Real Answers from Real Pilots

Past History

When applying for a pilot position, I have heard that they pull up ALL of your records. I have also heard that a penalty as small as a speeding ticket is a red flag that may jeopardize your ability to get hired. Can you guess provide any validity to this statement?

Cameron,

While I can tell you for a fact 1 (or even 2) speeding tickets will not end your career, YES the airlines do a VERY thorough background check and EVERYTHING is subject to scrutiny. While there is a pilot shortage at the Regionals and everyone seems to be getting hired these days that was (and will) not always be the case. You have to know that everyone who applies has the required flight time etc and meets the qualifications. The very next thing to look at is who is this person. If the person’s spent their lives being irresponsible why should they trust you with their $20million jet? I have a friend who’s a very talented pilot. He got a DUI when he was 20. He’s been at a Regional for over 20yrs and that’s where he will spend his career since he’s been rejected by every Major.

Adam

I have another question. Aside from having the necessary hours, clean history, degree, is there something else that could stand out on an application for the Majors? I’m about 10 years away from realistically getting hired by a major and I was wondering if there are things I can do along the way to look more attractive.

Cameron,

Aviation is just like any other profession and the more “full” and well rounded your resume is the better. The pilots conducting the interview are people and you never know what might trigger a great conversation. Whatever it is you do you should list under “Other”. Hobbies, talents, charity work, you never know? Aside from that it’s really about YOU. When you go for an interview you’ve obviously already met their criteria, now it’s really about “do I want to spend 6hrs locked in a cockpit with this guy?” (or do I not?). Be yourself (or better) and you’ll be fine…unless you’re a jerk :slight_smile:

Adam

Cameron,

A lot of pilots chose to use their time off to volunteer in the community. Whether it is with at risk kids, an aviation program, or something completely different, this is certainly a good thing to put on a resume.

Chris