Real Answers from Real Pilots

At 45, am I too old to pursue a flying career?

Hi, I am 45 and am working on my PPL. I have been for several years. I have had to stop and start back more times than I can count for financial reasons. I soloed 2 years ago and I have about 125 hours. I have taken the written exam twice and passed both times. I now have to take it, yet again! I have been looking into Fast Track programs but I can’t qualify for a big loan like that. I do not have a co-signer. Does anyone have any advice on how to proceed and if my age will limit me? Should I give up on my dream??? Thank you!!!

Susan

Susan,

As to your age, it can definitely limit you as the FAA imposes a mandatory retirement age of 65. Take a look in the “FAQ” section for a detailed breakdown of how age affects airline career progression.

Without a co-signer, it will be very hard to gain financing. These are unsecured loans, so the banks look very carefully at them.

I wish I had better news for you, but this is the reality.

Chris

Susan,

As Chris says at 45 you have 20 yrs left to fly, BUT, that’s if you started TODAY. Now that’s not bad but as you’ve already discovered training part or in your spare time is not the way to go. At this point you really either have to make a decision. If there’s some way to secure the financing and get serious about your training than you can have a very nice 18 yrs as an airline pilot but to continue the way you have is just throwing more good money after bad.

Adam

Thank you, Chris. Feeling discouraged. I appreciate your response and the information. Not sure what to do…

Thank you, Adam. I just wish I had saved up the money FIRST and then went all in with my training for my private. Not sure where my love of aviation will take me but, I won’t give up on it quite yet! :blush: