Real Answers from Real Pilots

Misdemeanor Dismissed

I am currently a college student who wants to be an airline pilot and looking to begin training in the next 6 months to a year. However, I have a question about my past. Around a year ago, I was charged with attempt to purchase alcohol underage (a misdemeanor and was not me). Anyways, it was dismissed and I am wondering if it will have an effect on me getting hired at a major airline later down the road since it will still show up on my record (as dismissed).

Apart from that, I was just recently in a car crash, breaking my leg, both arms, and skin grafts. I had to get plates, screws, and nails put in and am wondering if that will set me back at all as well.

Thanks in advance for any feedback.

Daniel,

The arrest will not be an issue but a few things you should know.

First the question that is asked on your FAA Medical questionnaire is “have you ever been arrested, charged or convicted of anything drug or alcohol related?”. You have so the answer is yes. That will prompt the AME (Aviation Medical Examiner) to ask more questions and they will send the info to the FAA for a decision. If what you’re saying is true you should be fine but it will take a little longer a few extra hurdles. Second should you suffer another arrest (convicted, etc) all bets are off. You now have a “history” and there’s a “pattern” so if you really want to fly you need to remain squeaky clean.

As far as your surgery that too must be reported to your AME and they’ll want a report from your surgeon. That however will need to be discussed with your AME as everyone is different and the results can vary.

In short before you proceed with this career you should find a good AME in your area and have a conversation.

Adam

Daniel,

I a, with Adam on this one, you need to speak to an AME before going any further. I think you will be fine, but you need to check.

Chris

Daniel,

It might be a good idea to look at AOPA premium account. its under $200/yr and includes consultation with Aviation attorney regarding medical issues and also includes some insurance coverage if the FAA wants to to make it hard to get your medical.
The car accident would require an AME to figure out if you’re safe to fly. Besides the broken bones, a concussion is something the FAA looks out for (I know because I’ve had a few).

I am alittle confused about the arrest. Did they arrest you at home/school and then upon further investigation, figure out it & convict someone else? If that is the case I’m pretty sure the AME could just sign off your medical without any delay or paperwork for the FAA. The key being that is the case and you having documents to support it (your personal statement of what happened, and letters from police/prosecutors stating it was an error of mistaken identity and you are not believed to doing anything wrong. Supporting documents and professionalism on your part can go a long way when AMEs have discretion (sometimes they have 0 discretion).

Good luck,
Chris F

Chris F,

I was not arrested, only given a citation charging me with attempt to purchase underage. I was in the backseat of my friends car and was not the one who attempted to purchase, therefore the end result was it being dismissed.

Daniel

Interesting, I would talk to an aviation attorney to see if you need to mention that to the AME or airlines.
Specifically an Aviation attorney because I 100% can tell you a regular lawyer, even criminal lawyer, will not know the right answer regarding the FAA.

Spending a up to a few hundred $ now could save you thousands $ saying wrong thing to AME or FAA.

Chris F

Would It be safe to say that as long as I am able to get my first class medical, there shouldn’t be an issue with the airlines themselves pertaining to my dismissed misdemeanor.

Daniel,

IF you remain clean yes.

Of course there is a little minor issue of learning how to fly and doing well in training. :slight_smile:

Adam

Daniel,

I am with Adam on this. Keep your record clean and you should be fine.

Chris