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I don't know if it's common knowledge or not, but there has been some grumblings in the professional flying community about the age-60 forced retirement rule.
No one can say for sure how 60 became the magic number, but those of our flying colleagues who've reached that milestone, are bravely bidding farewell.
It's fortunate for us that, unlike the military, we have a system by which the promotion system will not get "bogged down" with old-timers who are reluctant to leave their position, to make room for the new heads. Co-pilots can be fairly certain that there IS light at the end of the tunnel, and that someday, they too can become captains.
If this age limit were to be raised, what would this mean to the captains that had recently been "age-graded?" Would they all be re-hired in an instant? What would this mean to the airlines? Would the recently promoted co-pilots have to accept a demotion--in order for the ranks to remain balanced? Would the "ranks-tree" have to be trimmed, military-style? (Trimmed at the bottom of the tree.)
And the most important question of all: What SHOULD the new age limit be raised to, 65? 70, 75?
Summary: Age 60 seems to be a workable age, but 55 would be better--but it's just my opinion, I could be wrong!!!!
If you're like me, you've been checking this forum for weeks waiting for a response to a well thought out post. I am, in my own mind, only a student. I have not taken more than an introduction ride, amounting to .7 hours in my log book. Take the following with a grain of salt.
I recently took over a position from a woman who had done her job, and done it well, for 41 years. She was perfectly capable of continuing, but she just felt that her time in the work force had come to an end. Doesn't mean that she's put to pasture, just moving on to other things. I'd like to think that when the time comes, I'll move out of the way with the same grace and dignity.
Airline captains have taken on the greatest responsibility in aviation. They are singularly responsible for the well being of dozens, if not hundreds of people. I have no reservations about puting my life into the hands of a 60, 65, or 70 year-old pilot who has demonstrated the skill and physical health to continue doing so. By that age, however, most captains have acxxxulated substantial retirement savings and could, easily, continue flying on a smaller scale.
As to the rank tree and retirement age change, forgive the pun, but existing pilots should be "grandfathered" in, retired pilots should remain retired. I believe it wrong for someone has who stepped down, whether by choice or by requirement, to take away the career of a young eager pilot to fulfill their own desire to be in the left seat. Ex post facto. Call me the Monty Hall of careers. Once your choice is made, stick by it.
As a person, I don't measure myself by yardstick of self-importance. As a pilot, I don't measure my value by how many people sit behind me. I only ask that everyone else do the same.
Props to RV
Robert,I live in an airpark in northern Wa.we have three retired airline captains up here and they are all active pilots. During conversations with them,they all feel they could have easly continued for another five years. The main burdon is on the airlines since the pilots remain on salery and medical till 65 when they are eligible for medicare and their pension. The only ones that seem to be fighting the extension are the unions. As for the pilots who are now on retirement,let them stay there,no coming back,the companies have allready made the commitment for their leave of absence.
Mandatory retirement is wrong and fascist. Simple as that. If you are saying I'm unfit to work then prove it.
Well, I find it interesting most of the "older" pilots complaining about the mandatory age 60 retirement all landed their jobs THANKS to the age 60 ruling. Otherwise, they would have to wait another 5 years or so prior to getting hired.
I can't see myself working to age 60, I'll have better things to do like, GO FISHING, CAMPING, ETC - I have a life , maybe everyone should consider that!
Make it a habit to check your fuel gauges to ensure the tanks are even.
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