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Home > Becoming a Pilot > Reviving my airline pilot dream…
Reviving my airline pilot dream…
Pilot Career - Becoming a Pilot
Sunday, 25 July 2010 08:41
Dear Capt. Lim,

It is indeed an honor for me to have the opportunity to write to you and seek your advice in relation to the career as an airline pilot.

Before that, I think I would like to explain to you how far I have gone into this industry. I am currently 36 years old and working in JB. About 10 years ago, I can proudly say that I had successfully joined SIA as a cadet pilot. Everything went smoothly at the initial stage.
In fact I was among the first few to clear my first solo flight after 12 hours. Then came the ground study part… I have cleared all the papers up to ATPL EXCEPT for one subject which is Navigation. SIA decided to expel me and there went my dream to be an airline pilot.

It was indeed a difficult period in my life to accept the fact that I was no longer a candidate for SIA. After all the hard work and sacrifices I had put in, it just disappeared overnight. However, life must go on. Some of my friends suggested that I take up a Flying License on my own. But, coming from an average family and paying on my own for a flying license was out of the total equation. I simply could not afford it.

The passion to be an airline pilot will never die off. It is still running strong in my blood. I do not know where to ask for advice to make my dream happen. Until one day I was on a flight to KK when I saw your article in one of the in-flight magazine. I then decided to write to you.

Capt, I have few questions and hope you can give your best advice over this matter.
1. At this age, can I still be an airline pilot? I know for the fact that most of the airlines will have an age limit for their pilot recruitment.
2. Besides being employed as cadet pilot by an airline, what are other options available for me to realize my dream? I have once joined a Flying Club in Sg Besi but found out that the cost was too expensive and they only offer up to PPL only. Will this option (PPL from Flying Club) worthwhile? I believe, I still have to sit for my CPL exam, ATPL and clock at least 500 hours for DCA to recognize my CPL Then later, I have to do twin engine. Not to mention Instrument Rating. This option will definitely require more financial investment.
3. As mentioned above, I have cleared almost all of the ground examinations except for one paper - Navigation (ATPL). Will DCA recognize these examinations? Meaning to say I do not have to take any ground studies and DCA can give me some exemptions.

Lastly, thanks for your time and patience for reading my long email.

Good day.
I have written at length on the age issue here. Yes, some airlines have recruited pilots (I meant inexperienced ones) at age greater than 36 years when the need was there but at this moment age would work to your disadvantage.
Considering the cost of getting all the necessary qualifications, you should think twice before you plunge into this profession again - unless you don’t mind ending as a charter or instructor pilot in a Flying Club, waiting for the doors to be open again in the future.
As regards to the ground examinations, only DCA is the authority to give you the advice. Please make an appointment with them for further clarifications.

I wish you all the best to your future dream…alt


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2 Cents
My 2 cents,

I bet u love the skies, the takeoff, the smooth glide, the soft landings,

You love flying, more than anything else.

If thats the case, why dont the effort be put towards making your love of flying a reality,

Those LSA are pretty affordables, or u can opt for fractional ownership, or even joinin a flying club...

nowadays the rule of thumb is that if u can afford to join a golf club u can most certainly join a flying club....

that way.. u can still live ur passion to be a pilot... without the

i) sinking a bomb and a kitchen sink to get your license
ii) coming out with little prospect of a job.

2 cents.
Fellow Dreamer , 17 Aug, 2010
36 yrs old became a cadet candidatte
Hey AJA,

I saw an article in HK the other day, talkin abt a guy who has failed three times in applying the Cathay Pacific cadet programme in the las 10 yrs but who finally got in las yr at the age of 36, he was jus like you his passion never die off he said, he works for Morgan Stanley as an investment banker and is getting paid 5 times more then being a pilot as a S/O, he has two kids and a wife, they all supported his decision, so I guess for you it is never too late! Good luck mate! i wish your dream would come true!
pilot? , 28 Dec, 2010

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