Airline Pilot Forums

Airline Pilot Forums was designed to be a community where working airline pilots can share ideas and information about the aviation field. In the forum you will find information about major and regional airline carriers, career training, interview and job seeker help, finance, and living the airline pilot lifestyle.




View Full Version : Promote or Retire?


Sideflare23
01-18-2018, 08:39 AM
I was reading through a lot of posts about separating, waiting for retirement, or moving to the airlines. For most its a numbers game which I fully understand. I've been wrestling with what decision I would make. Here are my details.

Navy helo bubba, O-4, turn 44 this summer. I was passed over for O-5 once and I have one more look next month. The results will come out June'ish. If I don't get selected I'll be forced to retire JAN 2019, so the decision will be made for me. If I get selected for promotion to O-5 I will have a decision to make. Do I decline the promotion, retire, and start my job I have lined up at a regional already, or promote do my 3 years, retire then fly for the airlines?

I'm leaning on just retiring and moving on to my next career. I've read other posters similar situations and the suggestions. I'd like to hear from both sides, those who stayed and those who retired and made the switch.


rickair7777
01-18-2018, 08:43 AM
Assuming you have no interest in flag, and are not flag material, your best financial bet is to retire and get on with it. In this climate (assuming no serious skeletons) the only real risk is losing your medical.

BeatNavy
01-18-2018, 08:47 AM
Pin in a year ish, stay for 3 more, get out when you’re 48, for a (relative) pittance more in retirement, or get out now, get a seniority number 3-4 years earlier, and collect a much larger amount of money each year from airline pay than your retirement difference would be until the day you retire from your airline job, with a better QOL to boot. No brainer.


Adlerdriver
01-18-2018, 08:54 AM
I was reading through a lot of posts about separating, waiting for retirement, or moving to the airlines. For most its a numbers game which I fully understand. I've been wrestling with what decision I would make. Here are my details.

Navy helo bubba, O-4, turn 44 this summer. I was passed over for O-5 once and I have one more look next month. The results will come out June'ish. If I don't get selected I'll be forced to retire JAN 2019, so the decision will be made for me. If I get selected for promotion to O-5 I will have a decision to make. Do I decline the promotion, retire, and start my job I have lined up at a regional already, or promote do my 3 years, retire then fly for the airlines?

I'm leaning on just retiring and moving on to my next career. I've read other posters similar situations and the suggestions. I'd like to hear from both sides, those who stayed and those who retired and made the switch.
This seems like a pretty straightforward decision to me. If you were a fixed wing guy, I think there might be more considerations to factor into your decision. Like if you were going to be able to retire with flying currency, what you'd be doing in the 3 years as an O-5, etc. You'd also have a very good chance at making an immediate transition to a major airline which is what most everyone in your situation bases their stay vs go career compensation number crunching on. I think most guys end up validating their decision based on QOL and pay.

If YOU want an airline career that's going to end up falling into the "good decision" category, you need to go ASAP. You've got to get FW quals that will make you competitive at a major airline. That probably means a stop at a regional carrier for a few years to build FW PIC time. Putting that process on hold while you stay in to make O-5 doesn't make much sense in my opinion. Good luck.

Sliceback
01-18-2018, 10:24 AM
Anyone remember the TAC report back in the 1980s about how even with 17 years active-duty you’re better off leaving and getting an airline job versus staying for the final three years getting an active-duty retirement?

Get a reserve retirement at 20 and continue with an airline career. The author of the study was flight engineer for me. Said the head of TAC wasn’t happy when he gave them the results and dropped his retirement orders

Jughead135
01-18-2018, 12:00 PM
Said the head of TAC wasn’t happy when he gave them the results and dropped his retirement orders

Would've loved to have been a fly on the wall for that meeting...!! :D

galaxy flyer
01-18-2018, 12:16 PM
Anyone remember the TAC report back in the 1980s about how even with 17 years active-duty you’re better off leaving and getting an airline job versus staying for the final three years getting an active-duty retirement?

Get a reserve retirement at 20 and continue with an airline career. The author of the study was flight engineer for me. Said the head of TAC wasn’t happy when he gave them the results and dropped his retirement orders

True in the eighties, not so much in 1999 says many friends of mine. It’s always a crap shoot.

In today’s climate, leave with the retirement ASAP, grab an RJ position to gain the FW time.

GF

Sideflare23
01-18-2018, 01:19 PM
Thank you all for your insights and information. My gut feeling is to get out and take full advantage of what is being offered me, (RTP), and all of the responses I read has confirmed what I was already thinking and feeling. I am a year out of retirement and I already have a job offer with a regional. I'm looking forward to this.

FlewNavy
01-20-2018, 09:41 AM
Thank you all for your insights and information. My gut feeling is to get out and take full advantage of what is being offered me, (RTP), and all of the responses I read has confirmed what I was already thinking and feeling. I am a year out of retirement and I already have a job offer with a regional. I'm looking forward to this.

What is a realistic time from starting a rotor transition program to getting on with a major? I know the rotor transition contracts are 2 years. I'm a fixed wing guy but just curious...Ive seen as low as 1 year and as high as "never".

Hacker15e
01-21-2018, 04:49 AM
True in the eighties, not so much in 1999 says many friends of mine.

Actually...in 1999, I saw a spreadsheet being passed around the local O-5s that still backed up the "17 years" postulation.

Certainly the post-9/11 bankruptcies, furloughs, mergers, etc, completely upset the apple cart on that data. There was plenty of discussion here on APC about 10 years ago during the heart of the recession that showed it was basically a financial dead heat between getting out right away and going all the way to retirement.

In 2016 this analysis was done to update the analysis given this latest hiring boom and the more recent improvements to contracts and pay:

Comparing a Military Retirement to Starting Early at an Airline | AviationBull (http://www.aviationbull.com/2016/jun/23/military-pilot-should-i-give-retirement-join-airlines-now)

Otterbox
01-21-2018, 06:43 AM
What is a realistic time from starting a rotor transition program to getting on with a major? I know the rotor transition contracts are 2 years. I'm a fixed wing guy but just curious...Ive seen as low as 1 year and as high as "never".

Best answer is it depends...

When Delta is hiring 4-5 year regional FOs with 2500SIC time and no TPIC (and they have recently) it opens up possibilities.

Best guess is 3-5 years for helo folks who make the transition with very little fixed wing time.

galaxy flyer
01-21-2018, 01:52 PM
Hacker15e,

I don’t doubt that in ‘99 a report would show exactly that. I had some new hire UAL pilots in my squadron passing around the new contract (‘99 or ‘00?); I couldn’t believe it and said, “it’s 50/50 you give much of that. A ton of guys also went to USAirways then, too. It’s not that the predictions are disingenuous or wrong; it’s they don’t account for the inherent volatility in aviation. Ten years of furlough can change the lifetime earnings greatly.

As an aside, a tanker guy showed me a spreadsheet showing leaving at 17 years an becoming an ART was better than staying to 20.

GF

Sliceback
01-21-2018, 02:19 PM
Any past analysis is to some degree outdated due to the current retirement wave.

rickair7777
01-21-2018, 09:05 PM
Any past analysis is to some degree outdated due to the current retirement wave.

True. I've always told folks to get the retirement one way or another, active or reserve, but if there was ever a time to go all in on airlines, this would be it.

JTwift
01-22-2018, 03:49 AM
True. I've always told folks to get the retirement one way or another, active or reserve, but if there was ever a time to go all in on airlines, this would be it.

I'll back up the "get the retirement" thing. If you happen to get 'not-hired' by a Major, it sure is nice to have options.

And, yes, I know quite a few mil who didn't get hired. Everyone thinks it's some automatic thing that prior-military gets automatically hired by some Major. Not the case.

galaxy flyer
01-22-2018, 06:48 AM
The medical benefits alone are worth it over the long haul plus a COLA adjusted check of the month.

GF

bizzlepilot
01-22-2018, 05:50 PM
The medical benefits alone are worth it over the long haul plus a COLA adjusted check of the month.

GF

Exactly. I am retiring in May and am looking forward to joining the check of the month club. I will say the last couple of years have seemed like an eternity but now that I am here it's a good feeling, some sort of security.

JTwift
01-23-2018, 06:00 AM
Exactly. I am retiring in May and am looking forward to joining the check of the month club. I will say the last couple of years have seemed like an eternity but now that I am here it's a good feeling, some sort of security.

It's going to feel weird the first time you want to take a trip for the weekend and not have to tell anyone that you're not sleeping in your own bed. It's like you're all of a sudden an adult again.

Also, best wishes toward 50% or more on disability rating!

rickair7777
01-23-2018, 06:43 AM
Also, best wishes toward 50% or more on disability rating!

Careful. Many or most common VA disabilities are compatible with FAA medical standards, but if you get a VA rating for something which is not, you won't be able to take it back, unless you can actually treat and resolve the problem.

JTwift
01-23-2018, 07:59 AM
Careful. Many or most common VA disabilities are compatible with FAA medical standards, but if you get a VA rating for something which is not, you won't be able to take it back, unless you can actually treat and resolve the problem.

Yeah. There are plenty of ways to hit 50% without Sleep Apnea, though.

rickair7777
01-23-2018, 10:32 AM
Yeah. There are plenty of ways to hit 50% without Sleep Apnea, though.

For sure you can get a big number, I've flown with guys at 80%.

But I would be careful about what specific conditions the VA (or whoever assists with your VA app) helpfully suggests that you claim.

If it was in your mil record you have to report it anyway, but convincing the VA that something is bad enough for a rating, while trying to convince the FAA it's not that bad at all is a dangerous line to walk.

ArmyRWP2018
01-23-2018, 11:23 AM
For sure you can get a big number, I've flown with guys at 80%.

But I would be careful about what specific conditions the VA (or whoever assists with your VA app) helpfully suggests that you claim.

If it was in your mil record you have to report it anyway, but convincing the VA that something is bad enough for a rating, while trying to convince the FAA it's not that bad at all is a dangerous line to walk.

I am taking the no VA claim route. Like my clean easy FAA Class 1 rating. Easiest physical I have taken. Have been to lousy places but the Army has not been that hard on my body. I am 47. Some stuff just hurts because 47.

Finishing up 24 years and 8 months of active duty this year. 61.25% of LTC pay for "on the couch" money.

rickair7777
01-23-2018, 01:53 PM
I am taking the no VA claim route.

I wouldn't necessarily do that. Some of those little things might act up later, and you might be in a position where you need the money. A lot harder to get things rated years after the fact.

The usual aches and pains won't affect your 1C, I know guys with pretty major aches and pains who have no issues with the FAA. But you obviously don't want a VA rating for things like TBI, PSTD, sleep apnea, etc if you want to fly.

If you don't need the money or don't feel good about taking it, donate it to wounded warriors.

BarrySeal
01-23-2018, 02:03 PM
I wouldn't necessarily do that. Some of those little things might act up later, and you might be in a position where you need the money. A lot harder to get things rated years after the fact.

The usual aches and pains won't affect your 1C, I know guys with pretty major aches and pains who have no issues with the FAA. But you obviously don't want a VA rating for things like TBI, PSTD, sleep apnea, etc if you want to fly.

If you don't need the money or don't feel good about taking it, donate it to wounded warriors.

Curious, what are the "FAA Friendly" disabilities ?

FlewNavy
01-23-2018, 02:13 PM
Curious, what are the "FAA Friendly" disabilities ?

Just look over the "Disqualifying Conditions" on the FAA website. VA disability claims that don't flag a disqualifying condition are usually OK and even then can be waived. If you have back, neck, knee pain that reduces your range of motion...those all contribute towards a disability rating but won't impact the FAA medical.

Common things that people claim like "sleep apnea" give 50% but then you have to document treatment etc. PTSD seems to be on the rise as well and requires additional testing etc but people are getting 1st Class certificates.

At a minimum get evaluated and get a 0% rating. That alone eliminates VA funding fee on home loans.

rickair7777
01-23-2018, 02:13 PM
Curious, what are the "FAA Friendly" disabilities ?

All the little aches and pains of life, which VA gives you benefit of the doubt for service connection. Knees, back, rotator cuffs, plantar f., hearing (within reason), as long as you don't have serious pain or ROM issues.

BeatNavy
01-23-2018, 02:20 PM
Just look over the "Disqualifying Conditions" on the FAA website. VA disability claims that don't flag a disqualifying condition are usually OK and even then can be waived. If you have back, neck, knee pain that reduces your range of motion...those all contribute towards a disability rating but won't impact the FAA medical.

Common things that people claim like "sleep apnea" give 50% but then you have to document treatment etc. PTSD seems to be on the rise as well and requires additional testing etc but people are getting 1st Class certificates.

At a minimum get evaluated and get a 0% rating. That alone eliminates VA funding fee on home loans.

I thought you had to be 10% to be exempt from the VA funding fee.

Galaxydriver
01-23-2018, 04:42 PM
Curious, what are the "FAA Friendly" disabilities ?



Knee, back, hearing. Never a single question from my flight doc. BTW - VA will pay for a chiropractor. Tricare will not.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

FlewNavy
01-23-2018, 04:50 PM
I thought you had to be 10% to be exempt from the VA funding fee.

You are probably right. That being said...10% is pretty easy to get. I think the 0% rating might be for the insurance. It gets really confusing...

JTwift
01-23-2018, 06:14 PM
You are probably right. That being said...10% is pretty easy to get. I think the 0% rating might be for the insurance. It gets really confusing...

Heck...Tinnitus is 10% on its own. I bet a lot of Mil flyers can claim that one.

Sputnik
01-24-2018, 06:18 AM
Yeah. There are plenty of ways to hit 50% without Sleep Apnea, though.

I stayed away from that one, but I know guys who have it and are flying with no problem. Have to take a CPAP on the road but zero issues with Class 1.

rickair7777
01-24-2018, 06:53 AM
Worth noting, in theory, the VA can re-evaluate your condition every five(?) years. So claiming marked improvement to the FAA might eventually result in a reduction in your rating. Anybody been called back by the VA for a review?

JTwift
01-24-2018, 07:12 AM
I stayed away from that one, but I know guys who have it and are flying with no problem. Have to take a CPAP on the road but zero issues with Class 1.

There are now multiple ratings for Sleep Apnea, apparently. The old way was CPAP required = 50% rating.

Now you can be evaluated with a lesser condition of Apnea.



100 percent: chronic respiratory failure with carbon dioxide retention or cor pulmonale; or requires tracheostomy

50 percent: requires use of breathing assistance device such as continuous airway pressure (CPAP) machine

30 percent: persistent daytime hypersomnolence

0 percent: asymptomatic, but with documented sleep disorder breathing

https://www.vetshq.com/2016/02/sleep-apnea-rise-veterans-disability/

bizzlepilot
01-26-2018, 05:15 PM
Fortunately I am in really good health, the military has tried but failed to crush me. I do have bad plantar fasciitis and achilles tendonitis that is documented, but that is just from running too much. I just gathered up all my civilian medical records with that noted to bring to the VA for a quick perusal to see what may happen.

JTwift
01-26-2018, 06:03 PM
Fortunately I am in really good health, the military has tried but failed to crush me. I do have bad plantar fasciitis and achilles tendonitis that is documented, but that is just from running too much. I just gathered up all my civilian medical records with that noted to bring to the VA for a quick perusal to see what may happen.

Plantar f is 30%, fyi. And it doesn’t at all affect the FAA medical.

rickair7777
01-26-2018, 07:32 PM
Plantar f is 30%, fyi. And it doesn’t at all affect the FAA medical.


I didn't get 30% !

galaxy flyer
01-26-2018, 07:39 PM
Heck, 30 years ago, I got a spinal fusion courtesy a ride up the rails. What’s that worth? I was told by my AF FS not to apply as the FAA started looking at disabilities and no one knew how it would effect medicals. This was in the days of astronaut physicals and EAL’s doc said they wouldn’t hire a back injury.


GF

badflaps
01-26-2018, 09:09 PM
Heck, 30 years ago, I got a spinal fusion courtesy a ride up the rails. What’s that worth? I was told by my AF FS not to apply as the FAA started looking at disabilities and no one knew how it would effect medicals. This was in the days of astronaut physicals and EAL’s doc said they wouldn’t hire a back injury.


GF
Back in the days of corp. fear of workmans comp.

JTwift
01-28-2018, 05:28 AM
I didn't get 30% !

Get the VA to reevaluate? I dunno. I guess they change the percentages over the years.

Pyro
01-28-2018, 12:18 PM
Worth noting, in theory, the VA can re-evaluate your condition every five(?) years. So claiming marked improvement to the FAA might eventually result in a reduction in your rating. Anybody been called back by the VA for a review?

Yes, but they only waited 2 years, and they will/can lower it.

Jughead135
01-31-2018, 12:41 PM
Plantar f is 30%, fyi. And it doesn’t at all affect the FAA medical.

Minor (but critical!) nit here: you must disclose on your FAA medical that you are receiving disability payments.

That won’t affect the issuance of your medical (assuming the underlying cause itself does not affect it); but, failure to report can get your medical rescinded & ticket action to follow....

JTwift
01-31-2018, 01:54 PM
Minor (but critical!) nit here: you must disclose on your FAA medical that you are receiving disability payments.

That won’t affect the issuance of your medical (assuming the underlying cause itself does not affect it); but, failure to report can get your medical rescinded & ticket action to follow....

How? In the system when you fill out the form? Just tell your doctor?

rickair7777
01-31-2018, 07:24 PM
How? In the system when you fill out the form? Just tell your doctor?

It's on the FAA form.

Jughead135
02-01-2018, 02:18 AM
How? In the system when you fill out the form? Just tell your doctor?

Both. Check the box that asks the question on the form; then the doc will ask about it (along with any other “Yes” answers you gave). It’s a non-issue—if you properly report it. Some guys have gottten in hot water for failure to do so (inadvertently or otherwise...).

ViperGuy69
02-01-2018, 04:30 AM
What about a broken tail bone? Any idea how much VA % would be, and if it would hinder a Class 1?

rickair7777
02-01-2018, 07:26 AM
What about a broken tail bone? Any idea how much VA % would be, and if it would hinder a Class 1?

Nobody can answer that but the VA FAA, depends on how it affects you today. For things like that, you can typically get a 1C just fine, even if it still hurts a little, and you can get some disability rating for the residual aches and pains. If it's healed and doesn't bother you much maybe 5-10%?