Looking for anyone who started late in life

Hey everyone! There have been tons of posts in the forums already about starting the ATP journey later in life (e.g., 35-40). I’m not here to repeat all the questions that have been answered already.

However, I am curious if anyone in the forums is actually a current middle-aged student at ATP, or started ATP later in life and has gone on to an aviation career. If you walked away from a successful career to go to ATP, even better.

If you fit the bill, and if you’re up for it, I’ve got some specific and direct questions I’d like to pass your way one-on-one. Just let me know you’re game and I’ll send you a direct message.

Appreciate the help!

Jesse

Jesse,

I’d imagine there are dozens. We get the question about starting later in life almost every day.

Speaking of wanting to find someone who has left a previous career and progressed through ATP to a successful airline career, @Adam is that guy! I’m sure he will chime in here shortly :slight_smile:

Hannah

Thanks Hannah! Appreciate the feedback.

Jesse,

As Hannah said I’m the resident old guy here. I started training with ATP at 39, flew for a Regional for 8+yrs, then moved on to a Major and am now a Capt. Keep in mind that was back in the early 2000’s, just after 9/11, there was no pilot shortage and people were fortunate just to get an interview. We’re in a brave new world we’re everyone is getting hired, upgrading and moving up the food chain faster than ever in history! Good times.

I (and the others) are happy to answer any and all but as a rule I only do so on the forum. Chances are if you’ve got a unique question it will probably help others. If it’s particularly sensitive I suggest you change your name or at least drop part of it.

Adam

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Jesse.
I am 44 and have started my first week at ATP at Phoenix/Mesa. I was in Pharmacy for 12 years and an electrician for 10 years after coming out the service (Air Force) What are your concerns, we probably share plenty. I will give you one piece of advice before you share your concerns. LISTEN TO THE MENTORS! They provide plenty of useful and honest answers to many questions.

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Angel,

I like the advice you give :wink:

Chris

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I gave up 80-90k a year job at 39 to go through ATP’s program. Its difficult, but possible. I just completed crew, working through commercial rating. The resources are plentiful, instructors are amazing. Everyone wants you to succeed, even the DPE (when i did my private checkride, he said that right before we walked out “I’m pulling for you!”) But you have to put in the work. Studying, chair flying, study some more, in addition to the actual flying. Ive had several emails after passing both my private and instrument check rides from employers wanting me to join their team so the opportunities are definitely available. What other questions do you have?

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I too am about to begin my pilot training in June at ATP Morristown, NJ. I’m 34 years old and in my 8th year as a police officer. Unfortunately, the job isn’t what it was when I started and really am beginning to have a huge disgust towards it. The pilot itch has been something that’s been with me as a kid. I loved all the flight simulators as a child and always found myself looking up at the sky. Life and school got in the way and I ended up going to college, got a 4 year degree in political science and was lucky enough to get drafted by an MLB team as a pitcher. Pitched 6 professional years before retiring for personal reasons. Both my brothers were police officers so I said what the heck I’ll give that a go. I make a good salary but everyday at work we get criticized for things others have done. Sick of the political garbage I have to deal with on a daily basis and the complete lack of respect for humanity at this point. I thought I’d be out there making a difference but tbh it’s a lost cause. I get really exited when I talk about flying and am excited to start a new journey in my life. It’s just my wife and I and my wife supports my decision and is behind me every step of the way! Thanks!

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Kyle,

Thank you for adding your insights. Please keep us up to date as you go through the program.

Chris

I left my job at a hospital after 11 years. I am 39. Passed my PPL in March, working on my instrument. Totally doable. Best decision I ever made! @Police2Pilot I am at MMU. Look forward to you joining us!

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It is quite nerve wracking to leave my job but I know in my heart and gut that it is the right move for me. Congrats on your PPL, getting the first one out of the way always feels like you have the momentum at your back! Hope to see you soon as well!

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Just submitted my loan application. We will see what happens! @Adam @Chris @Hannah @Tory looking for first week in June start

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Kyle,

Exciting! You can also get started scheduling your intro flight and training center tour and getting your first class medical if you haven’t already.

Hannah

My intro flight is this coming Monday! Do I just schedule the medical on my own before I get the loan approved and get my official start date? @Hannah

Well you need all three to secure a start date: intro flight completed, loan approved and a first class medical in hand. If you’re concerned about getting approved for the loan you could wait. The first class medical is about $100 and is good for one year, and an additional two years with third class privileges.

Here’s the link to find a local AME:
https://www.faa.gov/pilots/amelocator/

Hannah

Just heard back from Sallie Mae. Got my loan approved without a co signer… surprised actually considering all the posts I’ve read about people having to need a co signer. Going to call ATP Morristown and see when their next start date is. Intro flight is Monday at 11am. First class medical I will schedule after I call ATP. Can’t believe I’m actually doing this haha. Let’s go!

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Congrats, Kyle!

With your work history I am actually not surprised at all. I’m excited for you to begin this journey!

Tory

Kyle,

Congrats and really you shouldn’t be surprised. As Tory said you have a solid work history and obviously good credit. People bash the lenders but the fact is these are unsecured loans for a considerable amount of money. The problem is there are alot of young people out there, right out of school who have a few credit cards and live at home with few expenses and credit karma tells them they have great credit when they really just don’t have bad credit. As you see there’s a difference.

Time to start studying!

Adam

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Jesse-

It’s funny to hear 35-40 being called “later in life”. :slight_smile: I just finished training at SkyWest and was the oldest in my class (I’m 50). There were classes after me with people in their late 50s (dare I say, even early 60s). You’ll have a 25+ year career in aviation which I’m sure will be quite rewarding. What I’d offer in advice is you may have to work a little harder with your studies than your more youthful-brained classmates as things can take a little longer to “stick” for us old people. :wink:

Good luck!

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Adam,

thanks for the advise. 1st day here. being a pilot has been a dream of mine. but i came from a poor background so i could not afford college and what not. like a typical youth i destroyed my credit as a young adult. i am 48 know and somewhat financially stable and have a good credit score finally. I am thinking of applying for ATP to finally release my dream. I am hoping 48 is not to old.