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Is 35 Too Old To Start A Career As Helicopter Pilot?

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I am 35 and always wanted a career as a helicoter pilot, but always put it off. Is it worth the hassle? It sounds like income is low in the beginning, but is the income good for a pilot with high hours?

I am looking for a carreer change and this might be it.

What do you think?

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I flew airplanes but didn't start flying helicopters till I was 30, and have gotten in 11 years of flying choppers since. I was very fortunate to get a flying job right out of school mostly because I had good friends and contacts in the industry. Tim McEvoy (Transwest) is the kind man I will always remember for helping me get started.


Never made any Real money until about 4 years into it. Had a couple of setbacks though and those things (accidents) can throw your time table out of wack.


At 35 you have plenty time, but I would advise against it, unless you are comfortably established financially and have little or NO baggage. If you are single it will be 100 times easier, you have to become a bush monkey and dig in.. hard, there is no time for broken hearts and the stress and drama of a bad relationship.


I wonder how serious you really are though, ask yourself this and contemplate honestly over it.

Most of us who have succeeded and realized our dreams have wanted to fly since we can remember and are even a little obsessive about what we do.


One of the easiest ways to succeed and become a professional pilot is to deeply Love and respect the machines and flying them, even under the most uncomfortable and extreme conditions.


You have to be 100% Certain that flying helicopters is what you want to do, if even after all the horror stories and Sh^t shows you are still an idiot and want to fly, then go for it.



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You have to be 100% Certain that flying helicopters is what you want to do, if even after all the horror stories and Sh^t shows you are still an idiot and want to fly, then go for it.




Iceman, I have been digging deep myself lately, and am in the early days of a good year of heavily researching the industry. I'm 27 and have been asking similar questions to the above. I have a wife, but no kids yet, so there is still some flexibility there for us. I know she would be very supportive, but having read a lot of comments about how hard the heli business can be on relationships, I certainly have my reservations. One thing I do know is that I just won't know until I give it a try. My heart is into the idea, for sure, or I wouldn't be bothering with the research. It's an expensive path to take, to turn around and decide if it isn't for me ... but sometimes its like that.


The other night I spent several hours on Youtube, searching for, and watching, helicopter crash after crash after crash. Part of my 'testing the waters'.


Anyway, onwards... I'll have some more questions to post on here soon.



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I started my flight training one month before my 33rd birthday and i'll be (oh god!!) 42 next month. Was an auto mechanic in my past life and realized one day that "if i turn 65 yrs old staring at these same 4 garage walls i was going to shoot myself"..... Hummed an hawed for 2 yrs., driving my coworkers nuts. One day i realized that if i didn't try, i would regret it for the rest of my life. From then on it was easy, only one direction to go. Jumped in with both feet not having a clue what i was getting into. After finishing my license, packed my car and headed west. Gave up pretty much everything (including a relationship) and here i sit, in a drill camp in the NWT with my crew and an A-star with almost 4000 hrs under my belt. An incredible journey that i can't believe i've had the privilege to do. No regrets about the things i gave up as i didn't want to have any interferences but i must admit i may be a little jealous of those who were able to make it work and maintain a "social life"

Best of luck any way that you decide!

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