How Old Should Your Pilot Be?

What if you’re 59 years old and you’re not ready to retire? It’s no big deal for most professions, but for airline pilots it means you’re applying for a Canadian pilots license so you can fly with Air India, like Mike Ballard:

Ballard said he needs a Canadian license to land a job with Air India that would help offset the pension he lost during United’s bankruptcy. While India allows pilots to fly until age 65, authorities there are balking at certifying U.S.-licensed pilots who are no longer eligible to fly for their home airlines.

“It’s so frustrating that you almost have to laugh,” said Ballard, who retired Sept. 1 and is among thousands of pilots whose careers are in limbo as legislation that would raise the retirement age moves through Congress. The FAA, which also has authority to change the regulation, has yet to propose new retirement rules, much less implement them. That process could take two years.

Some pilots think the age requirement is just fine:

…David Aldrich, 55, an American Airlines captain, advocates keeping the current rules. “How many guys who want to stay [on the job] are on to their third wife with a 7-year-old at home, and ‘Oops, I got to 60’? That’s your problem, not the traveling public’s,” said Aldrich

David Aldrich is hilarious. We wonder if he says that sort of stuff over the speaker. Anyway, does a 65 year old pilot freak you out? We think 60 is the new 50, bring on the old pilots.

U.S. pilots landing in age limbo [Chicago Tribune]
(Photo:MalcolmAlmeida)