Getting older, does life/work experience count for anything?

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Highflyinpilot
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Getting older, does life/work experience count for anything?

#1 Post by Highflyinpilot » Sun Apr 17, 2016 12:17 pm

Hello folks!!!

Not getting any younger, sitting at 32 years old with a CPL.
Have been working in the same career for the last 10 years, outside of aviation, but a true "career" type job...tradesman, millwright and welder.

I have solid life and work experience, as stated above in the trades working in the mining industry, to working as a conductor for a class 1 railroad. Just wondering if life and work experience is worth anything when applying or being considered for a pilot position?

What I'm getting at is how would someone market themselves with pretty much no aviation experience?

Thanks
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longjon
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Re: Getting older, does life/work experience count for anyth

#2 Post by longjon » Sun Apr 17, 2016 12:53 pm

looks like that job out of Dawson City in the gold camp would right up your alley.
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Re: Getting older, does life/work experience count for anyth

#3 Post by schnitzel2k3 » Sun Apr 17, 2016 2:06 pm

Maturity does factor in, but not as much as flight experience. It is what makes you affordable insurance wise. Once you get some flight time (1500+AAs), you'll find doors will open quickly.

Employers like to know the job will get done (work ethic), but they also need to know you can hack the flying.

S.
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Re: Getting older, does life/work experience count for anyth

#4 Post by lownslow » Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:43 pm

1. 32 years old isn't old to get started. I know plenty of successful guys who started around that age.

2. A more mature appearance and be an asset, especially if the pilots are to be seen by particularly affluent passengers
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Re: Getting older, does life/work experience count for anyth

#5 Post by Meatservo » Sun Apr 17, 2016 10:25 pm

When I was starting out, one of my pals/fellow 185-drivers was starting out around the same time, and we liked to make fun of him because he was 30-ish. We made fun of his "loose skin and old balls". Now, 20 years later, I look back on being 32 as some kind of long-lost land of milk and honey. Now, in my mid-40s, my skin is getting loose and my balls are old. My old pal doesn't seem all that much older than me now, and he's doing really well. He's had a really distinguished career and I envy him somewhat in what he's accomplished, even though I guess I'm doing OK myself. He's actually a bit of a hero. I used to make fun of him but now I just look up to him.

There IS life after 30. Some might argue there is no life BEFORE 30.
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Re: Getting older, does life/work experience count for anyth

#6 Post by co-joe » Mon Apr 18, 2016 4:59 pm

As you know, millwrights have skills that are applicable to absolutely everything. Motors, engines, hydraulics, pneumatics/ compression, electrical, welding, metal fabrication, and on and on... I know cause I've worked with some and they are all about solutions to mechanical problems.

The problem is that most people don't know what they do...they work at the mill right? lol

You might want to take the approach to a third trade to get into bush flying. odds are you'd find transitioning to or helping out with aircraft maintenance easy to learn depending on what you specialize in or are experienced with. If you're anything like some of the guys I know, you already have more tools than most AME's.

The further north you go, the more applicable your skills are.
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Re: Getting older, does life/work experience count for anyth

#7 Post by awitzke » Mon Apr 18, 2016 6:41 pm

Yes absolutely. I know having the experience I had outside of aviation helped my cause when I was hired for my first flying job. Figure out how you can explain how your experience can relate to flying. A big one is any type of customer service experience. The mechanical background you have will be very valuable if you go north to find a bush type job. Employers like pilots who understand the plane they are flying past the "this is the turbo, this is the cylinder, this is the injector" etc. Knowing how things work help when troubleshooting problems that your AME's can't necessarily see since they don't fly. I think you'll be alright. I know a few pilots who got into aviation at 32-34 and they are all doing great. Still a lot of years left on your flying career.
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Re: Getting older, does life/work experience count for anyth

#8 Post by 180 » Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:44 pm

Yes, life experience counts for something in aviation. Absolutely.
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Re: Getting older, does life/work experience count for anyth

#9 Post by Highflyinpilot » Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:58 am

Thanks all for the replies and comments.
It's encouraging!!
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Re: Getting older, does life/work experience count for anyth

#10 Post by cxchd » Tue Apr 19, 2016 5:13 am

I was a millwright for 15yrs, but I had been flying since a teenager. In my mid 30,s finished up my commercial, did my flight instructor rating, and was able to teach part time and keep my full time millwright job as I had a family to support. The people and contacts I had instructing led me to my first full time job flying a 727. I've now been in the aviation industry for 20 yrs and now on a very modern aircraft. Getting that first job is the hard part. My experience as a millwright was a huge part of getting on the 727 as it was a very hands on airplane. Flew that plane for nearly 9 yrs and loved every minute of it.
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Re: Getting older, does life/work experience count for anyth

#11 Post by Rookie50 » Tue Apr 19, 2016 5:40 am

It also depends on who you are dealing with. Very generalized comment here born out of a lot of varied experience (not necessarily) aviation.

If you are dealing with some traditional (moron) with an idealistic mentality of someone they want to hire -- usually right out of (flight school) -- which means someone they can control / mold / who doesn't think, you're Hooped. Experience means nothing, age, letters, subservience, mean everything.

I've dealt with such people my whole life -- telling me I can't do something. Not enough letters, Ect. Told by one experience I have "anti - authority tendencies". Yeah, duh. Means I think for myself and have no issue making decisions. Isn't that a prime goal of a PIC? Many accidents simply, and nothing more, than indecisiveness on the part of the pilot.

I digress -- sorry --

Shake the dust from your shoes as you depart from such losers -- and that's precisely what they are -- middle management weenies that never built a thing in their safe little existance -- and find an out of the box thinker (they exist ) who will respect what experience and skills you have. Then work your tail off and prove their trust in you valid.
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Re: Getting older, does life/work experience count for anyth

#12 Post by 5x5 » Tue Apr 19, 2016 8:01 am

Rookie50 wrote:Then work your tail off and prove their trust in you valid.
That pretty much applies throughout your career.

As for age, the OP is certainly not too old to get going. Just be sure that you really consider the impact that moving frequently and living in more remote locations may have on your life and your family's life. Also remember that the impact is certainly not all bad. There is a tendency for many people to think that being away from a big city is just dreadful and should be avoided like the plague, but often the reverse is actually true. The experiences and friendships accumulated will form a really large and significant chunk of the "good old days" you'll look back on later in life.
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Re: Getting older, does life/work experience count for anyth

#13 Post by Slats » Tue Apr 19, 2016 8:36 am

schnitzel2k3 wrote:Maturity does factor in, but not as much as flight experience. It is what makes you affordable insurance wise. Once you get some flight time (1500+AAs), you'll find doors will open quickly.

Employers like to know the job will get done (work ethic), but they also need to know you can hack the flying.

S.
I don't think "flight experience" matters much at all. Anyone fresh out of flight school could conceivably have an ATPL after a year and a half of warming a right seat somewhere and be off to the airline races thereafter. I can't say with certainty but I'd be willing to hazard a guess that maturity and good solid life experience will get you through an airline interview easier than all the hours you spent reading a checklist.
If you want to start an aviation career now at 32, go for it! There hasn't been a better time in recent memory. Certainly if you had tried when you were 20, things would have been markedly different. I'm not saying it will be easy. It never is, starting from the bottom. You'll definitely take a pay cut initially and it will change your lifestyle, but if that's what you're after, now is the time. I think you might even find your age and life experience is an asset. After all, you're looking for an entry level job with entry level qualifications, just like the 20 year olds. You'll have a lot to offer that they won't. Good luck.
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Re: Getting older, does life/work experience count for anyth

#14 Post by cncpc » Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:06 am

longjon wrote:looks like that job out of Dawson City in the gold camp would right up your alley.
Beat me to it.
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Re: Getting older, does life/work experience count for anyth

#15 Post by KAG » Fri Apr 22, 2016 5:30 am

32 is not old at all. Also some northern operators would greatly benefit from the trades you could bring. also, the industry is moving along nicely so time to bigger machines is a lot less. If this is what you want to do then jump in the deep end. You're lucky as you have fall back trades to help you through the tough times.
Good luck.
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Re: Getting older, does life/work experience count for anyth

#16 Post by Av8r7 » Mon Apr 25, 2016 12:24 am

I work with a Navajo cpt. Whose mid 50's. Don't think he has any intentions of flying 705 but seems pretty pumped about getting into aviation. Instructed for a while then started flying 703 in his 50's. Good guy. Excited to see what happens
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