50+ looking to start in 2022?

Encore career in Golden Years?

Anybody looking to take the leap in 2022 while staring at 50? (Or above : )

TTN (Trenton-Mercer Airport?)


Hey Michael…
Currently I’m 38 and just got done my IFR and starting my CPL. Where I train there is 55 and his wife 53 years old couple both engineer and they both looking forward to get into airline career you have up to 65 to do this and make money out of flying now totally your call On this. make sure you want to do this as a career because it’s gonna take a lot of time and money to get to that point


I see a few question marks but are there any questions we can answer for you?


Hello Adam,

Ok to be a commuter while in program? I’m about 45 minutes from TTN. Also, is it a 9-5 M-F only. Or I suppose with weather maybe weekends as well?


(Btw, the only constraint I have is me!)

……unlimited time on simulator? : )


We are happy to help, but most of your questions can be answered by spending a bit of time on ATP’s website. There is a wealth of information there that can really explain the program in-depth on that website.

With that in mind, commuting 45 minutes should be fine. While it is generally M-F, 9-5, there will be times when you need to fly nights, or weekends, and there will be a period of two weeks where you need to travel for CFI school. There is unlimited simulator time, dependent on availability.



The program is not 9-5 M-F. It’s a full-time commitment and while you probably won’t be training 7 days a week, you will need to be available. Weather can and will often require schedule shifts and you’ll need to be able to accommodate those shifts. I actually instructed in TTN and the airport often experiences very high winds. There are also night requirements which must be met, cross country trips. If you’re not actually in training you’ll need to be studying. ATP compresses what usually takes years into months. This requires a tremendous amount of work. If you’re thinking you’ll be “off” on nights and weekends you won’t be.

Depending on availability, yes sim time is unlimited.


Thank you Chris and Adam for your timely responses. Yes, I’m available 24/7, but was going to do the commute option for a bit of flexibility.

I will embrace the overnights, cross country etc, as it’s nice to feel relevant.

My plans if I read correctly, was to knock out the written over Jan/Feb, starting closer to March. Of course getting physical check up prior or it’s game over.

(At 6.2 and some change and maybe 250 after a shower, I seem to be at the limits? Do I need to size up the Cessna?)


You should be fine on the height/weight but those are hard limits so you don’t want to be “around” 250. Your AME will weigh you and that weight will be on your medical certificate.

Also know at 50 for your First Class you’ll need an EKG. If there’s any question as to your health (including past issues) you’ll want to do that sooner than later because you will not be able to start the program without one.


I will go for the full check up ASAP. I’m carrying a bit of ‘holiday/winter weight’ now but can easily shave off 10-15. No issues ever, never even took an aspirin, Advil etc. Time, water and a nap is my medicine cabinet.


While that sounds great, if say your blood pressure is high, the FAA would rather you be taking a pill then flying around at a risk for stroke. You need to get checked.


Will do and report back!

I’m about the same distance from KTTN, it’s plenty commutable if you have the will to get up early a few times. I’ve been pretty lucky to mostly miss the rush hour around Philly for the most part.

We have a pretty small training center, but we have everything you need. The Archer sim is pretty busy during the weekday, but it is usually free after 1600 or so. You can see the schedule on the extranet as a student to make plans. We also have a great deli about 5 minutes away if you need a quick bite to eat. So if you want to spend a lot of time there, it’s more than doable.

Best of luck to you.

1 Like

Thank you Clarence! I did see a Primo Hoagie on the map? My weakness, a turkey hoagie.

Glad I will not miss out as a commuter. I did same in college and always felt I missed a lot not staying on campus! Not sure when doors open up, but I’m up at 5:00 everyday (old banking habit) and have no issues staying until work is completed. What are the hours of the training facility?

Deli-licious is the spot, trust me, haha.

Depends on the time of year. In the winter with short days, we have flights that start at 0700 and the last flight usually lands about 1600 maybe 1700 or so. Longer in the summer, obviously.

We have T-hangars for the Archers in the winter and the Seminole lives in the community hangar. The Seminole can fly regular training flights at night and with circling minimums where the Archers have a 1000 AGL ceiling limitation and only FAR required night flights.

Inside of those limitations we fly as much as we can. We have been fortunate and had plenty of planes recently, the other week we had 4 Archers out on the ramp. I think we are down to 2 or 3 at the moment. The simulators are scheduled whenever they are needed. I’ve seen people on events from about 0700 to 2100 a couple times in the summer.

Other than that, Signature is staffed 24/7 and the training center is always available.

Ok Clarence,

I will try out that Deli spot! As a closet foodie, love trying new places. Ok cool, I’m glad hours are extended as I have no issues ‘putting the time’ in. Funny, I live within walking distance of an airport with a school. But after reading about ATP and this forum, this is the place for me! Regimented, protocol and condensed since I’m not a spring chicken anymore. (I looked at a dozen schools across the area, ATP seems to be the Cadillac Class!)

Ok, I’m hoping 2022 my break out year doing something I always wanted to do, but life has a way of getting in the way sometimes.

I am content after reading posts I will not make it to the Majors, but will still wear a smile from ear to ear in the Regional world.

Thank you Mehdi for your response. Ok, I read a lot about those in my stage of life looking to take the plunge, nice to see more examples of.


Cool man, good luck to you, maybe I’ll be seeing you around!

If I can can give you any advice, start now with the knowledge tests if you know you’re going to start. You can take them any time. Being done with them all early will really help out. Gives you time to focus on the flying.

So buy the testing material now, not wait for ATP to send when sign up?

I believe its once you officially sign up and confirm a class date you’ll receive student extranet access and can activate you included King schools subscription for Private and Instrument. You’ll also receive the box that has the plotter, E-6B and the FAA books. All the FAA books are available in digital form on the FAA.gov site, or through foreflight (if you already have it) and I’m sure other places.

It’s individual how much time it will take to complete the knowledge tests, but I would give yourself time to complete as many of them as you can before your check-in date. It just gives you that much more time to focus on the flight training portion instead of dividing your attention.