Could my history as a professional MMA fighter discourage future potential airline employers from hiring me? I’ve been considering flight training in order to become a pilot later down the line. I’ve been researching for months and even obtained my first class medical. I have a feeling the FAA down the line or a potential employer may research me and it could work against me. I recently did a discovery flight and I’m sold and really want to pursue this, but I would be crushed if somewhere down the line I couldn’t get a chance. If an airline did any type of search of me they would easily find out. Looking for brutal honesty - should I continue with other opportunities, or do I have nothing to worry about?
Of all the potential hurdles a person could possibly face I think this is probably the least of them. In fact I don’t see it as an issue at all. Does being a former MMA fighter mean you’re of poor moral character? Did you kill anyone? Did you fight illegally and get arrested as partof a human traffickingring? If the answer is no to all the above Id worry more about successfully completing flight training than your past career choice. I know pilots who were pro musicians, athletes, artists, actors, doctors, lawyers, construction workers, truck drivers, surfers, strippers and centerfolds. (Btw, the FAA could care less unless you have a criminal record).
If you’re record is clean AND you do well in training you’ll be fine.
You should be fine. Is your record clean? If so, full steam ahead.
From what I remember, cage fighting received a lot of backlash from the public years ago before the sport received the respect that it does now.
Keep MMA and aviation separate and you’ll be fine.
Thank you Adam,
That is very encouraging. You are right in everything you said. I just feared being judged by those in power as risky since MMA is a wild sport. That makes me feel a lot better.
Thank you Tory,
Yes everything else is clean and I feel fine. That’s why I asked because of the negative backlash the sport has received. If I received an interview in the future; I feel the interview panel would definitely come across my years as a MMA fighter. Just was fearful that would be frowned upon but now I feel a lot better about moving forward. Thank you!
As long as you do not have any criminal history, I do not see this being an issue at all. If anything, we could have used some MMA fighters up front on 9/11. In some ways, I think this could work to your advantage as it is something interesting too talk about in an interview.
Since it’s a contact sport. The only thing to add here is be honest about medical history.
The FAA does not like concussions or people who leave stuff off their medical record with the AME. I’ve had concussions from hockey and snowboarding. Received a 1st class but FAA essentially said “stop hitting your head on things”.
If you have any questions regarding medical history. Ask AOPA or an AME.
Thank you Chris,
I took your advice and contacted AOPA and explained everything. I was advised to be precaution and submit hospital records even though I was issued my first class medical. Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond.