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Never too lateNever too late

older student pilotEveryone’s heard the old saw about old dogs and new tricks. But if the subject is learning to fly, the analogy just doesn’t work. As it turns out, age can work on the pilot’s side when it comes to flying lessons—as many older student pilots discover. It takes passion, good judgment, aptitude, and money to earn a pilot certificate. Turns out, many older student pilots have these qualities in spades. After deferring the dream of flying for years, many older folks have accumulated enough wealth to finally make it come true. And if the reflexes have slowed, then the judgment gained from decades in the workforce can surely make up for it in the cockpit.

How do we know? The average age of AOPA’s 415,000 members hovers in the 50s—more than enough proof that a dream deferred is definitely not a dream denied.

AOPA stands ready to answer questions and provide advice for anyone interested in learning to fly—and this includes the nation’s growing senior population. AOPA’s Pilot Information Center has produced a subject report of interest to late-bloomers.

For even more information, contact AOPA at 800/USA-AOPA (872-2672) or via e-mail.

And if you began flying after the kids finished college, you paid off the house, sold the business, retired, or passed another such major milestone, share your story with us. You might just encourage a fellow aspirant to go “back to school.” It’s that time of year, you know.

Thomas A. Horne

Thomas A. Horne

AOPA Pilot Editor at Large
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.

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