Is Anyone Really 'too Old' for Flight School?

You wake up and you’re 40. Tired of your office job, you decide to drop everything and pursue your dream of becoming a pilot. The big question is: are you too old for flight school?

The answer is no. While some airlines have an age requirement before you can fly a commercial flight, there’s no age limit in wanting to become a pilot. Many think that at age 40, they have missed their opportunity to become a pilot. Their time has simply gone by. They are too old to aspire for a chance to enter in an industry that is currently dominated by younger men or women.

People have been conditioned to think that becoming a pilot is a young man’s dream. After all, operating such a complicated vehicle, not to mention the exhaustion from going back and forth from one continent to another, is usually reserved for those who are mentally and physically at their prime. But the surprising truth is, even those at 40 can still set on making their dream of becoming a pilot come true.

Before succumbing to despair and self-loathing, and blaming yourself for waiting all this time to go after your dream, keep in mind that it’s not too late. Although older student pilots will have to put in more time in learning the skills necessary in flying an aircraft compared to younger ones, the former can have better chances of mastery. The ultimate requirement of airlines is not age; instead it’s whether or not one is mentally and physically fit to operate an aircraft. Older pilots may not be as sharp as younger ones but according to an article in Flying Magazine , an online aviation news source, they have more experiences to boast of and better-developed decision making skills.

Becoming a pilot is a long haul — old or young. It requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and of course, money. But like every goal pursued, its rewards are incredible. The main thing is you have to be driven and passionate enough to follow your dream. Age is no limit. Different people are capable of different things in various points of their lives. To put a label on what one can and cannot do at a certain age is to blindly discriminate and underestimate the capacity of others.

If by 40, you happen to get in to flight school and later on survive the training, all you need to fly a commercial aircraft is to pass a class one medical examination certifying that you are in perfect shape to operate a plane. Afterwards, it’s all blue skies from here.


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