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General186
01-23-2018, 08:43 PM
I am currently a CW2 in the Army, active duty out of FT. Riley. I am a UH-60M pilot who just graduated flight school back in July of 2017. I have about 14 years of service (5 years Infantry, 6 years Information Technology prior). I've got about 6 years left to go to retire and I figure that now is the time to start planning what I want to be doing after I get out. I love flying and I would like to continue flying in the airlines after I retire. I have 3 things I am trying to achieve after retirement, and they are in order. 1) Time with family. 2) A good paycheck $90K+ a year. 3) Retire somewhere in Washington State (SEATAC?). I have spent 5 years overseas during my career so far and am already burned out. I'll push to retirement because I have it in me.

Now, I need advice from those of you who are wiser than me and have more information from where you are. What do I need to do in the next six years to meet these goals? I could push it an additional 2 or 3 years depending on the state of affairs in the Army.


Otterbox
01-23-2018, 10:34 PM
I am currently a CW2 in the Army, active duty out of FT. Riley. I am a UH-60M pilot who just graduated flight school back in July of 2017. I have about 14 years of service (5 years Infantry, 6 years Information Technology prior). I've got about 6 years left to go to retire and I figure that now is the time to start planning what I want to be doing after I get out. I love flying and I would like to continue flying in the airlines after I retire. I have 3 things I am trying to achieve after retirement, and they are in order. 1) Time with family. 2) A good paycheck $90K+ a year. 3) Retire somewhere in Washington State (SEATAC?). I have spent 5 years overseas during my career so far and am already burned out. I'll push to retirement because I have it in me.

Now, I need advice from those of you who are wiser than me and have more information from where you are. What do I need to do in the next six years to meet these goals? I could push it an additional 2 or 3 years depending on the state of affairs in the Army.

Get out and go reserves/guard as soon as possible, or retire as soon as possible. Get a fixed wing flying tour between now and seperation or plan on doing a military transition program for a regional airline to get you the hours you need to start out in the airline world.

Get a Bachelors degree.

Gundriver64
01-24-2018, 04:57 AM
Get out and go reserves/guard as soon as possible, or retire as soon as possible. Get a fixed wing flying tour between now and seperation or plan on doing a military transition program for a regional airline to get you the hours you need to start out in the airline world.

Get a Bachelors degree.

Where does he describe not having a degree?


Otterbox
01-24-2018, 05:45 AM
Where does he describe not having a degree?

If heís got one great, he didnít list it in his qualifications.

Heís asked for a list of things that will make him successful at the airlines. Having fixed wing turbine time and a bachelors degree will give him the most amount of options to get to the goals he outlined.

General186
01-24-2018, 02:23 PM
No, I don't have a Bachelors degree. I actually just went to the education center today and they recommended Embry Riddle. I wrote them to inquire about their programs and starting soon, and it seems like Aviation Business Administration would be best, but I'll know more soon.

Which regional carriers are located in Washington State that would have a rotary wing transition program for prior military pilots? Most of my buddies here are getting out and going through the Envoy route. It doesn't look like a bad gig, but I'm really intent on buying a home in Washington (East side of the Cascades) and settling the family there.

rickair7777
01-24-2018, 03:28 PM
Which regional carriers are located in Washington State that would have a rotary wing transition program for prior military pilots? Most of my buddies here are getting out and going through the Envoy route. It doesn't look like a bad gig, but I'm really intent on buying a home in Washington (East side of the Cascades) and settling the family there.

I don't think there are any. PNW you're mostly looking at SKW or Horizon (Compass is in SEA only).

General186
01-24-2018, 04:10 PM
SEA wouldn't be too hard to pull off. Olympia, WA or a location close to there would be roughly 1 hour each way, unless traffic has gotten even worse since I was stationed at Fort Lewis last (2009). Does anyone have any experience working with Compass, or know anyone who has? Does military rotary wing pilots get any kind of advantage in the hiring process or is there any preference for prior military pilots (non-fixed wing)?

rickair7777
01-24-2018, 04:19 PM
SEA wouldn't be too hard to pull off. Olympia, WA or a location close to there would be roughly 1 hour each way, unless traffic has gotten even worse since I was stationed at Fort Lewis last (2009). Does anyone have any experience working with Compass, or know anyone who has? Does military rotary wing pilots get any kind of advantage in the hiring process or is there any preference for prior military pilots (non-fixed wing)?

All regionals will hire all comers these days, no preference needed (as long as you meet FW R-ATP mins). They'll know you're looking to move on, so don't lie about it. You could plausibly say that you might consider staying a while for the domicile location.

General186
01-24-2018, 05:48 PM
Ok, that makes sense. My Active Duty Service Obligation takes me out to 19 years of Active Service (2023), from there I can wait a year and retire. I started flight school in 2015 without any prior aviation experience and under the assumption that I would be able to easily find a great paying job flying helicopters in the civilian sector. I thought working for hospitals as life flight would be easy. I'm learning that it is not the case. I've got about 6 years to figure it out and I want to be ahead of the game, most of my buddies I fly with in my unit have no real idea what they are going to do when they get out and it is disturbing me. After a deployment to Iraq during the Surge in 07-08 as an Infantryman, I witnessed many of my close friends leave the service without a plan, some of them managed to make it work, most of them are just scraping by. Worst case scenario, I retire right as the pilot shortage has ended and I have to fall back to my former job as IT tech, which isn't bad, I can make around 90k a year doing what I used to do, but I love flying so much. The ability to travel around like I am reading on most of the carriers' websites would allow me to live the life I have wanted with my wife and travel around after retirement from the service. It looks like Delta seems to be the best prospect for a major flying out of SEA. I have heard suggestions to pay for a fixed wing private license out of pocket and use my GI bill to work towards everything else. I haven't converted to the post 9/11 GI bill yet, and I have the option, but I need to be sure of what I will use it for before I commit. Thanks for reading all this, it's just that I see the light at the end of the tunnel and suddenly I am uncertain as to what my future holds.

BeatNavy
01-24-2018, 05:51 PM
Donít lock yourself in to an RTP airline program or think thatís the only path. We are programmed in the mil to follow the paved road set out for us, and an RTP is an easy answer/path. But before those came out (and still to this day) there are several avenues to use the post 9/11+yellow ribbon and do things on your own. A buddy of mine just got out and was doing the Piedmont RTP, and after getting his fw ratings realized EDV was a better choice for where he lived. I had fixed wing time I amassed over my 8 years in the army owning a plane, but I still used the 9/11 while finishing my last assignment (and the beginning of terminal leave) to get my inst/comm/amel add-ons at a local aviation college and only used 3 mos of the GI Bill. You have a lot of time and can easily get a degree and add ons using the GI bill before you get out if you use it wisely, then you can go to horizon/SKW/CPZ right when you get out.

collegedropout9
01-24-2018, 08:25 PM
General186,

Go back to 1986 and I was a CW2 riding in the back of a C141 to Honduras to go fly Hueys. Talking to those MAC pilots got me thinking. Like you, I found out that it was hard to get a civilian helo job because I could not build hours fast enough in the Army. I determined the best course of action was to get my ratings at a local Mom and Pop flight school. Remember, they are add on ratings, so you can earn your Private, Instrument, and Commercial ratings in much less time because ( please tell me you have a FAA Commercial Rotorcraft rating with Instrument ) of your experience flying Hawks. Possibly you can get IP school from the Army, then get a civilian equivalent Rotorcraft CFI, then go out and obtain your FAA ASEL CFI. It will take time and money, but it is an investment in yourself and your family. Not far down the road in Salina, Ks is a local flight school with Cessna 172ís and CFIís. You will be surprised at how much of your skill set will transfer from Blackhawks to Skyhawks. I spent quite a few days pulling Medevac at Riley back in the day. Obtaining a 121 pilot job with a Major airline is definitely possible with the right attitude. Itís a fun and sometimes bumpy ride.
Best of Luck.. CD9

Taco280AI
01-25-2018, 11:58 AM
If you want to set yourself up for the airlines at the end of your Army career, get your bachelor's degree and start flying fixed wing now. Gives you plenty of time to get yourself in a good position to make an easy transition. No worrying about hours, ratings, or any career related requirements as you're getting out and looking to relocate. In this case time is your friend to get it all done.

shoelessjoe
08-11-2018, 05:40 AM
As a retired Apache guy also transitioning into the civilian world I completely agreed with Taco. One thing I might add is to get your fixed wing CFI also. Might be able to do it part time and build some time. It will make your job prospects much better.

I tell people all the time the real benefits of my retirement is Health care. Takes a lot of the worry out of changing jobs after retirement.

fiftyone
09-06-2018, 10:53 AM
I agree with many of these recommendations. I think only one person recommended leaving ASAP for the Guard/Reserve. As tough as my final Army years were, I would not leave active duty at 14-15 years TIS. As a high time W2, even the best regional paycheck will be a pay cut. It is a relief to know my mortgage is paid with my retirement check and as another retiree mentioned, my regional check does not go toward healthcare.

Make sure the ERAU degree you seek includes the same transfer credits as the Aernautics degree does.

I did not see you confirm a previous question about you commercial rotor certificate. That is the first and major step. With six years until retirement, you can also pursue the other recommendations of FW certificates if you have the extra money.

porkchopexpress
09-06-2018, 08:17 PM
General, the army FW program is hurting bad right now. Look into it. I was a UH60 CW2 when I applied for the FW course and got it 6 years before retirement. Three years in the King Air, three years in the Citation. I've been retired now for about 18 months spending time with my 3 year old and 10 month old. Time well spent after all of the deployments you mentioned. You will definitely deploy with FW unless you get really lucky, but that's a great time to knock out that degree. Embry Riddle is great, but you might want to look into Excelsior College as well. They have the same accreditation but give a lot more transfer credits for military education than Embry Riddle does.

I'm getting ready to jump into the 121 world in about a year. I have more family matters to tend to before I'll start. Because of my gap in flying I'll have to start at a regional, but all of the guys in my last unit went straight to the majors when they retired (Delta, Jet Blue, Spirit, Southwest). Army fixed wing will definitely hook you up if you can get in. I believe it's a 6 year ADSO.

Side note, I'm also in the PNW and am looking hard at Compass and Horizon to start with. Definitely pros and cons to both. Follow them in the forum. But if you get FW in the meantime and don't take a break when you retire like I did you probably won't need the regionals at all. Good luck.



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