Felony Arrest

I wanted to gain a little more insight on how my arrest history will affect my future aviation goals. In 2017 (age 21) I was arrested for sexual assault while in the Air Force. The accuser filed the charge on the civilian side, therefore I was investigated by local police, as well as the military. The case was ultimately dismissed on both ends and I was not convicted or court martialed. I was able to retain my secret clearance and continue serving.

I am aware of how severe this charge is, and I know it is a big topic that is not taken lightly, especially in the government. I could sit here and express how erroneous and untruthful the individual was about the accusation, but I know at the end of the day it will not change my record and I will have to disclose the information to the airlines.

I am currently deployed and will try to obtain my first class medical when I return to the States. But before I invest in this costly and mentally demanding career, I just wanted to see if it will be remotely possible to obtain a job with the major airlines (or any airlines for that matter)? I know it will be an uphill battle and there are no guarantees, but any perspective and firsthand experiences regarding similar arrest records is appreciated.

I wish my first post could be a positive one. Thank you for taking the time to read. I appreciate any blunt feedback/advice that you might have.

Happy Holidays


This is a tough one. On paper, if you’re clean otherwise and remain so, do well in training and have a degree you should be fine advancing through up the food chain. The rub comes during the actual interview process. If you should happen to have someone on your panel with strong personal feelings or prior experience with sexual abuse they can tank your interview.

I know you want a definitive answer but you really won’t know for certain until you try. I think however your chances are pretty good for a Regional.



I appreciate your response. It’s been a dream of mine to fly for the Majors. But I know I will be starting at a disadvantage, so I’ll take it one step at a time and hope for the best. Like you said, all I can do is keep my nose clean going forward and work hard. Thanks again Adam

  • Trel

I think a lot depends on why your case was dismissed. If it was dismissed for insufficient evidence, or because you were innocent, then I feel you will be okay. If it was dismissed because you participated in some sort of intervention program, that is another thing all together.


I think you should contact recruiters at both the regional and major level. They will be the one reviewing your application and can give you a better answer.


Thank you for the response Chris! The individual ended up dropping the charges and I did not have to participate in any programs. I’ll call a few regional airlines to get a sense of what I’m up against.


Would you happen to know which department/office I need to contact for these types of questions? Sorry if I’m mistaken, but I thought I would not have to disclose my arrest during the medical examine on blocks v & w on the form 8500-8 since it is not drug/driving/alcohol related and I was not convicted. Thank you for your response!



From my understanding, you are correct about not having to disclose your arrest. The FAA asks about arrests due to alcohol or drugs, and convictions in other areas.