My Spouse Believes Old People Should not Fly

25 Replies

My Spouse Believes Old People Should not Fly

Posted by Michael Walpole on Jun 1, 2018 11:12 am

No - seriously.

She read an article of how a 63 year old died while piloting an aircraft and the only reason they knew that happened is another pilot was in the plane and landed it.  So, now she is of the belief people my age, 65 should not fly.  Especially since commercial airline pilots can't fly for the airlines any more past 65.  Of course, we all know she is wrong. However. I guess that is what happens when you make assumptions based on beliefs and tidbits of information here and there.  I told here there are pilot flying that are over 80 years old.  Of course the first person she thought of was her 80+ year old mother and she freaked out about that.  Of course not all people age the same, some people stay healthier and sharper longer than others.  At this point I'm thinking it's a good thing she doesn't write the FARs or work for the FAA.  LOL

My guess is it will take time to turn her thinking around.  I know she doesn't understand this is not like driving a car where you just walk in, take an eye test and renew for another 4 years and taking a person's license away is pretty hard.  Between the Medical Certificate and the Flight Reviews the people who are unable to act as pilot in command are weeded out.  Can someone be missed, sure.  It's just unlikely.

In my case I am 65, overweight, type 2 diabetic on metformin, a statin and mild BP medicine.  I have  Special Issuance, which is a PIA, but my numbers are still good and I am working on the overweight thing.  That is part of why she is worried.  I guess it's good she cares.  In the meantime, I am working on an Instrument Rating and am about to take the written soon.  I am pretty sure she has no clue about what it all takes to earn the rating or even what is involved in a Flight Review.  Can you imagine how much different the roads would be is every 2 years you had to demonstrate you know the rules of the road and that you know how to control and recover from a skid, make an emergency lane change, come to a rapid, controlled stop.  Add to that getting a Dr to sign off you are physically fit to drive.

I don't plan on stopping until I can't get a medical or can't pass a flight review.  I expect that will be a while down the road.  (I didn't tell her about Basic Med.  That would really freak her out.)  Just hoping eventually I can turn her thinking around.  I guess I can try to educate her anytime she appears open to it.  In the meantime ...

Mike W
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Re: My Spouse Believes Old People Should not Fly

Posted by Donald Winslow on Jul 2, 2018 10:55 pm

I agree with J Killian.
I am 77, married 54 years and my wife does not wish to just go fly, but is okay with me going.  A trip to visit is okay.  I used to say her idea of flying was fist class to HNL.
I was a crop duster when we were married, joined the Navy.  Flew North Viet Nam early when our losses were really heavy, so she has been through all of that.  After 21 years of single seat jets and 5 carriers, lots of missing friend, she still fears being left alone at our age.  But she knows how much I have always loved to fly, so puts up with all the expense pf the Swift and the hangar.
If you have the right gal, life is good.


Re: My Spouse Believes Old People Should not Fly

Posted by John Thistlethwaite on Jul 10, 2018 3:16 am

Ray Winslow: the right gal does make a difference. I was 30 years from flying, got back into it, 65 years of age, bought a Cessna 172N with AirPlains 180 hp Lycoming O360. A fine machine, indeed, but I learned to fly in a 1948 Piper PA15 Vagabond & yearned for a Cessna 180 - my idea of the "ultimate tailwheel" aircraft for my mission. I purchased a '55 Cessa 180 & got checked out for high power aircraft (it's 225  hp) and after 10 hours and 20 landings I thought I was proficient. The first time she flew with me, going to the big city for a medical checkup, I semi-ground looped during attempted takeoff. No prop strike, but wrinkled right wing and horizontal stabilizer. Taxied back to the hangar & loaded the luggage in that C-172 and she hopped in and we flew to Houston without a hitch! Brave or crazy or averse to the crowded highway... I'm not exactly sure which, but she's a good co-conspirator and adventurer. I am currently wingless, seeking a Cessna 182: she is not a fan of the tail wheel configuration for some reason!

Re: My Spouse Believes Old People Should not Fly

Posted by James Price on Jul 16, 2018 12:44 pm

Having been a pilot since 1956, with a commercial, instrument and instructor rating, and at 78 years young, If it were not for my continued flying experience as well as instructing
new pilots,  Young Eagles and the many flight reviews.  I think that I might be old too.  I would say that after 60+ years as a pilot that the greatest change is that I KNOW that I
am more conservative in my own decision making.  I still love to fly tail draggers and even give transition training for same.  When I am forced to back away from flying then I
think that I will continue with ground schools to help others gain the exciting experience of being a pilot.  NO, just being of a certain age does not make you less of a pilot.  The
loss of the love for the game will surely be the biggest reason to step away from flying.  The medical might be the other,  but I still fly with some that just love flying but need
someone to keep the company and safe.  I am sure it would be easier to give up sex than the ability to fly.  Luv all, but keep the greasy side down.  Jim Price, K78

Re: My Spouse Believes Old People Should not Fly

Posted by Brennan Callan on Jul 16, 2018 1:17 pm

Hi Jim,
I just helped my mom to get her STUDENT PILOT (for Light Sport Pilot) on her 83rd birthday earlier this spring.  She and I are working on our FAA REMOTE PILOT rating. 

Age is just a number, it is your TRIPLE-A, Attitude, Altitude, and Aptitude that matters.  The "altitude" in this case is whether you are upward bound in life or heading downhill.  I hope you keep learning, growing, and sharing your skills.  If not, what is the option, wither away and droop.  Not much fun in all of that.

Best wishes,
Aeronautical Scientist / Certified Underwater Archaeologist
Louisville, KY

Re: My Spouse Believes Old People Should not Fly

Posted by Dean Brock on Jul 18, 2018 10:04 am

I am a CFI in FL.  There are so many variables. Lots of students are not able to succeed at much younger than 65.  I had one student that could not succeed at about age 60, and I think it was because he had had a long career of driving cars.  I know that sounds peculiar, but I have also had students have big problems due to too much time flying MicroSoft-type PC products.  On the other hand, my Dad soloed and got his private at age 58, then his instrument at 59, and traveled IFR extensively after that.  I have a good friend still making a living flying business jets at age 82.  I have been flying for a really long time, and the only person that I have known personally, to be medically incapacitated in the cockpit, was in his 30's.