A new chapter in life

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.




No ATP is not for you (not sure why you think they would be?). You simply need to a) get your ME rating and get instrument PROFICIENT (not just current) and b) contact the Regional of your choice and get hired.

While most Regionals require 25hrs of ME time, not all do. Some will help you finish up in the sim. Worst case you’ll need to buy/fly those 25 ME hours but that’s it (again I’d make some inquiries before I got the time) The Regional will get you your ATP as part of your newhire training. End of story.

Again, worst case you’re 25 ME hrs from flying jets. Sure you’re a little late to the party but it’s still going strong. Get crackalacken!


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I appreciate your time, sir. Thanks!

Got it


ATP is not for you. I suggest going out, getting your multi and 25 hours of multi time, then applying to the airlines. You will probably be surprised at how quickly they call you.



Sir, I appreciate the response! 2020 is going to be a year of some big changes for me.


Sir, again, I appreciate your response, as well as your candor!

I have seen in some other posts, there are some people who think you a bit condescending and coarse. You actually remind me of an old friend/associate, went by “Tony Q,” who hailed from Long Island Queens (I see in your bio you hail from The Bronx, it all makes sense!). I, however, get you, and as I said I appreciate your candor and straightforward advice.

My questions have been answered…but if its it’s all the same I’d like to continue monitoring this forum, as I still find it very insightful!

Thanks all,


Moi? Never! :wink:


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We pride ourselves in giving straight forward, no BS answers on this website. Adam is just keeping it real :slight_smile:

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