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  Reply # 1986952 1-Apr-2018 20:07
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Tinkerisk:

 

@empacher48 You might be right for the moment, but looking at my daily job at that mentioned "A-manufacturer", I ask myself if I'll find more than one pilot on the FD in the near future.

 

A colleague of mine is working on this (reality): https://lilium.com another step in the direction of automated flight.

 

 

 

(And yes, I'm rated and allowed to drive from LH/MID seat as well.)

 

 

With all due respect to your friend the aircraft your link goes to is nothing more than an over grown remote control aircraft. What range, payload does it have and how much noise does it make?

 

For the time being and for the foreseeable future there will be two pilots up front. Will there be ever just one, possibly. Will there be ever none. Not in our lifetimes I suggest. The cost of the technology, passenger resistance and insurance companies will dictate when and if ever it occurs.

 

Even though having one pilot is doable there are some logistical issues. The Captains have to get their experience somewhere, right now their operational experience comes from their time as a First Officer. If there's only one pilot where will they get that experience? There's only so much that can be done in a simulator.

 

 

 

To address the OP.

 

There's no point in dying wondering what if. Though you do need to rationalise the costs V benefits. If you don't need the money to live on then don't hesitate, it can be a very rewarding career (not necessarily from a financial perspective).

 

A job as a scenic flight pilot means you won't be able to live in many of the places you mention as there is virtually no tourist flying done outside of the main tourist hotspots. You will need to choose what type of flying you want to do. You will need a CPL no matter what you do. You might want/need to get an Instructor Rating. If you want to fly for a company doing any sort of regular passenger service you will need an Instrument Rating.





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  Reply # 1986953 1-Apr-2018 20:08
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Dingbatt:
empacher48: I used to fly with a first officer who was in his late 50’s and this was his first airline job.

Got his CPL at 55, spent a few years in GA around the country and then joined my old airline. He was a successful businessman but always wanted to be pilot, so gave it go.

Don’t believe those who say you can’t. If you want to do it, go for it. There are too many people in this world who will knock you down. My old outfit had pilots flying regionally in NZ up until their 70’s. If you’re fit to hold the Class 1 medical you do this for as long as you want to.


I don't believe anybody said he can't. But you have to approach this realistically. And in the full knowledge that the financial outlay may be north of $100K to even get your foot in the door, or on the bottom rung of the ladder. Not withstanding the solitary example of a new First Officer in his fifties, a job in Aviation is attainable from a standing start in your fifties but a career (as per the thread title) is a stretch. Talk to some other pilots that work for empacher48's 'old airline' and see how they feel about flying with 70+ers.

 

They are not as solitary as you might think.





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  Reply # 1986958 1-Apr-2018 20:41
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Technofreak:

 

With all due respect to your friend the aircraft your link goes to is nothing more than an over grown remote control aircraft. What range, payload does it have and how much noise does it make?

 

Everything starts with small Milestone steps. This was one year ago. What they claim to reach can be seen on their Homepage. To my knowledge they got in contact with TESLA and NVIDIA ...

 

And there are other serious Projects:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rNWbpOsOvI

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PmXL0oiggg

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mr1V-r2YxME

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaKD6LYj5eE (concept)

 

For the time being and for the foreseeable future there will be two pilots up front.
This was true up to now. And depends of Point of view.

 

Will there be ever just one, possibly.
It will, for sure, assisted by even more sophisticated avionic systems.

 

Will there be ever none. Not in our lifetimes I suggest.
Not sure. But let's see.

 

The cost of the technology, passenger resistance and insurance companies will dictate when and if ever it occurs.

 

Cost is no issue, passenger will accept one + trusted system's evidence, insurance companies have their own risk analysts and are highly interested. 

 

Even though having one pilot is doable there are some logistical issues. The Captains have to get their experience somewhere, right now their operational experience comes from their time as a First Officer. If there's only one pilot where will they get that experience? There's only so much that can be done in a simulator.

 

True, that's why the First officer will be on the FD in the A/C, remotely assisted on demand by a former First Officer, now called Captain.





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  Reply # 1986959 1-Apr-2018 20:56
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I agree that pilotless airliners are on the way. However with a lot of great new technology, the one thing that slows everything down more than insurance companies and the travelling public. That is the certification authorities!

 

How long has bluetooth been available worldwide? When was bluetooth approved by the certification authorities for its use on aeroplanes - the same with wifi?

 

The guys flying the single engine Cessnas with Garmin Glass cockpits have more information at their fingertips, or on the screen than the pilot who flies the A320, B777 or even the B787!

 

The next aircraft undergoing the very very early design phase is the Boeing NMA (New Market Aeroplane) will still have two pilots - and that isn't planned to be operational until sometime after 2025.

 

It will happen, but it takes a lot for the certification authorities to approve it to be used.

 

As for the guys I flew with who were 50, 60 or 70+. I had some of the best days flying with them, surprisingly when you spend a 8 to 10 hour day locked in a space about the size of a standard wardrobe (not the walk-in kind) you have a lot of things to talk about. The most interesting stories and discussions I've had were with the older guys I fly with. They've usually done something more in life than just go to flying school, instruct and arrive on an airliner. As for their skills? They are just as sharp and effective as a crew member, they still have to pass the simulator test every 5 months, the line check every 12 months, the systems exams and limitations exams every 6 months. There are no "special favours" because they are older.

 

I've flown with builders, sparkies, mechanics, geologists, pharmacists a guy who had a PhD in bio-mechanics. But all had that itch to fly, something that would've haunted them to the grave if they didn't "give it go". The did those jobs before they got into flying as a way to fund themselves into it, they also have learned life skills outside the flight deck because all pilots know that you're only as good as your medical - what are you going to do should you loose it? A lot of pilots I know who have lost theirs are now holding stop/go signs as they had no other skills.


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  Reply # 1986967 1-Apr-2018 21:33
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empacher48: That is the certification authorities!

 

They learn quickly and are involved in the Projects from the beginning. When a certified airframer starts his work, he's escorted by authority by informal involvement for the next 6-7 years. It's up to the certifiying authoritiy to learn quickly from the airframer's experience or technical expertise to find answers for questions concerning passenger's (and for sure other's) safety.

 

The guys flying the single engine Cessnas with Garmin Glass cockpits have more information at their fingertips, or on the screen than the pilot who flies the A320, B777 or even the B787!

 

No doubt. Driving a "big ship" isn't much different except it's higher airspeed, it's inertness due to weight, it's IFE, it's lavatory and Passenger Service.cool

 

It will happen, but it takes a lot for the certification authorities to approve it to be used.
Agree.

 

I had some of the best days flying with them, surprisingly when you spend a 8 to 10 hour day locked in a space about the size of a standard wardrobe (not the walk-in kind) you have a lot of things to talk about. The most interesting stories and discussions I've had were with the older guys I fly with. They've usually done something more in life than just go to flying school, instruct and arrive on an airliner. As for their skills? They are just as sharp and effective as a crew member, they still have to pass the simulator test every 5 months, the line check every 12 months, the systems exams and limitations exams every 6 months. There are no "special favours" because they are older.

 

No doubt and I fully agree. Be happy because that times will never come back again (for me as well). My personal view is, that today a private Pilot has even more freedom in the air than an each day "Bus Driver", flying from A to B after feeding the FMS and pushing "AP engaged" after T/O. Today, most educations for Airline Pilots become more and more dual - either becoming additionally a charted engineer or having an education for fleet/airline management with a University degree.

 

Again: I can recommend anyone who still dreams to fly and has the opportunity for - just to do it. The eldest PPL student in our flight training was 67 and a former retired ship captain/skipper, who fulfilled his dream very intensely and happy until he unfortunately was grounded by medical in the age of 76.





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  Reply # 1986981 1-Apr-2018 22:37
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Tinkerisk: True, that's why the First officer will be on the FD in the A/C, remotely assisted on demand by a former First Officer, now called Captain.


That I seriously doubt will ever happen. Even today flight crews earn their money by dealing with unusual events and failures. Sometimes they earn their lifetime salary in a few minutes, think of Sully and the A320 landing in the Hudson River. That's why there's an experienced Captain on board. Having a Captain doing it by remote control is never going to be a good idea.

You also mention more sophisticated avionics systems. That. Is very much a two edged sword as you probably know. Pilots are not getting enough hands on experience now without more or better systems. It's becoming a big problem.




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  Reply # 1986982 1-Apr-2018 22:42
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empacher48: As for the guys I flew with who were 50, 60 or 70+. I had some of the best days flying with them, surprisingly when you spend a 8 to 10 hour day locked in a space about the size of a standard wardrobe (not the walk-in kind) you have a lot of things to talk about. The most interesting stories and discussions I've had were with the older guys I fly with. They've usually done something more in life than just go to flying school, instruct and arrive on an airliner


Oh, how so very true!!!!!!




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  Reply # 1986985 1-Apr-2018 23:16
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Technofreak:
You also mention more sophisticated avionics systems. That. Is very much a two edged sword as you probably know. Pilots are not getting enough hands on experience now without more or better systems. It's becoming a big problem.

 

Right, and one of this potential big "problems" is gonna be removed from the FD - and: systems are no members of a union. Same discussion before the 3rd crew member has been retired from the cockpit. The autolanding and free-flight/guidance functions finally aren't there just to make things easier for the crew or ATC. It's there to allow heavier use in the very limited airspace and more slots in the near future with less human interaction - which means less humans and therefore less 'human factors' involved.

 

 





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  Reply # 1986989 2-Apr-2018 00:18
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OP, Too old? No, certainly not. I can offer some advice based on my own experiences and industry knowledge as a current flight instructor.

Sure it’s getting too late to enter into a major airline role, but as you mentioned that wasn’t your interest anyway.

If you want to enter into a tourism role then, yes that could be an option. You will need to hold a CPL and majority of places will also require an instrument rating. However you may find a lot of operators have hour requirements well above what you would have gained after your flight training towards your CPL (200~250hrs). This is often due to their insurance requirements. It is not uncommon to see minimums of 500hrs total or significantly more depending on the role and aircraft type. What I’m getting at here is the often unexpected costs after training to become a more employable pilot.

Glider towing could be another consideration. Usually much lower and easier requirements but most often little financial reward (if any sometimes!). Same goes with parachute drop pilots, but again depending on aircraft type you could be facing high hour requirements/minimums

A great option you should consider is instructing, you will need to obtain a CPL and also a flight instructors rating. It can be very rewarding and work is often flexiable - full time or part time. I know a couple who are instructing and started “late” at around your age and have quickly established themselves as well respected instructors. In fact, I would argue those whom are a little older do very well at instructing. They have a lot of life experience at their disposal which becomes invaluable in their role as they instruct students of all different backgrounds and abilities.

If you get into it, you will find aviation is very much a “who you know” industry, start immersing yourself and networking with as many different people as you can in the industry, this is how most get their leads towards their first piloting job


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  Reply # 1987013 2-Apr-2018 07:40
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Go for it!

 

I grew up in a flying family. My Father, Uncle, & couple of cousins all flew commercially at various times.
My Father-in-law was a bush pilot in Canada for most of his working life.
As you can guess, talk around the dinner table was often aviation related.

 

I trained and got my PPL in Taupo, many of my friends went on to tourism and other work from there.
Unfortunately a nasty (non aircraft related) accident - while I was getting my hours up in Australia - put an end to my hopes of a commercial career.

Now we're all older most of the older generation are retired, but not one of them regrets the years they spent flying.
A couple of them - in their 70's - still get up in the air whenever they can.

If you want to do it you'll find a way.

There's more than one path to commercial flying. One Uncle became a dairy farmer and wasn't hit by the flying bug till later in life.
He'd flown occasionally for years, but - older than you are now - approaching retirement from the farm decided he'd get into commercial flying.

He purchased shares in an aircraft - and later one of his own, fitted out for specialist work.
Over the years he's had contracts for aerial photography of river catchments, infrared photography of vegetation, geo-magnetic surveys..

It will never be steady work or pay huge amounts of money, and he spent many, many hours flying fixed grid patterns over New Zealand, but as he points out.. he's being paid to do something he loves.


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  Reply # 1987017 2-Apr-2018 08:10
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Not wanting to be negative, but realistic. It's doable, but doesn't make sense financially. Of course, it's not all about money. My advice (having thought about exactly the same thing myself) would be to do what I did and look on the bright side of IT and the income it produces, and fly as a hobby.

 

Moneywise, think minimum $250/hr * 200hrs = $50K for aircraft hire to get your CPL. Throw in another $5K for medical and exams and other stuff. Plus living costs while not working. If you have that sort of money, you could probably be there in 6 months. You'll then be competing for work with other newly-minted CPLs who will work for next to nothing to build hours towards an airline job. So pay will be close to minimum wage. Or maybe less -- you might only get paid whilst flying, which would mean that your annual income would be below minimum wage. You might also find yourself being forced to fly when you consider it to be to unsafe ("If you don't want the job, there's plenty of others who do").

 

Bear in mind that you could lose your medical (and therefore your job) at the drop of a hat. Heart problems, etc all increase with age. It's not uncommon for a medical to cost $1000 every 2 years. Hope you're fit and healthy, and work to keep yourself that way.

 

 




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  Reply # 1987187 2-Apr-2018 15:48
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Empacher has been schooling me. I am very realistic to the cost. I also now know the ins and outs of how to save money on that $100k and certs and what I need. Definitely be buying my own plane after I get my private license.

 

Im certainly not quiting my day job until Ive got the right certs and licenses lined up.

 

I talked about having a degree in Tourism and a Bcom plus a cert5 in Aus in Small Business Management.

 

So I think my aim is not airlines but my own scenic charters.

 

If it brings in $500 a week for the bills Id be happy.

 

The Mrs wants to live boat access up the Marlbourough Sounds. I had this crazy Idea I could fly a float boat, have a year round self contained cottage that has everything self sustained including keypad entry so we have minimal work on the cottage on the water. But I would do all the work as the Mrs is 8 years younger and has 2 PHDs in Science so she wont stop working.

 

Financially we look very comfortable at 55, especially with her still working and me bringing in a small seasonal wage.

 

But it limits my ability for airstrips, Im stuck with the sounds, unless I was very good and took on the outside of the range down to the lakes, but I doubt it as thats a fill up job on gas.

 

So it might be living in a tourism area and buying a 6-10 seater. Which also gives us the personal option of flying away to somewhere for the weekend

 

All just pipe dreams at thsi stage, but you need dreams to give you purpose in life. Im not one who can accept my fate being stuck behind a desk, retire and die 1 year later. Life is for living, you have to have a plan to have purpose.




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  Reply # 1987213 2-Apr-2018 16:00
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Something I love about geekzone versus facist Aussie forums is people are more can do, even if they are realistic. You get far less of the haters who just want to blow your dreams.

 

Im not blind to the cost of it all, I just like having a general idea of what Im heading to at different stages of life.

 

It gives me purpose to work and to live.

 

Life with no purpose is going to cause chronic depression. People need something to aim for.


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  Reply # 1987215 2-Apr-2018 16:14
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You can operate a dairy and buy cows as well to drink a glass of milk. Honestly, I'd prefer the opposite way. Good luck!





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  Reply # 1987221 2-Apr-2018 16:38
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After re-reading the beginning of this thread, I think what you are after is a life with an aviation component, rather than a career as a pilot. It seems like you are well able to dip your toe in, to see if you like it, without forsaking everything. There are plenty of people that have decided to take up recreational aviation later in life because they can afford it and it 'scratches an itch'. The plan you seem to be formulating allows you to take things as far as you wish, whether that ends up just being private flying for your own enjoyment, or beyond.
I hope the schooling you have received includes what NZCAA expects with regard to owner operator businesses. You seem to have the business credentials, which is obviously helpful. Good pilots don't always make good businessmen.




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