Posts: 73
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 6:14 am

Question About Being A Pilot.

Tue Jan 18, 2000 3:53 pm

I am 31 yrs old. Ive been thinking of doing what I wanted to do 10 yrs ago and that was to return to college and become a pilot. There is a very good college 75 miles north of me that trains people to become commercial pilots. Looks like a tough course but Im sure I can handle it. What I need to know is at my age would airlines even look at me when Im 35-36 yrs old which is about where Id be when I was done. Im looking for a response from somebody in the industry, please tell me how It really would be and please dont sugar coat it, because Im not going to even attempt it if its a no win situation. THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posts: 1066
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2007 1:29 pm

RE: Question About Being A Pilot.

Tue Jan 18, 2000 4:32 pm

Hi Mech:

I didn't take my first flying lesson until I was 25. I was nearly 28 when I decided to try and pursue a career. Two years later, I was slinging fuel drums, acting as loadmaster/flight attendant on a DC-3 in the high Arctic saying "I love this aviation business" during the worst aviation recession ever. Five years later, I was made Capt. on a Dash 7, then went on to 10 years in the regional airline business, slogging it out on Canada's east coast.

Now I'm working for what I consider the best overall airline in Canada (notwithstanding salaries!)

One of my good friends back east gave up a civil engineering job with the city of Halifax when he was 38 years old, and with a family of 4 kids to "go the distance" with a flying career of his own.

Cut to the chase Buff: I had no direction nor grand desire when I entered the business. I knew I was "too old" for the airlines. I had no great expectations. Even so, I've had a fabulous time making countless lifelong friends (losing a few) and progressing steadily even during tough times. The simple fact of the matter is I was not too old. The majors, even in the USA are hiring pilots in their mid-40's. The reservoir is nearly dry. If you get in now, work hard and are not afraid to take direction from someone ten years your junior, then go for it. Within ten years of reading this post, you will be flying for American, United or some other world class operator.

Best of luck with your decision making, Mech,

Posts: 2276
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 1999 1:42 pm

RE: Question About Being A Pilot.

Tue Jan 18, 2000 10:19 pm


I don't know what more to add that Buff hasn't already said.

I would say go to that university, learn to fly and become a pilot! As Buff said, "...the resevour is nearly dry..." and this is becoming all to painfully obvious to the airlines. Especially to the regional airlines who are expanding like a California wildfire!   These airlines have been forced to ground aircraft because they couldn't crew them.

As you may know the retirement age is 60, so the faster you can get into the airlines, the longer your career will be. If you, for any reason, don't want to stop flying b/c you're forced to retire, you can become a corporate pilot (you have to make some connections for this, though). There are no age limits, currently, on Corporate pilots.

I wish you all the luck in the world!   May your career be long and prosperous! I look forward to flying w/ you in the near future.

- Neil Harrison