Real Answers from Real Pilots

Getting hired at an airline with a blemish on my record

Hi all,

This question will likely be a bit different and more specific than some similar topics I’ve read.

A quick background on me: I’m 30 years old and a former teacher and coach. I earned my PPL in 2016, and would like to eventually work for an airline.

Unfortunately, several years ago, I resigned from the job I had as a teacher and coach due to an inappropriate relationship with an 18 year old student. It was a monumental lapse in judgment that resulted in me losing my job as well as criminal charges being filed against me. Thankfully, the charges were dismissed without going to trial, and I have no convictions stemming from that situation, and my record is spotless beyond that. No DUI’s, misdemeanors, etc. However, it was a very public ordeal and made several media outlets. It was an inconceivably stupid decision, and I’m grateful that it didn’t cost me more.

Outside of that, I have a pretty strong record of community service, and have served as the president of a non-profit organization specializing in outreach to homeless children in Kenya and Uganda since 2013. I certainly don’t feel like that ordeal described above provides an accurate portrait of my true character, but I also realize that it’s no longer up to me or the people who know me to make that call.

In your personal opinions, how do you all feel all of that will impact my ability to be hired as an airline pilot? Is the otherwise clean record and community service enough to make a hiring committee comfortable enough to give me a nod?

Thank you,

JS

John,

I will be honest, this is a tough one and I really don’t know the answer to your question. On one hand, it was awhile ago, but on the other hand, sexual harassment is very big in the news right now and is finally being considered a major issue. I could see this being an issue for you. I would recommend contacting the recruiting departments of some airlines and run your situation by them.

Chris

Thanks, Chris. That’s a great point about the sexual harassment in the news and all. Thankfully, the girl (and her family) were very supportive, and she submitted an affidavit that cleared me of anything other than being in an inappropriate consensual relationship - which is what ultimately led to the charges being dismissed. I’m hoping that will work in my favor as well.