Sunday, 16 December 2007 18:43
Hi Capt Lim,
I chanced upon your informative website. Thumbs up for the enlightening site!
I have a few questions for you.
How does the career of an International Airline pilot ends? At what age will an airline ask the pilot to stop flying?
If a pilot develop short-sightedness several years into flying as a First Officer, would his career be over? Would anything like health problems end his flying career? Will the airline give him a ground appointment based on his experience?
Internationally, an airline pilot can fly up to 60 years. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) retains as a standard, an age-60 limit for persons acting as pilot-in-command of an aircraft engaged in scheduled international air services or non-scheduled air transport operations for remuneration or hire and recommends that the co-pilot also be under age 60.
The rule is also enshrined in section 121 of the USA's Federal Aviation Regulations and it mandates that a pilot may not fly in revenue service for a Part 121 air carrier upon reaching his or her 60th birthday. This retirement age applies only to pilots with (FAR 121) airlines, it does not apply to FAR 125 or 135 operations, nor "corporate" pilots. However, not all airlines adhere to these rules. Some airlines make 55 years as the mandatory retirement age.
When a First Officer or even a Captain becomes short-sighted, it is not a problem provided his vision can be corrected to normal with optical aids. Not every illnesses will cause the pilot to be grounded for ever. If he recovers from a medical problem and pass the medical test, he can regain his medical status and continues to fly again. However, if a pilot is grounded, say, because of a heart problem, he may be employed by the airline as a simulator instructor if he is already qualified.