29 yrs. old starting CFI... Too old?

PHXAviator

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I'm curious if this is going to put me at a disadvantage.

Now, assuming I instruct and then go to a commuter, will I still be at an age that many major airlines prefer?

I've heard the stories about other people that were hired past their 40's. These stories always start off "I know a guy who..."
But, I know this is the exception and not the rule.

I guess my question is this: If I instruct for a year or two, and then get picked up by a regional, how much time is usually spent at the regional before building up reasonable experience/time can I expect before hoping to make it with the majors?

Thanks! By the way, I'm looking very forward to becoming a flight instructor. My current profession is teacher, so I'm very excited about teaching others the art of flight.

PHXAviator
 

boscenter

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I guess my question is this: If I instruct for a year or two, and then get picked up by a regional, how much time is usually spent at the regional before building up reasonable experience/time can I expect before hoping to make it with the majors?
It really depends on the regional. The key here is upgrade time. The majors want to see turbine PIC, so when you get enough of that they'll pick you up (if they are hiring).

Upgrade times vary at different places. I can't remember any numbers, but I'm sure someone else can put some numbers up. I would venture to say that the average is anywhere between 3-5 years. Some places it's less, others it's much more.

29 y/o isn't too bad actually. Even if you spent 5 years at a regional, you'd still be in a good position for the majors.
 

UPS Capt

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First, "no", you're certainly not too old by any means.

Second, nobody can give you a time line on how long it'll take to get to a Regional or Major airline level. There are too many variables such as the health of the economy and the needs of the airlines (usually tied into the economy) that play a hugh part of the equation. Anyone giving you a time line is merely speculating. How do you think the stock market will do in a year or two? Who really knows? Nobody saw 9/11 coming and we don't know what will effect the economy down the road. Maybe something good, maybe something bad.

However, it's not unusual to spend 4-5 yrs at the regional level before obtaining the experience and total time needed to interview at a major airline if that's your goal. Competitive figures for being hired at a major are on the order of 5000-6000tt with a couple thousand hrs PIC in turbine equipment. Don't go by what the airlines advertise as "minimum experience required". Very few people are interviewed. let alone hired, with minimum experience.

Currently, due to 9/11 and the lack luster economy, there are many very qualified pilots pounding the pavement looking for work. If history proves right, this will soon pass and hiring will once again pick up. Don't expect the hiring levels of the last few years any time soon though.
 

bobbysamd

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Age and majors hiring

No, you're not too old. Let's say you get your CFI this summer and it takes you even a couple of years to build enough time to qualify for the commuters. You'll be 31. You stay five or six years and build the quals the others mentioned. You'll be 37. Assuming no detours, you'll still be under 40 and have a good chance of being hired.

Even over 40 with good quals you still have chance, as long as you have years of experience. The key for you is to get in with a commuter and build 121 time and turbine time.

Good luck with your plans.
 
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AAflyer

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Take-off

Get Flying,

My class at AA had the youngest in their twenties and the oldest in the mid forties. A wide range of backgrounds. Go for it, and network. Do things that stand out. Check ariman work, teach ground school. Boost your resume to be noticed. A lot of people have 1000 pic turbine and are not getting called (should say were not called prior 9-11). You may get hired with less than minimum or the minimum, or not get called with thousands of hours over the minimum. Be creative, Fly sharp, be ready to interview at anytime(don't let a chance pass you by). Most of all have fun. I got into this flying in my teens, loved it!! Did not enjoy the ride up gaining experience, because I was always trying to get to the next level. I wish I had enjoyed some of it a little more.
Go For It, and Good Luck!!

AAflyer:)
 

skydiverdriver

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How old will you be if you don't start now?
 

Caveman

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All the newhires at the majors that are retired military are at least 43-44 and they have plenty of time for excellent careers.

I started my instrument training at 39. I 'm now 43 and I've been at Comair for about a year and a half. I've decided that if I can make it to a major by my 50th birthday I'm gonna go for it. If not I hope to retire as a Captain on a Comair 757 :).
 

Timebuilder

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I was 35 when a Delta captain told me to follow my dream. It took me ten years before I took his advice.

4 years later, and I'm flying a Learjet.

Go for it.
 

alimaui

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<<<<<<<<-------Pretending to be anonymous poster, but knows she leaves a trail....


I think that we should put an add at the top of every FLIGHTINFO page that says....


YOU ARE NOT TOO OLD TO FLY UNLESS YOU'RE DEAD!

Then maybe this thread would not pop up once a week, lol.

Ali
who is in an obnoxious mood tonight
 

Timebuilder

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Ali, I'll bet you're a fun girl!
 

AAflyer

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WOW

Caveman,

When Comair starts getting the 757 do you think you could walk my resume in! I hope I have the experience requirements. Can't wait!!

AAflyer

P.S> If all goes well, I will help you get your son or daughter on at American to get some experience, before hitting the big time!!:D
 

utahpilot

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I became at CFI at age 30. Now a year later, I plan on being at a regional in the next 6-12 months. After 3-5 years there, I hope to have competitive mins for the majors. I figure I'll be 35-38 years old by then. That'll give me 20+ years to fly for a major. If I never get there, I'll be content making around 100k and flying and ideal schedule at the regional.

Plan your work, then work your plan.

best o' luck
 

Caveman

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AAFlyer,

You got yourself a deal!
 

skydiverdriver

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I once flew with a captain at my airline that took his first flight lesson at forty. He was a real joy to fly with, and he wanted to figure out how he could keep flying professionally after 60.

I would suggest you read the book, "I could do anything if I only knew what it was," By Barbara Sher. It helps you to find out what your dream job really is, and helps you to leave your "safe" job. It also shows you that there really is no such thing as a safe job anyway. It helped me to make the jump. Good luck to you.
 

gonz0066

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Over 40!!

OK, Kiddo,
I started as a CFI at 47!. Training and flying all the while. Hope to fly a Citation or RJ very soon with just over 1000 hours. It'll happen for me without question. It'll happen for you for sure.
You have the edge at your age right now. Start now!
Best of luck.

P.S. I fly a Turbo Commander for a company in Atlanta. Landed that job at 46! Are you too old. I think not.
 

PHXAviator

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Thanks All!

Thanks everyone for the sage advice and other comments!

I've never given thought to stopping what I'm doing. I just wanted to have a better grasp on the whole timeline issue going from instructing to majors.

Thanks again! What a valuable resource! This so called "internet."

PHXAviator
 

JRSLim

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Old CFIs

Most of the instructors I know are in their mid thirties. Theres only one at our aeroclub who's younger -- he's about 20. My previous instructor is 32 and just had an offer from a commuter-- He didn't get started (flying) 'till he was 27. What it boils down to is none of the instructors feel hindered by their age and I think age is a big bonus in the flying game. I am 32 and I feel that the experience of years and life experience is a big bonus, and I c an't see 40 being too old for an airline.
I am in a similar position as you, but I don't really look 'forward' to being an instructor after seeing some other students (and thinking back to the times when I tried to kill my instructor!!) But I reckon its one of the best ways to rack up time.

Good luck
Shaun
 

skydiverdriver

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And, I think when I make captain soon I'm going to like flying withe the more mature guys, rather than those academy wonder boys who think they are all that. Just nice to have someone my own age in the right seat.
 

FL000

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SDD,

You've probably heard this before, but the best part about upgrading is that you get to fly with your favorite captain every day.

Just to add to the thread topic, I soloed at age 29.
 
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