Answer to a question that was submitted at

Subject: Age factor

Question from Orville:

I am 63 years of age and in good health. I have always wanted to fly, but, is my age against me in wanting to begin flying lessons? I would like to become qualified in only single engine for recreational purposes.

Answer from Malcolm Dickinson:

Hi Orville,

If you can drive a car, you have the necessary control to fly. There's no reason not to start lessons.

You should understand that it may take you longer (more hours of lessons) to get your license than it would for a 21-year-old... but as long as you are enjoying your lessons, then I wouldn't worry about how many hours it takes.

Just last weekend I flew with a man who's about 65 and who has had 100 hours of lessons. He recently flew solo for his first time and will take his pilot flight test in another month or two.

But don't take my word for it - take two or three lessons and then ask your flight instructor, "so what do you think, will I be able to get my license?" He will tell you if he thinks it might be a problem.


p.s. Are you interested in getting your license in order to fly to other places, or just to fly locally? If just locally, you might consider getting a "recreational pilot license" instead of a "private pilot license." Ask your instructor about this. It is not a common choice, because recreational pilots aren't allowed to go from place to place, but it would cut down on the time and expense involved in getting your license.