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Old 06-10-2006, 12:16 AM   #1  
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Lightbulb Is 36 too old to start?

Hi everyone,
I'm 36 years old and I've been in the Concert Industry for 15 years now and I feel it's time for a change of career. (since the Concert industry doesn't really have an "escape" plan)

I've always wanted to be an airline pilot, and I am hearing mixed opinions on whether or not it's worth it to start at my age.

I realize the mandatory retirement age is 60, so I know that if I start now, I only have about 22 years or so to fly commercial.

I'm not married, nor do I have children, so it's not like someone will suffer if I go to school for the next 14 months.

I've been looking at this Regional Air Academy in Phoenix. Anybody heard of it?

Thanks

Last edited by PhantomAir; 06-11-2006 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 06-10-2006, 12:58 AM   #2  
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"I've been looking at this Regional Air Academy in Phoenix. Anybody heard of it?"

Yeah, nice website, not so nice comments from most on the net. Do a search here and at jetcareers.

You're not too old but don't expect to hit the big time without a degree and just starting out now. Do some research at the academy forums and check out some smaller schools to see if you're a fit. 14 months is enough time to get your CFI just about anywhere and begin to build time towards a better job. Especially see DesertDog71's posts and blog at jetcareers.

Last edited by de727ups; 06-10-2006 at 01:01 AM.
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Old 06-10-2006, 07:43 AM   #3  
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Thanks for the encouragement. They are actually offering an online course to get a BS in Aviation that can be done in the time I am going to flight school.

Supposedly, you can graduate with a 4 year degree in under 18 months.
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Old 06-10-2006, 07:46 AM   #4  
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Go check out www.ALLATPS.com

I would do the BA/BS on-line thru University of Phoenix then attend ATP for all my rathings.

Good luck,
LAFF
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Old 06-10-2006, 08:27 AM   #5  
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Don't get yourself in a financial mess trying to become an airline pilot...It's a great job, but your years of earning are fixed by your age...Not impossible to do...But you have a steep hill in front of you...Good luck.
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Old 06-10-2006, 10:43 AM   #6  
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PhantomAir:

No! Thirty-six (36) isn't to old. I'm 44 yrs old and will be starting my flight training later this month or the first of July. Afterwards, I hope to enroll in ATP's ACPP around the first of the year. I just recently found an instructor here in the Naples, FL area after getting genuine advise from quite a few of the guys that post on this particular thread and forum. In time, you'll figure out who they are.

Just as LAFF suggested, I recommend www.atpflightschool.com. After months of research, advise and comperative shopping, IMHO, ATP exceeds all others. Again, that's JMO.

At any rate...(V1...rotate...gear up...blue skies)

atp

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Old 06-10-2006, 11:52 AM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhantomAir
Hi everyone,
I'm 36 years old and I've been in the Concert Industry for 15 years now and I feel it's time for a change of career. (since the Concert industry doesn't really have an "escape" plan)

I've always wanted to be an airline pilot, and I am hearing mixed opinions on whether or not it's worth it to start at my age.

I realize the mandatory retirement age is 60, so I know that if I start now, I only have about 22 years or so to fly commercial.

I'm not married, nor do I have children, so it's not like someone will suffer if I go to school for the next 14 months.

I've been looking at this Regional Air Academy in Phoenix. Anybody heard of it?

Thanks
You could reasonably do it if you keep a few things in mind...

1) Start RIGHT NOW!

2) Research pay and lifestyle at regional airlines. If a large regional has a large base in your town or a town you would love to live in, then your quality of life would be greatly enhanced.

3) Assume that you will spend your entire career at a regional. Accept the payscale of that. While it is possible you might get hired at a major, you would be so old that by the time you paid your dues at the major, it would be retirement time.

4) It is very likely, not guaranteed, that the retirement age will be raised above 60. However, it becomes more difficult to retain your medical beyonf age 55. A really healthy life style helps.

5) Research flight schools extensively on the internet, you have a LOT of reading to do. Avoid big-name "glossy-brochure" flight schools...they usually charge tens of thousands of dollars more than necessary and may or may not treat you well. Yes, we've heard of RAA. There is some good reading on RAA and other similar schools on the internet...see flightinfo.com

6) Plan to work as a flight instructor. Since you can relocate, you can find a job that has year-round, high-volume operations and you can really rack up the time quickly.

7) Get a private pilot license FIRST, before you quit your job. That way you will learn if you really enjoy flying that much, and you will get to know some CFI's and other folks in the industry and get a feel for things.

Last edited by rickair7777; 06-10-2006 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 06-10-2006, 03:21 PM   #8  
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PhantomAir: Absolutely it can be done. I took my first lesson at the ripe ole age of 36 on 12/28/2000. It has been about 5 years and 5 months since and I am now flying for my second regional. (I got the job with the first one just after 4 years of flying.) By the way, my sim partner was just starting his second career and he was 48. As I am sure you have seen on this and other sites, the pay sucks at the regionals, as well as a few other quality of life issues so as long as you are prepared for that, you might as well go after your dreams. One other piece of advice: Have you considered the option of buying a small IFR plane (Cessna 152 or Cherokee) and finding a local instructor? Then you can build a lot of time at a fraction of the cost. That is the route I took and I saved a ton of money. Once you get into it and start meeting people, you may find other opportunities that can help you build time. I am type rated in the King Air 300 just because I to the right guy at the right time...and I was not even trying. Anyway, good luck and have fun in the process! CTL
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Old 06-10-2006, 04:38 PM   #9  
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it can be done...
im almost 40 and have my cfi/i and just started 3yrs ago..
big student loans and not much income, but I am excited to go to work and fly. I enjoy teaching and look forward to getting my mei and then to the airlines...
get your private and head to atp. I know alot of pilots that are a product of the atp program and they are very competent pilots. Twin time is a big deal... so are the cfi/i and mei..
You have to study like crazy
good luck
adios
S
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Old 06-10-2006, 06:13 PM   #10  
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Thanks for the great advice everyone.
I did find this place in my hometown of Denver Colorado.
Its called http://mcairaviation.com

Can someone give it a look and give me their opinion?

Thanks again !
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