Can a Felon Become a Pilot?

How long has it been your dream of being a pilot and fly the sky while smiling and happy? it is important to know that there are some things you need to know, especially if you are a felon.

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Who Is a Pilot?

A pilot is someone who flys an airplane and any other air transport, that takes people or goods from one place to another

There are lots of privileges of being a pilot, but then it depends on the type of aircraft they are certified to fly. this level matches the type of training necessary to achieve each standard

The simplest level of being a pilot is a sport pilot, who is authorization to fly only light aircraft.

There is also a recreational pilot who flies aircraft up to 180 horsepower with at least four seats for pleasure. In cases where the pilot has a private pilot certificate, he or she may fly for pleasure or for business while a commercial pilot flies for pay

An advanced pilot category falls under the transport pilot who had the power to fly a scheduled airline flight with passengers or cargo. A pilot is seen to be calm, self-disciplined, and most times a college graduate.

Requirements to Become a Pilot

One of the basic requirements to becoming a pilot is to be at least 16 years of age.
regardless of the age, there are no educational requirements to become a student pilot.

The training contains a combination of ground school and flight training

The ground training includes the basic information a pilot needs to know concerning flight and aircraft operating procedures.

This education also involves aeronautical knowledge such as weather and regional air pattern.

Ground schools are located around the U.S. Some are in-person programs while others are offered online. An application for ground school typically requires only basic information.

The ground school is located around the U.S. most training is in person while others are offline

For your to attain a student pilot certificate, you have to pass aviation medical exam administered by an aviation medical examiner. You should also have health insurance for most flight training programs.

The requirements may be hard for many felons who don’t have a job that includes benefits like medical insurance.

When you are done with the ground school and flight training, you will have to take the FAA, flight exam and pass. There are some steps in getting a pilot license

For this, you must:

  • Pass a medical exam, including a physical, blood test, and an eye test
  • Be at least 17 years old for a private license and 18 for a commercial license.
  • Have a current FAA third-class medical certificate
  • Have at least 40 flight hours
  • Have at least 20 flight hours with an instructor.
  • Have at least 10 solo flight hours
  • Pass the FAA Private Pilot Airmen Knowledge written exam
  • Pass an FAA Private Pilot flight exam
  • As anything concerning your flight training,you must not say anything about any felony conviction

Background Check

it’s very important to back a background check to begin flight school training and acquire a sport flight pilot certificate. Which tend to be the easiest to get.

Rules show that you are supposed to pass through a background check through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
TSA look through every activity that is related to the Transportation area

The agency has to undertake a threat assessment on you in order for you to determine and potential danger that you might lose to U.S. national security and also to the aviation industry.

The threat assessment that will be conducted focuses on a number of records from the very least seven years.

Does the Type of Felony Make a Difference?

Even though you can be disqualified for a good number of felonies, the ones that pose a threat to national security are the ones that are most likely to be attended to the most.

There is a high chance that you might be removed from the pilot license program.

You may be removed from the pilot license program if you have been convicted for any of the following crimes:

  • Espionage
  • Sedition
  • Treason
  • Transportation security incident
  • Improper transportation of a hazardous material
  • Unlawful possession, use, sale, purchase, receipt, or dealing in an explosive device
  • Murder
  • Conspiracy or attempt to commit any of these crimes.

And also, if you were put in prison after being convicted within five years of the date of the application, these felonies definitely disqualified you:

  • Unlawful possession, use, sale, or dealing in a firearm
  • Extortion
  • Dishonesty, fraud, or misrepresentation
  • Bribery
  • Smuggling
  • Immigration violations
  • Distribution or possession of a controlled substance
  • Arson
  • Kidnapping
  • Rape or aggravated sexual abuse
  • Assault with intent to kill
  • Robbery
  • Fraudulent entry into a seaport

That’s a long list, but the TSA wants to be certain that you will not pose a security threat.


It is safe to say that it’s quite difficult for you to be a pilot as a felon, due to the many things that are required. But this doesn’t stop you from chasing another dream.

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