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studentpilot009
Topic Author
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2021 3:27 am

Driving record impact on pilot background check

Fri Apr 16, 2021 3:33 am

Hello Aviators,

I am currently a student pilot preparing to start CPL training. I am in my early 20's and have a bachelors degree in business management. I came across multiple articles while researching pilot hiring that, having a less than perfect driving record is damaging to your career. I wanted to ask if any one can give more insight on this.

My violations:

1. Speeding ticket in 2016 .....
2. speeding ticket in 2019 (73 mph in a 65 zone)
3. Suspension 2019 (was lifted same day and was placed due to miscommunication between court and dmv)

Nothing else on the background.

Thank You!
 
VSMUT
Posts: 5498
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: Driving record impact on pilot background check

Fri Apr 16, 2021 6:47 am

This is an international site. Rules vary from one place to the next. What country are we talking here?

I don't believe it is a factor in most of Europe and I know several pilots who received speeding fines without any impact to their careers. There are however unverified stories where the authorities conspired to prevent you from flying anyway. Mostly related to drunk driving and having your medical refused.
 
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Web500sjc
Posts: 889
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:23 am

Re: Driving record impact on pilot background check

Fri Apr 16, 2021 4:28 pm

studentpilot009 wrote:
Hello Aviators,

I am currently a student pilot preparing to start CPL training. I am in my early 20's and have a bachelors degree in business management. I came across multiple articles while researching pilot hiring that, having a less than perfect driving record is damaging to your career. I wanted to ask if any one can give more insight on this.

My violations:

1. Speeding ticket in 2016 .....
2. speeding ticket in 2019 (73 mph in a 65 zone)
3. Suspension 2019 (was lifted same day and was placed due to miscommunication between court and dmv)

Nothing else on the background.

Thank You!



Traffic infractions are not a deal breaker as far as pilot hiring.

In the US, traffic infractions are more an indication of the applicants maturity, decision making, and integrity - similar to the assessment an Auto Insurance company will make. Were the infractions long ago, were they repeated, were they egregious and most importantly, were they disclosed (in the Us, Airlines have access to driving records, and criminal records). Depending on the answers, they affect hiring decisions. The most important is “were the infractions disclosed”, airlines have little appetite for dishonesty in pilot applicants .

The driving infractions that have a significant impact on hiring decisions are DUI and Reckless Driving.
 
e38
Posts: 864
Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 10:09 pm

Re: Driving record impact on pilot background check

Fri Apr 16, 2021 5:02 pm

studentpilot009 wrote:
I came across multiple articles while researching pilot hiring that, having a less than perfect driving record is damaging to your career.


studentpilot009, the information provided to you by Web500sjc above is excellent.

In most cases, the driving issues you described should have little to no impact on your ability to get hired by an airline.

The one-word piece of advice I can give you is HONESTY.

Should a question come up on the application with regard to driving record or traffic citations, you need to be completely truthful. Further, if you get asked about it at an interview, you also need to be completely honest, but let the interviewer know you were young when you got the ticket, learned from the experience, and have not had a further issue since 2019.

e38
 
N353SK
Posts: 1026
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 5:08 am

Re: Driving record impact on pilot background check

Fri Apr 16, 2021 6:06 pm

studentpilot009 wrote:
Hello Aviators,

I am currently a student pilot preparing to start CPL training. I am in my early 20's and have a bachelors degree in business management. I came across multiple articles while researching pilot hiring that, having a less than perfect driving record is damaging to your career. I wanted to ask if any one can give more insight on this.

My violations:

1. Speeding ticket in 2016 .....
2. speeding ticket in 2019 (73 mph in a 65 zone)
3. Suspension 2019 (was lifted same day and was placed due to miscommunication between court and dmv)

Nothing else on the background.

Thank You!


Any US Airline will ask about (and check) your driving history. A license suspension will create questions, so if it was truly a clerical error I would recommend getting a head start on gathering documentation to show the error.

Many airlines will also at least ask for an explanation if they see multiple speeding tickets. They may construe multiple speeding violations as a willingness to disregard regulations, which is obviously frowned upon in aviation. One or two tickets as a youngster is generally explainable. If you continue to show a pattern, it could make things tougher for you.

Many years ago a flight student of mine received an invite to interview at a regional airline. At the end of the letter they wrote "PS - please don't get any more speeding tickets between now and the interview" :rotfl:
 
r6russian
Posts: 53
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:12 am

Re: Driving record impact on pilot background check

Fri Apr 16, 2021 9:09 pm

1. Youll be fine. Couple speeding tickets are nothing, if anything they might help you out. No traffic infractions whatsoever may show them that youre an obedient compliant sheep that will drive 5 under everywhere and come to a complete stop at every stop sign, wait for the blinker to flash 3 times before changing lanes, etc. Moving up to the pointy end, that obedience and compliance means youll sit there and knowingly watch the captain fly the plane straight into a mountain and not say anything to question his authority, definitely a no no in modern aviation. Asian airlines were notorious for FOs being terrified to question the captains wrong decisions and people dying as a result, hence the invention of modern CRM

2. Go get a class 1 medical before you put a penny into flight training.

3. Research the aviation medical procedure and laws thoroughly, inside and out, left to right, right to left, up and down. become an expert on avation medicals before starting the medical process.

4. Schedule a consulation with your AME first, not a medical exam. Ask if anything in the form you will fill out will make the doctor defer you to the FAA. The form asks if youve been arrested in the last 10 years, and since theyre the feds, they already know, but its a test of your honestly, and if you lie its an automatic lifetime ban for "having bad character to hold a aviation medical". SO if youve been in the back of a cop car in the last decade, get ready for a deferral to Oklahoma and a fight of your life to get a medical because FAA is out to get you and all the do is take every chance they can find to deny your medical. They dont care what your 1 day license suspension was for when the dust settled in court, they care what you were initially charged for, thats what they deny you for, eg they dont care that the court reduced your DUI down to a headlight bulb out, they know about the DUI and will deny you for substance abuse. Then theres dumb shit like you getting perscribed adderall as a child that will deny your medical unless you go thru a tedious process of getting a SODA.

The reason for a consultation with an AME instead of going right in for a medical, is that once you fill out the medical form online, theres no way to undo, pause or cancel the process. Once you enter the process, only 2 ways out are a medical card or a denial. By getting a consultation first, you will know for sure that when you show up for your actual medical, that you will walk out an hour later with a medical card. And if not, youll be expecting and ready for a fight of your life to get your medical instead of the doctor smacking you upside the head with "hmm, imma have to defer your to oklahoma" and blowing out your candle just like that.

Even search on here, there are so many threads of horror stories of people rushing into their medical (myself included) only to get deferred, jump thru FAA hoops and stand on their head only to ultimately be denied. And if your aspiration is being an airline pilot, a denied medical is a career ender before it even starts. When you check the "has your medical ever been denied" box on your application, it automatically goes in the garbage. Dont take a single chance with your medical getting deferred or denied because that will end your career before it started. Once you get in the airlines, then your have union protection, you can lose your medical, get DUIs, show up to fly drunk and keep your job because union has your back. When youre on the outside looking in, slightest blem on your record puts your application in the trash can
 
DualQual
Posts: 752
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 6:10 pm

Re: Driving record impact on pilot background check

Mon Apr 19, 2021 12:19 am

r6russian wrote:
1. Youll be fine. Couple speeding tickets are nothing, if anything they might help you out. No traffic infractions whatsoever may show them that youre an obedient compliant sheep that will drive 5 under everywhere and come to a complete stop at every stop sign, wait for the blinker to flash 3 times before changing lanes, etc. Moving up to the pointy end, that obedience and compliance means youll sit there and knowingly watch the captain fly the plane straight into a mountain and not say anything to question his authority, definitely a no no in modern aviation.


What’s worse than bad advice? This nugget right here.
There's no known cure for stupid
 
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Florianopolis
Posts: 367
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2015 2:54 pm

Re: Driving record impact on pilot background check

Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:10 am

I echo what the others have stated. A couple speeding tickets will not foreclose a career (at the majors, at least), but that doesn't mean they're meaningless. If you keep getting them, it indicates a pattern of recklessness and disregard for rules, which are obviously undesirable airline pilot qualities. However, if you can show that 1) you're honest and not hiding them, and 2) have repented of your behavior, you will have no problem.

Note these two grabs from the FAA's own Risk Management handbook. (Available at here in case you ever need help sleeping)

Image

Image
 
studentpilot009
Topic Author
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2021 3:27 am

Re: Driving record impact on pilot background check

Mon Apr 19, 2021 3:51 am

Any US Airline will ask about (and check) your driving history. A license suspension will create questions, so if it was truly a clerical error I would recommend getting a head start on gathering documentation to show the error.

Many airlines will also at least ask for an explanation if they see multiple speeding tickets. They may construe multiple speeding violations as a willingness to disregard regulations, which is obviously frowned upon in aviation. One or two tickets as a youngster is generally explainable. If you continue to show a pattern, it could make things tougher for you.

Many years ago a flight student of mine received an invite to interview at a regional airline. At the end of the letter they wrote "PS - please don't get any more speeding tickets between now and the interview" :rotfl:[/quote]


Thank for sharing your thoughts. The license was never actually suspended. A suspension order was issued due to the DMV for not receiving a document on time through the mail however the document was quickly resent by me and the suspension order was cancelled before it went active. However, on the driving record, there is no mention of a suspension but instead the rescission of a suspension. The speeding tickets are 2 and I have since learnt my lesson and drive much safer. I have at least 2 years between now and a regional interview if I make it there. I will try to keep my record as clean as possible going forward.
 
Woodreau
Posts: 2084
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2001 6:44 am

Re: Driving record impact on pilot background check

Tue Apr 20, 2021 2:13 pm

Don’t be like me. Busted doing 122 in a 50 zone. The cop that busted me did it on foot without a patrol car.

Had to talk about that one in the interview.

I guess they liked my explanation enough to hire me. Now I fly A320s
Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
 
studentpilot009
Topic Author
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2021 3:27 am

Update to Post

Thu Apr 22, 2021 10:59 pm

Hello Aviators,

Last week as a student pilot I posted something about my driving record and if that would be damaging to my chances of being hired at a US airline. My license as confirmed with DMV, was never actually suspended and the suspension order that shows up is due to clerical error. Would I still have to disclose this as "yes" to a suspension question on airline apps?

Thank YOU!
 
orlandocfi
Posts: 132
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:53 am

Re: Update to Post

Thu Apr 22, 2021 11:45 pm

Your answers on applications need to match what appears on your driving record. I’m sure you’re provided a space to briefly explain whatever infraction occurred. Most airlines apply filters to their applicant criteria so a negative driving record may exclude you from the interview processes of some carriers. I can assure you that there are plenty of pilots with negatives on their applications that make it to the majors. The important thing is that you are forthcoming about any negatives on your driving, flight training, police records, etc.
 
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zeke
Posts: 16136
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:42 pm

Re: Update to Post

Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:08 am

studentpilot009 wrote:
Hello Aviators,

Last week as a student pilot I posted something about my driving record and if that would be damaging to my chances of being hired at a US airline. My license as confirmed with DMV, was never actually suspended and the suspension order that shows up is due to clerical error. Would I still have to disclose this as "yes" to a suspension question on airline apps?

Thank YOU!


If the dmv is saying you didn’t have a suspension, doesn’t that answer the question?

Also I doubt you will be getting hired by a major tomorrow, this sort of things drop off your record after time (5 yrs I think). You also have the right for the records to be correct, you can get any clerical errors removed, it may however take some assistance from an attorney.
“Don't be a show-off. Never be too proud to turn back. There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots.” E. Hamilton Lee, 1949
 
e38
Posts: 864
Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 10:09 pm

Re: Driving record impact on pilot background check

Sun Apr 25, 2021 1:40 am

studentpilot009, I agree with the advice submitted above by zeke (Reply #13).

At this point I think consulting with an aviation attorney is your best course of action.

e38

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