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Am I too old/young to start flying?

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  • Am I too old/young to start flying?

    You are never too old. There is no upper age limit on obtaining a licence, although it is a well recognised fact that our ability to learn degrades with age, so expect to take longer and spend more to achieve your qualifications.

    I'm not sure what the lower age limit is - I think it might be 16?

  • #2
    Am I too old/young to start flying?

    As one of the resident wrinklies, I would suggest that the upper age limit would be set by the ability to climb into a microlight without help, and the absence of any signs of dementia. Piloting any kind of aeroplane is fairly demanding mentally, in that any tendency to be unusually easily distracted from the task in hand (an early sign of problems) can have unfortinate results. Equally, handling large quantities of information, such as is required in busy airspace is one of the tasks that old brains find increasingly difficult.
    The oldest pilot I see regularly is 86, and he finds climbing into his X-Air fairly laborious (who doesn't?). Speak to him, and there is clearly no lack of mental acuity.
    Training will require more hours, though I don't know enough to explain why. I think it may be associated with, say, the fact that I take longer to assess the traffic when emerging from a side road than I did when younger, rather than any lengthening of reaction time, for example. Previous flying experience, even from fifty years previously, confers a real benefit, just as it does in riding a bicyle or a horse. My wife, ten years younger than I, took longer to go solo because of her initial unfamiliarity with the experience, rather than any ineptitude.

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    • #3
      Am I too old/young to start flying?

      With respect to how young you can get a microlight licence; on the 'Microlight Application Check List' it sayes the applicant had to be at least 16 years of age on their first solo. So presumably a teenager can train and train and then go solo on the 16th birthday, and go on to pass the rest of the course over the following few days - depending on weather of course, and stamina!

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      • #4
        Am I too old/young to start flying?

        I believe that solo at 16 and GST on the 17th birthay has been already been done. As another wrinkley I can only envy
        Ginge

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        • #5
          Am I too old/young to start flying?

          I see that Richard Tosswill thinks that the ability to climb into a Microlight without help is the criteria for, presumably, the upper age limit. That might rule out some of our unidexter friends and others with a similar handicaps.
          I have been revalidating by GFT in a Eurostar for the last few years, and its not the getting up and in that's the problem, but getting down after an hour or so in the LH seat - what with being surrounded by Bacofoil and reconstituted chinese takeaway containers, I am terrified of putting my size 8 in the wrong place, so nowadays I ask for a steadying hand - not a problem with the Thruster though. Does that mean then that those of us who are into old farthood can only fly high wing?

          Ted Snook

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          • #6
            Am I too old/young to start flying?

            Just like sex, your never to old. Only things do tend to take a wee bit longer

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            • #7
              Am I too old/young to start flying?

              Hmmm... I would have thought that if you want to do it, you can't be too old. I'm a wrinkly with a slightly dicky knee that makes getting in and out (recent experience Xair, AX3) a bit tricky if it's playing up a bit but so far no need for incontinence pads for those little airborne accidents or an adapted bed hoist to get me in and out.

              Come on..... you're having a laugh :tongue:

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              • #8
                Am I too old/young to start flying?

                Than God you are never too old !!
                At 60 I thought that perhaps it was too late, having read the Forum for the last 5 months and joining the BMAA at Splash I am determined to try.
                Having had a trial flight in flex my biggest concern is my fear of heights !! I think the sensible idea is to take a flight in an Xair or similar. So watch out all you schools in Herts/Essex.

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                • #9
                  Am I too old/young to start flying?

                  "Never too old" should be about "Fit to fly" rather than the year you were born Chris. Having the mental and physical capacity to fly is far more important. There's a lot of younger men/women that are too old, and a lot of older men/women perfectly fit to fly.
                  John

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                  • #10
                    Am I too old/young to start flying?

                    Chris Turner wrote:
                    Than God you are never too old !!
                    At 60 I thought that perhaps it was too late, having read the Forum for the last 5 months and joining the BMAA at Splash I am determined to try.
                    Having had a trial flight in flex my biggest concern is my fear of heights !! I think the sensible idea is to take a flight in an Xair or similar. So watch out all you schools in Herts/Essex.
                    Old at 60? ye gods the younger generation I don't know what they are coming to ;-) If North Weald is'nt too far give us a call
                    http://www.saxonmicro.co.uk/
                    Ginge

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                    • #11
                      Am I too old/young to start flying?

                      :-)

                      Well said Ginge. My thoughts exactly when I saw this posting. My old mum's 90 this year. She doesn't like me flying because she thinks I'm too young to be risking my life doing something so stupid with everything still ahead of me :turn:

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                      • #12
                        Am I too old/young to start flying?

                        She's maybe right Roger, where as Ginge . . . :jumpin:
                        John

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                        • #13
                          Am I too old/young to start flying?

                          You're right about it taking longer as you get older.
                          I'm 65 this year and I've been training for 4 years.

                          Just got to GST standard when all the crap weather set in.

                          Never mind.

                          Love it

                          Regards

                          Sparrow

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                          • #14
                            Am I too old/young to start flying?

                            Keep it up Sparrow, it's well worth it in the end ;-)
                            John

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                            • #15
                              Am I too old/young to start flying?

                              Rob aka SPARROW,

                              It took me nearly two years and I was only 41 at the tiime. This last two years have had poor weather. When its not laggin' it down its too bloomin' windy. So stick at it and you'll eventually get there. :yeah:

                              PLUS now you've got your 'new' flying suits you cant give up. :roll:

                              PS recognise the flying suits in the pic, see they can make you fly.......

                              Attached files

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