Real Answers from Real Pilots

Does the school officers part time program?

Hello everyone and Happy New Year.

Does the school officers a part time program? I am currently 40 years old and I am locked in with my job for another six years, due to my retirement package. I will be 46 when I am retired and looking start flying right the way. Is it possible for me during the next six years to start and finish school, gain experience, and still have enough time to make this as a second career?

I do have my bachelor degree and I am also a military member.


ATP offers a Self-Paced option but honestly if you’re going to be locked in for the next 6yrs you might want to wait. So much can change between now and then.

I do have to say there’s a big difference entering the industry at 40 vs 46 and you’ll find you options and earning potential will be severely diminished. Something to think about.


Being locked for 6 years, I would wait until at least two years away to start thinking of programs and start dates. You could do the flex track program while you finish out your time there or wait until you finish and knock out the fast track program. No matter what option you do, you’d be hitting ATP mins at about 48 years old. Not only is earning your ratings and time building difficult but initial 121 training is even more intense. At your age it would be tough but not out of the question. You’d be looking at about 17 years left to fly 121 operations. In these next four years, take some time to really think about what you want and if you think you’d be ready to take on a challenge like that late in the game.


Check with Admin about the Flex Track Program. My opinion though, I think spreading your training out over the span of six years is not a good idea and will cost you considerably more in the long run. Flying is a diminishing skill as well. I would wait until you get closer to retirement unless you just wanted to fly for fun of course.


Thank you Adam for your input, it definitely helps by putting this in perspective.

Thank you Hannah for replying and giving your angle to think about!

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Thank you Tory, I do appreciate your reply with the input.

Of course, that’s what we are here for! Please let us know if you have any other questions.