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Home > Age > Would my age play a big factor here?
Would my age play a big factor here?
Pilot Career - Age
Tuesday, 19 July 2011 06:25

Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

Hi Capt Lim,

My name is Dimitrios and I attended Embry Riddle Aeronautical University back in the early 80's where my dream was to fly for a living, I completed most of the 4 year program but not the flight school.

I am 49 years old and I am strongly thinking of going back to school and complete all my certificates and ratings. I understand the age increase has gone up in the airlines from 60 to 65 which motivate me even more.

Regional Airlines is now my focus since many are hiring pilots with 500TT of which 200 is multi engine time. My question is this Captain, would my age play a big factor here?

Would a Regional Airline or Airline have a problem hiring someone like me provided my medical conditions are good and I have enough hours? My friend who flies for FedEx tells me I would be right around 54 when I should have more than enough hours to qualify for any regional airline.

I regret not pursuing my dream in the early 80's and now at the age of 49 I find myself going to the airport to see a Saab 340 or a Dash-8 takeoff. I have the funds in my account (60k) ready to go and the only thing I need is someone like you to tell me "Cleared for Takeoff"!

Appreciate your input and thanks for your time Sir. Your answer will have a big impact on what direction I will head for.



Hi Dimitrios,

Regional Airlines would prefer to hire younger pilots with more flying hours and experience. It would be very tough for you to compete with them even if you graduate with all the necessary licenses in maybe about 18 month’s time.

If you still insist on going ahead, just join a flying club and find first whether you have the aptitude to fly and then consult your flight instructor if you should go ahead with your professional licenses. Also, ask your friend who flies for FedEx whether it is worth your money to pursue a flying career even if the current regulation has allowed pilots to fly up to 65 years.

I do not like to sound like a wet blanket but to start a flying career at 49 years is a little too late. This is not to say that you cannot fly a plane but the demands of professional pilots (not for those flying for pleasure) can be quite stressful, especially during bad weather, in an emergency situation or under check flights if you have problems with modern technology.  I have found many cases of pilots who started flying late in their life struggling to cope with their career. If you are prepared for all these and think you can handle the stresses at 50 and above, then go ahead.

I wish you all the bestalt.

PS. To check for any latest updates or postings, you can follow my new Twitter at @CaptKHLim

FedEx DC-10 Landing at DFW Airport


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F/O B747
Dimitrio, I started my flight career from ground zero at age of 43 from high-tech career. I recalled that all of my family/relatives all against changing career path. It was hard work, tough time, but rewarding. If you really want to be a professional airline pilot, I say you owe yourself a chance in this life-time to give it a shot, you will be surprise how far you will achieved. However, always have a back-up plan ie. to fall back to other aviation related jobs in case airline pilot job didn't fall thru timely.

Good luck buddy!! I like your ambition and attitude.
George , 14 Aug, 2011
... , Low-rated comment [Show]
Hi capt,
At what age I can go to flying school??
Now, Iam 13.
aiman , 12 May, 2012
In response to aiman's question, you should be able to join an aeroclub now. I sarted when I was 13. I was too young to start actual flight training but I built up on my Theory knowledge and maintenece knowledge. It depends on local laws and regulations and licence rules. Good Luck with your flying!!!!smilies/smiley.gifsmilies/smiley.gif
Michael , 27 May, 2012
Hi capt.
What is the minimum requirement of academic result becoming a pilot..
TSH , 14 Jun, 2012
Hi Capt.Lim
I am 40 years old and i have FAA license with 250 hours and A320 and 737ng800 type rating but zero hours on type,Do you think i have a chance to work anywhere?I am Egyptian and Egypt airlines accepts till 35 years old only
Please advice me
Sad , 12 Jun, 2013

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