Hello, I am 20 years old. I want to start flight school at ATP, but I do not yet have my FAA class 1 Aeromedical. I am ready to take out a loan for flight training. This I my dream to be a pilot for a major airlines.
About 3 years ago I got 2 petty misdemeanors. 1 for possession of marijuana and 1 for drug paraphernalia. They have been expunged but from what I understand won’t matter as the FAA will still see. I was hanging around the wrong crowd and have moved on.
I would honestly appreciate your brutally honest opinions, I would rather have brutally honest than being 100k in debt. Would I pass my FAA Aeromedical background, would I pass my background check for a Major Airlines? What if I’m applying 5 years from now (7) years since conviction (non arrest) would I pass a background check then? I am sober and ready for the truth. Thanks, fly safe out there
The truth is no one can answer this question except for an AME (Aviation Medical Examiner). Since the charges were drug related you’ll probably have to jump through some hoops and spend some money but if in fact those were the only offenses you should be ok.
That said you most definitely want to get your Medical sorted out before you do anything else.
I checked my regular background check from my part time job and nothing came up, but from what I understand the FAA background checks are more thorough because they work through the government. Would it make a difference if I was 18 at the time?
Your age at the time does not matter, neither does the fact that your record was expunged. The federal government can see through that expungement, as can airline employers. You need to schedule an appointment with a FAA Medical examiner and speak with them. I would also recommend contacting the recruiting departments of several regional airlines and discussing this directly with them.
None of us can say for sure. Best to ask the airlines directly.
That said, I had a student that had a possession charge on his record. Last time we spoke he was flying for a regional. It was challenging for him to obtain his medical. The FAA also required that he take a drug test years later.
So with that I would say that it is possible but your first step is to obtain a first class medical. If you can get that then you should be fine.
First off ATP requires you to have your FAA first class medical before you start the program. Second any drug related issues must be disclosed on your medical application. This will most probably delay the process so sooner is better than later.
My application for a first class airman medical certificate was denied by the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration working in the Federal Air Surgeon’s office because of a mis-diagnosis of my psychologist saying that I have autism spectrum disorder and aeromedically significant cognitive deficits. If the FAA Administrator issues me a Statement of Demonstrated Ability (SODA), AME Assisted Special Issuance, or Special Issuance Authorization first class airman medical certificate in the future, can I still use this medical certificate to enroll into ATP Flight School or do I must need an unrestricted first class airman medical certificate to attend ATP Flight School? I believe that I absolutely do not have any of the medical conditions cited by the FAA.
Having a SODA or a Special Issuance does not mean that you have a restricted medical, it means that your medical was issued under a different process than a regularly issued medical. I have a special issuance for vision issues, but my medical itself is unrestricted.
A restricted medical would be something like “limited to day flight only”.
ATP will have no issues with a SODA or Special Issuance, as long as there are no restrictions associated with it.