Real Answers from Real Pilots

Best Age to Start

What is the best age to get into this field? I’ve seen many folks who start early in their teenage years or early 20s get washed out for various reasons and don’t make it all the way up to the airlines. People who start between the ages of 25-35 seems have a better chance of making all the way through.

Someone correct me if I’m wrong but this is why ATP requires you to have college experience, a PPL, or work experience. From what has been said before, they had a lot of people coming right out of highschool going to ATP and not being able to handle it. I also think it has to do with some younger people’s work ethic and thinking that they paid ATP and that is supposed to make them a pilot? In the end, I it comes down to each individual and how much they are actually going to dedicate themselves to their training.

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I have to agree with Tucker. While I hate to make sweeping indictments of any segment of the population, there is a reason ATP has the requirements they have. It would be simple for ATP to have none (like most flight schools) and just take money and watch them fail. That’s not who ATP is or what they do (and one of the many reasons I respect the company). That all said obviously there are many young people have tremendous dedication and work ethics and the reverse is true as well.

Adam

WS,

I think that the earlier you can start, the better, but it really depends on the student. I have flown with plenty of pilots that got their private license at 17 and then continued on with their training, they did well because they were dedicated. I got my private at 22 and the rest of my ratings at 23, I worked hard and did well with it. It really just depends on the dedication level that each student has.

That being said, I do feel that it is best for students to complete college first, then go to flight training. I feel that the maturity that is gained in college really helps and of course the education helps with the goal of getting to a major.

Chris