Real Answers from Real Pilots

4 Misdemeanor Charges

Hello~
I work as a career counselor at a university, and I am hoping to get some advice from you all in order to help guide one of my students down the right career path.

My students is a 34 year old male with a private pilots license and a 4 year college degree from UCLA. Smart, capable, stand up guy. He is considering going to ATP in order to get his commercial license. However, he has 4 misdemeanors on his record from 8+ years ago. Two drunk in public, 1 exhibition of speed on a motorcycle and one possession of marijuana. He is looking into getting his record expunged, but my question to all of you: Is this a career path worth pursuing for him? He has other career options, and as you know, ATP is a huge investments, so I’m worried that he would invest time and money and not be able to get a good pilot job afterwards due to his record.

Any advice that you have to offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!

Ashley,

That’s a very realistic concern.The first thing they should do is contact an AME (Aviation Medical Examiner) and see if they have any problems getting their First Class Medical as anyone with any drug/alcohol related arrests must get approval from the FAA. Beyond that I recommend that he contact some of the Regionals he might be interested in and ask them directly. In all honesty if it was a few years ago I would have said no way but these days the demand is so strong that he may (key word MAY) have a shot. I do think they should consider the fact there’s a better than good chance they’ll spend their entire career at a Regional (not a terrible thing). While the Regionals are somewhat desperate the Majors are not and the Majors do not like arrests. One is a problem, 4 displays a pattern of bad behavior and again 3 were drug/alcohol related. Record expunged or not ALL airline applications clearly ask have you ever been arrested/convicted.

Adam

This is great advice, and sadly- confirms what he was thinking was the reality of his situation. Thanks Adam.

Ashley,

I see absolutely no potential aviation career for your student, not even as a ramper. The airlines are very strict about such things, even expunging his record will not matter.

Chris

Thank you for your input Chris. I appreciate your feedback.

Would ATP even allow someone to train if there is no potential for them, in a case of someone like that student?

I think ATP would allow it. One of their representatives even suggested that being a crop duster might be a good option for him since he lives in a farming area, and apparently it’s not as difficult to get that type of a flying job as it is for a standard commercial pilot job.

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Moustafa,

As long as they can get their First Class Medical I believe they would. As Ashley said there may be other flying jobs available to them besides the airlines and I still believe they may(?) have a shot at a Regional.

Adam

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ATP provides the relevant facts and realistic career potential and lets the potential student make their own adult decision.

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