Am I too old to become a pilot?

Contrary to popular belief, it is never too late to become a pilot.  FAA requirements do not impose an age limit provided you meet the same proficiency standards as anyone else.  It is not uncommon for someone to retire from a successful career and take up flying as a new challenge.  Even people in their 80’s enjoy the thrill of becoming a pilot.  However, there are some considerations to investigate.

The FAA requires pilots to be reasonably healthy in the interest of public safety.  An Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) is familiar with the specific requirements for medical certification and should be consulted early to address any potential concerns.  Alternatively, Basic Med offers a less strict option to flying with some restrictions.  See our Medical article for additional details.

If you are considering a career as a pilot, regulations stipulate a mandatory retirement age of 65 for airline operations.  However, there are many flying jobs such as corporate or charter with no age limitation provided you can hold a Class 2 medical.  Airlines hire pilots in their 50s embarking on a second career so don’t hesitate to pursue a lifelong dream.