Repeal of the Age 60 Rule Imminent?


New Member
The Senate is about to take up the FAA Reathorization Bill and Sen. Inhofe will add an amendment that will immediately raise the airline retirement age to 63, then 66.

I have mixed emotions about this. First, this would slow movement of major airline pilots and fewer jobs would be created at those companies. Second, for pilots currently on furlough, it might have the effect of extending their unemployment for the same reason.

Additionally, there is the question of what would happen to pilots already retired, but younger than 63. Would they come back to work with their old seniority numbers? If so, that might mean more furloughs.

On the other hand, if were a pilot at 59 who was not ready to retire (maybe I need another couple of years to build a retirement nest egg or maybe I just love my job), I would think that it is extremely unfair to mandate a younger retirement age than for other industries. Especially when the younger age is strictly arbitrary and without a shred of evidence that it enhances safety.

ALPA's position is that the retirement age should stay at age 60. I find this somewhat ironic since it seems that ALPA would most likely side with their very senior members (of whose salaries 2% is a very large amount).

So I havn't made up my mind yet. If you feel strongly either way, feel free to contact your representatives regarding the Inhofe pilot retirement amendment to S.824.
I feel very let down.

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I certainly don't, I can't even imagine how much it would have sucked if this thing went through.
you must be under 30.

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Ya think...?
You know, im sure if I was approaching 60 with a flying job that I loved, i would be jumping for joy if something like this passed. But being the young, brand new CFI that I am, I have to say that if the retirement age was raised to 63, most of us "green" pilot might as well just throw our hands up in the air and say, "to hell with it". I mean, its really upsetting graduating college, having a CFI certificate, and realizing, its gonna be real darn hard to even land a teaching job.
Oh gimme a break. Three years is going to ruin your career? Son if you can't have that kind of patience you don't belong in a cockpit!

Please remember that not ALL pilots will wait until 63 to retire. At most airlines, there is no age sensitive "pension" or "A & B fund." Most of us will retire on Social Insecurity and our 201ks (they were 401ks before 9-11)

I just want the OPTION of working. And I was a young CFI at one time, too!

The problem with this industry is that everyone is in a hurry. You have a LONG life ahead of you. You will be sick of every airline job within 3 months to a year. You will be trying to bid for more days off, better commutes, holidays and weekends. You will be wondering if you will ever get a vacation or will it be cancelled again this year!

3 years is negligible in a successful airline pilot's career.
John, I had no intention of offending you. And I can assure you, beyond any shadow of a doubt that I have worked very hard over the last 5 years in order to be considered worthy of "belonging in a cockpit". I also see your point. Nobody should be forced out of a job, especially when they are completely capable of doing it effectively, regardless of age. I guess I am just looking at my student loans looming, and all the training and effort. Kinda narrow minded I guess. So, I retract my previous complaint.
you must be under 30.

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Oooooo! Your good! J/K!
I just want the OPTION of working.

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Well, you can still fly corporate right? Or do some contracting? It is nice though to see a pilot who still want's to fly after 60.
3 years is negligible in a successful airline pilot's career.

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Then why does it matter either way?
ERAU Intern: Sorry if I sounded harsh! I am one of those people that gets upset at "injustice" like kicking a perfectly good pilot out of a cockpit.

Missed Approach: So I can fly corporate or instruct but I can't fly airlines? That requries a higher degree of "safety" does it?

Just what I thought - it's about MONEY.
Guess everyone has a different persepective on this. At any rate, not everybody can be happy. And all of us need to stay motivated, because when your love of flying is gone, it indeed DOES become about MONEY.
Well Put!
John, simply put were both just looking out for what's best in our respective careers. And yeah, of course it's about the money.
We would naturally think of ourselves(with alot of us as aspiring jet pilots) once we become GA pilots, we want to get into a jet cockpit as soon as possible. Think about when you are 59. Would you want to be forced into retirement when you're still fully capable to perform the same job for the same company?
With the retirement age raised at least we would see more of people that love to fly vs. those simply out for the dough, time off, etc.
Someone over at Flightinfo posted that nearly all the yay votes were Republicans and the nay votes Democrats. If thats true, you can tell who is helping you or hurting you in your quest for the 121 cockpit.
You know I was pretty strong in favor of the raising of the retirement age.

The problem is when you sit down and look at it, it's not as black and white as it seems.

The first thing I'll say about it, though, is this. The argument that it will slow hiring is weak at best. A) not everyone is going to make it to 63 or 66 B) retired pilots will not be forced to come out of retirement - they've been put to pasture and will stay there C) Any "lag" in hiring created by the move would eventually be picked back up - it would not be a permanent problem.

The biggest problem I see with the rule is that it's really an invitation for management to screw with pensions. All they need to do is set full benefits at 63 and watch as pilots get forced out as they fail the new medical exams prescribed for 60 and up.

In a perfect world I say fly till you can't fly no more. In our world I just don't know ...

Just my stupid opinon
Someone over at Flightinfo posted that nearly all the yay votes were Republicans and the nay votes Democrats. If thats true, you can tell who is helping you or hurting you in your quest for the 121 cockpit.

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That is reassuring! I thought the republicans always showed some SENSE
I truly have no desire to fly for the airlines - I'm quite happy in corporate airplanes - so I have an interest in this debate only from the viewpoint of how it would affect other areas of aviation.

I was in favor of increasing the age for several reasons that I won't bother to go into right now. Those of you young guys(not that I'm old at 27
) that were screaming about keeping it at 60 so you could get there quicker - I think you're being a little short sighted. When you get to the point where you're 58 or 59 what will you say then? My guess is alot of you would endorse extending the age. Some wouldn't.

The fact is that if a pilot has a serious enough medical condition that it truly affects his flying it's almost certain that it will be caught on a medical exam. Sure a 65 year old guy is at risk of having a heart attack while at work - what about the 40 year old sitting in the seat next to you that has high cholesterol and is 60 pounds overweight? Do you think the chances of him having a heart attack is greater or less than the 65 year old that takes care of himself? Several years ago a cargo airliner(don't recall the company) ran off the runway at IND because the Capt had a massive heart attack and died at some point during the landing rollout - he was well under 60. ANYBODY can have medical problems at ANY time. Yes I know certain risk factors increase with age and I'm not saying that we should let 90 year old Captains fly with no additional testing but I think that increasing the age by 3 years would be perfectly acceptable and I'd be ok with 6 years even.

Experience is an awful thing to waste. Consider this - you walk out on the ramp and there is a jet sitting there with a 63 year old Capt that has been flying for 45 years and a 58 year old FO that has been flying for 40 years --- you turn your head and there is another jet sitting there with a 23 year old Captain that has been flying for 5 years and a 21 year old FO that has been flying for 2 years(and yes this does happen - even with today's job market) - which jet are you going to feel more comfortable getting on??? I'm gonna' pick the old dude's jet every single time.

I agree that the Age 60 Rule is an excellent example of an unjust law. There is no evidence to support the idea that it makes flying safer.

The big question is whether it will be worth the economic havoc that it will cause to change the law.

An additional point to note is that pilots who are close to age 60 are most likely very senior. As such, they are expensive to keep on the property. A younger guy might be promoted who can do the job just as well for a fraction of the cost. In an era where airlines are seeking to trim costs, I'm surprised that this hasn't come up.

I think that ultimately the Age 60 Rule should be repealed, but maybe it should wait until more stable economic times.
Jason, I'm boarding with the other old dudes. Smart money...

Boy, here comes the slams from the twenty and thirty year olds, duck and cover!