Commercial Pilot question...

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by magichat101, Jun 12, 2014.

  1. magichat101

    magichat101 Filing Flight Plan

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    I have about 80 hours and have not solo'd yet do to numerous times of having to stop due to financial reasons. I have finally saved enough to go to ATP and start the career pilot program from start to finish.

    What I am asking now is that I am 26 years old... Realistically speaking do I have enough time to actually become a commercial pilot or am I too late in the game?
     
  2. Timmer

    Timmer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hello,

    I can't answer on personal experience, but I know pilots have started in their 30s and have gone on to have good careers. I'm sure you'll get some other advice, too, but I say go in with your eyes open and expectations grounded and enjoy your time :)
     
  3. Dean

    Dean Pattern Altitude

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    My instructor was in his late 40's when he started, he now flies a corporate jet for a company in St. Louis.
     
  4. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach

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    You're 26, that's practically retirement. No chance!

    Seriously, unless you're married with three in diapers you can still do it if you don't mind the initial low wages. Read through some of the medical thread here and make sure you can pass a medical certification before you make a large investment. Also understand that while ATP will make you a commercial pilot, it won't be cheap and you won't be tremendously marketable until after you've got quite a bit of instructing (or commercial flying like banner towing, aerial survey, sight seeing, etc.) under your belt.

    It make take a bit longer, but if you've got the time, keep your day job and use the cash you'd spend at ATP at a local flight school on evenings and weekends. That's how lots of us have done it. That way if you decide flying isn't for you, you still have a job.
     
  5. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    You have the time -- you are not too late.
     
  6. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route PoA Supporter

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    First, make a distinction between commercial pilot and airline pilot. The term commercial pilot includes many, many, non-airline jobs. Anyone who flies for money must have a commercial pilot certificate...airline transport pilot certificate is self-explanatory.

    You are fine for the commercial pilot certificate...with the new requirements for airline first officers you may have a steeper hill to climb.

    Bob Gardner
     
  7. Art VanDelay

    Art VanDelay Pattern Altitude

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    You'll be fine. Keep pressing onward.
     
  8. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    your never to late unless the airlines are your destination.
     
  9. Cpt_Kirk

    Cpt_Kirk En-Route

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    Pfft, the airlines will take just about anybody they can trick into signing their name on the dotted line.

    I've seen guys in their late 40's in IOE flying the -200 series CRJ.
     
  10. TommyG

    TommyG Pattern Altitude

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    At 26 you can finish all your licenses within a few months. Plan 1 to 3 years CFI. So yes absolutely you can get where you want to be.
     
  11. CFI.William

    CFI.William Pre-Flight

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    magichat101, you're not too late to the game...however...

    You need to consider your decision to become an airline pilot carefully. Since you mentioned money as being an issue, my question to you is, do you have sufficient funds to support your training needs through your flight instructor certificate? After all, you will need to build up 1,500 hours of total flight time before an airline would even touch you.

    That said, are you ready to take the ATP written before August 1, 2014? If not, you will fall under the new rules for taking the ATP written. This could potentially add up to $15,000 additional cost to your pursuit of the airline career.

    You will need enough money to get you through your Private, Instrument, Commercial, Multi-engine, CFI-A, CFI-I, and ideally, MEI; with the potential of an additional $15,000 on top of that. Of course, once you get your instructor certificates, you can make money to offset the $15,000 for ATP, but are you going to be able to get an instructor job that will be able to pay your bills as well?

    It seems to me you need to take a hard look at your financials before you continue on your path. Also do research on the airline career. It's not what it used to be and the quality of life is only getting worse for pilots; not to mention the low pay. Depending on which airline you go to, you could possibly find yourself capped at 4th year FO pay. There are many FOs out there that are on year 9 with no upgrade in sight.
     
  12. Dean

    Dean Pattern Altitude

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    There is other flying you can do to make a living, think long and hard before you work for peanuts flying a Greyhound with wings.
     
  13. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Dont let your old age bother you...:lol: I started flight training at 38 years of age, and got all my certificates by 40. I was a flight instructor for 2 years. Then decided to build time quicker by going to Alaska. After 2 years I went to a regional. So yes, you will make it if that is your goal.

    PS, I only lasted 6 months with a regional. Had to go back flying a job that payed enough for me to afford to live and eat.
     
  14. nosehair

    nosehair Cleared for Takeoff

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    PS, I only lasted 6 months with a regional. Had to go back flying a job that payed enough for me to afford to live and eat.[/QUOTE]


    This is repeated for emphasis ...
     
  15. Greg Bockelman

    Greg Bockelman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Timing is everything.
     
  16. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    26 is certainly not too old. As others have said, there are lots of commercial flying jobs beyond the airlines, and for the airlines, timing is everything. For right now, focus on your training and ATP. Talk to us again once you're there.

    I went to a major without ever working for a regional. There are more ways to skin the cat.