For pilots, there’s a unique crossover between a career and a passion. The career is what you work so hard for, the one that pays the bills and supports families, the one that comes with seniority, travel, adventure and countless nights away from home. Then there’s the pure and simple passion for flight. A passion that was likely ignited at a young age and continues to burn flight hour after flight hour. The one that takes you to the skies, even on your days off. The passion is what started you on this journey, the one thing that makes your job more fun than most, one which you love and also get paid to perform. Not many people can truly say that they have a passion for what they do, but then again those people probably aren't pilots.
For those with a career that they like, but not necessarily love, the thought of retirement is likely a happy one, but for those with a deep rooted passion, the perspective can be much different. For many pilots, the choice to retire, specifically from flying, is not theirs to make. With a mandatory retirement age of 65 for all Part 121 Operators, there is a hard stop attached to a pilot’s passionate career, at least with a major carrier that is.