I have been a police officer for almost 25 years now. I plan on retiring in December of 2024 at the age of 49. I’ve always wanted to be a pilot and actually began my training for a PPL but life situations and 9/11 brought my training to a halt. My question is, would it be a waste of my time to enroll in an ATP class at the age of 49? I really want my second career to be in the pilot profession but not sure if my dream is unattainable because of my age. I’m figuring by the time I get to 1500 hrs, I’d be around the 52-53 year old mark. That leaves me a nice 14-15 years to work as a pilot commercially, and even longer privately (corporate). What are your thoughts on this issue? I realize I won’t have enough time to earn seniority and most likely won’t ever sit left seat, but I fine with that. I love aviation and the profession and just want to fly but would like to be paid for it as a career. Thanks for any insight you can offer.
This is by far our #1 faq. The answer is simple. As long as you’re realistic about your goals, no you’re not wasting your time. If however you have fantasies of being a 787 Capt for Delta flying to Narita, that’s probably not going to happen.
Lol. Yeah I kind of figured I wouldn’t be left seating a wide body to Japan….but hey, this is a crazy world we live in and crazier things have happened. But seriously, I just looking to have a second career making decent money (nothing like a wide body Capt) and most of all, a career I truly enjoy doing. Sitting right seat at a major or regional or even corporate is fine by me. Thanks Adam for your quick response.
I would not count on going too many years past 65 in the corporate world. At some point, people do not want to see grandpa flying their family around.
I was able to combine my military years with my law enforcement years and retire in 2021 at 38. I flew corporate before the airlines and met several guys in their mid to late 60s still flying the business jets. What will that look like 15 years from now? Who knows. In my new hire class this past spring for a legacy airline I was 40 years old and in the lower half of seniority for the class (based on age). There were that many new hires older than me in class and in todays environment it is very possible they will be 737/320 captains. If you get the hours with ATP I imagine you’ll have your 1500 in about two years and then if the hiring environment is the same as it is today you could possibly go anywhere you want.
Life is good after law enforcement.