Welcome to Flightinfo.com

  • Register now and join the discussion
  • Friendliest aviation Ccmmunity on the web
  • Modern site for PC's, Phones, Tablets - no 3rd party apps required
  • Ask questions, help others, promote aviation
  • Share the passion for aviation
  • Invite everyone to Flightinfo.com and let's have fun

Professional References

Welcome to Flightinfo.com

  • Register now and join the discussion
  • Modern secure site, no 3rd party apps required
  • Invite your friends
  • Share the passion of aviation
  • Friendliest aviation community on the web


Well-known member
Nov 28, 2001
What are the most solid types of professional references to have on a pilot application?

Thanks much,

Well...any former boss is good, even in a non-aviation position. They can't vouch for your flying, but they can tell what kind of employee you are.
It looks like you're a pretty new CFI so for aviation references you might try using one of your instructors. They can tell how you fly and how well you apply yourself to learning. If you have been working as a CFI for a little while you may have a particular examiner you work with and get along with. This would make a good reference, as would your co-workers, they are professionals who observe you at work on a frequent basis.
If you are young and just cant think of anything else, think of a favorite teacher (a class you did well in, obviously).
One big thing is to always contact your references before you use them. It would be bad to put someone down if they dont remember you.

Good Luck

Along with asking the folks Flywrite mentioned if they will serve as references, see if you can get any of them to write a letter of reference for you. This is especially important for your employers, because if you can submit a good LOR you might prevent a prospective employer from calling the former employer for a reference check. Even if you left an employer on good terms, a call taken by the wrong person can spell disaster in many ways. Ideally, you want to get a letter of reference from at least all your aviation employers to serve as documention of your employment record.

A reference letter need not launch into a flowery, glowing essay on how wonderful you are as a pilot and person. In fact, that's the wrong approach because it comes off either as BS or raises questions about you. All you need is beginning and ending dates of employment or instruction and what you did for the employer or the course you studied. The writer can include a brief statement about the good qualities you exhibited. It is nice if an employer will state that you would be eligible for rehire.

I had a number of students ask me to write letters of reference, which I was always more than pleased to do. I remembered how important it was to me that a boss or supervisor would write letters for me. Some say they will do it but never do. They forget that at one time they were trying to get a job.

Good luck with your plans.
Last edited:

There seems to be a difference of opinion on that. I recall that Irv Jasinski in Airline Pilot Interviews suggests that you include them with your resume (my recollection may be off; I haven't looked at my copy for years). Although he's an expert who wrote a terrific book, I don't agree. Just send in your resume. Your letters could be lost. Don't put on your resume "References Available on Request." They know you have references. You can bring your letters to the interview. If they return an app, you could attach the letters to the form.

An exception to this practice might be if you have an LOR from someone in the company you're targeting. Attach that letter to your resume and include in your cover letter an opening paragraph that says something like "Captain Joe Blow of your Armpit, Nebraska, base has recommended that I apply for a Flight Officer position with Lousy Commuter Airlines. Enclosed for your review are my resume and a letter of recommendation from Captain Blow." There is nothing better than dropping a name of an employee in the company in your cover letter. It is almost as good as the person walking you in and introducing you personally to H.R. Hopefully, Capt. Blow will write his letter something like "This letter is to introduce AUTOPILOTINOP. I am pleased to recommend Mr. INOP for a Flight Officer position with our company . . . ."

Of course, only provide copies of your letters. Never surrender an original. Get duplicate originals if you must submit an original.

Hope that helps. Good luck with your job search.
Last edited:

I think that you should not include any letters of rec unless:

1) It is someone that a key person at the company you are applying to knows and respects. (silver bullet)

2) Someone in the industry they do not know but know of. Say Bob Hoover or someone has flown with you.

3) Someone who feels your work ethic is outstanding as a former employer who is a recognized entity.

If it is not above, just keep them out and put references on request as suggested.

Latest resources