Real Answers from Real Pilots

Old urges coming back to he a pilot

Hello,
My name is Joshua Davis and I have been currently getting the urge to become a pilot. As a kid I wanted to be a pilot. Wanted to fly the F-14 Tomcat. But as I grew older I took a different road. I have been a welder and welding for the last 15 years. I have recently taken a 2nd job on at the airport in Indianapolis as a cargo helper sorting mail for the flights the next day. So as I have started working there Fedex is just next to it. And I constantly watch these Fedex planes land and take off. And well it’s putting the urge back in me to be a pilot. I’m 36 years old and have a background of welding. How or what is the best way to get in the position I need to be in as a pilot. I think my ultimate goal in the end is to become a pilot for Fedex or any other cargo companies out there.

Thanks,
Joshua Davis

Joshua,

The process is fairly simple albeit time consuming, costly and requiring a considerable amount of commitment. You need to get training and earn all your licenses, ratings and then build some time to gain experience and get hired. I suggest you spend some time browsing this forum for more details on most common and then follow up with more specific ones if you need.

Adam

Joshua,

the very first thing that you need to do is to take an introductory flight. That is the only real way to tell if flying is right for you. It is one thing to watch airplanes come and go, it is quite another to actually fly an airplane.

Beyond that, you are definitely behind the age curve when it comes to getting into the industry. You need to find an accelerated program that can get you to the airlines quickly. Also, at some point, you will need to get a college degree if you intend on flying for the majors, although it is not necessary on the regional level.

Feel free to ask us whatever questions you think of and please spend some serious time exploring this website. You will find a huge amount of information on here.

Chris

Thanks so much for the advice.

Thanks so much for the advice. What would you consider an accelerated
program. Is there age requirements to becoming a pilot. As far as the
college degree I have one for welding technology. It’s a trade school
diploma so not sure if that would actually count. And what about the
introductory flight. How does that work.

Joshua,

The Majors want a 4yr university degree BUT if you aspire to fly cargo Atlas does not and if you did work for a FedEx feeder you could possibly sneak in? As for the intro flight it’s simply a matter of going to your local flight school and saying “Hi, I wanna go for an intro flight” and they’re certain to get you up. If there’s an ATP location nearby I recommend you go there as their Intro flight is considerably more extensive and informative (about the program) than most local schools. That said the goal is to get airborne so whatever’s convenient will work.

Adam

Joshua,

By college degree we mean an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university, a trade school degree will not be sufficient.

There are various age requirements, but the only one that applies to you is having to retire by the time you reach the age of 65. I would consider ATP’s program to be an accelerated program, it takes you from no flight time to having all of your certificates and licenses in nine months.

Chris