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View Full Version : Navy pipeline selection help


Tannhauser621
01-03-2018, 08:34 PM
Gents,

Current student aviator in Navy primary. I'll be finishing up here in the next few weeks and thought I take a moment to get some perspective from some military turned airline pilots. I have 3 years prior service in the Marine Corps(enlisted) before being picked up by the Navy to be an officer/pilot. I am married with a 2 year old. Absolutely love flying, and I'd like to say I've done fairly middle pack here in primary. By no means am I the next chuck yeager but I've never failed/unsatted anything. Number one priority in my life is my wife and kid. That being said.... SELECTION.

My longterm goal is to become an airline pilot flying internationally with one of the Majors. I grew up flying alone to see my grandfather in France and have dreamt of it since. That being said... here is my current wish list

1. P8 (navy 737)
2. E2/C2
3. Helos or E6 Mercury(B-707)

My predicament is my 3rd choice. I'm torn between E-6s and Helos.

E-6s
Pros
- set up with multi engine heavy time
- Deployments are 3 on 3 off essentially
- always stateside
Cons
- have yet to meet an e6 guy talk good about community. One dude downright said to avoid it. Most complaints about predictability, boring, never overseas.
- live in OKC
- Never truly "deploy"

Helos
Pros
- best duty stations in navy
- All Pilot community
- Every helo pilot I've met said they absolutely love the community. Spoke about brotherhood
- Deployments were plenty, fairly predictable, and all over the world.
Cons
- Not multiengine heavy
- Have to fight for a VT instructor slot to get fixed wing hours
- Spend 1000s on multiengine courses to get rating

Thus my predicament, one essentially promises a rewarding navy career, the other sets myself up for the airlines.
- Is being in the E6 community really that bad?
- Is 3 years of CONUS mini deployments/living in OKC worth it for the multi-engine heavy time?
- Would going E-6s make me a shoe in for the Majors?

The idea of making 70k a year as a first year FO in the regionals sounds terrible, especially when I have a family to support. Let me know gents if I have any misconceptions. Thanks for everyone's time.


coolyokeluke
01-03-2018, 10:00 PM
Gents,

Current student aviator in Navy primary. I'll be finishing up here in the next few weeks and thought I take a moment to get some perspective from some military turned airline pilots. I have 3 years prior service in the Marine Corps(enlisted) before being picked up by the Navy to be an officer/pilot. I am married with a 2 year old. Absolutely love flying, and I'd like to say I've done fairly middle pack here in primary. By no means am I the next chuck yeager but I've never failed/unsatted anything. Number one priority in my life is my wife and kid. That being said.... SELECTION.

My longterm goal is to become an airline pilot flying internationally with one of the Majors. I grew up flying alone to see my grandfather in France and have dreamt of it since. That being said... here is my current wish list

1. P8 (navy 737)
2. E2/C2
3. Helos or E6 Mercury(B-707)

My predicament is my 3rd choice. I'm torn between E-6s and Helos.

E-6s
Pros
- set up with multi engine heavy time
- Deployments are 3 on 3 off essentially
- always stateside
Cons
- have yet to meet an e6 guy talk good about community. One dude downright said to avoid it. Most complaints about predictability, boring, never overseas.
- live in OKC
- Never truly "deploy"

Helos
Pros
- best duty stations in navy
- All Pilot community
- Every helo pilot I've met said they absolutely love the community. Spoke about brotherhood
- Deployments were plenty, fairly predictable, and all over the world.
Cons
- Not multiengine heavy
- Have to fight for a VT instructor slot to get fixed wing hours
- Spend 1000s on multiengine courses to get rating

Thus my predicament, one essentially promises a rewarding navy career, the other sets myself up for the airlines.
- Is being in the E6 community really that bad?
- Is 3 years of CONUS mini deployments/living in OKC worth it for the multi-engine heavy time?
- Would going E-6s make me a shoe in for the Majors?

The idea of making 70k a year as a first year FO in the regionals sounds terrible, especially when I have a family to support. Let me know gents if I have any misconceptions. Thanks for everyone's time.70k to start sounds bad? The majors aren't paying much more than that. And Hawaiin pays 37k to start. I'd suggest that you do a good job saving and pare down expenses. You have plenty of time. Who knows what contracts will be like when you get out.

I think your selections sound solid.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

Otterbox
01-03-2018, 10:13 PM
Gents,

Current student aviator in Navy primary. I'll be finishing up here in the next few weeks and thought I take a moment to get some perspective from some military turned airline pilots. I have 3 years prior service in the Marine Corps(enlisted) before being picked up by the Navy to be an officer/pilot. I am married with a 2 year old. Absolutely love flying, and I'd like to say I've done fairly middle pack here in primary. By no means am I the next chuck yeager but I've never failed/unsatted anything. Number one priority in my life is my wife and kid. That being said.... SELECTION.

My longterm goal is to become an airline pilot flying internationally with one of the Majors. I grew up flying alone to see my grandfather in France and have dreamt of it since. That being said... here is my current wish list

1. P8 (navy 737)
2. E2/C2
3. Helos or E6 Mercury(B-707)

My predicament is my 3rd choice. I'm torn between E-6s and Helos.

E-6s
Pros
- set up with multi engine heavy time
- Deployments are 3 on 3 off essentially
- always stateside
Cons
- have yet to meet an e6 guy talk good about community. One dude downright said to avoid it. Most complaints about predictability, boring, never overseas.
- live in OKC
- Never truly "deploy"

Helos
Pros
- best duty stations in navy
- All Pilot community
- Every helo pilot I've met said they absolutely love the community. Spoke about brotherhood
- Deployments were plenty, fairly predictable, and all over the world.
Cons
- Not multiengine heavy
- Have to fight for a VT instructor slot to get fixed wing hours
- Spend 1000s on multiengine courses to get rating

Thus my predicament, one essentially promises a rewarding navy career, the other sets myself up for the airlines.
- Is being in the E6 community really that bad?
- Is 3 years of CONUS mini deployments/living in OKC worth it for the multi-engine heavy time?
- Would going E-6s make me a shoe in for the Majors?

The idea of making 70k a year as a first year FO in the regionals sounds terrible, especially when I have a family to support. Let me know gents if I have any misconceptions. Thanks for everyone's time.

Looking to be an airline guy? You should Have everything fixed wing on your selection card from Jets down to E6.


ARAMP1
01-03-2018, 10:21 PM
If you go E6, once your done with your commitment, you'll be able to walk on to the major airline of your choice. Plus, living in OKC is legit.

Grumble
01-03-2018, 10:27 PM
Dude you’ve got at least 8-10 years before you’ll even have the option. There is no telling what the airline landscape will look like then.

Shoot for what you want, the rest will fall into place. That said you couldn’t pay me to go to the P-3/P-8 community. I’d ask why not tailhook, but there are plenty of guys that don’t need to be convinced of that. Take what your IPs say with a grain of salt, there’s a lot of TACAIR hate in the VTs. Great IPs but don’t let them bias your choices. If I could go back and be a JO in a VFA squadron again I would in a second. There’s no better flying you’ll ever get to do then day case 1 around the boat.

No platform is going to make you anymore or less competitive for the airlines if it’s fixed wing. Far and away the majority of airline guys I fly with that were Navy/Marines, were pointy nose.

DROCK
01-03-2018, 11:29 PM
Don't put down helicopters. If the Navy wants/needs you to fly helicopters they will select this for you and then Helicopters were meant to be.

Jughead135
01-04-2018, 01:56 AM
Cons
- Never truly "deploy"


Ah, to be young again...!

rickair7777
01-04-2018, 06:11 AM
Ah, to be young again...!

I laughed too. Marines tend to like to deploy.

To the OP, if you want airlines, focus on fixed wing. Given your timing, you might be near the back side of the current wave, best not to take any unnecessary delays getting to your career destination airline.

Tannhauser621
01-04-2018, 06:29 AM
70k to start sounds bad? The majors aren't paying much more than that. And Hawaiin pays 37k to start. I'd suggest that you do a good job saving and pare down expenses. You have plenty of time. Who knows what contracts will be like when you get out.

I think your selections sound solid.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

When I get out in 8 years, so 2026/7, Iíll be making just north of 100k as an O-3. At that point my wife and I intend on having 3 kids (we already have a 2 year old). Thatís near a 30k pay cut, if Iím lucky enough to get 70k. Money may not buy ďhappinessĒ but it sure does make it easier to achieve it.

You said solid selections you were referring to P8, e2/c2, e6?

Thanks

Tannhauser621
01-04-2018, 06:41 AM
Dude youíve got at least 8-10 years before youíll even have the option. There is no telling what the airline landscape will look like then.

Shoot for what you want, the rest will fall into place. That said you couldnít pay me to go to the P-3/P-8 community. Iíd ask why not tailhook, but there are plenty of guys that donít need to be convinced of that. Take what your IPs say with a grain of salt, thereís a lot of TACAIR hate in the VTs. Great IPs but donít let them bias your choices. If I could go back and be a JO in a VFA squadron again I would in a second. Thereís no better flying youíll ever get to do then day case 1 around the boat.

No platform is going to make you anymore or less competitive for the airlines if itís fixed wing. Far and away the majority of airline guys I fly with that were Navy/Marines, were pointy nose.

So I would love tacair, however speaking to current guys at the VFAs as well as 2 instructors we have here, it requires a ton of dedication, thatís a level of dedication I canít say I have. I donít want to burn up someones spot that wants it more than I do. Also if youíre stationed in oceana, Iím told work ups are done in the west coast, so your away from family. Stationed in LeMoore, well.... you have to live in Central Valley. I donít like the idea of raising my kids where breaking bad couldíve very well been filmed. The only negative thing IPs here have said come from the p3/p8 guys who say loving on the boat would suck.

So you say no platform makes you more/less competitive if itís fixed wing, my predicament was between helos and E6s. 8-10 years, a lot may change, but i know for sure there will still be airlines, and theyíll still be looking for the most competitive applicants. That being said which is most competitive helos or e6s, or will it matter?

Tannhauser621
01-04-2018, 06:42 AM
If you go E6, once your done with your commitment, you'll be able to walk on to the major airline of your choice. Plus, living in OKC is legit.

You know any e6 guys who left military to walk into the airlines?

Brillo
01-04-2018, 06:58 AM
As far as E-6's vs helos, if you want to go airlines, then pick E-6's. Flying a four engine fixed wing jet vs a helicopter is going to be preferred by every single airline.

It seems like you don't want to deploy. The helos are going to be on the boat a lot.

Brillo
01-04-2018, 07:00 AM
By the way, if you pick C-2's, you'll probably end up in CMV-22 at some point, depending on what their sundown timeline is. The older COD guys might be able to stay in the COD for a bit and then transition to something else, but with you being fairly junior, they'll probably be looking to transition you to the new COD platform eventually.

Tannhauser621
01-04-2018, 07:32 AM
By the way, if you pick C-2's, you'll probably end up in CMV-22 at some point, depending on what their sundown timeline is. The older COD guys might be able to stay in the COD for a bit and then transition to something else, but with you being fairly junior, they'll probably be looking to transition you to the new COD platform eventually.

Negative on the CMV-22. CNATRA 2 star came by yesterday and someone asked what was up, he said our generation wonít see it. I donít mind deploying. I actually look forward to the high seas, hence why Iím torn between helos and E6s; awesome Navy experience vs the multiengine Time.

FlyBoyd
01-04-2018, 08:17 AM
You know any e6 guys who left military to walk into the airlines?
Yes, I do.

The thing about E-6s is that the highs aren’t as high but the lows aren’t as low either. You don’t get to do a lot of the so called cool things but you also don’t HAVE to do a lot of the crappy things, too. The perceived problem with the community is there is no real mission accomplishment. If you ever actually do the primary mission, the world as we know it will change forever. So, because you never get to actually do it, they focus on other things to measure/feel a sense of accomplishment. Basically, the NFOs took a really good gentlemen’s flying club and f-ed it away with metrics and face-time shenanigans....but you will find this at some level in every community. That being said, I had a good time. It is what you make it. For the better part of three and a half years I was gone three weeks and home three weeks. OKC gets a bad rap. It’s not a boat and it isn’t sandy. I was half a day’s drive from home, deploying (really more like a det) to a comfortable alert facility on an Air Force base with Air Force support structure.

If you want to fly in the airlines post-Navy, having E-6 time will certainly help. There are a fair amount of us that did their initial commitment, joined the reserves, and got on with a major. There are also others, like me, that left the community and flew elsewhere until retirement before getting hired.

You are too far out to try to guess. IMO, the only thing you can do is go fixed wing, enjoy the ride, and see what the future brings. Oh, and take the CNATRA info about Ospreys and throw it in the nearest trash can. He just told you what he knows as of today. It’ll change a hundred times.

FlewNavy
01-04-2018, 08:27 AM
So I would love tacair, however speaking to current guys at the VFAs as well as 2 instructors we have here, it requires a ton of dedication, thatís a level of dedication I canít say I have. I donít want to burn up someones spot that wants it more than I do. Also if youíre stationed in oceana, Iím told work ups are done in the west coast, so your away from family. Stationed in LeMoore, well.... you have to live in Central Valley. I donít like the idea of raising my kids where breaking bad couldíve very well been filmed. The only negative thing IPs here have said come from the p3/p8 guys who say loving on the boat would suck.

So you say no platform makes you more/less competitive if itís fixed wing, my predicament was between helos and E6s. 8-10 years, a lot may change, but i know for sure there will still be airlines, and theyíll still be looking for the most competitive applicants. That being said which is most competitive helos or e6s, or will it matter?

Your time away from home during workups will be the same regardless of if you are a west/east coast VFA or VAQ. Workups are done in Fallon, NV which isn't exactly "local" to Oceana, Lemoore or Whidbey. All are fine places to raise children for the 3-4 years that you will be there. Spouses may disagree with that statement but attitude is everything. I would personally take Lemoore because I love the mountains and the flying on the west coast is superior.

My TACAIR friends are getting multiple CJOs and many of them their first choice. Even more significant was my TACAIR coworker that applied to exactly 1 airline...and got hired while being non-current (UPS). My helo friends are at the regionals. My P8/E6 friends have all gotten on with a legacy or other major LCC/Cargo directly but most have not had multiple CJOs. TACAIR is universally recognized as a harder path and irregardless of whether it has any analogous prediction on a pilots performance at an airline it does seem to make it a more marketable transition provided you have acquired enough hours. 1500 TACAIR hours seems to be the sweet spot.

There will still be airlines in 8-10 years but they may not be looking for competitive applicants. I went through primary/advanced before 9/11 and all the IPs were talking airlines etc. All of my IPs except those hired by SWA were furloughed multiple times. The SNAs all wanted P3s because they wanted the shortest commitment at the time and their obligations all ended during the age 65 rule implementation. Most went into business/contracting instead. You very well could be facing furloughs or Age 67+ when the time comes for you to leave the Navy and you will be on the back end of the retirement wave.

P3/P8 guys all say they would hate being on the boat. Mostly I think that is because they are in squadrons with 70-80 folks and they never truly get to know each other. What makes the boat tolerable is #1 the flying and #2 the 10-12 other JO's that you will spend most of your time with.

I say go pick the mission that most interests you if it is available and worry about the airlines in about 5-6 years. Your enjoyment/fulfillment of your career will primarily be based on the O4/O5 leadership that you are exposed to during your first two tours and not really about the aircraft that you fly. Make sure your wife is onboard with any decisions you make. Spouses groups are far more tight knit in VFA/Helos but ultimately that is up to the COs spouse.

Also - understand this very clearly - the Navy typically does not send its best and brightest fixed wing pilots to teach at the VTs. Top performers are usually teaching at the FRS and Weapons Schools or going to test squadrons. Most at the VTs are there because they want out of the Navy and they want to stay flying during their shore tour and it was the only opportunity. Not ALL...but most/many. So the opinions that you are getting from IPs may be jaded.

Good luck with your decision...you are lucky to have that opportunity to make it!

Cheers,
FW

HoursHore
01-04-2018, 09:51 AM
If you want a straight shot to majors avoid helos. E6s are boring, but predictable. It's hard to get excited to fly 12 hours and land at the same airport. Also, I wouldn't go into it thinking it's some magic family elixir. Lots of divorces amongst JOs when I was there.
OKC is actually a pretty good city, and great for raising a family. Not bad if you're single too. But like Boyd said, the place is run by NFOS and it's a mission that while necessary, isn't fun or challenging and is sort of an afterthought. You're more of a Navy squadron attached to STRATCOM.
Would I do it again? Eh,maybe, but it'd definitely be ahead of Helos.

USMCFLYR
01-04-2018, 10:17 AM
Oh, and take the CNATRA info about Ospreys and throw it in the nearest trash can. He just told you what he knows as of today. Itíll change a hundred times.
One of the reasons I wanted to chose helos was to quickly transition to the MV-22 - after all they were just around the corner!

Almost 15+ years later - they finally hit the fleet! :eek:

Good thing I ended up not basing my assignments on what some Flag was saying at the time.

OP - I've lived in both Virginia Beach and Lemoore - and I currently live in OKC. Guess I've hit all of your hot-spots. :)

Opinions - I had an on-wing (former S-2 pilot) that was incredibly jaded against helos and gave me quite the lip smacking when I told him I had decided to chose helos. Opinions are just those - and you have to take into account WHERE and WHO they are coming from and the experiences/backgrounds of those giving them to really make much sense of them

FlyBoyd and FlewNavy have great advise in their posts.

Otterbox
01-04-2018, 10:22 AM
So I would love tacair, however speaking to current guys at the VFAs as well as 2 instructors we have here, it requires a ton of dedication, that’s a level of dedication I can’t say I have. I don’t want to burn up someones spot that wants it more than I do. Also if you’re stationed in oceana, I’m told work ups are done in the west coast, so your away from family. Stationed in LeMoore, well.... you have to live in Central Valley. I don’t like the idea of raising my kids where breaking bad could’ve very well been filmed. The only negative thing IPs here have said come from the p3/p8 guys who say loving on the boat would suck.

So you say no platform makes you more/less competitive if it’s fixed wing, my predicament was between helos and E6s. 8-10 years, a lot may change, but i know for sure there will still be airlines, and they’ll still be looking for the most competitive applicants. That being said which is most competitive helos or e6s, or will it matter?

You’re insane if you think any non tacair community is gonna be a cake walk and require less dedication... what other communities lack in required dedication to flying skills like tacair they make up for in required dedication to BS busy work, duty and ground jobs.

Your question has already been answered. Fly jets to be an airline guy... The VQ(T) community sucks QOL wise (I know pilots who would have beerios in the mornings on their day off just so when they got called for another tornado escape det they could tell OPS they already started drinking and wouldn’t be available) but hey you’ll get a 707 type rating...

VP life you’ll end your 8 year commitment on a 2 year non flying boat tour that they won’t let you out of because they don’t want you to leave flight current. Same with helo dudes also... and also VQ.

Sounds like you want to fly helos more than E6s... go for it.

Whatever you ultimately end up putting down on your selection card, don’t put down things because you think life will be easy and you’ll have a high QOL. You won’t, and you’ll be sorry you ended up where you were because reality will be vastly different than what your imagining.

rickair7777
01-04-2018, 10:25 AM
You know any e6 guys who left military to walk into the airlines?

I do, big three all of them. Back in the day, but I doubt mil time in a heavy jet ever goes out of fashion.

Tannhauser621
01-04-2018, 11:22 AM
Youíre insane if you think any non tacair community is gonna be a cake walk and require less dedication... what other communities lack in required dedication to flying skills like tacair they make up for in required dedication to BS busy work, duty and ground jobs.

Your question has already been answered. Fly jets to be an airline guy... The VQ(T) community sucks QOL wise (I know pilots who would have beerios in the mornings on their day off just so when they got called for another tornado escape det they could tell OPS they already started drinking and wouldnít be available) but hey youíll get a 707 type rating...

VP life youíll end your 8 year commitment on a 2 year non flying boat tour that they wonít let you out of because they donít want you to leave flight current. Same with helo dudes also... and also VQ.

Sounds like you want to fly helos more than E6s... go for it.

Whatever you ultimately end up putting down on your selection card, donít put down things because you think life will be easy and youíll have a high QOL. You wonít, and youíll be sorry you ended up where you were because reality will be vastly different than what your imagining.

Think you read a little too far into what I meant, the dedication Iím referring to is the ďgung hoĒ ďi wanna be the next top gunĒ attitude. For many studs, they show up super motivated to fly jets. No other community has that level of draw for students. Iíve yet to meet another student who is gung ho anything but Tacair. Therefore Iím choosing not to go tacair because i know there 12 dozen other students who want it 100x more than i do. I donít want to take that away from them, when I donít have that level of ďgung-hoĒ attitude. Not going to burn up their spot/future career because I kind of think itís cool.

Not dead set on helos, hence the post. Why do you say QOL is bad for E6s?

Tannhauser621
01-04-2018, 11:23 AM
Your time away from home during workups will be the same regardless of if you are a west/east coast VFA or VAQ. Workups are done in Fallon, NV which isn't exactly "local" to Oceana, Lemoore or Whidbey. All are fine places to raise children for the 3-4 years that you will be there. Spouses may disagree with that statement but attitude is everything. I would personally take Lemoore because I love the mountains and the flying on the west coast is superior.

My TACAIR friends are getting multiple CJOs and many of them their first choice. Even more significant was my TACAIR coworker that applied to exactly 1 airline...and got hired while being non-current (UPS). My helo friends are at the regionals. My P8/E6 friends have all gotten on with a legacy or other major LCC/Cargo directly but most have not had multiple CJOs. TACAIR is universally recognized as a harder path and irregardless of whether it has any analogous prediction on a pilots performance at an airline it does seem to make it a more marketable transition provided you have acquired enough hours. 1500 TACAIR hours seems to be the sweet spot.

There will still be airlines in 8-10 years but they may not be looking for competitive applicants. I went through primary/advanced before 9/11 and all the IPs were talking airlines etc. All of my IPs except those hired by SWA were furloughed multiple times. The SNAs all wanted P3s because they wanted the shortest commitment at the time and their obligations all ended during the age 65 rule implementation. Most went into business/contracting instead. You very well could be facing furloughs or Age 67+ when the time comes for you to leave the Navy and you will be on the back end of the retirement wave.

P3/P8 guys all say they would hate being on the boat. Mostly I think that is because they are in squadrons with 70-80 folks and they never truly get to know each other. What makes the boat tolerable is #1 the flying and #2 the 10-12 other JO's that you will spend most of your time with.

I say go pick the mission that most interests you if it is available and worry about the airlines in about 5-6 years. Your enjoyment/fulfillment of your career will primarily be based on the O4/O5 leadership that you are exposed to during your first two tours and not really about the aircraft that you fly. Make sure your wife is onboard with any decisions you make. Spouses groups are far more tight knit in VFA/Helos but ultimately that is up to the COs spouse.

Also - understand this very clearly - the Navy typically does not send its best and brightest fixed wing pilots to teach at the VTs. Top performers are usually teaching at the FRS and Weapons Schools or going to test squadrons. Most at the VTs are there because they want out of the Navy and they want to stay flying during their shore tour and it was the only opportunity. Not ALL...but most/many. So the opinions that you are getting from IPs may be jaded.

Good luck with your decision...you are lucky to have that opportunity to make it!

Cheers,
FW

Solid insight, thank you for the responses. Thank you ALL for the responses.

Tannhauser621
01-04-2018, 11:26 AM
One of the reasons I wanted to chose helos was to quickly transition to the MV-22 - after all they were just around the corner!

Almost 15+ years later - they finally hit the fleet! :eek:

Good thing I ended up not basing my assignments on what some Flag was saying at the time.

OP - I've lived in both Virginia Beach and Lemoore - and I currently live in OKC. Guess I've hit all of your hot-spots. :)

Opinions - I had an on-wing (former S-2 pilot) that was incredibly jaded against helos and gave me quite the lip smacking when I told him I had decided to chose helos. Opinions are just those - and you have to take into account WHERE and WHO they are coming from and the experiences/backgrounds of those giving them to really make much sense of them

FlyBoyd and FlewNavy have great advise in their posts.
What brought you to OKC?

Tannhauser621
01-04-2018, 11:27 AM
Yes, I do.

The thing about E-6s is that the highs aren’t as high but the lows aren’t as low either. You don’t get to do a lot of the so called cool things but you also don’t HAVE to do a lot of the crappy things, too. The perceived problem with the community is there is no real mission accomplishment. If you ever actually do the primary mission, the world as we know it will change forever. So, because you never get to actually do it, they focus on other things to measure/feel a sense of accomplishment. Basically, the NFOs took a really good gentlemen’s flying club and f-ed it away with metrics and face-time shenanigans....but you will find this at some level in every community. That being said, I had a good time. It is what you make it. For the better part of three and a half years I was gone three weeks and home three weeks. OKC gets a bad rap. It’s not a boat and it isn’t sandy. I was half a day’s drive from home, deploying (really more like a det) to a comfortable alert facility on an Air Force base with Air Force support structure.

If you want to fly in the airlines post-Navy, having E-6 time will certainly help. There are a fair amount of us that did their initial commitment, joined the reserves, and got on with a major. There are also others, like me, that left the community and flew elsewhere until retirement before getting hired.

You are too far out to try to guess. IMO, the only thing you can do is go fixed wing, enjoy the ride, and see what the future brings. Oh, and take the CNATRA info about Ospreys and throw it in the nearest trash can. He just told you what he knows as of today. It’ll change a hundred times.
Solid response. Do you mind if ask what you did in between leaving the Navy and going to the airlines?

Thanks

FlyBoyd
01-04-2018, 11:47 AM
Solid response. Do you mind if ask what you did in between leaving the Navy and going to the airlines?

Thanks

I didnít leave the Navy. I left the community. I just didnít go back for a DH tour...by choice. Due to 9-11 and the recession of 2008, I stuck around as a VT FTS instructor at TW-4 until I retired in 2012. To answer your question, between the Navy and my new job? Not much...I had five days terminal leave before starting at FedEx. It was my number one choice which was good because they were the only ones hiring in late 2012. I had apps in/ready everywhere so I canít speak to if this E-6 guy would have gotten multiple offers but....FedEx hired a few in 2012 and I was one of them.

USMCFLYR
01-04-2018, 12:02 PM
What brought you to OKC?
A job.......

Packrat
01-04-2018, 01:13 PM
Looking back on my career, Helos cost me 5 years seniority at my Legacy airline job. That HURT.

No question:

P-8s if you want to deploy.
E-6s if you don't.

If I had your choices and my ultimate goal was the airlines there's NO question:

E-6s
P-8s
TacAir
E-2/C-2
Avoid helos like the plague.

Consider what a loss of 5 years seniority in a 25-30 year airline career will cost you in terms of:

Capt. Upgrade
Widebody flying
Bidding
Pay
Quality of Life
401k contributions.

Once again...AVOID HELOS LIKE THE PLAGUE.

e6bpilot
01-04-2018, 01:19 PM
Some good info above. DO NOT go helos if you want to be an airline pilot. Your helo time is basically a cool story on your application and not a whole lot else. Yes, there are RTP programs, but if you want to skip the regionals and go to the bigs, helo time wonít help much (exception of JB).
I personally thought the E-6 was great. Granted, I am four years removed from the community, but Boydís description above is spot on. The highs arenít very high and the lows arenít very low.
You will get plenty of hours there and hopefully a good flying follow on job that you can segue into an airline job.
I still live in okc even after I retired...itís a great city and an easy commute to an airline job with cheap living, plenty to do, and great people.

I would caution you to not listen too hard to a few broken toys in VT land. We send some good folks there, but we also send some of those who arenít too happy with the community and who didnít perform well.

Talk to more than one person. All of the communities you listed have good and bad parts.

I was a VT instructor for 3 years and I understand the dilemma that students go though making choices. In the end, though, the Navy mostly chooses for you. If you have a good attitude and can fly reasonably well you will do just fine wherever you land.

FlyBoyd
01-04-2018, 01:31 PM
Your biggest hurdles will be....

1- What to do after your second flying tour. It probably will be non-flying and you will want to get out and go to the reserves. Whether it is a TACAIR, VT, or VR squadron, competition is stiff and being noncurrent makes it even harder.

2- Not letting the discussion here (or your current mindset on the airlines) get to your squadron. If the wrong CO (most of them) gets the idea you are just padding your logbook for your next life, getting the next set of desirable orders will be increasingly difficult. You need to play this very close to the vest. Everyone knows it’s a fallback if the Navy doesn’t work out. Don’t say it’s your primary goal.

Tannhauser621
01-04-2018, 01:42 PM
Your biggest hurdles will be....

1- What to do after your second flying tour. It probably will be non-flying and you will want to get out and go to the reserves. Whether it is a TACAIR, VT, or VR squadron, competition is stiff and being noncurrent makes it even harder.

2- Not letting the discussion here (or your current mindset on the airlines) get to your squadron. If the wrong CO (most of them) gets the idea you are just padding your logbook for your next life, getting the next set of desirable orders will be increasingly difficult. You need to play this very close to the vest. Everyone knows it’s a fallback if the Navy doesn’t work out. Don’t say it’s your primary goal.
Huge advice... this makes sense.

Synixman
01-04-2018, 07:18 PM
In direct answer of your question if you want to be an airline guy, my list would be VFA, P8s, E6s, E2C2, Helos. I say VFA for simple reason they probably won't have to take a second sea tour and the Navy is at least trying to fix their community's woes. I'm a Helo to VT IP, so I'm mildly relevant to the question.

Then, whatever you get, shut the heck up and don't tell anyone. When you get to your squadron, don't tell a soul about your future plans until you've got shore orders. Gone are the days you could squeak by with an MP out of the fleet and go to CNATRA, although that stigma still hangs around.

I'm not questioning your work ethic or priorities, but just saying be extra careful about career planning beyond being the best damn JO wherever you end up.

Grumble
01-04-2018, 07:37 PM
You’re insane if you think any non tacair community is gonna be a cake walk and require less dedication... what other communities lack in required dedication to flying skills like tacair they make up for in required dedication to BS busy work, duty and ground jobs.

Your question has already been answered. Fly jets to be an airline guy... The VQ(T) community sucks QOL wise (I know pilots who would have beerios in the mornings on their day off just so when they got called for another tornado escape det they could tell OPS they already started drinking and wouldn’t be available) but hey you’ll get a 707 type rating...

VP life you’ll end your 8 year commitment on a 2 year non flying boat tour that they won’t let you out of because they don’t want you to leave flight current. Same with helo dudes also... and also VQ.

Sounds like you want to fly helos more than E6s... go for it.

Whatever you ultimately end up putting down on your selection card, don’t put down things because you think life will be easy and you’ll have a high QOL. You won’t, and you’ll be sorry you ended up where you were because reality will be vastly different than what your imagining.


This... 1000x over.

If you’re looking for an easy job and a family life in any community you need to DOR right now, and I’m not even being flippant about that. You’re in for a rude awakening.

In direct answer of your question if you want to be an airline guy, my list would be VFA, P8s, E6s, E2C2, Helos. I say VFA for simple reason they probably won't have to take a second sea tour and the Navy is at least trying to fix their community's woes. I'm a Helo to VT IP, so I'm mildly relevant to the question.

Then, whatever you get, shut the heck up and don't tell anyone. When you get to your squadron, don't tell a soul about your future plans until you've got shore orders. Gone are the days you could squeak by with an MP out of the fleet and go to CNATRA, although that stigma still hangs around.

I'm not questioning your work ethic or priorities, but just saying be extra careful about career planning beyond being the best damn JO wherever you end up.

To reiterate, every VFA guy I know has been called by every airline they’ve applied to. P3/E6 guys most likely will finish out a tour in a non flying billet with out solid paperwork and some luck/negotiating. Most of the ones I know had to either find a set of orders to get recurrent or slum it at a regional for a bit. Think you won’t go to the boat in these communities? Think again... you just won’t be going off the pointy end. (Enjoy that three year tour as a the V2 divo!) Boat life as a JO in a fleet squadron was one of the best times in my life, anyone that says it sucks shoudlve joined the Air Force (you do know you’re in the Navy right?). Career timing for VFA leaves you right about at MSR when you’re done with that shore tour too.

Tannhauser621
01-04-2018, 10:09 PM
This... 1000x over.

If you’re looking for an easy job and a family life in any community you need to DOR right now, and I’m not even being flippant about that. You’re in for a rude awakening.



To reiterate, every VFA guy I know has been called by every airline they’ve applied to. P3/E6 guys most likely will finish out a tour in a non flying billet with out solid paperwork and some luck/negotiating. Most of the ones I know had to either find a set of orders to get recurrent or slum it at a regional for a bit. Think you won’t go to the boat in these communities? Think again... you just won’t be going off the pointy end. (Enjoy that three year tour as a the V2 divo!) Boat life as a JO in a fleet squadron was one of the best times in my life, anyone that says it sucks shoudlve joined the Air Force (you do know you’re in the Navy right?). Career timing for VFA leaves you right about at MSR when you’re done with that shore tour too.
Reread my response to the last person who insinuated I was “lookin for the easy route”. I’m not putting Tacair, because there are a dozen other 22 year old ensigns who are more dedicated, gung-ho, whatever you want it call it, about Tacair. Why would I sign up for something that I kind of think would be cool, when the dude next to me would give his left nut for a shot to be the next Top Gun. I’ve done well in primary, I have the grades, but I’m not going to take an opportunity like that away from a dude who wants it 30 million times more than me.

Secondly, I have no issue with being on a boat. It sounds like a blast and part of the reason Helo dudes have such a rewarding career; all your best friends in a close quarters for 9 months. My experience in the Marines taught me that’s how best friends are made... but I’m looking for the airlines. Hence the predicament, and my reason to post.

Tannhauser621
01-04-2018, 10:12 PM
In direct answer of your question if you want to be an airline guy, my list would be VFA, P8s, E6s, E2C2, Helos. I say VFA for simple reason they probably won't have to take a second sea tour and the Navy is at least trying to fix their community's woes. I'm a Helo to VT IP, so I'm mildly relevant to the question.

Then, whatever you get, shut the heck up and don't tell anyone. When you get to your squadron, don't tell a soul about your future plans until you've got shore orders. Gone are the days you could squeak by with an MP out of the fleet and go to CNATRA, although that stigma still hangs around.

I'm not questioning your work ethic or priorities, but just saying be extra careful about career planning beyond being the best damn JO wherever you end up.
Thanks for the response. I will definitely keep all that in my mind.

Question, how hard is it to get VT orders from a helo background? I’ve genuinely enjoyed primary and would like to be an instructor.

Otterbox
01-04-2018, 10:57 PM
Therefore I’m choosing not to go tacair because i know there 12 dozen other students who want it 100x more than i do. I don’t want to take that away from them, when I don’t have that level of “gung-ho” attitude. Not going to burn up their spot/future career because I kind of think it’s cool.

Not dead set on helos, hence the post. Why do you say QOL is bad for E6s?

Then why did you chose to be a pilot instead of a SWO or NFO? I’m sure there are 100s of folks who wanted to be a pilot more than you... why’d you take a slot away from them? The Half measured enthusiasm argument isn’t making much sense and doesn’t match up with your stated end goal.

I always used to tell folks to never make selection choices based on perceived airline hiring potentional. A lot of my instructors in Primary and DHs went VP/VQ back in the day with those ambitions and ended up spending the lost decade trapped in communities in the Navy they resented and had no way out of since the airlines weren’t really hiring much from 9/11 to 2014ish.

The #1 way to go directly from a flying tour in the Navy to a major airline is flying tacair. Due to the length of the pipeline you either won’t have a traditional disassociated sea tour where you won’t fly (think CAG staff) or you’ll be able to leave directly from a shore tour.

Every other community is going to expect a 12-24 month non flying tour prior to your MSR which will force you to go regionals for 6-36 months (I’ve seen the full range for folks who leave military aviation non flight current... the lower hours the longer the time at the regionals).

The other downside of VP/VQ/helo is the Detailer are only mandated to give you three flying tours- JO, DH and CO tour. Only one of those tours happen before your MSR. With NAE stepping up to take 68% of all generic line officer staffing billets to make up for surface and subsurface community retention problems and the UAS expansion into NAE you’re starting to see more instances where folks are only getting one flying tour before they get out. Those folks are definitely regional bound for a long haul unless they can snag big wing flying in a reserve/Guard unit.

The absolute worst part about squadron life is all the made up busy work that you do in a home cycle to legitimize things like the readiness matrix, Battle E submissions, Front office fitreps and O-4 fitreps. TONS of long hours, short notice dets and very little sense of reward since you’re not on deployment. You work hardest when you’re on home cycle and your family never understands why you’re working so hard because you’re not on deployment and are “home” so therefore should be home with them much more. VQ(T) doesn’t deploy in the traditional sense so there’s very little reward for the effort and quality of life seems to suffer as the community leaderships drive their squadrons into the ground trying to display relivancy. I’ve never met a anyone who was not community golden child who had a positive experience with the community. The way you’re focused so much on the airlines, it will be highly unlikely that you’ll end up as a community golden child...

For quality of hours (100% PIC time vs 25-35% PIC time) SEA/SHORE flying billet opportunity and ability to transition from the Navy flight current directly to the majors your selection card should look:

J1/J2
E-2 (if it’s back to being its own pipeline selection again)
VP

It used to be you only got to put your top 3 choices down on your selection card and the old civilian guy at CNATRA did his best to get you one of those three choices. Don’t put something on there you wouldn’t be okay with.

Having had the opportunity to interact with many folks from multiple communities, I’d say helo pilots are generally happier in their community than VQ(T) pilots, P-3/EP-3 pilots and E-2 pilots, but not P-8 pilots, jet pilots and C-2 pilots (in that order).

Good luck.

Tannhauser621
01-05-2018, 06:45 AM
Then why did you chose to be a pilot instead of a SWO or NFO? I’m sure there are 100s of folks who wanted to be a pilot more than you... why’d you take a slot away from them? The Half measured enthusiasm argument isn’t making much sense and doesn’t match up with your stated end goal.

I always used to tell folks to never make selection choices based on perceived airline hiring potentional. A lot of my instructors in Primary and DHs went VP/VQ back in the day with those ambitions and ended up spending the lost decade trapped in communities in the Navy they resented and had no way out of since the airlines weren’t really hiring much from 9/11 to 2014ish.

The #1 way to go directly from a flying tour in the Navy to a major airline is flying tacair. Due to the length of the pipeline you either won’t have a traditional disassociated sea tour where you won’t fly (think CAG staff) or you’ll be able to leave directly from a shore tour.

Every other community is going to expect a 12-24 month non flying tour prior to your MSR which will force you to go regionals for 6-36 months (I’ve seen the full range for folks who leave military aviation non flight current... the lower hours the longer the time at the regionals).

The other downside of VP/VQ/helo is the Detailer are only mandated to give you three flying tours- JO, DH and CO tour. Only one of those tours happen before your MSR. With NAE stepping up to take 68% of all generic line officer staffing billets to make up for surface and subsurface community retention problems and the UAS expansion into NAE you’re starting to see more instances where folks are only getting one flying tour before they get out. Those folks are definitely regional bound for a long haul unless they can snag big wing flying in a reserve/Guard unit.

The absolute worst part about squadron life is all the made up busy work that you do in a home cycle to legitimize things like the readiness matrix, Battle E submissions, Front office fitreps and O-4 fitreps. TONS of long hours, short notice dets and very little sense of reward since you’re not on deployment. You work hardest when you’re on home cycle and your family never understands why you’re working so hard because you’re not on deployment and are “home” so therefore should be home with them much more. VQ(T) doesn’t deploy in the traditional sense so there’s very little reward for the effort and quality of life seems to suffer as the community leaderships drive their squadrons into the ground trying to display relivancy. I’ve never met a anyone who was not community golden child who had a positive experience with the community. The way you’re focused so much on the airlines, it will be highly unlikely that you’ll end up as a community golden child...

For quality of hours (100% PIC time vs 25-35% PIC time) SEA/SHORE flying billet opportunity and ability to transition from the Navy flight current directly to the majors your selection card should look:

J1/J2
E-2 (if it’s back to being its own pipeline selection again)
VP

It used to be you only got to put your top 3 choices down on your selection card and the old civilian guy at CNATRA did his best to get you one of those three choices. Don’t put something on there you wouldn’t be okay with.

Having had the opportunity to interact with many folks from multiple communities, I’d say helo pilots are generally happier in their community than VQ(T) pilots, P-3/EP-3 pilots and E-2 pilots, but not P-8 pilots, jet pilots and C-2 pilots (in that order).

Good luck.
Thanks again for the perspective, but with all due respect, just because I’m not gung-ho tacair doesn’t mean I’m not gung ho naval aviation. I’m absolutely hung-go Navy pilot, however I have career aspirations to the airlines and I absolutely should factor that into my decision; hence why I’m here. Full disclosure, I’m gung ho VPs since day one. The mission and airframe have been a constant draw since I was getting my masters. To say I should have gone SWO, etc is just ridiculous. I get it; Tacair guys have best chances to the airlines due to currency. But again for the 3rd time I’m not going to select something my heart isn’t completely in when there are kids here who will give their left nut for it. At almost 30 years old I’m confident in my ability to say something isn’t for me. Mind blowing, but I’m ok not flying jets. Thanks.

Otterbox
01-05-2018, 07:42 AM
Full disclosure, I’m gung ho VPs since day one. The mission and airframe have been a constant draw since I was getting my masters.

Okay that makes more sense, and nice to see you finally say that. Every flight student I ever encountered new what their first choice was. Glad to see you’re not completely passive.

If you want more sense of reward and “fun” during your Navy time, or really enjoyed the VFR flying and hated instruments in Primary, go helos. If you’re mission oriented shoot for 60Rs over 60s. R actually get to do more of their mission sets where the S guys just get to practice a lot and haul mail and people around the strike group.

If you’re content being detached from the Navy life and like the IFR flying you’ve been exposed to in Primary then you’ll be fine going E6s.

Packrat
01-05-2018, 08:10 AM
Thanks for the response. I will definitely keep all that in my mind.

Question, how hard is it to get VT orders from a helo background? I’ve genuinely enjoyed primary and would like to be an instructor.

Another reason to avoid helos. My personal experience:

1st fleet tour in a West Coast squadron that was both sea duty and FRS. When shore duty came around all I asked for was VT to get some fixed wing time. You'd think it would be pretty easy. NOT.

All I got offered was shore duty as an IP in the same squadron FRS side or Pt. Mugu as a SAR pilot/NATOPS Officer. It worked out though. At the time they were deathly short of fixed wing guys for the station C-12. I got a lot of Multi-engine time there eventually went TAR in VR and got a couple thousand hours in the C-9. Then to the airlines.

Some good advice above. DON'T TELL ANYONE YOU'RE SHOOTING FOR THE AIRLINES.

They'll know, but don't be blatant about it. Good luck in whatever you get.

Grumble
01-05-2018, 10:25 AM
Thanks again for the perspective, but with all due respect, just because I’m not gung-ho tacair doesn’t mean I’m not gung ho naval aviation. I’m absolutely hung-go Navy pilot, however I have career aspirations to the airlines and I absolutely should factor that into my decision; hence why I’m here. Full disclosure, I’m gung ho VPs since day one. The mission and airframe have been a constant draw since I was getting my masters. To say I should have gone SWO, etc is just ridiculous. I get it; Tacair guys have best chances to the airlines due to currency. But again for the 3rd time I’m not going to select something my heart isn’t completely in when there are kids here who will give their left nut for it. At almost 30 years old I’m confident in my ability to say something isn’t for me. Mind blowing, but I’m ok not flying jets. Thanks.

If you want VP, the go for it. Stop with the “what’s gonna get me to the airlines” BS because in 10 years when you have the option to get out, the landscape will be totally different. OBTW if you go VP, good chance you’ll either be non current (shooter tour!) or flying BAMS or another UAS by that time.

When I selected, I put Jets (E2 was its own pipeline in those days), Helos and left the third slot blank. I joined the Navy to go to sea and see the world. I also knew I wanted to end up at the airlines at some point but I would figure that out later. There are plenty of helo guys at the airline I fly for and quite a few in my new hire class.

Do what you want RIGHT NOW not what you think you should do.... that advice will serve you well (it did me) your whole career. The guys that always took the orders they think they should were always the most miserable.

If you want the best of both worlds, I would go E2/C2 if I were in your shoes knowing what I know now. (Props are slower, you build more time, not even being funny about that) We all thought the NFO retreads were crazy for wanting to go that route when I was a stud. After my first cruise I realized they were geniuses. VP guys don’t know jack sht about perdiem compared to the C2 guys!

Tannhauser621
01-05-2018, 10:34 AM
Okay that makes more sense, and nice to see you finally say that. Every flight student I ever encountered new what their first choice was. Glad to see you’re not completely passive.

If you want more sense of reward and “fun” during your Navy time, or really enjoyed the VFR flying and hated instruments in Primary, go helos. If you’re mission oriented shoot for 60Rs over 60s. R actually get to do more of their mission sets where the S guys just get to practice a lot and haul mail and people around the strike group.

If you’re content being detached from the Navy life and like the IFR flying you’ve been exposed to in Primary then you’ll be fine going E6s.
Good perspective. Ya I’ve actually enjoyed instruments thoroughly and would consider it my strong point. It’s like a challenge to me. Weird but I enjoy it. I will definitely factor that in.

Tannhauser621
01-05-2018, 10:53 AM
Another reason to avoid helos. My personal experience:

1st fleet tour in a West Coast squadron that was both sea duty and FRS. When shore duty came around all I asked for was VT to get some fixed wing time. You'd think it would be pretty easy. NOT.

All I got offered was shore duty as an IP in the same squadron FRS side or Pt. Mugu as a SAR pilot/NATOPS Officer. It worked out though. At the time they were deathly short of fixed wing guys for the station C-12. I got a lot of Multi-engine time there eventually went TAR in VR and got a couple thousand hours in the C-9. Then to the airlines.

Some good advice above. DON'T TELL ANYONE YOU'RE SHOOTING FOR THE AIRLINES.

They'll know, but don't be blatant about it. Good luck in whatever you get.
Packrat. Thanks a bunch!

So you were a Helo FRS guy, turned VR in the C12?

Peacock
01-05-2018, 11:19 AM
If you donít want to fly hornets, thatís fine. However, leave it off your selection list only if itís because you donít want it. Not selecting it because you think you may be taking a spot from someone else makes no sense. Itís about selecting what you want. Youíre going to work hard and compete against your peers and be away from home a lot no matter what you select. Pick what you want to fly if the airline plan goes to hell.

SaltyDog
01-05-2018, 07:47 PM
Absolutely love flying, and I'd like to say I've done fairly middle pack here in primary. Number one priority in my life is my wife and kid. That being said.... SELECTION.

My longterm goal is to become an airline pilot flying internationally with one of the Majors. I grew up flying alone to see my grandfather in France and have dreamt of it since. That being said... here is my current wish list

1. P8 (navy 737)
2. E2/C2
3. Helos or E6 Mercury(B-707)

My predicament is my 3rd choice. I'm torn between E-6s and Helos.

E-6s
Pros
- set up with multi engine heavy time
- Deployments are 3 on 3 off essentially
- always stateside
Cons
- have yet to meet an e6 guy talk good about community. One dude downright said to avoid it. Most complaints about predictability, boring, never overseas.
- live in OKC
- Never truly "deploy"

Helos
Pros
- best duty stations in navy
- All Pilot community
- Every helo pilot I've met said they absolutely love the community. Spoke about brotherhood
- Deployments were plenty, fairly predictable, and all over the world.
Cons
- Not multiengine heavy
- Have to fight for a VT instructor slot to get fixed wing hours
- Spend 1000s on multiengine courses to get rating

Thus my predicament, one essentially promises a rewarding navy career, the other sets myself up for the airlines.

The idea of making 70k a year as a first year FO in the regionals sounds terrible, especially when I have a family to support. Let me know gents if I have any misconceptions. Thanks for everyone's time.

An interesting thread, filled with perspective from the field in addition to the fleet VT pukes. None should be discounted.
My dollar in the hat
Your middle of pack, that may drive your assignment anyway.

My view:
Go for the best life you dream now, not for the airlines. Select accordingly.
In your words "one essentially promises a rewarding navy career"

This is the last chance to dream big on something this consequential at this point in your life.

You can accomplish your airline dreams regardless of the community you choose now. IF you decide to continue that as a future opportunity....

Many of us posting here have all seen the one who wanted to be an Admiral and end up in the airlines or as a medical doctor. We have seen the one who was like you, thinking airlines and ended up a Flag, and a good one.

In the moment, you should address your Navy path. Give it all you have, be open to the opportunities. You will have plenty of opportunity to prepare for the airlines in the coming years even if a helo driver.
Have flown with helo drivers in the majors. Regardless of community, many did go to the regionals for a time to be appropriately competitive or VT's. Airlines will most likely looking for many pilots of all types in ten years so again, enjoy the navy opportunities for the satisfaction of doing what you would truly enjoy now.

Save money for the future, what you spend it on will be determined by future opportunities or needs. If a regional, or first year pay at a major, still low, or a family challenge, who knows.

What you do know, is that your future in the airlines can and will most likely happen regardless of community if that is what you pursue. Max the Navy opportunity now for what you believe will give you the most joy and satisfaction of your military career.
Best of opportunities.
SaltyDog

Tannhauser621
01-05-2018, 07:51 PM
An interesting thread, filled with perspective from the field in addition to the fleet VT pukes. None should be discounted.
My dollar in the hat
Your middle of pack, that may drive your assignment anyway.

My view:
Go for the best life you dream now, not for the airlines. Select accordingly.
In your words "one essentially promises a rewarding navy career"

This is the last chance to dream big on something this consequential at this point in your life.

You can accomplish your airline dreams regardless of the community you choose now. IF you decide to continue that as a future opportunity....

Many of us posting here have all seen the one who wanted to be an Admiral and end up in the airlines or as a medical doctor. We have seen the one who was like you, thinking airlines and ended up a Flag, and a good one.

In the moment, you should address your Navy path. Give it all you have, be open to the opportunities. You will have plenty of opportunity to prepare for the airlines in the coming years even if a helo driver.
Have flown with helo drivers in the majors. Regardless of community, many did go to the regionals for a time to be appropriately competitive or VT's. Airlines will most likely looking for many pilots of all types in ten years so again, enjoy the navy opportunities for the satisfaction of doing what you would truly enjoy now.

Save money for the future, what you spend it on will be determined by future opportunities or needs. If a regional, or first year pay at a major, still low, or a family challenge, who knows.

What you do know, is that your future in the airlines can and will most likely happen regardless of community if that is what you pursue. Max the Navy opportunity now for what you believe will give you the most joy and satisfaction of your military career.
Best of opportunities.
SaltyDog
Saltydog... Thanks for the great perspective. Will definitely heed this.

Synixman
01-06-2018, 06:28 AM
Thanks for the response. I will definitely keep all that in my mind.

Question, how hard is it to get VT orders from a helo background? Iíve genuinely enjoyed primary and would like to be an instructor.

Flying shore orders are becoming increasingly difficult to come by. For helos and from talking to my peers VP/VQ now, youíll go through a nomination round with the detailers in Millington. Four times a year (quarterly) around 9 months from the end of your first tour, you submit a preference sheet for jobs your community has. Each community has billets they ďownĒ (FRS/Advanced/others), and things like Primary VTs are shared amongst the communities. What you submit also has your flight hours, quals, FITREPs, and COís recommendation. The gaining commands get a say, the detailers work through it, and a slate is generated and disseminated. You can decline and go do something else, but that basically assures you arenít promoting past O-3.

Given how big the squadrons have gotten, consolidation of the FRSes, etc, itís a not easy any more. My round had ~80 people competing for ~35 flying jobs. The oddball non production things like station pilot, shore duty C-12s, etc go to a second round where you again compete amongst the other remaining applicants.

Iíd argue part of this system is trying to ensure fairness across a large group of people. The other part is to make it a ďblack boxĒ that canít be heavily influenced by a phone call.

Iíve got tons of respect for the more seasoned voices on here, but the landscape has shifted significantly in the last 10 years. It used to be that guys going to CNATRA jobs were non hack MPs who were getting out. Those days are gone. Average guy/gal coming to VTs is a Fleet Ranked EP. Lots of folks with EPs going to non flying jobs. Iíd hate for you to poop on your shoes by advertising your designs early.

SaltyDog
01-06-2018, 08:40 AM
Synixman
Good snapshot.
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Always up and down. Long cycles. In my VT days, airline furloughs hit and hard to get VT in same manner. Then got easy, then hard. Watched the up/down cycles for 35 years. Some events speed changes to the cycles, some events slow it down. Old saying, No predictability was only certainty.
Saw many double anchor and some single anchor fly civilian during any time available on fleet and shore tours. Often, get CFI and built low cost hours over several years when able. Work on some multi as needed, and that provided a good bridge for rotary and NFO to airlines/corporate etc. Highly recommend this path.

Packrat
01-06-2018, 01:17 PM
Packrat. Thanks a bunch!

So you were a Helo FRS guy, turned VR in the C12?

Yeah, just got lucky the HC-3 (now HSC-3) was a fleet PLUS FRS squadron.

Also got lucky to hit NTD when they were plumb out of fixed wing station pilots. I was flying 80 hours a month with only 15 of that in the Helo.

Tried to get out but didn't have enough fixed wing time. Considered a Coast Guard transition to fly the Falcon, but they were in a budget crunch and weren't getting any hours.

Went TAR in a couple VR squadrons (48 and 56) flying CV-580s and the C-9. Got a couple thousand C-9 hours in 3 years and scored an airline job.

A lot of that track was luck and timing. I suggest you get some kind of fixed wing orders. The C-2 idea isn't bad. Lots of flight time with the added "benefit" of being a tailhooker. Cruising can be a blast as long as you can get away from the boat occasionally.

P.S. If you ever get the chance volunteer for Hong Kong Shore Patrol duty officer. Best deal in the Navy for a number of reasons.

Packrat
01-06-2018, 01:21 PM
, No predictability was only certainty.
Saw many double anchor and some single anchor fly civilian during any time available on fleet and shore tours. Often, get CFI and built low cost hours over several years when able. Work on some multi as needed, and that provided a good bridge for rotary and NFO to airlines/corporate etc. Highly recommend this path.

Great advice. Had a guy in the hangar next door get hired by United in the late '80s. All his flight time was Flying Club time because he was an Aviation Maintenance Duty Officer.

Go figure.

Profane Kahuna
01-07-2018, 09:55 AM
Gents,

Current student aviator in Navy primary. I'll be finishing up here in the next few weeks and thought I take a moment to get some perspective from some military turned airline pilots. I have 3 years prior service in the Marine Corps(enlisted) before being picked up by the Navy to be an officer/pilot. I am married with a 2 year old. Absolutely love flying, and I'd like to say I've done fairly middle pack here in primary. By no means am I the next chuck yeager but I've never failed/unsatted anything. Number one priority in my life is my wife and kid. That being said.... SELECTION.

My longterm goal is to become an airline pilot flying internationally with one of the Majors. I grew up flying alone to see my grandfather in France and have dreamt of it since. That being said... here is my current wish list



What did you do in the Marines?

What was your goal when you applied for a commission in the Navy?

Are you in Corpus?

SpringLanding
01-07-2018, 11:10 AM
To OP:

Getting a tour as a primary IP is not guaranteed before the end of your commitment. This means anyone going helo or tilt rotor may not be able to join a regional without some kind of transition program.

Tannhauser621
01-07-2018, 12:15 PM
What did you do in the Marines?

What was your goal when you applied for a commission in the Navy?

Are you in Corpus?
Pursued a commission in the Navy because I wanted to be a VP pilot. If I select maritime, a goal of mine for the community, and big Navy at that, would be to expand it's role in the Arctic. Choosing the Navy to fly offered me the opportunity to fly, stay in the military, and use my degree. I was looking for a rewarding experience on top flying. If given the opportunity to fly maritime I intend on staying career. That being said, I see myself flying until the bitter end, hence the airline aspirations or NOAA, whichever makes itself available/best for my family. As stated earlier, my family is my number 1 priority.

This document was a big influence: http://greenfleet.dodlive.mil/files/2014/02/USN-Arctic-Roadmap-2014.pdf

bruhaha
01-14-2018, 05:54 AM
thought I take a moment to get some perspective from some military turned airline pilots.

You have a lot of good advice so you probably don't need any more, I'll give another point of perspective if you want. You did specify military turned airline pilots but you probably wanted military aviators.

I was not a military aviator, I was a black shoe Navy SWO turned airline pilot (that never ever envisioned or had a desire to be an airline pilot.)

It is your dreamsheet and only you can make the decision for spot #3.

No one knows what the hiring environment will be in 8-10 years when you are looking at the end of your obligated service requirement. Going fixed wing and TACAIR makes the transition from military aviator to major airline relatively painless.

You mention the "horror" of having to go to a regional airline at 70k. It's just another means to the end. Being a non-aviator, I had to go to a regional airline starting at $18/hr. Not the end of the world, but a huge pay cut going from O-3 at 10 years to $18k/annual. (That first year regional airline FO pay cut while drastic wasn't actually too bad - I survived it)

Anyways aviation is a small world, and I never realized how small.

I was assigned to a Marine Corps artillery battalion for 2 years as a Navy SWO, so when I showed up to new hire training at the regional airline, I found myself sitting next to one of my Lance Corporals who used to be in my platoon that i hadn't seen for 5 years after I left the artillery battalion. He had since gotten out of the Marine Corps did his flight training in the civilian world and now we were sitting in new hire training at a regional airline together. Now he's an FO at American Airlines.

Fast forward to last week, when another pilot comes in to request the jumpseat and we recognize each other by name. I hadn't seen him in 20 years. I was an engineering division officer in P1 division on my very first ship, and he was one of my boiler techs assigned to my division. So I was his division officer. Now he's a captain at a LCC airline.

A lot of guys I commissioned with from my ROTC unit who went naval aviation are now all flying for the airlines as well. They just had an easier path to major airline.

Anyways the point is that it's not the end of the world and guys who haven't been naval aviators still end up at the major airlines. They just have to do the like everyone else does it - pay their dues - do the regional airline thing and eventually up to major/lcc.



As far as helos. As a det OIC (not me- but as an OpsO working with the air dets assigned to my ship) you have a lot of latitude in how you conduct the mission. Since you're on a destroyer/cruiser/LCS (?) - there is some tasking from the battlegroup if your ship is attached to a strike group. but if the ship isn't attached to the strike group, then you (Det OIC) along with the Capt and OpsO of the ship, run the show. You decide what to do, how to do it, when to do it. There is a lot of independence on your job. I found that to be the most satisfying aspect of being deployed to WestPac, SNFL, and JIATF. It was so liberating being away from deployment workups. It's tight knit group and when you have a good air det it's a lot of fun... It goes both way too. If you have a good ship it's a lot of fun.

There's that saying - if it's not prohibited - why dont we try to see how that works out. A lot of that once you're deployed.

So that is my impression of the HSM/MH-60R community (HSL/SH-60B community in my day) from working with them aboard ship.

But in the end, if your desired end state is employment with a major airline after your naval service, going helos is counterproductive towards your end state and you'll have to go the route that I, my LCpl and BT3 had to go to get to the airlines. Right now going regional to get to the major airline isn't that bad. It's a lot better than when I had to do it 10 years ago. 10 years from now, it may become difficult again.

Its your dreamsheet. You just need to decide if going the harder regional route after the Navy is acceptable.

Yeah that advice about holding your cards close... Do it... As soon as I dropped my resignation letter, I went from #1 EP to #2 MP - that is a career ender. (it was back then anyways, don't know about now)

Profane Kahuna
01-14-2018, 06:49 AM
Pursued a commission in the Navy because I wanted to be a VP pilot. If I select maritime, a goal of mine for the community, and big Navy at that, would be to expand it's role in the Arctic. Choosing the Navy to fly offered me the opportunity to fly, stay in the military, and use my degree. I was looking for a rewarding experience on top flying. If given the opportunity to fly maritime I intend on staying career. That being said, I see myself flying until the bitter end, hence the airline aspirations or NOAA, whichever makes itself available/best for my family. As stated earlier, my family is my number 1 priority.

This document was a big influence: http://greenfleet.dodlive.mil/files/2014/02/USN-Arctic-Roadmap-2014.pdf

Well then I think you should stick to that dream. It is very unique so I doubt you would be satisfied doing something different.

As for choice #3 the E6 guys I know are bitter about the community but can get hired directly. The helo guys canít (and many of them are bitter too).

rickair7777
01-14-2018, 08:09 AM
Well then I think you should stick to that dream. It is very unique so I doubt you would be satisfied doing something different.

As for choice #3 the E6 guys I know are bitter about the community but can get hired directly. The helo guys can’t (and many of them are bitter too).

He should also have a plan B & C. I was involved in the arctic business at one point. It's a very small niche, with little resources at this point. It would take luck and creative detailing to get to a major HQ command which has policy responsibility/influence for that region, and then more luck to get assigned to work on it. Even then it would likely be a collateral duty.

NOAA jobs are low density, high demand. Also need luck, timing, and persistence to have a crack at that.



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