I have a private license with 100 hours. Learned to fly when I was young. I would love to spend my last 7 to 10 years flying professionally. Is it too late? Happy flying regionals and teaching.
If you want to instruct you certainly can do that for as long as you can keep a medical. As far as the Regionals go you’re basically looking at 2yrs of training (@ $64k) and time building for a 5yr career. If that’s worth it to you then sure.
As long as you can maintain a 1st class medical then it all depends on your ability to complete your training as fast as possible and then be able to get through new hire training at a regional. If you can reach 1500 hours by age 60, the regionals will get 5 years out of you while you make less than $60k/year. As long as you have realistic expectations going in, then it could be worth it. Hard for me to say.
I personally think it is too late for you to have a career in the airlines. If you are 58 now, you will likely be 59 by the time you start training, making you 61 by the time you are airline eligible, if everything goes perfect according to plan. You might get a regional to hire you, but might not also.
I think you will find that instructing does not pay very well and that your return on your investment will not be there.
While there is no upper age limit for instructing, people do have issues holding medical certificates as they get older and there comes a point where people do not want to fly with older pilots.
I personally would spend the money flying for fun as a private pilot.
Thanks all. I appreciate your honesty. I have been giving this a lot of thought and really appreciate your feedback.
I thought you might all appreciate this. I was looking back at my log book and had some old receipts for flying in it. I did work at a small local airport in CT fueling plans and that allowed my to rent plans from the FBO at cost which was $30/hr wet. I loved flying and learned soaring first. I still love it and now that I can almost retire I thought it would be nice to end my working days doing something I always loved but the costs have gone up so much and seems like my age is an issue even though I am in good health.