Hello. I am new to the forum. I have been perusing many of the topics and posts, and am already convinced this will be a valuable source of insight looking ahead.
I apologize in advance if I am repeating a topic. I have made a genuine effort to review the FAQ before creating this topic.
I have seen many people discussing working toward an aviation career beginning in mid-life, already discouraged, worried they are “too old.”
A common theme I see, though, is most of these folks are discussing starting from at or near zero time, still working toward their PPL. I suffer a different conundrum, however…
2020 will see me turn 46. I am a Commercial Pilot/CFI with over 2000 hours TT, nearly 500 XC, and roughly 100 Instrument. I’m also endorsed Hi Performance and Complex. I am instrument rated but not current. Unfortunately, I do not have a Multi rating…yet. I presently hold a 2nd Class Medical and have no health issues.
I am a family man of good moral character with a clean background. My marriage of 23 years is stable, and my now grown kids are (mostly) well adjusted and beginning their own journeys.
I have been working part time for over 7 years as an independent contract pilot doing aerial surveillance in a single. I have kept my CFI current, but am not presently an active Instructor.
Additionally, I am the proud owner of a restored '59 Comanche 250, which I fly as often as possible.
I am nearing the 20 year mark with my full time job. I have a great retirement plan, and could retire this year if I wanted to take a major pay cut- my retirement is based on age over years of service, so I would have to wait until about age 54 or later to maximize that.
Well, I don’t see myself going another 9 years at this job…and I have absolutely no intention of staying home on the couch when finally I do pull that trigger!
My plan A was always to be an airline pilot. As many have shared here, life has a knack for getting in the way sometimes, and mine sure did. I was on a fast track to a local 135 op here in SoCal, but things changed. I have NO regrets… but I am on the downhill side of this chapter, and looking ahead to the next…
So I guess my questions begin, is ATP even a good fit for me? I’ve researched the site, perhaps not deeply enough, and found options for Zero time versus credit for the PPL… what about if one holds additional ratings and certificates? Are there “finish up” programs offered? I’ve seen some postings here alluding to ratings earned elsewhere being cause for concern…
My short to mid term goals include (finally) obtaining my Multi, perhaps MEI, and working toward that ATP rating. As far as future career ambitions, I have no illusions about ever captaining a wide body, but who knows?
The next phase of my life WILL involve aviation. I’d really like my clothes to smell of Jet-A versus the smell of AvGas for a change. As I said, I have no illusions, and don’t think I’d necessarily feel unfulfilled if I chased my sunset in a Regional… or a cargo outfit… but hey, if a Legacy finds me interesting someday, even for one of their single aisles, I’ll listen…
I thank you in advance for any insight or suggestions you have to offer.