Real Answers from Real Pilots

Age limit

What’s the age limit for someone to become a pilot

All airline pilots in the US have to retire before reaching the age of 65. There is no upper limit on becoming a pilot, but your prospects for employment with the airlines decrease dramatically as one approaches age 65.

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Right now I am 48 and I became interested in becoming a pilot, not necessarily for big airlines but maybe as helicopter pilot.

With the pilot shortage, do you guys see the FAA adding any time to the mandatory retirement age at 65? Maybe changing it to something like 68?

Jose,

Nothing wrong with helicopters just know there are far fewer opportunities than there are for fixed wing pilots. The airline industry is HUGE and offers many positions. With heli’s you’re talking traffic/news, oil rig service, police or tourism.

Adam

Cameron,

2 years ago Japan raised the age to 67 so there has been some talk but nothing concrete. Personally I think if you can maintain you’re medical you should be allowed to fly but no one’s asking me so…

Adam

Cameron,

I do not see the FAA retirement age changing anytime soon. It took an act of Congress to change it the first time and there has been absolutely no movement to change it. There comes a point where people just need to retire. The mind slows, the physical reaction slows and the FAA knows this. The pilot shortage is the airlines’ problem, not the FAA’s.

Chris

Jose,

Helicopter training can be very expensive and it often does not pay as well as the airlines. I have also heard that, at least in the gulf coast area, that helicopter pilots are no longer in demand because of the reduction in the oil industry. That being said, I know very little about the helicopter industry and am just relaying what I have heard. I would do some serious research into this before committing to go down this path.

Chris