Second Career Pilots

In my latest post for The Pilot Network, I answer a question that I’m hearing more and more:

“I’ve been working in my career field for a while, but I’m thinking about becoming a professional pilot. Am I too late?”

I wanted to give a thorough, and potentially definitive response to this question. Here’s an excerpt of the start with a link to read the full post on

Network, meet my friend Mario. We met one night at our kids’ Cub Scout meeting. I was about to randomly mention to the crowd of parents that I’m a pilot anyway…because, I don’t know if you’ve heard but I’m a pilot…and when I saw that Mario was holding a copy of AOPA Pilot magazine I really couldn’t help myself.

Mario said that he’s retiring from his career in law enforcement and thinking about becoming a professional pilot…at an age greater than 50. By the time the scout meeting ended, I think I’d cured him of any doubts. He recently completed his Private Pilot Certificate and is working on his Instrument Rating. He loves flying and is excited about the prospect of a second career as an airline pilot.

Mario realizes that he’s late in life to be starting at zero hours, but he’s realistic about his career progression potential. His attitude has him set up to really enjoy this second career, and I’m very excited for him.

I’ve noticed a few people in similar situations asking around online if it’s realistic to start a second career as a professional pilot later in life. My answer is a resounding “YES!” with a couple caveats. This post is intended to outline what you need to do to get started.

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a long time. I apologize for not doing it sooner, and I hope there’s still time for it to help!

Click here to read the rest on!

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