OK, before I make a huge leap, what are my real expectations of becoming a “PAID” commercial pilot at my age of 60? I currently have my PPL SEL and 100 hours total time. I have my BS degree and an MBA. I soloed quickly and see no problem in getting the additional ratings/time. I have no health issues, so a First Class medical can be attained. I am guessing 1 to 1.5 years to get the required minimum flight time. I am aware of the age 65 cut-off. Realistically, would a regional hire me for just the 3 to 4 years I could fly for them? I have no aspirations to fly that 777 for American, so being at the Regionals for my time works just fine for me.
I hate to be the dream killer here, but I see no possibility of an airline hiring you. The max time you could fly for a regional is three years. If you are 60.5 now and it takes you 1.5 years, that makes you 62, leaving you 3 years left to fly. I just don’t see an airline being willing to invest so much money in somebody for such a short term return.
Thanks Chris, that is the conclusion I am coming to also. I enjoy flying, so best to save the time and money and just buy that nice used C182 someday. No whining first class passengers to satisfy!
Exactly. Just go fly and have fun!
If the airlines is your dream, you could email the recruiting department and see what they say, but I wouldn’t count on it. If flying for compensation is your goal, Part 135 ops doesn’t have a retirement age so that could be a possibility!
Hope this helps!
I just talked to a guy from Skywest and they said they don’t discriminate based on age. They said they would hire someone at 64 if they applied. Something to think about.
Whether they’d hire him or not, paying $60k to work for 3 years and sit on Reserve at the bottom of a seniority list is a poor return on Mark’s investment.
Of course the person from SkyWest said that, they have to. Now whether or not they would actually hire somebody at that age is a different story.
I have similar questions as Mark. I am recently retired at 58 and considering taking the ATP Airline Program. I have my PPL with over 100 hours and would like to be CFI and maybe fly for charter. Do you think this is a good investment to make?
There’s definitely work out there as the pilot shortage has affected every part of the industry. That said flight instructor and light charter jobs generally don’t pay very well and as we get older it gets harder to hold a medical. While there are some great paying charter and corporate gigs, they like most desirable jobs require a fair amount of experience and a solid resume and will generally go to former airline pilots who had to retire. Only you can decide whether it’s worth the investment since there are no guarantees
I think you would be taking a very big risk in investing something that just might not have a return on it. Corporate jobs can be very hard to come by, at least the good ones, and being a CFI is certainly not lucrative. At this point for you, I would recommend just flying for fun, but that call is obviously yours to make.
Totally up to you. I would talk to some corporate flying companies first before doing anything.