Become a pilot at 40?

Pro Member Trainee
acloves Trainee

Seeing planes fly and being abord them always fascinated me, I have a question, Is it too late to take courses and become a commercial pilot at age 40? I would probably need the private pilot license first, any comments on costs and the time to invest to get the commercial private license? 😉

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Give up now

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

40 isn't old, go for it. At least take an introductory flight and see how you enjoy it and then sign on the dotted line.
The best to you!


Pro Member Captain
Bindolaf Captain

Realistically it's going to be hard, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. Now, don't expect (I don't think you physically have the time for it, sorry) to end up flying the A380, but you can start by doing some introductory flights, see how you like it. Then get your PPL, IFR ratings, ATP, all kinds of things. You could get a position with a regional airline, with good turboprops or regional jets. Hey! That's better than most Wink

Pro Member First Officer
PH First Officer

What country are you in? I am in the UK, during training for my commercial license I held a full time job and my first daughter came into this world! So for me it was not too easy but I did it, no reason why you can't get the license at 40. Very expensive though certainly in the UK....I spent about 35K GBP and there is no job promise at the end. As the other members suggest do a trial flight then maybe your PPL and see if it is what you may just prefer flying for fun, gone are the glamour days of lengthy stopovers in exotic locations when it comes to commercial flying!

Pro Member Trainee
acloves Trainee

Thanks for the info guys, I think I will try the PPL, I'm shure that alone will bring me joy 😛 . I heard some of you said that I should try a trial and or introductory flight first, what does that consist of? Is that like renting a Private pilot and letting him show me around? Mmm, How much do they charge for it in the west Florida area?. Maybe I would get a chance behind the yoke, LOL.


Pro Member Chief Captain
Greekman72 Chief Captain

Anonymous wrote:

Give up now

Ridiculus notice.

Go for it Acloves...Never give up from your dreams...Do what your mind and heart tells...Noone leaves for ever... 😉

I cant answer to you about the prices in florida cause im thousand miles away but im sure that if you want it too much you will find a way to manage it... 😉

Don Wood Guest

There is no reason at all you cannot get a pliot's license at 40 or older. To be paid for flying is another, more complicated question.

Most flight schools, and there are dozens if not hundreds in Florida, will provide an introductory "lesson" at a reduced rate. You will fly with an instructor and he/she will have you flying the airplane within seconds after takeoff. From there, it is a matter of getting at least a third-class physical examination from an FAA certified physician and completing the training for a private license. That can take under a month and be done with 40 hours of flight, however, most student pilots take longer and require more hours to reach a level of proficiency for their private pilot checkride.

To fly for hire, once you have your private license, you then need to obtain a commercial license, for which you need a second-class medical certification. If you are going to fly anything but single-engine, you also need a multi-engine rating and most employers would not even consider you without an instrument rating. Finally, most employers and insurance companies require considerable experience, numbering in the hundreds of hours of flight time and will require a minimum level of experience in the type of aircraft to be flown. Many people choose to build their flight time by getting an instructor's rating and flying for a few years as an instructor. There are other ways to do it, flying freight or light cargo being one of them, but none are easy or quick.

You can enjoy flying with just your private license. Whether you should expend the considerable time and money required to get more advanced ratings depends on your resources and how important those ratings are to you. However, I think it is unlikely, because of your age, that a major airline would hire you. It will take at least 2-3 years, probably longer, to get the required ratings and experience and you would then be forced to retire at age 60. I think most airlines would prefer to hire younger so as to get more service from the pilots they hire. I could be wrong and you should check for yourself.

In any event, getting your private license and being able to fly yourself is a profoundly satisfying expereince. I encourge you to try for it.

Pro Member Captain
nottobe Captain

i would say, if you have extra $$$ at your disposal, go for it, dont count on
making any money. but if you have kids to feed and belong to the working
class catagory, FORGET IT (becoming a commercial pilot Smile,
but the private pilot door is always wide open, even you are 60 yrs old... 😂

Pro Member First Officer
George (OrlandoGeorge) First Officer

The only people who would say "give up now" are speaking stricktly for themselves I believe. Quitters and giv-er-upper's never did a thing.

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