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JohnMitchell

Mandatory retirement age?

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As an air traffic controller, I was required to retire at age 56. Airline pilots used to be age 60. The snafu with their retirement funds made the FAA bump that up to age 65. Here I am, 58 years old, still going strong (I feel) but I know some day I'll have to quit doing tandems. Does anyone have any opinions on what age should be the cutoff for being a TM?

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JohnMitchell

Airline pilots used to be age 60. The snafu with their retirement funds made the FAA bump that up to age 65.



So, it had nothing to do with an actual safety issue? :S
Every fight is a food fight if you're a cannibal

Goodness is something to be chosen. When a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man. - Anthony Burgess

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kuai43

*** Airline pilots used to be age 60. The snafu with their retirement funds made the FAA bump that up to age 65.



So, it had nothing to do with an actual safety issue? :S

The cutoff of 60 had nothing to do with safety. It was an arbitrary rule impose in the late 50s.
"There are NO situations which do not call for a French Maid outfit." Lucky McSwervy

"~ya don't GET old by being weak & stupid!" - Airtwardo

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I am 58 years old and in no rush to retire.
Perhaps old TIs should be required to pass a physical fitness test: x chin-ups, y sit-ups, z push-ups, low risk of heart or lung disease, eye-sight corrected to 20/20, no dementia symptoms, etc.

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I know a lot of guys younger than me who have retired. When they clocked 10000 tandems I guess they got bored, and decided to do other stuff. 10000 seems to be the acceptable number, its a lot of jumps.

I think the body will tell people when enough is enough. When you hit 60 things start getting a bit more difficult. Don't think there should be an age related limit on it though. A valid medical is important.
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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JohnMitchell

***Hey John, I don't believe there should be a mandatory retirement age for anything if the physical and mental components are working.

I'm with you. I wished I could have worked another year-ish as a controller. Really loved that job. [:/]


I can understand... I have a brother, an ATC @ Newark and then the last 20 years or so at Dulles... who "retired" as per age regulations.....He too always liked the work, even the few years when he worked Radar ... at a place just south of Wash. DC...... So he made some inquiries and learned of a Private Contractor who oversees All the "ramp traffic".. fuel vehicles, baggage carts, towmotors, cleaning and food service trucks,,,,, AT Dulles... and Now, works for Them... He enjoys his work, likes being on the airport grounds ( Who Doesn't ?? ;) ) Is able to collect his pension AND still earns a paycheck....
He says " I still work in a "control tower" but it is Not nearly as far OFF the ground , as I was used to."..:)Of course, NOW ,,, he isn't able to enjoy the "time off" that others do... But He seems OK with it !!! Good Luck, John, have a great spring and summer..
jmy:)

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Yeah, I was a straight up radar guy, so ramp control would be a big bag of new tricks for me. :S

Like you said, the Eagle makes a low pass on my bank account each month, so I've got a lot of options. So far, hucking drogues on Oahu for a month or two at a time has been a helluva fun "retirement." B|

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If you really know yourself and are honest about it, there's no need for mandatory retirement ages.
Problem is, not many can judge themselves.
This is the paradox of skydiving. We do something very dangerous, expose ourselves to a totally unnecesary risk, and then spend our time trying to make it safer.

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I don't think a TM retirement age is related at all to Controllers or Pilots. Totally different levels of damage at play. Whether those retirement ages are fair or valid is a different topic.

However;

As a ski instructor we had a mandatory fitness test added a few years ago which was to weed out the infirm, regardless of age. It had push-ups, stretches, box jumps, etc. Some 80 year olds passed it and some 20ish folks failed it. I could see how something like that could be relevant to skydiving.

There is also a cognitive element that is relevant and is something the FAA looks out for in pilots, also regardless of age. I had an FAA doc tell me once that after 65 most pilots struggle to learn a new airctraft type, so maybe that is a good age to have some recurrency tests.

On a side note, I had no idea controllers got retired so young. That seems short sighted based on modern knowledge.
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WickedWingsuits


On a side note, I had no idea controllers got retired so young. That seems short sighted based on modern knowledge.

Yeah, although I knew I wasn't as quick as I was in my 40's, I had the experience in my 50's to see things before they happened. Lot to be said for experience. ;)

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Hey John, glad you're enjoying Hawaii. Even though I've avoided rotator cuff surgery so far, I've decided that my next tandem physical will be my last one, so 2 years later I will retire from tandems. Even though I'm feeling healthy and know a few guys who have continued into their 70's, my own personal feeling is that passengers don't need to put their lives in the control of someone whose chances of stroke/heart attack are in the higher percentiles. IMHO. But don't want to get into an argument with anyone who feels otherwise.
Stay Safeish

madjohn

Main goals in life: Be on the "Jumpers Over Eighty" (JOE) World Record and attend the Lost Prairie Boogie once after I'm gone.

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JohnMitchell

***
On a side note, I had no idea controllers got retired so young. That seems short sighted based on modern knowledge.

Yeah, although I knew I wasn't as quick as I was in my 40's, I had the experience in my 50's to see things before they happened. Lot to be said for experience. ;)

Side note: Hey John I just want to say thanks for all you guys do/did out there. I'm only a private pilot, but routinely fly on experimental jets with Cessna as a flight test engineer out of Wichita. Sometimes it can get pretty busy around here and I'm constantly amazed how well ATC handles the load. Not to mention how professional and helpful they are. We can be pretty annoying with our special requests as a test organization, and it seems to always go without a hitch. It never ceases to impress me.
"Are you coming to the party?
Oh I'm coming, but I won't be there!"
Flying Hellfish #828
Dudist #52

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jdobleman

Even though I've avoided rotator cuff surgery so far,

Do you need it? I've had both done (not because of skydiving) and recovered 110%.


Quote

I've decided that my next tandem physical will be my last one, so 2 years later I will retire from tandems. Even though I'm feeling healthy and know a few guys who have continued into their 70's, my own personal feeling is that passengers don't need to put their lives in the control of someone whose chances of stroke/heart attack are in the higher percentiles.

Yep, I wondered if anyone felt that way. There was a 70 yo TM who had a heart attack under canopy a few years back, right? Thanks for the input.

Some day I'll need to hang it up. I just hope I realize it before the rest of the world does. . . ;)

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JohnMitchell

***
On a side note, I had no idea controllers got retired so young. That seems short sighted based on modern knowledge.

Yeah, although I knew I wasn't as quick as I was in my 40's, I had the experience in my 50's to see things before they happened. Lot to be said for experience. ;)

"Experience is something you don't get until after you need it"........Oliver's Law.

Have this placard on my shop office wall.

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linebckr83

Side note: Hey John I just want to say thanks for all you guys do/did out there. I'm only a private pilot, but routinely fly on experimental jets with Cessna as a flight test engineer out of Wichita.

Aw, thanks. Yes, out on the West Coast we did a lot of Boeing test flights. Flutter track runs, emergency descents, etc., even boxing the compass. :D It sure made it interesting some days. I'm sure your test pilots are a professional and good as the Boeing guys.

When we meet up, first pitcher's on me. B|

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JohnMitchell

As an air traffic controller, I was required to retire at age 56. Airline pilots used to be age 60. The snafu with their retirement funds made the FAA bump that up to age 65. Here I am, 58 years old, still going strong (I feel) but I know some day I'll have to quit doing tandems. Does anyone have any opinions on what age should be the cutoff for being a TM?



How about when they can longer pass the FAA medical? I fail to see that chronological age has much bearing. I know an 86 year old guy who is far fitter than many 35 year olds.
...

The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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Hi John,
I think the Mandatory Retirement Age for TI's should be not an "age' but when the TI can no longer do 16 oz. curls ...with either hand!!
I'm not a "TI" but all this BS about mandatory retirement ages not just for TI's is so much krap!! how about a mandatory retirement age for "Golf!! Hahahahahaha! I've heard "Anti's" espouse Mandatory retirement ages for old people who drive cars, fly airplanes, shoot guns and a bunch of other stuff!! Bunko bucko!!
I'm 70 ..will be 71 in June and I still "WORK," drive cars, shoot guns, drink beer, skydive (when I can afford it) and......as the old sayin' goes about why I still jump......because I haven't found a good reason to quit!!
SCR-2034, SCS-680

III%,
Deli-out

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***I wish the FAA saw things in my old job your way. :)
Quote

I know an 86 year old guy who is far fitter than many 35 year olds.

:D From some of the 35 year olds we see, that's setting the bar pretty low. . . ;):D

But yes, I know exactly what you mean. I'm sure you'll agree with me that staying active and in shape IS the fountain of youth. B|

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