30 year old shutting down my business to become an airline pilot

Hi, my name is Robert wiseman. Since I was a kid, I’ve always wanted to fly. My parents joke about my first word being airplane. I currently live in Venice, Fl and own and operate a small painting business. Unfortunately we were hit by a catastrophic hurricane and a lot of my clients homes were destroyed which has caused me to lose much of my business. I want to pursue my dream of becoming a pilot. Has anyone ever seen a 30 year old become a pilot? I’m worried that I won’t qualify for financial aid as my credit isn’t the best because I did a debt consolidation recently. My main question is if it’s possible for a 30 year old person to reach my dreams although my financial situation isn’t optimal right now and I will have to find a way to survive for a couple years as a full time student and a ton of bills.

I’m 36 and about to make a career change as well. 30 is definitely not too old. I think once you start to hit mid 40’s is when you need to think long and hard if it’s worth it. Let’s say it takes 5 years to get your ratings and 1500 hours. You can do it faster that’s being conservative. That leaves 30 years flying Jets.

Adam’s gonna love this one. :wink:


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Thanks for the intro Ben and yes you’re right, I do.

Again, for the 862,994th time, where did everyone get this idea that 30 was too old to fly? You’re actually longer than the average age when most start (33). Further right now salaries are the highest ever in history and the Regionals are offering hiring, retention bonuses and tuition reimbursement over $100k so the whole “survive” thing is really out the window.

I STRONGLY suggest you spend some quality time browing this forum and the ATP website where you’ll find the answers to many commonly asked questions and outline the process.


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Your age will not be a limiting factor. Your finances may be, as it is for most. Most finance their training and most also need a co-signer.

More importantly, not everyone can or should be a pilot either. If you haven’t taken an intro flight or taken any lessons then I suggest that you start there before considering if there will be any other obstacles to overcome.



I knew someone that started in their 40s and they’re almost finished with the program. Must I say they had a newborn a few months prior to entering ATP’s program.

You need to take an introductory flight to see if being a pilot would be fitting for you. We can’t tell you whether you’re going to be a great pilot or not, a program like ATP’s is accelerated, it isn’t a 4-year university or academy that makes you acquire a degree while getting your ratings. It’s a 7-month program. It’s a full time commitment

For finances, most if not all have to find financing, it isn’t uncommon. What is common is having the need to get a co-signer which is more often the case. Banks are lending you thousands of dollars risking not receiving payment so they want to find a secure way of getting their return.