Airline pilots must retire at age 65, per federal government rules. Should that be changed to 66 or 67 given increasing longevity and shortages in the industry?

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Cher Miller
7 months ago

This RESULT is soooo stupid. It wreaks of the lack of ‘critical thinking’ so prevalent among today’s population. Think of this: This same question has been posed about ‘limiting the age of the President to 65’, and the vote result is just the Opposite! Now how does THAT make any sense, since an ‘Airline Pilot’s’ critical thinking in a moment! is paramount to the survival of the entire crew AND 300 or more passengers!!! on every flight. There is NO ROOM FOR ERROR for an Airline Pilot. At that age, the brain’s ‘decision processing time’ usually increases with age. A President needs to be ‘sharp’, but he is not under the same ‘seconds count’ GUN that an Airline Pilot is, yet the Public thinks it more important for a President to be younger than for an Airline Pilot??? How Stupid! They at LEAST should be the same result! But no. They are completely Opposite! Go figure! Just think of this: How many bad errors has President Biden made in two years??? MANY. For instance: Baby Formula Disaster, affecting Millions of homes in the U.S. Biden’s Answer to his lack of Response: He didn’t know about it! (his Admin. caused it!). He wasn’t TOLD about it (it was his Admin. that closed down the Plant without good reason – for far too long). In the end, it was our Dept. of Defense that resolved the issue, found Baby Formula in Europe, and got it Delivered to the U.S. in quantities that ‘helped’, while Biden was still running around making ‘sad excuses for his failure to act timely’ – saying, ‘it wasn’t HIS fault!’ What if HE were your Airlines Pilot in the sky when an engine failure happened, or a flock of birds suddenly flew into an engine, like HAPPENED to Airlines Pilot Sullenger, and he acted very fast, and very accurately, landed the plane in the Hudson River in NYC just after take-off, and NO ONE was Lost in this Air Disaster! because of his ‘experience’ (needed) AND his landing skills (from experience), and his ability to ‘reason through’ all the possibilities in a few seconds to the BEST possible scenario. And this is Key: (are you ready?) An Airline Pilot (most of which were trained in the Military or flew in wars, is a different ‘breed’ than a Politician is!!! They KNOW they HAVE to ‘stay sharp’, and they are tested REGULARLY for any impairments that might prevent their ‘being at their best’ to fly a plane on any given day! Presidents AREN’T, as we have seen. Thus, an ‘age test’ would benefit the Public far MORE for a President, than for an Airline Pilot! But disregarding all those facts, which anyone could know and understand, our uneducated and unrealistic and unthinking Public thinks that it would be Truer for a President than for an Airline Pilot probably for one reason: he has the most important ‘position’ of all Americans!’ which is True, unless you’re a passenger on an airline that’s in trouble… then that Pilot is THE MOST IMPORTANT person in your life who holds the power of ‘Life or Death’ for YOU in his hands, and with his brain power. Where a President on any given day can usually ‘sleep on it’, AND he has the advantage of having bookoo OTHER ‘advisors’ at his right hand every minute to ‘help him’ – that an Airline Pilot doesn’t have. He mostly has to in a second’s notice ‘Go With His Gut’ and Pray!!! And last: Would anyone trust Joe Biden with his life if you were told that HE was going to be YOUR pilot across country or around the World for the day??? noooo, baby! No one would! And not because of how Old he is. Because he is obviously mentally impaired! and everyone around him KNOWS it! It’s not a question of ‘age’. It’s a question of ‘mental awareness and acuteness’. And Biden has lost it! But an Airline Pilot would NEVER be still flying by Joe’s age. And bad as he is, Joe is still assumed to be our sitting President! and ‘doing his job every day’. It has nothing to do with ‘age’ for a President. It just has to do with his ‘mental acuity’ and ‘awareness’, which Joe doesn’t have, poor guy, BUT none of those around him will admit that to him, nor to US, so he remains – even though it is written in our Constitution that his Cabinet has the Power together to declare him ‘unfit for office’. But in this case, it’s not happening, is it. There should be Mandatory Testing of a President, yearly, or as symptoms present, but not an ‘age limit’. Some people get ‘dementia’ as early as in their 50’s – there is no ‘set time’ for when that can occur. But when it DOES, and is so OBVIOUS, as with Biden, his Cabinet is supposed to, together, take action on behalf of the Country. THAT isn’t HAPPENING with Biden’s Cabinet. But it would never happen with an Airline Pilot if he were exemplifying ‘symptoms’ of mental impairment, or even drug or alcohol impairment. It’s not a matter of ‘age’. It’s a matter of ‘ability’. But for an Airline Pilot, the age of ’65’ is considered the age when the brain starts to be ‘slower’ or ‘forgetful’ – and that is a problem for ‘flying a plane’, in even the best of circumstances, but ‘not so much’ for a Political Leader behind a desk, with tons of advisors and directors and department heads facilitating ‘the plane’ every moment. The only trouble for a President is when his Cabinet doesn’t do their jobs, or are incompetent to carry their load the are responsible for, and he doesn’t see it or catch it or deal with it. That’s NOTHING like what an Airline Pilot does every minute of every hour he is up in the sky! where HE has to be ‘at his best’ or terrible things can happen! A President is not usually under that kind of pressure! And when they are, they are NOT alone! But an Airline Pilot pretty much really IS! And that’s why THEY have an ‘age limit’, but a President doesn’t. And it should STAY that way!

John Davis
8 months ago

I believe in safety first.
Not only for people who fly but also for those of us on the ground.

8 months ago

If Nancy Pelosi can be the Speaker of the House at 80 yrs old, why can’t a pilot who passes the physical fly? What physical did Nancy pass. For that matter, what mental and physical test has Joe taken to “run?” this great nation?

8 months ago

As a retired A&P my thought is if they can pass the flight physical and maintain training proficency then raise the age.

Karen Smith
8 months ago

You know, I kind of like the idea that whoever is piloting the plane I’m flying in is in very good physical condition. I turned 65 last year and I hate to admit it, but I’m not 35 anymore and the chances of people 65 and older having “unknown” health problems crop up…including chances of blood clots/seizures, etc increases with age. The pilots are responsible for all those live in that aircraft and men 65 and up tend not to want to admit that they are not as fit as they once were. If they have a health problem that leads to a crisis situation…do you want to be on that plane??? How about your family members? Safety first.

Fly Away
8 months ago
Reply to  Karen Smith

That’s why they have co-pilots. You can be 30 and have a heart attack or a stroke or any number of issues.

8 months ago

I consider it hypocritical that federal law mandates that government emplyees, military personnel, and even pilots of commercial industries that are not even government agencies are mandated to retire at age 65, … YET Members of Congress, the President and those serving as Justices (not only SCOTUS, but all judicial appointees), can serve beyond the age of 65. It violates the 14th amendment. It is all or none. And I am tired of the double talk.

Vern H Goding
9 months ago

No matter what the age all pilots commercial or private must pass a FAA Medical. If even 80 and pass physical I’ll fly with them.

9 months ago

I worked at Boeing for over 25 years as a flight line mech. flight test mech. and final assy. tech.,and heard that on the 737 Max. had the same problems in the USA ? But the US pilots are better trained and put the plane into emergency manual operation! And wasn’t an age issue! Also I’m commercial pilot ! and 66 , but I think if you can’t drive a car , then you shouldn’t be allowed to fly any plane either! And seen people in their 50s , that didn’t get enough sleep and forgot where they were?

9 months ago

I have flown since I was 15 and I am now 70. I own and fly my own general aviation airplane. I flew fighters in the Air Force and Air Force Reserve for 20 years. I flew for a major airline for 32 years. I still take and pass an FAA class 1 physical every 6 months because I want to. My physical ability and mental acuity allows me to be a simulator instructor for a major airline now. If I wanted to, I could still fly passengers for hire under Part 125 or Part 135 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs). However, Part 121 of the FARs (airline/cargo) stipulates that no one over 65 can fly in those operations. The age 65 rule for Part 121 was changed years ago from age 60. In my opinion, both age numbers are arbitrary. As is the case for much of life, everyone has different physical and mental capabilities at all ages. The point of the current class 1 physical requirement for Part 121 pilots is to insure the physical and mental conditions of those pilots are good enough to crew those airplanes. Age 65 isn’t a magical door that somehow changes the physical and mental abilities of pilots to safely fly an airplane.

Phillip Wash Storm
9 months ago
Reply to  Lynn

I believe all elected officials and appointed beaucrats should be forced to retire at the age of commercial pilots, if a pilot can’t be safe with 300 passangers the Washington elite shouldn’t be trusted with the lives of 330 million citizens

8 months ago

I said something very similar. But you said it better.

9 months ago

I think its a BS idea- Spent years working my way up as a FO only to have the whiney crying captains (after 9/11) who were having to face retirement force the union to move the retirement age which ended up forcing thousands of FO’s back down the ladder to wait captain upgrade. Now.. like setting a watch , these yahoos again start B,M and whining about moving it again. I saw that writing on the wall and after a 35 year flying career said FU and retired. Sure glad I did now that I see the spoiled old brats have not changed much

9 months ago

If they didn’t get a shot they had to go.You don’t hear that in the news.Now who started that.

Antonio M. Salazar
9 months ago

I spent 20 years as an airline pilot following 21 years as a US Navy jet pilot flying off carriers. I hit mandatory retirement age at 65 (it had just been approved after many years at 60). The age 65 was approved at the same time as RJ (Regional Jet) pilots were required to obtain ATP licenses (which required 1500 hours flying time) before being hired. I retired in 2014 at 65 as a Captain which required a 6 month flight physical until I retired and the following year I underwent bypass surgery; I had 2 buddies that were in the Navy with me that died of heart attacks within a year of retiring form their airline. I think 65 as mandatory retirement age is ok however I question whether the ATP should remain as a requirement for future RJ pilots since no one else in the World did this!!! It takes a lot of years and money to accumulate the 1500 hours and the pay remains horrible for a First Officer in the RJ business and we were required to also have a Bachelor Degree in order to be hired. It’s little wonder that the majority of pilots went through the military since they also required degrees and flying times similar to the airlines which is also why the shortage will get worse before it gets better. Ask the same question of FAA Flight Surgeons and chose the answer that best suits today’s economy!!

8 months ago

You’re lucky if you can get in 100 hours a month during a deployment.

9 months ago

First the president that occupied the White House has nothing to do with working Americans. If you pass a physical and cognitive test you should be able to work until you’re 70.

Randall McCraney
9 months ago

The criminal in the Whitehouse has nothing to do with this! It all comes down to physical condition and health. You must pass the physical! Period!

Craig M.
9 months ago

You need a Class I Medical Certificate (fight physical including an EKG) every six months as a Captain, FO needs a Class II once a year. I’m 71 and play Pickleball three days a week, so I could probably still pass a medical. The FAA previously raised the age limit for a Class I Medical from 60-65. There should be plenty of data to make a decision on this. I’m not sure how many pilots want to sit for 8-10 hours at a wack at 70. My longest flight was 11.2 hours from Norton AFB, CA to Ramstein AB, Germany. I don’t think you would get enough pilots to stay to make much of a difference.

Earline Clason
9 months ago

Yes, but they should the criteria, cognizant testing and frequency of their medical exams.

9 months ago

Maybe not forcing those poisonous BS VAX’s on them might help with the pilots dying in the cockpit problem the airlines seem to be having.

Lynn Maynard
9 months ago

I’m 68 years old and I know that age matters. But it’s more important that the physical and mental capacity of the individual pilots be taken into consideration. With a mandatory annual testing requirement beging at age 62 I believe many pilots could fly safely up to age 72.

Thomas A Cunningham Jr
9 months ago

Does not solve the real problem of Fed. Gov. mismanagement!

9 months ago

Why was this even an issue to put forth on this forum? And then, to posit the argument re increased longevity, citing the fact we have a president who is 80, is a farce, in that it elicits, as expected, the most votes! The issue is much more complex than mere age. Note that no mention, in any of the responses, addresses cognitive abilities, gross motor skills, or fine motor skills. If the current president had the requisite knowledge to fly a plane, how confident would you be in the rest of his abilities to get you safely to your destination?! I can see the advertisements, now, “Come fly IDIOT AIR, where your planned destination may not be where you end up, but we guarantee excitement, and untold thrills, for your journey! We highly recommend you take advantage of our free alcoholic beverages, and recreational drugs, on each flight. You’re gonna have a blast in the end!”

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