Real Answers from Real Pilots

Getting back in the saddle

I am a 55year old with a AirlineTransport Pilot Certificate issued back in December 1994. I also have my BS in Aviation Management Technology in 1992. I am at 1890 hours with 43 hours of B200 time-I figure I’m trainable. NO current flight time. I have no health issues/ and take no meds, a 1st class medical would be no problem. I stopped flying in 1995 to be home as we started to have kids. My five kids are all starting to move out now. I am currently a RN in Federal law enforcement. I prefer to go back to flying, and yes, I have the wife’s permission- Ha. I wondered if ATP has any type of program to get me up to speed or any suggestions on written material, to study, to help the process. I have somewhat kept up with technology through experimental aviation but my steam gauge mentality has me way behind the modern cockpit. I had talked with a couple of Captains with a regional and major airlines recently and they informed me I could easily get on with the regionals but the majors were out of the question-made since to me. Do you think any of the regionals would be willing to help out financially if I signed an agreement to stay with them for a number of years? I live in Tucson Arizona.

Victor,

ATP doesn’t have a program and I honestly don’t believe you need one. What you need is currency and that’s all. If I were you I’d do some studying (the FAA has TONS of manuals FREE online, https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/), then go down to your local FBO. Go up a few times with an instructor, get a BFR and an IPC and when you feel warm and fuzzy apply to the Regional of your choice. Not sure what type of help you need financially as that shouldn’t be too expensive.

Adam

Victor,

ATP really does not offer partial training programs as they specialize in total emersion training. I would recommend that you find a local flight school that has glass cockpit airplanes and spend several hours getting checked out, along with a BFR and IPC.

There are not any regionals that will provide you with financial assistance in advance, but you will be eligible for signing bonuses at the airlines that offer them.

Chris

Thank you gentlemen for your response. I’m still not sure if I will go back to commercial flying as I would be giving up my Federal retirement. I don’t believe with Regional pay I can make the financial difference at the 65yr mandatory retirement age (assuming I make it right?). Oh… how I hate adult decisions sometimes. There is a Federal area of Customs Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Division which has numerous opportunities for the younger folks or prior military. They fly fixed wing and helicopters. I’m going to look into them as well. I could keep my retirement this way.
Congratulations Adam, on your upgrade to Captain. I was prior enlisted Navy from 1981-86 and the term “Captain” meant you were the Commanding Officer of the ship so that term has numerous good meanings to me.

You all have a great day. Victor Bowles

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