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.
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 best.
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