Many people discover new hobbies, interests, and passions later in life. The idea that trying new things is only for younger people is so beyond the truth. If you’re well into or entering your golden years, now is an excellent time to pursue your dreams! If you’ve always dreamed of becoming a pilot you’re probably wondering, can you become a pilot at any age? The answer is absolutely yes, however certain types of pilot licenses do have age restrictions. Our team at Monmouth Jet Center explains:
What Age Can Someone Learn To Fly?
For young people interested in learning how to fly, there is no age requirement to take flying lessons with an instructor. However you can’t fly solo (without an instructor) until 16 years old. These solo flights usually consist of pattern work and must be approved by your instructor prior to your flight. Once you are 17 and have the required hours of flight time and ground work, you can apply to take your check ride to get your private pilot’s license. At our flight school in NJ, we welcome many teenagers who are ready to pursue their dream of becoming a pilot. We love to see young people chasing their passions!
For those who are at retirement age and looking to take up new hobbies, it’s not too late to become a pilot. It’s important to note that commercial airlines require pilots to retire when they are between 60 and 65 years old. Depending on your age you might not be able to ever work for an airline, but there is no age limit on a private pilot’s license. Don’t let your age deter you from following your dream.
Never too Late to Learn to Fly
Older adults who want to learn how to fly are advised to be fit and healthy before enrolling in flight school. You must pass a medical exam to get your pilot’s license and it’s not a one-time thing. Pilots under the age of 40 must pass the medical exam every 60 months, while pilots aged 40 and older must pass it every 24 months. The medical exam consists of:
- A physical exam
- An eyesight exam
- A hearing test
- A lung function test
- Routine blood tests
- A blood pressure check
- A resting EKG
While it may seem daunting, the medical exam is necessary to ensure you’re fit to fly, and many older adults pass it every 24 months with flying colors (pun intended).
Pilots Older In Age
Harry Moyer served as a pilot in World War II, and in 2020 at the incredible age of 100 years old, he became a contender for oldest active pilot in the world. In an interview from October 2020, Harry said he still flies every week and he shows no signs of slowing down.
In 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 lost all engine power after striking a flock of birds. One of the pilots, Sully Sullenberger, landed the plane in the Hudson River and miraculously there were no fatalities. Sully was 57 years old at the time, proving that older pilots are more than capable of acting in an emergency.
If you’re ready to enroll in flight school and work towards your dream of becoming a pilot, or if you would like more information, please contact our team at Monmouth Jet Center today. It’s absolutely possible to become a pilot at any age, and we look forward to hearing from you.