Real Answers from Real Pilots

FAA medical question (this did NOT happen to me)

(Tyler Buehlmann) #1

2 Question although I am more curious abobut #2,

Someone I know has been convicted of a DUI (around 2002). and they are wanting to become a pilot. at least a CFI. wants to go to the airlines but age might be a factor. When they were filling out the forms I think it said have you been convicted of a crime and he said yes and he has been arrested for other stuff but never convicted (domestic violence). and he said something to the examiner or someone where they are asking him questions and FAA now wants a letter from him before the medical is issued. Well today I heard him over talking and he was saying to someone that he should of said no as they will not find out nor will they care as it happened such a long time ago. I have two questions:

  1. Would the FAA find out and would they carer about it?
  2. Would the airlines still care about the person having a DUI even though it was such a long time ago?


Do you know what the letters FAA stand for? FEDERAL Aviation Administration and they’re the branch of the GOVERNMENT’s Dept of Transportation that regulates aviation. So just to be clear you want to know if the Federal Government has access to your entire criminal history? The answer is YES they do and YES they care. First off the question is NOT have you ever been convicted, it’s have you ever been arrested. I don’t care if the charges were dropped, expunged, you were a minor or you father is friends with the judge, they know, it will come out and you will have a problem. Don’t believe me? You can either roll the dice, or I can give you the name of a pilot who had a DUI in the 90s when he was a minor. The charges were dropped and his record expunged. He was fired after flying for over 20yrs when the FAA pulled his medical and the airline said he lied on his original application.

To answer your second question if that were the only charge no but as you said it wasn’t and that’s a problem. More important again IF you lie and WHEN the airline finds out you’re done.




The FAA always finds out. It is far better to be honest and submit the necessary paperwork. Lying about it is a sure fire way to never fly an airplane again.

  1. One DUI from 16 years ago is probably not going to be a big deal, but combine that with any other legal issues and it could be a no go item.