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Home > Becoming a Pilot > Question from an aspiring pilot with a past drinking offence.
Question from an aspiring pilot with a past drinking offence.
Pilot Career - Becoming a Pilot
Wednesday, 02 January 2008 20:19

Dear Capt Lim,

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to become a pilot. I am now 26. I am considering that I want to begin my training. My ultimate goal would be to fly for an airline but if anyone would pay me to fly anything, I would be happy. 

Realistically, is my age going to hamper my chances of gaining employment? I feel as if I have gotten a late start when compared to other applicants. Also, I am ashamed to admit this. In my early twenties, I received a traffic citation for driving under the influence of alcohol. This was a misdemeanor and there was no accident involved. 
Will that offence years ago keep me from ever being trusted to provide for the safety of my crew, passengers, and aircraft? Flying is the only thing I have ever really wanted to do and I am afraid that mistake in my past may have rendered my dreams unattainable. 

Thank you very much for your website, your time, and your desire to help others through your knowledge and experience.

Wes Buttman

Hi Wes,

I must say that some airlines pay for the training of specially selected cadet pilots. Competition to be selected is very tough. So if you are unfortunate, not to be among these elite few, then you must think of alternatives. I have answered a similar question on this subject above.

Many aspiring pilots have dreamt of wanting to join an airline but this profession is not all wines and roses. You remind me of a young doctor who recently closed down his clinic and made up his mind to become an airline pilot. He said it was his dream to be one, not knowing the stresses that came with the job. After he graduated as a pilot, he underwent training on the Boeing 737 as a First Officer. Unfortunately, halfway through the course, he had to give up because he personally admitted that he could not take the pressures and the stresses of the training. I suppose he would have worked harder to achieve his dream had he not been a doctor.

This true story is told not to deter you but to point out that there are some people who cannot face up to the stresses that accompany this profession.

It is also a serious offence to fly under the influence of alcohol and if you are prepared to change for the better, you can forget about your past citation for this transgression and make your dream come true.

I wish you the best!

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