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View Full Version : Mil RW to Airlines Path


AVIATORUSMC
05-31-2017, 06:14 PM
Good evening,

I'm new to the forum and am extremely thankful for all of the information I have found therein.

I am 31, a Captain in the USMC, and a Cobra pilot with 1200 hours. I have a year left on my contract and will have 1500 hours by the time I am eligible to separate (200 Fw).

I am interested in the prospect of attempting a transition to the civilian sector and flying for the Airlines. What advice can you gentlemen provide? What does this path look like and what advice do you recommend along the way?

From what I have read, assuming one can land a job with one of the major airlines, it appears that leaving the military prior to retirement to pursue an Airlines career is financially lucrative as well a good move from a QOL perspective. Can anyone here echo these observations?

If that is the case, what are the chances of actually getting picked up by a major airline in the first place? I'm concerned that leaving the Corps and going to a regional Airlines for a pay cut may be a bad move for my family. What is the no kidding pay at a regional airline and How long should I anticipate being there... What are hour goals, etc is a guy shooting for while there and what does one get per year? What are the best regional airlines to accomplish the goal of getting in and moving up- especially considering I'm a RW guy.

I have the opportunity to extend my service for a total of 3-4 more years IOT fly King Airs. Is this a wise decision? The rational being I would acquire multi engine time as well as leave the service with my ATP. Conversely, I could potentially get out in one year with the previously alluded 1500brs and attempt to get a RW to FW regional transition like what Envoy and a few others are offering. What do you gentlemen recommend? Will a regional airline even hire me?

I have read that some major Airlines do not count RW time at all. What does this ultimately mean i.e. I spend longer in the regionals before I have the requisite hours to apply to a major airline?

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I'm clearly in the beginning stages of exploring my options and would appreciate any help I can get. Thanks.


rickair7777
05-31-2017, 06:59 PM
You only need 750 Total time for a Restricted-ATP. Regionals will hire you with that, and you'll want to research who is most accommodating of RW experience

Regional FO is more of an internship than real employment for real professionals (ie who don't live in their mom's basement). It's dues paying for sure, but first year pay has about doubled to $35-50K recently, and some places are offering bonuses that may go higher than that. Military reserves can take some of the sting out.

Most majors do not hire R-ATP's and most or all are going to require at least 1,000 FW turbine, but that's low on the competitive spectrum. I'd guess you'd need about 2 years at a regional to get reasonably competitive.

Staying in to fly king airs might not get you a major airline job, you might still need to visit the regionals. Other folks probably have better SA on that than I. 3-4 years is a lot of airline seniority...I'd almost say if you're gonna do it, rip the bandaid off and get on with it now.

If you've had a typical or better mil career so far, you'll pretty much definitely get a major job sooner rather than later assuming you have no obvious personality defects.

Have you checked out APTAP.org?

AVIATORUSMC
05-31-2017, 07:17 PM
Rickair-

Thank you. I appreciate the response. I will check out aptap.org

I've been successful so far into military career. I'm a weapons school graduate, senior squadron IP, etc. In part, this drives some of my skepticism for leaving the military (which I have a good future) as I don't want to put my family in a bad situation only to never get hired on with a major. The number of guys on this forum with thousands of hours and having a hard time getting a job is tough to swallow. But my family could use a break from deployments and want to make the sacrifice for a better future.


Otterbox
05-31-2017, 08:57 PM
Good evening,

I'm new to the forum and am extremely thankful for all of the information I have found therein.

I am 31, a Captain in the USMC, and a Cobra pilot with 1200 hours. I have a year left on my contract and will have 1500 hours by the time I am eligible to separate (200 Fw).

I am interested in the prospect of attempting a transition to the civilian sector and flying for the Airlines. What advice can you gentlemen provide? What does this path look like and what advice do you recommend along the way?

From what I have read, assuming one can land a job with one of the major airlines, it appears that leaving the military prior to retirement to pursue an Airlines career is financially lucrative as well a good move from a QOL perspective. Can anyone here echo these observations?

If that is the case, what are the chances of actually getting picked up by a major airline in the first place? I'm concerned that leaving the Corps and going to a regional Airlines for a pay cut may be a bad move for my family. What is the no kidding pay at a regional airline and How long should I anticipate being there... What are hour goals, etc is a guy shooting for while there and what does one get per year? What are the best regional airlines to accomplish the goal of getting in and moving up- especially considering I'm a RW guy.

I have the opportunity to extend my service for a total of 3-4 more years IOT fly King Airs. Is this a wise decision? The rational being I would acquire multi engine time as well as leave the service with my ATP. Conversely, I could potentially get out in one year with the previously alluded 1500brs and attempt to get a RW to FW regional transition like what Envoy and a few others are offering. What do you gentlemen recommend? Will a regional airline even hire me?

I have read that some major Airlines do not count RW time at all. What does this ultimately mean i.e. I spend longer in the regionals before I have the requisite hours to apply to a major airline?

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I'm clearly in the beginning stages of exploring my options and would appreciate any help I can get. Thanks.

Either way you'll have to get some fixed wing time under your belt in order to be competitive for a major... jet blue and Hawaiian (I believe) are the two majors that count helo flight time for applicants (many others specifically exclude it along with NFO/WSO, Sim time etc.) that meet their minimum fixed wing qualifications.

My first question is: How sure is this king air gig? Do you have orders written for it, or is it one of those potential opportunities along with FAC, HTs, FRS etc? If it's a sure thing, it's something to consider- however, theres a fair chance that you may not get picked up at a major with only Help and C-12 time depending on how many hours you fly etc., and may end up going to a regional anyways.

I just came off a year flying ISR King Airs. A lot of fixed wing mil background guys used it as a place holder while they waited for the majors to call. If you take the king air gig you could do that as well when you get out. However, folks with predominantly mil helo and king air background weren't getting picked up at nearly the same rate, leaving them to spend years flying contract ISR, or move to the regionals to get some 121 time to beef up their resume.

The regionals have come a long way in pay in the last year or so, so ISR only pays triple (instead of 6x) first year regional pay, currently.

Ultimately it depends on what your personal goal is? In the 4 years you talk about extending your time in the military to take King Air orders, you could have undergone the Rotary Transition Program at a Place like Piedmont, Envoy or PSA (Not sure who else has them), and be 3 years on the seniority list and a CA in whatever multi-engine jet they fly while you update you apps for the majors and wait to flow.

Personally, seeing the hoops my helo background peers who fly king airs have to jump through, I'd recommend going straight to an airline sponsored rotary transition program and start making yourself competitive for a career airline job sooner.

kc135pirate
06-01-2017, 01:27 AM
Good evening,

I'm new to the forum and am extremely thankful for all of the information I have found therein.

I am 31, a Captain in the USMC, and a Cobra pilot with 1200 hours. I have a year left on my contract and will have 1500 hours by the time I am eligible to separate (200 Fw).

I am interested in the prospect of attempting a transition to the civilian sector and flying for the Airlines. What advice can you gentlemen provide? What does this path look like and what advice do you recommend along the way?

From what I have read, assuming one can land a job with one of the major airlines, it appears that leaving the military prior to retirement to pursue an Airlines career is financially lucrative as well a good move from a QOL perspective. Can anyone here echo these observations?

If that is the case, what are the chances of actually getting picked up by a major airline in the first place? I'm concerned that leaving the Corps and going to a regional Airlines for a pay cut may be a bad move for my family. What is the no kidding pay at a regional airline and How long should I anticipate being there... What are hour goals, etc is a guy shooting for while there and what does one get per year? What are the best regional airlines to accomplish the goal of getting in and moving up- especially considering I'm a RW guy.

I have the opportunity to extend my service for a total of 3-4 more years IOT fly King Airs. Is this a wise decision? The rational being I would acquire multi engine time as well as leave the service with my ATP. Conversely, I could potentially get out in one year with the previously alluded 1500brs and attempt to get a RW to FW regional transition like what Envoy and a few others are offering. What do you gentlemen recommend? Will a regional airline even hire me?

I have read that some major Airlines do not count RW time at all. What does this ultimately mean i.e. I spend longer in the regionals before I have the requisite hours to apply to a major airline?

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I'm clearly in the beginning stages of exploring my options and would appreciate any help I can get. Thanks.

There are contract companies that will hire you to fly the MC-12 in various wonderful and familiar parts of the world. This would be a way to get some serious fixed wing time and continue to make a nice paycheck. Last time I talked with one of the L3 guys they were pulling in 25K a month and doing one month on one off in Afghanyland.

GoVandals
06-01-2017, 04:56 AM
This is definitely a difficult decision, but depending on the location that you'll be flying C-12s from it may be a non-starter to achieve your end state. In most locations (save Futenma) as a Captain, you'll be picking up scraps for flight time from the transitioning 0-4s and O-5s. Unfortunately these guys are trying to do the same thing your looking to do. So you may average 200 hours a year in the C12 which will still put you 400 or more short of what the nom-regionals are looking for from an applicant.

Now if your able to get a billet at Corpus and instruct C-12s there (yes helo guys go there and instruct c12s) you'll come out of there closet to the hours you'll need. Additionally, you will be able to milcomp your MEI, MEII after you take the MCI exam. As a WTI, you should be able to write your ticket there, but i would keep that between you and the monitor, leaving your command out of the comm loop.

Getting to corpus would also ease your transition into the reserves flying fixed wing on either the Navy or Marine side of the house. Which could provide some peace of mind should the industry tank again.

Having recently wrestled with similar choices, albeit at 14 vice 10 years, its tough. Just make sure to look at all of your options before focusing down on the primary three when you move forward.

PM if you have any specific questions on the above.

Best of luck...

BeatNavy
06-01-2017, 11:04 AM
Just remember you need 250 airplane PIC hours for a rATP/ATP. I did the transition from the army helo side with zero mil fw hours. Paid for my fw private add on and used the GI bill for other fw ratings, and owned a plane for a few years while I was in my final year or two in the army flying for fun and building fw pic time. That said, regionals pay a lot more now than when I switched mil to airlines 3 years ago. And your stint would likely be short in this environment. Can you afford the ratings/PIC time building required? Can you afford $60-$70k first year with whatever transition leave you have built up? If you can, you will make more money long term with a higher long term QOL (probably) going to the airlines sooner rather than later. Throw in a guard/reserve job for a safety net/supplemental money making opportunity and you can help it out even more. Good luck.

I spent a year and a half at a bottom feeder regional, went to JetBlue, and in year 2 jetblue pay I am making as much as I did as an O3 in the army, but with higher healthcare costs, higher amount of taxable income (no BAH, COLA etc that wasn't taxed). Year 3 and beyond will all be considerably more. And the last 8 years of your airline career that you'd have if you switched now vs when you retire will be the highest paying years you'll have with the most time off. And you'd miss the front/middle of the retirement wave. Giving that up for 8 years of O4-O5 pay/retirement ain't worth it by the numbers. But if you enjoy what you do, enjoy the job security, then there's something to be said for that.

bababouey
06-01-2017, 12:12 PM
I'd go ahead and get out and start with a good regional and get on with your career, king air time at this point won't do you a lot, good luck on your decision.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

EvilGN
06-02-2017, 08:43 AM
IMHO your fastest way to a Major is joining a regional the moment they will hire you, and joining a "reserve" big plane unit, Navy Hercs/C40, or Air Guard/Reserve take your pick of plane....As far as Navy reserve deployments, they are cake compared to active side. basically doing 1-4 3 week dets a year, and various other missions lasting 2-18 days, give or take. Lots of overwater flying involved. We have several prior helo pilots from all services flying doing basically what you are talking about, building Multi engine PIC time in an effort to one day join a major.

Slim11
06-06-2017, 12:07 PM
In your situation, time at a regional is almost mandatory. Note I said "almost."

FW time is your shortfall right now. You seem to qualify for the R-ATP. Do you have that now?

PSA, where I am now, has a good transition program for RW military pilots. You can get as much as $21,000 from PSA to help get the necessary FW time ILO using GI Bill benefits. There is also an ATP-CTP course run by PSA which may be useful.

PSA has crew bases in Dayton and Cincinnati, OH, Charlotte, NC, Knoxville, TN and Washington, DC (DCA only), There are several ARNG RW units in OH, IN and KY should you choose to transfer to the reserves.

A year to 18 months would make you a stronger candidate for the majors.

Good luck!

AVIATORUSMC
06-08-2017, 05:38 AM
Gentlemen,

I want to give a sincere thank you for the advice. You have all given me a lot to think about. Ive decided against flying C-12 or UC-35 in the military based on advice here and elsewhere. With that said, Id appreciate any thoughts on the following:

Over the course of the last week I spoke to a few AF Reserve units in my home town to fly C-5's, KC-135's, etc. One of the units seemed pretty interested and wants to meet in a few weeks while I'm home on leave. It sounds like if they pick me up the timeline would work well for no service gap from active to reserves. Training thereafter would be close to a year on active duty orders for the training pipeline (a positive or negative based on time to the Majors?).

While moving to my home town would be great, the issue is that after the active duty training, and I go to a strictly reserves schedule, the only way I could afford to live in the area would be a contract ISR job. Regional pay would be untenable based on cost of living. Is the juice worth the squeeze with the ultimate goal to be a Majors airline pilot? It sounds like the regionals provide more annual flight hours than contract ISR, also from many peoples comments it seems the regionals offers the fastest way to the majors for helo trash like myself.

With C-17 or other military heavy lift time and a primary job of contract ISR, is the resume is better or worse than just going straight to the regionals now with only helo time? Any thoughts?

Again thanks for the responses!

BeatNavy
06-08-2017, 05:55 AM
Gentlemen,

I want to give a sincere thank you for the advice. You have all given me a lot to think about. Ive decided against flying C-12 or UC-35 in the military based on advice here and elsewhere. With that said, Id appreciate any thoughts on the following:

Over the course of the last week I spoke to a few AF Reserve units in my home town to fly C-5's, KC-135's, etc. One of the units seemed pretty interested and wants to meet in a few weeks while I'm home on leave. It sounds like if they pick me up the timeline would work well for no service gap from active to reserves. Training thereafter would be close to a year on active duty orders for the training pipeline (a positive or negative based on time to the Majors?).

While moving to my home town would be great, the issue is that after the active duty training, and I go to a strictly reserves schedule, the only way I could afford to live in the area would be a contract ISR job. Regional pay would be untenable based on cost of living. Is the juice worth the squeeze with the ultimate goal to be a Majors airline pilot? It sounds like the regionals provide more annual flight hours than contract ISR, also from many peoples comments it seems the regionals offers the fastest way to the majors for helo trash like myself.

With C-17 or other military heavy lift time and a primary job of contract ISR, is the resume is better or worse than just going straight to the regionals now with only helo time? Any thoughts?

Again thanks for the responses!

If you have mil heavy time and ISR time you should be competitive, just don't know how much of each would make it so. Just make sure whatever route you take you can get 250 airplane PIC hours ASAP so you can at least get an ATP/rATP...dunno if ISR offers that. That said, regional pay isn't that bad now if you still get all the bonuses that are offered. You should expect $60-75k first year. If you did that plus Maj guard/res pay, it wouldn't be that hard to stay close to what you are making now if you used a lot of mil leave and still squeezed in a couple airline trips a month. With seasoning time and TDYs I would bet you can pick up a decent amount of pay and hours your first year back from from the schoolhouse. Are there many bums in that unit? What is the availability of extra full time orders/TDYs? I've heard a lot of units have a ton with everyone at the airlines, but ymmv.

Otterbox
06-08-2017, 07:05 AM
Gentlemen,

I want to give a sincere thank you for the advice. You have all given me a lot to think about. Ive decided against flying C-12 or UC-35 in the military based on advice here and elsewhere. With that said, Id appreciate any thoughts on the following:

Over the course of the last week I spoke to a few AF Reserve units in my home town to fly C-5's, KC-135's, etc. One of the units seemed pretty interested and wants to meet in a few weeks while I'm home on leave. It sounds like if they pick me up the timeline would work well for no service gap from active to reserves. Training thereafter would be close to a year on active duty orders for the training pipeline (a positive or negative based on time to the Majors?).

While moving to my home town would be great, the issue is that after the active duty training, and I go to a strictly reserves schedule, the only way I could afford to live in the area would be a contract ISR job. Regional pay would be untenable based on cost of living. Is the juice worth the squeeze with the ultimate goal to be a Majors airline pilot? It sounds like the regionals provide more annual flight hours than contract ISR, also from many peoples comments it seems the regionals offers the fastest way to the majors for helo trash like myself.

With C-17 or other military heavy lift time and a primary job of contract ISR, is the resume is better or worse than just going straight to the regionals now with only helo time? Any thoughts?

Again thanks for the responses!

Unfortunately you'd be probably be in a catch 22 situation... depending on how long seasoning was for the guard gig you may not have enough fixed wing time for an ISR gig. Checkout L3 Pilot 2 and Pilot 3, Dynamic Aviation PIC and MAG DS PIC hiring requirements to see how far you'd be off... if your seasoning is only 6 months long like many big winged guard units and you're going into it with only 250hrs of fixed wing time there might be a gap where you need to weasel your way into AD orders for a while longer or find something else before one of the ISR contractors would hire you.

Starting out at 250fw hours you're going to have a while of ISR/guard life before you get attention from any of the majors. Any sort of military fixed wing time from a guard unit will help your application and beef up your resume making your time to call shorter but there's no overnight solution.

Option B is live in base for a regional and commute to the guard job for a while. Go to one of the AA wholly owned regionals with a flow so you can approach your entry to the majors in 2 fronts (direct application and flow through route). Also you'll have the ability to go on mil leave and get more military fixed wing experience while your seniority is increasing at your regional and you get closer to an AA class date if that's the route you chose.

satpak77
06-08-2017, 08:15 PM
Option B is live in base for a regional and commute to the guard job for a while. Go to one of the AA wholly owned regionals with a flow so you can approach your entry to the majors in 2 fronts (direct application and flow through route). Also you'll have the ability to go on mil leave and get more military fixed wing experience while your seniority is increasing at your regional and you get closer to an AA class date if that's the route you chose.

I would say this as #1. how will he respond quicky with a sandbox job if he gets a sudden interview call? or prep seminar ?

my opinion

Otterbox
06-08-2017, 09:06 PM
I would say this as #1. how will he respond quicky with a sandbox job if he gets a sudden interview call? or prep seminar ?

my opinion

Guys applying last year usually ended up deferring interviews by a couple months until they returned from down range and the airlines usually worked with them.

Interview prep seminars were more inflexible given their group focus.

Job fairs were also difficult to attend unless they well within a scheduled R&R window.



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