Starting a flying career at fifty

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Re: Starting a flying career at fifty

Unread post by abezzi » Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:05 pm

Came back to flying at 45, got my CPL at 49, few months after moved to Botswana looking for job, got the first one flying GA8 and 2 yrs after started to flying C208, now, 4yrs after my first arrival in Botswana I fly a PC12!!!
Yes, we have no kids and my wife likes the Maun lifestyle, of course she goes to Europe twice a year to enjoy the Europe lifestyle too :D :D :D

Don't know for how long I will be able to fly, I hope as long as possible, but I can tell you that even if something happen and I will have to stop tomorrow, I will be so happy that I fulfill my dream even if for few years only!!!

Go out and chase your dreams, you'll never regret it!!!
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Re: Starting a flying career at fifty

Unread post by Daimler » Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:28 pm

Just do it!!!! Started at 46 and I enjoy every minute of it!! Do the Comm and see where it leads you :D You've waited this long, don't waste another minute. Now stop reading these comments and go sign up :D
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Re: Starting a flying career at fifty

Unread post by Mustang » Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:41 pm

Hi Will

I have received my PPL this year at age 44 and loved every bit of the training. Now I enjoy to hire&fly which is R400 per hour cheaper than with an instructor! Unfortunately I cannot do CPL full time due to business and work related challenges. I have rather decided to do the practical training for CPL as I build hours and then will write the CPL subjects as I get near to the 200 hour mark.

If you have the funds and time at hand and want a "CPL" rather sign up for the integrated CPL course and finish it as soon as practical possible!
"Aviation is a passion towards greater achievement in life!" - Julius Klokow (Mustang)
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Re: Starting a flying career at fifty

Unread post by michael_v » Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:06 pm

I started my flying career at 36. All I can say is that it is something that I wanted to do all my life, funds was the problem but I persisted. Today at 44 I have a frozen ATPL and 20 night hours away from it. I do freelance Charter work and instruction which to me is very rewarding and you get to meet a variety of people.

Few pointers that I can give you:

1. It will not be easy, exams are tough but not unobtainable
2. Age does come into play as some airlines do not even look at you after 35 even though you ace the entry exams and have the required hours but there will be airlines that do invite you to interviews, make sure you know your work. I will admit that I have made mistakes and wrong decisions that cost me employment which I hope to correct.
3. You will need to be able to work with Captains of 23/24 years of age
4. You must be willing to work strange hours very early to very late for very little money
5. Spend some time away from family and friends
6. Be very flexible
7. You will need to be able to work with people when you do charter work as you are the pilot, air hostess, ground staff, porter etc.

There can be a lot more mentioned but you will see as you go along.

To me it has been worth while. I have chosen to make it work, some have it easy others have it tough, I unfortunately had the latter because of family commitments which is now to a point where it falls in line with what I want to do but no words can describe the feeling at the end of the day when you have done the job you love. Experiences cannot be taken away from you. I have made my peace that I will not be able to make it to the big tin, but the future changes and maybe I will have that lucky break that some people get.

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Re: Starting a flying career at fifty

Unread post by paulw » Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:01 pm

Incidentally, my instructor start at a late age as well. Probably around 40? Sold his business, signed up at a school full time to do the accelerated 150 hours PL, then instructors. Instructing a lot. lived at the school basically to get each and every possible student who walked in. Thats how he became my instructor. He was there when I popped in, the others not on a Friday afternoon. Flew bodies for Avbob, etc. What ever he could to earn money and get the hours.
Fly every weekend whole weekend.
10 Years later and he is flying in Laos for some airliner after a stint in Africa for Red Cross or similar organisation.
Don't believe what I post, research what I post....
They have a book on how to take my money away? When did this happen......
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Re: Starting a flying career at fifty

Unread post by flypiper » Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:38 pm


Moet se hierdie is een van die interesante onderwerpe op Avcom en wil net vir die skrywer se ons het al n student aanvaar op 60 en hy is een van die gelukkigste vlieniers uit.
Hugo jou vlieg storie en ondervinding maak goeie leestof.

Groete en geniet die naweek.
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Re: Starting a flying career at fifty

Unread post by Kevin McCormack » Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:44 am

Great thread - I’ve just turned 57 and have been contemplating doing comm as well so reading this has really come at an opportune time! I understand that airline flying would most likely be out of reach but, given the stats on the shortage of pilots worldwide, think that charter companies may look favorably on taking on older more stable employees who would not be using them as a stepping stone to get into airlines. I’m getting close to 1000hrs TTL and am the very proud owner of an RV-7 which I intend to keep flying until medical reasons and/or good sense dictate otherwise.

“Disrupters” that have been delaying my decision are the present economy’s impact on charter flying and particularly the outcome/impact of the turnaround strategy at SAA, however the comments on this thread have tipped the balance in favor of completing comm - even if no jobs become available the increased knowledge won’t be wasted!
Life is short - live every day as if it is your last!
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Re: Starting a flying career at fifty

Unread post by flysouth » Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:40 pm

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.

Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.

I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets:

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!”

― William Hutchison Murray
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Re: Starting a flying career at fifty

Unread post by fcvanwyk » Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:59 pm

One of the best threads on Avcom for me! Have just over 200 hrs and in the middle of writing the Com subjects. Started with PPL at 42 and now at the age of 45! I am a bit alarmed at the cost of doing this... but have enjoyed the journey! I think your budget should be a monthly amount you can afford long term rather than looking at a lump sum. Started with 2 lessons a month and increased as the monthly budget became more. Go for it I would say but your return on investment may not be that good. Having said that, once you are at instructor level I have been told someone else is paying for your flying...

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