Real Answers from Real Pilots

49 year old to old to begin career pilot training

(Michael Sammons) #82

Thanks guys. 18 days a month is no issue and Envoy seems like a logical choice for me . Miami based (90 minutes by car from my house in Naples). I can’t thank you both enough for the guidance. I really thought the age issue would be a show stopper. So on the days you work if your day in Dallas (using Envoy) as an example the regional would pay for the hotel that night? They mention you get like 4 per month? That says to me they want you back in say Miami every night. Just curious how that works.





We are here to be mentors. Feel free to ask us any questions you may think of.




In regards to the hotels, I believe you are confusing two different things. The airlines will pay for all of your hotels while on the road for them, period. It sounds like Envoy is also paying for up to four hotels per month in base for pilots that commute. This helps commuting pilots avoid having to have a crashpad.


(Tory) #85

Airlines pay for hotels for crews on duty away from base. For example, I am SEA based and tonight we finish our day in SFO. The hotel in SFO is covered by the airline.


(Michael Sammons) #86

Great info guys. I have a friend in the airpark where I live FA37 that owns a twin Beach that is willing to let me build some time in for the 25 hours just for the cost of fuel. Now he is not a CFI so if I am in the right seat does that count towards the 25 hours? I know I will need to pay a CFI to do some of the training to get the rating itself, but maybe it is best to wait to get the rating then use his plane and I can fly from the right seat as a CFI and that would give me PIC in a twin? Thoughts?



If you’re in the right seat, since the Beech doesn’t require 2 pilots, you can log the time as safety pilot but that would be questionable if you don’t have the rating. I’d get the rating then go for time. With all your time I’m sure you’re good but check the rest of the ATP requirements and make sure you don’t need any other misc hours:


(Tory) #88

From one CFI to another, you should know the answer to that question about logging hours :grimacing:




Right seat time in a twin engine airplane is not logable time unless you are acting as a safety pilot for a left seater that is under the hood practicing instrument time. I would suggest actually getting your multi license first, then work on building multi flight time.

You cannot act as a CFI in a multi unless you have an MEI add on to your CFI certificate, which is another checkride.


(Michael Sammons) #90

Got it makes sense thank you.

(Michael Sammons) #91

Tony, I knew the answer just trying to figure out the ME side something I have never considered before.

(James Veurink) #92

Wow…I feel like a dinosaur. I’m 57 with no training, so I’m lagging behind Michael. I am extremely fit, 100% healthy and as a precision driver with critical thinking, hand-eye coordination and spatial orientation…IOW, I’m good at flying behind a wheel…albeit on tires at this point. :sunglasses:

While I know the big boys are beyond reach, what type of career might I have? Would a company pay to train me? Can you fly for airlines from other countries that don’t have the 65 retirement and still be based in US? Does 65 apply to all regional pilots? From what I see from flight instructor salaries, I’d make more selling lattes at Starbucks…so that’s out.

Sorry for all the questions…I’m a noob



If you started today you could be at a Regional by 59-60. Not much of a career nor a great return on your investment but the Regionals are hiring everyone with 1500hrs and pulse so sure they’d take you. After that you’ve got a problem. If you look at ALL the Asian carriers (the ones doing most of the hiring and Europe requires considerable more training and very difficult to obtain work permits) they ALL have age restrictions on hiring, usually 50-53 so that’s out. 65 applies to ALL airlines in this country (Regional or Major). It’s an FAA reg, not a company policy. There may be a possibility of some charter or corporate flying but those jobs are very competitive. Not trying to paint a bleak picture but unless you’d happy flying whatever and pay is not a factor you could maybe stretch a few more years flying but that’s a long shot.


(James Veurink) #94

yeah…I kind of figured that. Oh well. Ironic that the head Admin of FAA is over 65
Thanks for your post, Adam!



I agree with Adam on this. While you could technically be hired by a regional, I do not see it as a good return on your investment.

I would also point out that FAA Acting Administrator Elwell is no longer a pilot, so any comparisons to his age and pilot age restrictions is irrelevant.


(James Veurink) #96

I know. What are they worried about at 65? I could see that they may require special tests to make sure they’re OK


The FAA is worried about decreased mental abilities, reduced reaction times and simply general health. These are real concerns of the FAA, the age 65 rule came about after years of studies (the rule used to be 60).

(Gerry Hooper) #98

Hello there I’m totall new to this forum so please forgive me if not jumping in on the correct thread. Here’s my question. I’m currently 54 in good health, empty nester, semi retired having worked in aviation for the last 25 years. I had (at one time) full commercial license, multi IFR, instructor, night, cross country, some unlogged high Alt jet time in the right seat of Citations. All told about 490 HRs of flying. Thinking of renewing everything with aim of getting hired as FO “somewhere”. I can even pay for my own type rating if need be. Am I too old to take advantage of the pilot hiring trends to finish off my career in a lifelong dream. Thank you. I estimate it would take me 3-6 months of intense training to get bank up to speed.



Check out this thread as it is relevant to you:

You will need to do more than just get back up to speed, the FAA now requires all airline pilots to have at least 1,500 hours of flight time, so you will need to build that remaining flight time somehow, most likely through instructing.

I don’t think that you are too old, but I sure wouldn’t waste any time either.




If you “had at one time” your CPL with multi, IR and CFI you still do. As you should be aware they don’t expire so it sounds like you just need to get current which is easy enough. As long as you’re not fantasizing about flying a 787 to Rome (because that’s not going to happen) and would be happy flying a nice Regional jet around the country you’ll be fine. The big issue you need to be aware of is you don’t just need to get current, you need to build another 1,000hrs to work for any airline. There’s no need to get your own Type, the Regionals will be happy to train you for it and you can easily get hired as there is a huge shortage.


(Michael Hayes) #101

Continuing the discussion from 49 year old to old to begin career pilot training:

I am blown away by the post. I too am a 45 year old law enforcement officer that is looking a career change. It’s been a roller coaster ride up and down trying to figure out if I am too old to do this but I really want it. I am in the process of getting my 1st class med cert and have been approved for student loan. I’m a sergeant with the agency I work for and have been in law enforcement for 11 years. I want to be a commercial pilot and i have the complete backing of my wife. Thank you for your inspiring post.