Will I be too old?

I will be 56 years old this November.
I have a Private w/ 225 hours SEL.
I live in Ventura County, CA, a few miles from Camarillo Airport.
I retire from my current career in a year and 10 months.
I am am interested in starting the ATP Flex program at Camarillo.
I believe I could finish it over the span of the next 10 months.
I then wonder if I could instruct at ATP at Camarillo part time for the remaining year before I retire, then instruct full time afterwards, until I got the necessary hours to get hired with someone.
So, if I am almost 59 when I have the hours, do I have a realistic chance of getting hired?
Any advice would be appreciated.

I have no expectations of ever getting to the majors, would simply enjoy flying professionally until 65, then see what I could do with the experience I obtained after.


This is a tough one, a fe short months ago, I would have said yes, you do stand a great chance. With the slow down in the industry, I am not so sure. A few things to think about with your plan though:

  1. ATP hires full time instructors, there are no part time positions available.
  2. There are other flying positions available past the age of 65, they range from something like flying sky divers, to flying corporate jets. Many of these jobs take connections to get, but you will build connections while you flight train, etc.

I would love to tell you that you have a shot and tell you that a regional would love to hire you, but we are in the business of honesty here and the best I can say is that I really do not know.



The real problem is the current pandemic and uncertain time line for recovery. Today, Oct 1 hundreds of experienced pilots with significant flight time will be furloughed. Those pilots will be on the street looking for whatever flying jobs they can find. Once we recover they’re sure to return to their jobs and there will most likely still be a return of the shortage. Problem is no one knows when that will happen and every year longer it takes is one less you can fly. I do believe as the furloughed pilots return to the airlines there will be opportunities for other flying that they vacate but I’m not sure exactly what you have in mind?


Thank you very much for the replies. I appreciate all your help.

Do pilots with the most seniority or least seniority get furloughed first?


Its ALWAYS least seniority. Last in first out.


Even if ATP does not hire part time instructors, I still hope to instruct locally at Camarillo to build up my time to get picked up by someone. Ideally, flying for an airline until I am 65, then see where I can take my experience, whether it is flying cargo or corporate, or the Missionary field.

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Ok thanks