Background Check


Well-Known Member
I just wanted to say thanks to all of you for the incredible amout of time you have spent putting together this wonderful site, its got to be the most informative pilot wesite on the internet. My question is this, I got arrested for getting into a fight with some kid at school when I was 18 yrs. old, It was a misdemeanor and I was wondering if that would in anyway effect me in getting a job some day?It was incredibly stupid, and I have never been into trouble before or since. I'm currently 22, just about to graduate from college after this semester,and I'm currently working on my Private license. Thanks everyone for your time.
I don't know forsure, but I think they would just consider that (to quote the head of the Aviation Department at my school) "a case of youthful indiscretion" and as long as nothing else was on your record you'd be fine.
10 years is the 'norm' for background checks. You'll be asked to give the names/phone numbers/addresses of all employers/jobs you've had, as well as a complete residential history for 10 years. At Eagle I was also asked for 3 references who were not related to me and who had known me for a minimun of 5 years. I was 20 years old when I was hired by Eagle, and I'd just gotten an underage drinking ticket about 6 weeks before my interview (long story). So, at least in my case, a stupid youthful incident didn't keep me from getting hired.

Just a hint, start early keeping a complete record of ALL your jobs. Including salary history, employment dates, supervisor's name, and addresses & phone numbers. Also keep a record of everywhere you live, the complex address, management's name, the dates you lived there, and the main office phone number. Keeping all this info together and organized will make filling out airline applications MUCH easier and faster!
Just another tidbit.

I worked for my company's helpdesk for a while. Let me tell you see a lot of things working on people's PC's.

On one occasion I had the opportunity to fix the PC belonging to our head of security. On his desk he had several print outs of background checks.

There was nothing on them but a line that said either: "Nothing found to preclude employment" or "History confirmed. Nothing found to preclude employment"

My guess is that they can't really dig into the details of your background. I'm thinking that they set up some criteria with the firm doing to checks as to what to flag. It probably will also confirm what you put on your application. Since it's illegal to use a criminal record as the only reason to not offer employment, as long as you have a decent interview you should be okay.

Now, the FAR (sec 108.229(d)) spell out some specific felonies that will keep you from getting SIDA access to the airport, but my guess again would be that the background check will only check for those crimes and confirm what is on the application. The only difference would be that they would not be able to hire you if you had a record of one of the like 28 crimes listed in the FAR.

I'm no expert, but that's what I've observed.

BG checks go back 10 years for employment and residence history, but I am afraid your misdemeanor will be with you much longer. It's kind of like an accident - they don't go away!
I was just curious. To fly out of the DC3, they did a ten year check on me. I was amused by one of the crimes they listed -- treason.

If I was guilty of that crime, I wouldn't be filling out the paperwork, because I'd be dead!
Not necessarily so....just because you commit it doesn't mean that you'll recieve the max sentence....
Experience with what, mtsu?
I'm not sure, but I don't think it would be a huge problem but you're going to probably need to be prepared to spin it in a positive/learning experience light during an interview.

I know a guy who got hired with a DUI (not at my current employer) but he was a pretty smooth story teller and spun it into a learning experience.

But on the fight thing, think about the situation and try and think of a way that you can make it look like it wasn't a personality conflict or an explosion of the Type-A personality. Because if you don't properly address it, the company may think "is this guy going to attack another pilot if he has a personality conflict?" or "Is this guy going to fly off the handle and embarass us?"

I'm not implying that you would, however, those are things that are going to be on the interviewer's mind.
If you just have a misdemeanor, you can usually get these expunged from your record. You have to go to the courthouse and fill out some papers, then wait while a back ground check is done. There is also a fee involved, but it should not be that much. Usually you have to wait at least a year after your conviction and cannot have caused any trouble during that time. Then you go in front of a judge and they review the case and decide if they want to expunge your record. If you have not been in trouble before and have not caused any since your incident, you should be ok. After your record is expunged, the incident is removed from your records and you can answer that you have no convictions on job applications, etc. There are a few exceptions to this, like government jobs (law enforcement), and some things like DUI and domestic violence usually cannot be expunged.
This is on Lyle Prouse , it is a very story with a lot of details. Lyle was a Airline Pilot for Northwest when he was in a hangover when he flew a commercial flight the next day
Thanks for all the replies, It's totally a one time situation. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. No personality conflict or anything like that, I was at a party the summer after I graduated from high school and you wouldn't believe it but a fight broke out (I wasnt't even going to go). Some drunk kid threw a beer bottle at me during the fight even though I was not involved, so rather then just walking away with not being hit by the bottle, I confronted the individual (VERY VERY STUPID). You can assume how that ended. I have never been into any trouble before or since. I'm definately not a danger to anyone, and thats totally apparent if you have ever met me. I'm very outgoing and perform well in any team environment, I just hope this doesn't disqualify me from even getting interviews in the first place. I'm not to concerned if I get to interview, my personality definately doesn't reflect the actions that I took one night when I was 18. Thanks for all the responses, I really appreciate it.
Well, although you can get certain offences expunged, the question usually goes like this: (from an airline w/i the Delta system)

Have you ever been convicted of any felony, misdemeanor or any violation of the law including any traffic violations?

or (From a certain well known Simuator company who happens to own a flight school by the same name):

Have you ever pled guilty, no contest (nolo contendre), had a suspended imposition of sentence (deferred adjudication), or been convicted of any offense (other than a minor traffic violation)?

So, even if you have an offense expunged, technically (unless you want to lie and take your chances) you have to answer yes.

I have the same problem. I was 20 and I pled no contest to a disorderly conduct charge. I'm not going into the details, but unfortunately that will hang over me for some time to come. All you can do (in my opinion) is be truthful and honest about what happen and show through your future behavior that it's not a pattern and you learned from your mistake.

I suppose I would need to ask a lawyer, but I'm not 100% positive that a no contest plea = a conviciton.

The worst thing that you can do is lie about it.