Real Answers from Real Pilots

Flying in Regionals from 57 to 65 yrs-old

Hello,
I’ve just retired (early retirement) from healthcare field at 55. Am interested in the Airline Career Pilot Program with goal of flying in regionals from 57 to 65yrs of age until mandatory retirement. I am a relatively new CFI (helicopter) with ~350 hours in Robinson R22 and R44, which happened part-time while working my day job in healthcare industry. I have ~100 hours (private pilot) in fixed-wing SEL as well.

Now that I am retired, I want to fly full time, but with advanced training in airplane, with goal of flying for regionals. After 65, my goal would be to continue to teach, or perhaps fly corporate, depending upon need of the industry both from fixed-wing and helicopter standpoint.

What are your thoughts regarding my plans? Crazy, doable, worthwhile? Would regionals even hire me at 57 for career until 65yrs of age after completion of the ATP training?

Thanks so much,
Dave

Dave,

Adam had provided a detailed breakdown of this in the FAQ section, check it out and let us know what additional questions you may have.

Chris

Dave,

You can take a look as Chris said but the short answer is yes I think you’re plan is doable. The Regionals need bodies and although you can only give them 7-8 yrs, that’s how much they get from the average newhire anyway as most move on ASAP. If you’re not certain I recommend you call a few Regional airlines of interest or visit one of the many job fairs around the country and ask for yourself.

Adam

Thanks, Adam. One other question. I’m not current with my private fixed-wing SEL rating, i.e., many years since flying fixed-wing, and only 100 hrs. Would you recommend that I start from beginning of ATP program with private, or begin with the instrument portion?
Dave

Sorry about pic! Thought I was uploading to name on message header and not to body of message!
Dave

Dave,

If it were me I’d go do some flying and see how you feel? Maybe a BFR and a few hours of dual and assess. I actually had my PPL but hadn’t flown for close to 10yrs when I started with ATP and that’s what I did. The rust came off pretty quick and I started with credit for my PPL and did fine. Good chance especially if you’ve been flying rotary wing as fixed is like driving a car by comparison!

Oh and don’t give us that “Sorry about pic” nonsense. You were just showing off your sweet ride :wink:

Adam

Thanks Adam. lol, yes, sweet ride… owner/operator has a red 44 that we fly too :wink:

Question regarding student housing… I would be able to stay at my brother’s place in Frankfort if I’m able to train in Louisville ATP location, which is about 40 miles away. Any issues with commuting to training? Do students get to pick their primary training site?
Dave

Dave,

40mi isn’t terrible but be aware you’ll be doing that commute EVERYDAY (min 5days a week) and there will be some long days. I’m not familiar with the traffic in that area but if it’s not bad and the drive is <45min than sure why not? Of course you can pick your location (you’re the customer after all) and that’s where you’ll be aside from the crewing portion (where you’ll be flying around building time) and your CFI training where you’ll be sent to Jacksonville, Atlanta or Vegas.

Adam

Dave,

I don’t see a need to start completely over, but I would definitely spend some time at a local flight school getting current. If you do that, you should be fine with starting with credit for private.

Chris

Dave,
Thanks for posting your question. I just turned 53 and I am currently working in healthcare as well, but need a change. I have always wanted to fly since I was a child, but never pursued my dream. I’m debating whether it would be beneficial to spend the amount of money it takes to go from 0 hours to commercial. I too, want to fly regionals, since I will only have about 10 years to fly before mandatory retirement. I have a few medical issues that require a special issuance for my 1st class medical. So, now it’s up to me to get to the AME and wait for the FAA to approve the special issuance, then I can move on. Thanks again for asking this question.

Get your medical issues sorted before you head to the AME and find one that will work with special issuances. Some of them won’t. You can cut your wait time tremendously if you have all the necessary paperwork and tests done before your exam. Then following your deferral to OK City you can immediately overnight everything the FAA will be asking for anyway.

Thanks Sergey. I have found an AME who will work with special issuances, his office is helping gather the necessary paperwork, as well as helping to set up any necessary tests, before the exam.

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