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Featured I am thinking about a career as a pilot

Discussion in 'Education and Employment' started by Mattymatt, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. Mattymatt

    Mattymatt Imperfectly Perfect

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    As the title reads, I am thinking about becoming a pilot. I don't know if this is madness because I don't know of anyone who is autistic that also flies planes. I started my research yesterday and learned that there is going to be quite a shortage of pilots in the next two decades. I know it's a difficult career to start for someone that is 41 years old so I am going to wait until I've been at my present job at Piedmont Airlines (American Eagle) for a year before I make a decision one way or another. Next weekend, a local flight school is offering a free 1 hour introductory lesson where the instructor lets us know if we would make it or not. I am going to give this a shot to see if it is even possible. If I can safely maneuver the plane, maybe it would be a future possibility.

    I do know that it is very expensive but Piedmont is offering significant amounts of tuition reimbursement so it might be a good future goal. As aways, I welcome the wisdom that Autism Forum members have to offer.
     
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  2. Hdphn33

    Hdphn33 Tamers

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    I don't think you're too old to learn how to fly.
    If this was computer science / coding on the other hand that would probably be an issue because of the generational gap.
    I hear these days commercial planes basically fly themselves. With the pilot taking control in certain circumstances like stormy conditions maybe.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
  3. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Consider it from a seasoned pilot's perspective, paying special attention to the industry's "lag time". Might be best to directly contact someone with industry ties and ask them if it's worth pursuing at your age.

    "Somebody just learning to fly is years away from meeting any airline’s hiring criteria. So while the mechanisms are falling into place to curtail a full-blown crisis, the shortage is going to be with us for a while."

    Fact and Fallacy of the Pilot Shortage

    Some of my parents' best friends were career American Airlines pilots. They went to work right after World War Two though, under very different circumstances than today. A tough job not only on the pilot, but on their families as well. If you truly love flying to a point where you can do without family and a social life and can bear enormous sacrifices, stresses and responsibilities, it might be for you. Though it's far more than just another job opportunity.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
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  4. TempeFan

    TempeFan Active Member

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    An Aspy interested in being a pilot could DO the job, but how in this world could one over 40 GET the job?
     
  5. Mattymatt

    Mattymatt Imperfectly Perfect

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    I'm told that there is such a shortage that anyone under 50 is basically considered good to go. I heard this both from my company and the flight school I looked into. Basically I could be ready to be a first officer in about 18 months assuming everything goes as planned. I'm fortunate that I don't have a family and I've never been married. I have no children of my own either. So it may be within the realm of possibility. But I don't know just yet.
     
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  6. OrdinaryCitizen

    OrdinaryCitizen Well-Known Member

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    I been talking to major airline pilot he told me its kinda late for me to go there cuz it takes like 10 years to get all the experience and license to fly anything that pays real well and by that time i be like 45-50 also on passenger airlenes you have to fly according to odd schedule so your sleeping pattern will suffer.

    Plus to get license you need some real $$$ instructors charge lots of money for letting you practice in their airplane and you need certain number of hours to fly before you get first license, he told me it could be a better deal if you buy your own little plane and just pay instructor to fly with you.

    Also now days there's planes (Airbus) that can take off and land themselves not in our lifetime, but soon pilots will be not necessary IMO.

    Its still fun though if you like flying and care less about making big money.

    Have you taken demo flight with instructor where he lets you steer and have a feel of the airplane?
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
  7. Mattymatt

    Mattymatt Imperfectly Perfect

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    @Judge Thank you for sharing that article. It definitely makes me want to think twice. I do know that if I go in this direction, I would work for a regional that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Airlines so that might or might not make things easier. Basically I would havea choice between PSA Airlines and Piedmont. Really, I'll only know if this is a possibility once I try the free 1 hour lesson. I have to know ifi can at least be able to safely operate an aircraft.
     
  8. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    The big thing is to get some definitive information about the age factor relative to that "lag time" mentioned. Find out how credible this is relative to how long you're willing to wait to nail a job like that.

    My nephew was a licensed pilot and he gave up the idea in complete exasperation some years back. He's about ten years younger than you are. Too many commitments and the overall cost.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
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  9. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Missionary ☝ Cybernaut

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    I learned programming [BASIC] 38 years ago, and have used seven additional languages since. The logic behind today's languages is not substantially different than what has gone before.* More to the point, flow charts are completely unchanged.

    *PLC programming is a slightly different paradigm, but it is still accessible to an experienced programmer.
     
  10. Hdphn33

    Hdphn33 Tamers

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    If you've been coding that long of course it wouldn't be a problem now. But for most elderly folk who don't use or haven't started started using computers within the past 15 years still have trouble using a mouse or accessing info online. Side stepping pop ups. Not getting suckered by nigerian prince emails. And all the other basics. Which makes programming languages a million times more complicated for them since they aren't already familiar with the tech.

    If you were 65 and wanted to become a programmer but never used a computer and haven't been involved with other programming before it's just not going to happen. ya there will be exceptions but 99% won't be able to grasp it under the circumstances and generational gap.

    Since they don't use or rarely use computers they don't have the resourcefulness needed to find proper tutorials on coding either.

    Anyway this is off topic thread is about pilot stuff was just pointing out to the OP that it's not as bad some other professions.
     
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  11. TempeFan

    TempeFan Active Member

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    Technology is very fast paced and ever changing. I graduated college in 1984. My degree in computer programming was obsolete the moment I crossed that stage after they put that degree in my hand. Each job I had required that I start from scratch learning a completely different system in a totally different language. Most HR managers in every industry subscribe to the theory that elderly folk are computer illiterate and obsolete, so they won't consider hiring people over 40 regardless of whether they can do the job or not.

    AARP has a section in their monthly magazine featuring people over 50 switching careers, some to some thing similar and some way out of their previous field. If one has the connections and the buring desire, it can be done. Being already employed in the industry means your foot's in the door already.

    There, we're back on topic.
     
  12. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Interesting reading from the perspective of the FAA in terms of Medical Certification of Pilots With Autism Spectrum Disorder. Looks more positive than I would expected. Though it does reflect definite scrutiny by the authorities over anyone seeking to pilot aircraft with ASD. Where considerations of comorbid conditions might be even more of a concern.

    https://www.faa.gov/other_visit/avi...ons/designee_types/ame/fasmb/media/autism.pdf
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
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  13. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member

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    Before you make any plans I would see if you are capable of being a pilot. It is not for everyone.
     
  14. tducey

    tducey Well-Known Member

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    I wish you luck but I think being a pilot requires a lot of effort and work. If you can go for it.
     
  15. OlLiE

    OlLiE Well-Known Member

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    the health restrictions, i have heard are quite stringent though, it may be worth finding out what they are

    in germany a pilot with a depression is alleged to have intentionally crashed a passenger plane, so there may be additional psychological hurdles that have been put in the selection criteria
     
  16. OrdinaryCitizen

    OrdinaryCitizen Well-Known Member

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    In every movie you see people lie to pass the psycho test in the army or any other agency where they employ those so guess we know the answer to that, i'd be more concerned about psychical health restrictions.
     
  17. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know?

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    As an encouraging note regarding the age barrier... Someone I know (not AS) decided to do exactly what you are contemplating at the age of 38 and now, some 15 years later they have been flying passenger jets internationally for some years.
    It was a lot of grinding to get there, they made plenty of sacrifices and they were very well off to start with which helped. All that said, age did not prevent them from fulfilling their dream.
    There are so many other things to consider as pointed out above, but age may not be as much of a barrier as it might initially seem.
     
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  18. chocoholic

    chocoholic Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Mentioning it again, but aspies are known to have faults on detoxification genes and a job where there are aviation fumes from fuel could pose a significant health risk. Please do your research on this. That pilot that came down was said to be a victim but it was covered up.
     
  19. Graphin

    Graphin Master procrastinator

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    A job as a pilot especially in the entry is demanding and costly, there are many hurtles to overcome.
    People here have mentioned most things i wanted to.
    I heavly considered pursuing that but not for me.
     
  20. Flygirl

    Flygirl Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hello Matty.
    I am a Flight Attendant with a very large American Airline and fly regularly with a couple of Captains that I know are on the spectrum but very savant & HFA.
    So, no they are not the greatest at shooting the breeze over a cup of coffee, or a martini on a layover, but may I say, I always always adore flying with them, as they exude professionalism , logic, detail to safety and adherence to procedures.
    And know For sure, that in Case of an emergency, emotions would not kick in, just pure thinking out the box and feel safe that any decision they would make, I would make it back home in one piece. GO FOR IT!!!!
     
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