Chicago Sun-Times
With Lori Rackl

Should "old" pilots be allowed to fly?

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Since 1959, Federal Aviation Administration rules have banned commercial pilots from flying once they turn 60 years old.

The Senior Pilots Coalition wants this rule overturned, saying it's not only discriminatory, it's a hurdle to solving the current U.S. airline pilot shortage.

I wasn't aware there was a pilot shortage, but that might help explain why every flight I take these days seems to be delayed.

And "pilot shortage" certainly made my ears perk up after I booked a flight on Northwest Airlines, only to hear this news.

So it's an interesting question: Should the FAA quit showing pilots the door once the biological clock strikes 60?

What do you think?

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2 Comments

It is, without a doubt, discriminatory! There are many other arguments that can be made for the case; however, this one trumps all others!

As the former wife of an airline pilot (married 21 years) I always used to think, "Don't they want to retire at 60 and be home with their families?" The airlines have raped many of these men and women of a comfortable retirement, so they have to work for benefits and because their pension was stolen from them.
Out of the 21 years of marriage, I can count on one hand the months that we were able to spend 30 consecutive days in the same bed. His schedule was horrible and I was like a single parent. The part of this story not being reported is that they can continue to fly after 60, just not in a Captain position. It's a toss up. My current husband is 64 and in wonderful physical and mental condition. The lifestyle of a pilot does wear down a body. Make the flight medicals more rigorous after 60, including both mental and physical evaluations every 3 months. If they pass, let them continue. They usually have many thousands of hours of flight experience that is valuable in an emergency.

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This page contains a single entry by Lori Rackl published on August 8, 2007 4:40 AM.

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