PPL First or Enroll in Pilot Career Program

Just looking for some advice on if as an older (41) newbie to make this move. What do you think is the best route, enroll in a Pilot Career Program full-time or start with a PPL program on the side while still keeping my day job?

I am so excited to be making this move but just want to make sure I am utilizing the best route to maximize my time and decision.


That really depends on you and your financial situation. If you can afford to go full time, I would certainly recommend to do so. Two reasons here, the first is that pilot training goes best when the student is available to fly everyday, this way skills get cemented and built upon day after day. You will probably find that if you are working, especially full time, while in flight school you will likely progress very slowly and not efficiently.

Secondly, everything in the airlines runs off of seniority, everything. At 41 you are certainly not on the young side of things. The sooner that you can get into the industry, the better your career potential is. A PPL with ATP will take two months, this could easily take a year with a local flight school.



At 41 you’re not too old but the clock is ticking. Literally my only regret as a pilot is I didn’t start sooner. If you’re going to do this now is the time and getting your PPL will only cost you time, money and seniority.

The only 2 reasons I recommend getting your PPL first is: a) you’re not 100% sure flying is for you or your abilities, or b) you don’t meet ATPs admission requirements.