Pilots and Tattoos

kh15

New Member
I'm curious, can a pilot have visible tattoos on his forearm or bicep? I'm guessing the airline or whatever operation your flying will make you wear a long sleeve pilot shirt. Does having tattoos affect the hiring process as far as 121 or 135 operations go? I know you'd be wearing a suit to the interview, but what if they ask?
 

BobDDuck

Island Bus Driver
I can't imagine an interview board asking about tattoos. However, most company's manuals have something in them as to how all tats must be covered with long sleeves while at work. It must suck in the middle of the summer when flying in the south.
 

Nick

Well-Known Member
I can't imagine an interview board asking about tattoos. However, most company's manuals have something in them as to how all tats must be covered with long sleeves while at work. It must suck in the middle of the summer when flying in the south.
A guy in my new hire class had a tattoo on his arm (maybe both of them, I forget).

He had to wear the longsleeve shirt, but the FOM also says you can't wear that other than in the cockpit. So on top of that longsleeve shirt he wore the jacket, all year. And he was based in the hot, humid, southern hub.

He was a sweaty mess when I changed planes with him and his crew one day.

A few months later I saw him and he had a band around his arm, the elastic kind you'd have if you injured your arm somehow. That sure would be a lot cooler in the summer.
 

Boris Badenov

Just running in to a burning house...
It's looked upon as a job requirement at certain cargo-only 135s. Seriously though, I've had at least one chief pilot with what look suspiciously like very old and faded home-made tats in visible places. Nicest guy in the world, great to work with. I can't speak for everyone, but I doubt he'd be real upset by yours. Don't worry about it.

PS. I've never been to an interview (including both 135 and 121) where anyone asked.
 

fly8slep

New Member
I saw an ERJ CA once, I'm pretty sure it was XJT. Very visible tattoo on the inner side of the arm. He had short sleeves. Interviews/training you're wearing long sleeves, out on the line I guess you can get away with it.
 

Number1atNumber2

Tries to keep it fun.
I've seen more than a few pilots with tats on their forearms. As long as they aren't overly large or attention-drawing, I'm sure it's fine. I'd cover them up for interviews for sure, after that they are probably not a big deal, although I don't work for the airlines. I personally have 5, only one is slightly visable when I wear short sleeves and the sleeve rides up a bit.
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
A couple of pointers.

If you don't have one, don't get one as it will limit your career opportunities.

If you have one, make sure you try to get the "gouge" on the FOM policy relating to tattoos before applying.
 

SeanD

Well-Known Member
I know a few pilots with tattoos on their forearms. They do cover them up at work with a long sleeve shirt. Like Doug and others have said check the company policy before applying. Ask around. I have a full sleeve tattoo and did a lot of research on this topic. I found that some airlines want you in the short sleeves during the summer months.
 

BobDDuck

Island Bus Driver
Friend of mine got on a commuter flight and saw through the cockpit door that the FO had a Guns 'n Roses tat on his arm. He grabbed his wife and kid and got off the airplane.
Why? I don't particularly like either tattoos or G&R, but that's about the stupidest thing I've heard all day.
 

tgrayson

New Member
Why? I don't particularly like either tattoos or G&R, but that's about the stupidest thing I've heard all day.
Well, yes, it had me shaking my head too. His reaction is obviously an extreme, but I do think it reflects the average person's perception of the trustworthiness of someone with tattoos. Even Starbucks makes employees cover them up when at work.
 

TXaviator

Well-Known Member
i have a somewhat large piece on my leg and i contemplated working for some places that require/suggest? you wear shorts for the uniform in the summertime....

my thoughts are this, if its visible, cover it... i was always thinking the "ace bandage" (like sports wrap bandage) would do just fine if i REALLY had to cover it...

one of the department heads at UND had lots of visible, USMC tattoos on his forearms.... i pity the fool who would challenge his tattoos.

that said, i will probably get more tattoos for various reasons, but they wont be anywhere visible outside of a shortsleeve shirt. use your head.
 
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