Hello, I have begun commercial pilot training and wanted some insight on this; I received a single excessive speed (over 100mph) ticket that resulted in a 30 day license suspension when I was 19, I am currently 23 now with nothing else on my driving record. Since I received the ticket in California, it was only listed as an infraction and not something more severe such as reckless driving. In retrospect, I understand that my actions were reckless, and wanted to know how to address this to airlines/what my chances would be of finding employment with this on my record. Thank you
As your record has been clean since, I suspect you will be fine. Just make sure to keep your record clean and to disclose the violation if asked. You could always reach out to the recruiting departments of a few regional airlines and ask them directly.
Thank you for the response, given that nothing like this happens again and my driving record is spotless would such an incident permanently hamper my possible chances with majors in the distant future? I am aware that majors like Delta have a 2 ticket allowance but am unsure how much this will haunt me in the future years/decades.
I’m going to respectfully disagree with Chris. While the ticket isn’t a big deal the question on the application is “has your driver’s license ever been suspended?” and yours had.
I’m not saying your career is shot but you will have some explaining to do and less you think your record is clean airport security will be doing a very thorough FEDERAL background check. We just had a newhire yanked out of training for lying on his application, saying his record was “clean”. He probably would’ve been fine had he owned it but lying on your application is an immediate termination.
I understand that I will have to answer “yes” to 18(v) on the FAA medical application and I plan to do so accordingly. However, if I explain in the adjacent box that the suspension was court ordered because of the infraction (not the result of a criminal charge/DUI) and thus did not involve narcotics/alcohol or a misdemeanor conviction, do you think that the FAA/airlines would still see this as grounds for suspension given that I can provide evidence of the original ticket and court case? Others claim that they have been able to find employment with regionals/majors with suspensions for more serious charges like reckless driving but I just wanted to know if I should proceed with this career and expect reasonable opportunities. Thank you.
I never mentioned the FAA nor do I think they’ll be a problem. What I said (very plainly) was “you will have some explaining to do” should you ever make it to a Major airline interview. You seem to think driving 100mph isn’t as bad or as irresponsible as reckless driving or other offenses because (and this is my favorite) “it wasn’t listed that way”.
With that in mind, welcome to your interview:
Capt Old Crusty: So Mr A, I see that your driver’s license was suspended. What was the offense?
Mr A: I was driving over 100mph.
COC: Hmmm, Mr A you know passengers literally place their and their families lives in our hands, you seem to have an issue obeying the laws and acting responsibly with your driving privileges. Why should we trust you to follow the regs and hand you the keys to a $100mil airplane?
Mr A: Well it wasn’t as bad as reckless driving!
I appreciate your honesty concerning this topic and wholly admit that my actions were wrong regardless of their comparison to other violations. Given that I was 19 when I received my speeding violation, I also agree that I should have acted like an responsible adult and used discretion to avoid being in this situation in the first place.
While I understand this is a redundant question, do you think it would be beneficial for me to complete my training assuming I continue my prudence and never receive any sort of moving/traffic violation again? As you mentioned, I have no idea how forgiving airlines are/will be regarding a one-time-occurence of this kind of issue, and my greatest fear is investing many more thousands of savings into a commercial program and ultimately being deemed unhirable because of a prior license suspension.
Thank you both for your insight,
Both Chris and I both answered your question. Chris suggested you reach out to some airlines and I (twice) said I think you’ll be fine but you will have some explaining to do but you keep asking. It sounds like you want someone to pat you on the head and say don’t worry, everything will be fine. That’s a job for mommy and daddy.
You also say “I have no idea how forgiving airlines are”. No you don’t. You also don’t know if you’re going to bust some checkrides, suffer and incident or accident during training, will come down with a condition that will cause you to lose your medical, etc etc etc. If you’re looking for guarantees this isn’t the job for you as there are none. With the current pilot shortage this is the best time in history to become a pilot. Whether you’re successful or not is in your hands for the most part. All I’m saying (for the third time) is WHEN you’re questioned about your suspension, you had better have an answer better than it could’ve been worse.
Hiring is at an all time high and airlines are being more lenient, right now. If that’s all you have on your application, 7 perfect checkride passes, a college degree and good letters of recommendation you could be hired. If you have 2 or 3 busts, no degree and the past issues with the law, you may not. Hiring could slow down before you get to 1500 hours and the violation could be more important again.
HR departments have a recipe they are looking for.
You can’t change your past and you can’t change the hiring climate. All you can do is control what comes in your future. If you’re looking for a guarantee, you won’t get it. The best you can do is see if you can secure your medical first. If so, apply for financing and if approved you’ve got a decision to make whether or not you’re willing to take the leap or not.