Real Answers from Real Pilots

Please help, Am I out of luck (Criminal Record)

So let me start by setting up what I was convicted of. When I was 17 years old I had destroyed a lot of stuff that belonged to a girlfriend of mine after I caught her cheating on me. She was living with me at the time, so the charge was considered Domestic Violence. They waited until I turned 18 to officially charge me and therefore as an adult. I took a class and got it sealed and set aside from public access as well as demoting the charge to disorderly conduct DV. My state doesn’t officially expunge any charge unfortunately. I recently applied for my Second job ever (I’ve been working at the same place since before this happened) that charge came up and prevented me from getting this job (I’m 22). Now in terms of becoming a pilot should this be something I should explain in an application or should I not even bother? I’m very worried since I’ve already acquired my private and am Half way through my Instrament training?

Tristen,

Yes, this issue will come up and no, you can’t ignore. The airlines ask “have you ever…” and it doesn’t if your record has been sealed or expunged, the incident and charge happened and you will have to deal with it. It could be a major issue for you as Canada might not let you enter their country and just about every airline out there flies to Canada.

My suggestion is that you immediately contact the recruiting departments of several regional airlines and run your situation by them. You need to be contrite about your situation and show that you learned from it. That might be the case, but your post reads like you are blaming her and not yourself for your actions.

I cannot predict how the majors will look at this. My gut tells me that they will take a very dim view of your actions and that it will be a major issue for you moving forward.

Chris

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Tristen,

I don’t want to get preachy but I do feel I need to expand on Chris’ answer. If I were an airline recruiter and read your above statement I’d toss you application immediately. You have a criminal record involving Domestic Violence but the only “unfortunate” in your entire post is that your state doesn’t expunge any charges. While I don’t know you based solely on your post, you’re basically sorry about the fact you can’t get away with this as if it didn’t happen. IF (and that’s a BIG if) and when you ever make it to an airline interview you might want to show some humility and remorse for what you did rather than the fact you weren’t able to hide it.

Adam

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I really appreciate the timely reply gentleman and as quickly as you did. But nobody asked for a judgement of character. This is just to see if this would be a specific charge that would prevent/ make it harder for me to become a professional pilot

Tristen,

Nobody is judging your character. We were both trying to help you succeed by telling you how to present your situation and the obstacles you face. But if you just want a simple answer, then yes, this will be a major barrier for you.

Chris

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Tristen,

Have you ever looked at the requirements for an Airline Transport License?

14 CFR 61.153 Eligibility Requirements: C) Must be of Good Moral Character.

So while you may not have asked for a judgment, by asking the question you are in fact asking if we believe an airline would OVERLOOK this section of the FARs. I was not judging you or your character, what I did was tell you how your post reads and based on that how you will be judged.

Adam

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