Am I too old to become a pilot?

Many people wonder if they should have taken up flight lessons long ago while they were still young and vivacious.  If we are past the age of 18, we start feeling like we’ve missed our chance.

I started flight training at 21 and felt like I was way behind – I felt old and past my prime!  Now, looking back, I know that I started at a great age and still had several years before I would have “missed my chance”.

The truth is, you’re never too old to pursue your dream.  As the book, “The Artist’s Way” suggests, ask yourself this question:

How old will you be by the time you do    blank   ?

No matter what “blank” is, the answer is: The same age you would be if you didn’t do it.

Of course you also have to figure out exactly what “blank” is.  In order to achieve a goal, you have to, no only define the goal, but redefine it as you progress.

For example, “I want to be a pilot” is way too vague.  Do you mean you want to be an airline pilot?  If so, which airline?  On what airplane?  Or what routes would you like to fly?

If your goal is simply to make a living by flying airplanes, there are plenty of other pilot careers that might be much more attainable if the airline career is not.

Most of us never end up attaining the exact goal that we originally set out to achieve.  For example, I wanted to be a pilot.  So, I went off to school, but the airline industry just wasn’t favorable at the time I graduated.  If it had been up to me, I would have gone straight from school into an airline seat.  But that just was not possible at the time.

Looked at it from one angle, I failed at reaching my dream of being an airline pilot.  But, the way I see it, not being able to get into the airlines at the time that I wanted was actually a blessing in disguise.

Through a very circuitous route and taking much longer than I anticipated, I still get to fly big jets, just not as an airline pilot.  Working in a flight testing organization, the work I do now is much more fulfilling for my lifestyle and for my need to be mentally stimulated with the technical aspects of airplanes.

Similarly, you can find a way to fly that fulfills your need to be in the air.  Whether pursuing an airline career, a job as a corporate pilot, or even a professional flight instructor, the only thing that you can do wrong is neglecting to chase after your dreams.

Article Author: Ruth Morlas is dedicated to helping others reach their dream of becoming a pilot.  For more information visit


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