Becoming An Airline pilot With A Record

I’m interested in pursuing a career as a pilot and saw that Envoy has a great student cadet program that I’d be interested in pursuing through one of the partnered flight schools. But before I move forward I wanted to find out if my record would prohibit me from becoming an airline pilot. My record consists of a speeding ticket from 2010, a speed contest/unsafe speed charges from 2012 (both of the 2012 charges were given on the same incident), and a misdemeanor charge from 2013 that included a charge for prowling and resisting arrest but I was only charged for prowling and the resisting arrest charge was dismissed.

All charges were received when I was at the age of 20 or below. Since my last charge in 2013 five years have passed and I have had a no additional criminal or driving charges against me.

Do I stand a chance?

Chris,

While speeding isn’t the worse crime in the world, I did notice you saved the BIG one for last. Airlines don’t like criminal records but you have a few things going for you. First they were misdemeanors regardless of whether they were dismissed (the question is have you ever been arrested). The Regionals are desperate for bodies, if you start today it would take you about 2.5 years to get to Envoy which puts 8yrs between you and the charges. The Majors are less tolerant but by that point it’ll be over 10yrs so I believe you should be fine.

What’s CRITICAL is that you remain squeaky clean basically for the rest of your life. The “I was young and stupid” defense only works if you haven’t misbehaved since being young and stupid. Doing it later shows a pattern and you’re done.

Adam

Chris,

I am not as confident as Adam is that you can put this behind you. I would recommend that before you spend any money at all on flight training, you contact recruiters at several regional airlines, explain your situation to them, and ask how it might impact your chances of being hired. Be fully honest with them and see what they say.

Chris

I was wondering the same thing. I got in trouble with some pot back in college (20 yrs old-possession of marijuana) and didn’t see that misdemeanor charge on the list as a disqualifier. I’m 31 now, with no stupidity since, and by the time I applied for the majors i would be around 38. I also had the record sealed after it happened so it wouldn’t show as a drug charge. Any thoughts on this?

Jake,

Take a look at this thread:

Chris, I was just reading that. Would the age gap of my offense be any different or having had the record sealed help at all?

The age gap could help, but you need to know that this is a very clean cut industry and these things are not looked upon well.

There is no such thing as sealing a record when it comes to the FAA, that is a state procedure, the FAA is federal. They ask “have you ever…”, not “what does your record show?” and sealed or not, they will find out.

I would contact regional recruiters and ask them.

Chris

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