both approaching 40 so in short no it's not too old......risky perhaps but te level of risk very much depends on their personal circumstances.

CJ2 22nd Dec 2008 20:38

Well, he is owner of a successful business. So he has no financial issues if getting a job takes time. Told me that this is the thing he always wanted to do and will do it more for himself than making living out of it.

Flying Squid 22nd Dec 2008 21:22

Well if he is in the situation where money isnt an issue and he's not worried about making a career out of it in the next couple of years then I would say GO FOR IT!!!!! This is a great time to get some big discounts on training, FTO's are all fighting for survival so many will be open to some serious haggling!!!!

Good luck!

castrohe 20th Jan 2009 17:15

Thanks to answer my questions
 
I think this forum is great.

I am 32 years old and married.

I was looking for answers to my questions:

- Am I to old to become a pilot?
- I'm against the opinions of my parents and friends. Should I go on?

Many people gives their personal opinions and it is GOOD to hear others opinion. Sometimes shows others points of views.

In the end what's matter it's what we are feeling.

I have a though:

We are not lucky, we made our lucky". What I mean is, that we have to search the way to survive is this world and above of all enjoy it. We can stand for good days to go out, do we?

My wife supports me, she add the same fear as I.
Will I have a job when I finish the course?

We never now if we don't try.

We were thinking in buy a house, have kids, but I am not happy with my life, so we when I talk to my wife about this all of this plans have wait for the moment.
I do investigation in an Spanish University, but enough of this...

I need to realize my child dream. Become a pilot.

Thanks to all.

merlinn 21st Jan 2009 09:09

Slight topic change here, but I notice some of the first threads were back in 2002! Would love to here from anyone that made it and stuck to their guns:ok:

castrohe 21st Jan 2009 09:14

What happen to Doc
 
I would like to know what happen to Doc. There is a lot of great thread, this can toke me days to read all of them.

By this moment we could have a great point of view of Doc.

I am in a similiar situation right now, so it's very important to me to know how the doc story ends.

Old Nick 15th Feb 2009 13:06

How Old is Too Old?
 
I've recently been made redundant from another professional career at the grand old age of 40.

I have a PPL, love flying, and looking to the positive am thinking of whether this is the kick up the backside I needed to get out of the 9-5 rut, do something different and do something I enjoy while getting paid for it: flying for a career.

I know that the recruitment market is dire at the moment, but the plan is that by the time I finish an integrated course, the economy will be sprouting some green shoots and the aviation industry, given its cyclicality, should be one of the first out of the blocks.

My only question is: at 40 am I too old to embark on this career change? Realistically, a mature novice FO coming out of a school has how much chance of getting a job (in normal times, not right now)? I've spoken to a few HR people at airlines and for good equal opportunities reasons none have said 'you're too old', but out there on the coal face - what are the real-world experiences of any other 40+ old farts who've tried this?

Thanks in advance.

Grass strip basher 15th Feb 2009 13:13

Read stickies at top of the wanabees forum.
I would say you are pushing it given the current economic environment.
But if you are wealthy enough to not miss the odd £100k then why not have a crack?

Reluctant737 15th Feb 2009 13:13

Young Nick,

Welcome, and well done on considering your situation. The answer to your question is no, you are not too old - I personally know of a lady aged 52 who began training a couple of years ago (aged 50) who is now FOing with EZY.

Of course I am sure there will be others who will read into this a lot more than I can, and may offer some more helpful advice.

But I've heard many successful stories, and I doubt the airlines will mind too much until you reach the grand old age of 50! Remember, this is a personal decision and nobody has the right to tell you you're too old, or don't have the ability to achieve it. You'll only end up having many sleepless nights when you're 80 - what if?

And personally, despite being only 20, I prefer flying with the older chaps :ok:

All the best and good luck,

Old Nick 15th Feb 2009 13:19

Grass Strip Basher: "Read Stickies".

Yup - got it - thanks - and sorry for duplicating q's.

Bealzebub 15th Feb 2009 17:15


And personally, despite being only 20, I prefer flying with the older chaps
A preference presumably borne out of the fact that there aren't many Captains under 20? :)

Reluctant737 15th Feb 2009 19:37

Bealzebub,

Point taken :ok: In all seriousness, I much prefer flying with fellows of the 40+ age bracket, but then again, I've always got on better with people much older than myself!

Girls, on the other hand :E

Adios 15th Feb 2009 20:16

If you need a kick up the back side at age 40 to "push" you into an aviation career, then perhaps you don't have the level of passion required. Flight training is not the most expensive way to have a midlife crisis, but it's darn close!

If this isn't a midlife crisis for you, then you've got a chance of succeeding. It will be tough, so be sure why you're really doing it before you jump in.

ewsd02 17th Feb 2009 07:44

The most important thing is to be happy, so if you want to fly for a living, best just do it. As far as I am aware, you will still be in the age bracket for turbo prop airlines. They prefer more mature people as there is less chance of them bogging off to a jet airline as soon as they get the experience! Commercial instruction is another good career path.

The benefit you have over the 21 year old daddy funded/massive loan guy out of an intergrated course is that you have other skills to fall back on if you can't get a flying job straight away.

5150 17th Feb 2009 08:39


As far as I am aware, you will still be in the age bracket for turbo prop airlines
You're still in the 'age bracket' for most airline jobs that may appear on your lists of wants/desires.

You just need to make allowances for the fact that you'll be joining a considerable 'heap' of licence holders after your training, in an industry that is making cuts on a large scale - in addition there are already many rated pilot's with many hours of experience on type who have lost, or will lose their jobs in the coming months, your claim to be first out of the blocks is somewhat ambitious !

I don't see any reason that at 40+, you're not as attractive, if not MORE attractive to an employer than someone half your age . . . You've still got 25 years work ahead of you, so I say go for it . . .

BigNumber 17th Feb 2009 08:48

Being 40+ is not a disadvantage, infact it may well be an advantage!

In the age of SSTR, pay for Line Training etc, you are just as welcome in the 'airline' market as anyone else. More so.

Outside of the airlines there are a great many flying positions that would value your age and experience. My Biz Jet owner actually prefers guy's with your profile. We don't pay for our type ratings!!!!!

Follow your dreams - if you want it, go and get it!

Sciolistes 17th Feb 2009 10:21

I can contribute with direct experience. I was 40 with 300 hrs when I was offered a 737 position after passing selection.

I don't think there any advantages to being older. It is difficult for me to suggest that there were significant disadvantages. I did fail one interview in vague circumstances. I think most people who have failed interviews with this business' practice of not providing feedback would feel the same.

Regardless, I definitely got the impression that during the assessment and selection processes that I passed there was no bias one way or the other. I was reliably informed by those organisations of a couple of airlines that outright would not consider me due to my age.

ea340 17th Feb 2009 13:08

A good friend of mine started flying at 42 . Retired from IT started with a Flight Exc company at 50 as an F/O on a Turbo prop and is loving every minute of it.

BigNumber 17th Feb 2009 13:43

MM,

It is a private owner, private operation held within the fabric of a much larger business.

Sorry to be so vague, but hope this contributes to the scope of the thread.

Holryn 17th Feb 2009 14:06

I started flying when I was 32. I gained my CPL/MEIR back in 2005 and started applying for all sorts of jobs. I took a serious pay reduction to get more involved in an aviation career - money has never been motivating factor for me (and no, I don't have much of it either).

I only managed to get one assessment and sim check during the past three or so years. Last year I decided that the only way I was to keep going was to instruct so completed my Instructors course and have been instructing part-time ever since.

I turn 40 :( later this year and despite the fact that it has been financially very tough (and that's without the recession), for both me and my family, I have enjoyed every second along the way.

I'm still looking for that first job, instructing aside, and will continue to do so.

Go into it with your eyes open - I didn't expect a job offer to fall into my lap - and enjoy!! :ok:

chrfri 17th Feb 2009 15:03

I was 40 when I started the ATPL-theory, took the last step, mcc, at 42. At 45 I got my first job, F/O on a small jet, have been there for 2,5 years now.

...and I am still married...:)

alkatifa 18th Feb 2009 02:01

I reckon I'm just another 31 year old bloke thinking bout a serious career and lifestyle change. The flying bug is getting on me now, I just don't know where to start....

I love flying so much that I was even considering a cabin crew job, but I really picure myself as a comercial pilot. We really do have just one life, might as well just follow our gut!

wannabe15 18th Feb 2009 03:05

That's right. Similar situation. Should be starting DL ATPL soon at a not so young age of 36.:} Dunno when i will complete, dunno whether there will be a job waiting thereafter... anyway

One life only, make full use of it! cheers

Wee Weasley Welshman 18th Feb 2009 07:46

Unless you are over 50 there is no age issue any more with any airline in the UK.

Those days died some years ago.

Rugbyears 18th Feb 2009 09:42

WWW, with the risk of becoming too sentimental, I must say that I retain a great deal of respect for you old chap. In one particular thread you articulate you perception of the aviation industry and its association to the present economic crises/correction, advising all to assess their decision carefully. Yet you maintain the humanity to continue to offer assistance those of us who still choose to continue with this career path way.

Thank you..!:ok:

Wee Weasley Welshman 18th Feb 2009 10:15

Well, thanks for noticing. I get slated for being a harbinger of doom - true - but I realise many are too far in to stop and anything I can do to help I will do.

SIMEFLY 23rd Apr 2009 13:35

Is it too late!!!
 
I am 42yrs old and looking for a career change to be come an airline pilot. At present i am a police officer but have previously served as cabin crew in the forces then with KLM UK.
I would like advice from anyone in terms of how to progress from PPL to frozen ATPL how much this will set me back???
I feel that its not too late for a career change but also have to think of my family. I am aware that it is a costly process, but in the long run providing i progress successfully will hopefully land!! with position with a major airline.

quant 23rd Apr 2009 13:45

http://www.pprune.org/professional-p...-question.html

BSmuppet 23rd Apr 2009 15:53

Callum,

this coming from a guy who didn't read the stickies himself and asked about a Cpl straight after PPL+night

Vems 23rd Apr 2009 16:05

They got you 2 really good links, make yourself a cuppa, get some biscuits and read it ( it takes a while! trust me! :E)

Then, do a research ( internet, local flying schools etc.) Then, if you really can't find something you're looking for, post it here. You'll get a lot of replies, probably.

Good luck.

dartagnan 23rd Apr 2009 20:54

i can get you a job on the airbus. never too late. 42 years, IT'S PERFECT...airlines want s you cuz u are mature.

dont forget my cheque of 200'000$ for the cpl/mcc/line trining/ type rating and my %.:E

nuclear weapon 24th Apr 2009 17:36

For your age I dont think its too late although we do have airlines that have an age limit but dont let that out you off.

BigNumber 25th Apr 2009 17:07

There are some operations that 'prefer' an older candidate.

This has been discussed extensively in the 'Biz Jets' Forum.

IMO 42 years is not a bad age to start training. Best of Luck to you.

Crazy Fokker 25th Apr 2009 21:36

Yes I have heard of people training and getting jobs in there forties. I guess it's just a case of pulling out all the stops on the research front etc....dig deep. I'm sure you'll find what you're looking for.

As you said with a family to boot etc, planning etc is going to be more important than for a single 21 yr old with no ties...so just be thorough is my advice.

But it is possible.:ok:


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