Real Answers from Real Pilots

51 year old pilot

I am 51 years old. I have worked for American Eagle and Scenic Airlines. I have been out of the industry for 16 years due to family need. I would like to get back into this. What do you recommend, and do I have a chance of it?

Heather,

You don’t give us much information. You say you worked for Eagle and Scenic, were you a pilot or did you do something else? If you were a pilot and have your licenses and ratings then it’s simply a matter of getting current. If you’ve never flown and have no training well that’s a whole other matter. If that’s the case you obviously need to get trained AND you need to be realistic about your goals. If you’re starting from scratch that means at least 2-2.5yrs before you can make it to a Regional which puts you at 53-54. That gives you about 11-12yrs of flying before mandatory retirement. Not bad but if you have visions of being a Delta A350 CA flying to PEK that’s not going to happen. If however you think you’d enjoy being a Regional pilot, flying a nice jet across the US then yes you have a good chance.

Adam

1 Like

Adam saw your comment on the A350, just ballpark it for me, how long would it take in senorirty to fly some of those long hauls with the 787/350? They seem desireable but I am sure it’s not all glamorous. 15 or 20 years?

I have ten years in at United and I cannot hold a line on the widebody fleets (777, 787), mmy guess is that it would be another few years before I could. That type of flying is very desirable and thus goes very senior.

I am asking if a 55 year old can get back into it again too. I have 1900 hours with Comm/Inst MEL but only flew a few times in the past 25 years. I was thinking of taking the CTP- ATP to start getting back in the game. I would be perfectly happy in the regionals if I can manage the pay cut for the first year or two.

Mark,

Whether or not you can get back into it really depends on you, your aptitude and how much you have retained over the years. I would recommend that you start by going out and getting a BFR, then an IPC. The airlines will want to see recency of experience, so you will need to get some current hours and make sure that you are up to speed. That being said, I think that the airlines would likely be very interested in you if you meet their requirements.

Chris

Mark,

Get current and the airlines will take care of the ATP-CTP. As long as you’re happy a Regional you definitely can.

Adam

Thank you for your time and replies to questions on topics. It seems many want to be validated as an aviator but being one is something else. No questions from me right now but maybe in the future.

Andrew68

Andrew,

Glad we can help. Feel free to post any questions that you think of.

Chris

I have around 3000 hours. I started flying when I was 15. It just got derailed. I have a degree from Embry -Riddle, and an ATP.

Heather,

Thank you for the introduction. How can we help you?

Heather,

Chris didn’t scroll up (forgive him he’s sedated :slight_smile: ). If that’s the case then you simply need to get a BFR and an IPC and most important get “comfy” and apply. The Regionals will snap you up in a heartbeat! Things have changed dramatically over the last 16yrs. Salaries have doubled (even tripled) and the Regionals need bodies and are recruiting like crazy. They’re offering hiring and retention bonuses to pilots that stay. You apply today you’ll have an interview before Friday. This is probably the best time in history to start OR RE-start your career!

Adam

Heather,

My apologies for not seeing your earlier posts. I completely agree with Adam on this one. Get all your licenses and skills up to date and you should have regional airlines fighting over you.

Chris

Thank you to you, and Adam. I was just looking for some direction. In your opinion where do you think I should go to get proficient?

Local flight school should be fine. I’d do some reading (brush up on your regs, procedures, general knowledge and such), find someplace convenient and schedule a BFR and do some flying.

Adam

Keep in mind that you will also need an Instrument Proficiency Check.