....I am too old to be an airline pilot?


Well-Known Member
I'm a 26 yrs. old male and have hopes to be an airline pilot, with Delta ; ). I recently got my "Private Pilots" license and I have started work on my instrument rating.
I'd really like to be a first officer with a regional airline at or before age 30. I have two friends who are 23 & 25 yrs. old and are working in the airline industry as pilots for Mesaba and Comair respectively. I'm wondering if I have started my flight training too late in life to suceed at my lifes goal of being an airline pilot.
To answer your question ... No you are not to old to become an airline pilot. You still have plenty of time to build your hours and get on with a Regional like Mesaba or Comair.

Remember this, Regionals consider hiring a 55 yr old Pilot as a good investment, why? because they won't be in a hurry to go off to the majors (Age 60 retirement date for Airline Pilots). You are only 26, have your PPL and working on your instrument which is great. Keep working on your ratings and stay focused on landing a Flying job.

I wish I could say that your guaranteed to get on with a Regional by the age of 30. The industry is very tough right now as we all know and hiring has seemed to come to a standstill but nobody knows what 4 years down the road will hold. Good possibility of a hiring boom but no guarantees. Your job is to prepare for when that happens, your in a good spot now.

I am still very young as well, completing my ratings through the Flight program at Indiana State University. I'll catch you in the flight deck one day, Fly Safe.

Best of Luck in all your endeavors.

Hey thanks for the great reply to my thread. Your right I'm still young and could have a future in the airline industry. But sometimes I just worry that I might be too old to suceed at my future goal of being an airline pilot.
I'm 26 yrs. old(27 in July) and in my younger years I wasn't as serious and focused as I am now about flying and making this a career. Tho I have always wanted to be an airline pilot ever since the young tender age of 2 yrs. old. I let myself get side tracked with things of a material nature ie girls, clothes and fast cars.
I look around and see all my friends succeeding at there goals of being pilots and at a younger age too boot. As mentioned earlier I have two friends already flying for regionals (Mesaba & Comair) and there both younger then me (23-25 yrs. old). In addition several of my other friends have all there ratings Private thru Multi-Engine and several have there instructor ratings.
Myself being older I only have my PPL and working on my "instrument rating". So I guess that I have alot of regrets about not being as serious and focused about my future at a younger age in comparison to now.
So I guess that I'm wanting to make up for lost time by wanting to be in the cockpit of a regional airline by age 30. Yes it's a lofty goal with the current strife in the airline industry. But if I'm not an f/o at age 30 I'd at least like to be ready ie have all my ratings by the time the airlines are hiring again.
My goal in life is to be a pilot for Delta Airlines. I'd really like to be a 757/767 pilot and maybe fly the 777 later in life. So I'm just kinda concerned that I might have started too late in life to get serious about flying to have a future in the industry. But thanks for responding your words were very re-assuring and comforting again thanks.
I wouldn't think so, from what I hear a lot of the people at FSA are in their late 20's learning to fly after discovering office work sucks :)
Hey dude thanks for the reply. I have got alot of positive mail from the many people here in Jetcareers.com. Telling me to keep striving and working toward my goals in life and never to give up. Thanks I love hearing from all you you. Question what is an FSA?
Zen Aku... (cool name, btw).... Dude, I HOPE you're not too old to be an airline pilot at 27 as I am 38 and basically just starting myself! ;)

The gist of that was: NO, you are not too old. Yes, you can do it. I'm going the FBO route as I chose to work full time and fly on the side - thus, allowing me to keep a steady income, my house, my cars...... my wife. :D

But, you might be in a different situation. Check out both the local FBO's and the schools like FSA, ATP, Pan-Am, Westwind, Ari-Ben, Comair...... do your homework (not that you haven't...) and decide what is the best for YOU!

Good luck and keep us posted.

Good on ya. I'll be 38 this June and pressing for that office in the sky. I have a year left with my current enlistment with the good ole USAF, then I'll be pushing full steam ahead with the rest of my training. Can U believe it -- retiring from the AF and getting 50% of my pay for life and am still young enough to start another career.

Currently, I've managed to get my COMM/IFR SEL.

Good to see some folks in my age bracket in here...

I wouldn't think so, from what I hear a lot of the people at FSA are in their late 20's learning to fly after discovering office work sucks :)

Oh how true that is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am in the IT industry and I absolutely HATE it. I used to LOVE computers until I had to "troubleshoot" for a living and now I can't stand it.

Honestly one of the things I find most interesting about professional flying is the fact that it is dynamic. Different situations, different places, etc... Although the IT industry is quite dynamic as well, it is dynamic in a very boring, "why me GOD, WHY?!?!?!" kind of way.

*thinks about IT indistry, huddles into corner in fetal postion, starts crying*

I had my first flying lesson when I was 27. Now at 30, I haven't made it to a regional yet but do get paid to fly airplanes for a living. (As an instructor at FSI)

I know at 26 you start to feel old but really you have your whole life ahead of you. :cool: