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View Full Version : Options for a 1P


BigIron
01-28-2018, 04:05 PM
Iíve been passed for promotion (1P) and Iím considering my options. Iíve applied with an ANG unit that appears to be highly competitive due to its mission, Iím optimistic but need to have a plan if not selected. Im a helo pilot in the USMC with about 1500 hours and Iím considering two options:

1: Get separation pay, go regionals with the RW transition program.

2: Take continuation (3 years additional commitment then seps pay) with the hopes of getting a C-12 (station) or FW flight school spot, get plenty of FW hours then go regionals for the 121 time.

Do you think it would be best to just go straight to 121 or stay in the USMC for additional 3 years? (Assuming I can get a FW gig). End goal is the majors.

Iíve been lurking on this forum for years now and I appreciate everyoneís willingness to help each other out.


BrownDoubles
01-28-2018, 04:37 PM
I’ve been passed for promotion (1P) and I’m considering my options. I’ve applied with an ANG unit that appears to be highly competitive due to its mission, I’m optimistic but need to have a plan if not selected. Im a helo pilot in the USMC with about 1500 hours and I’m considering two options:

1: Get separation pay, go regionals with the RW transition program.

2: Take continuation (3 years additional commitment then seps pay) with the hopes of getting a C-12 (station) or FW flight school spot, get plenty of FW hours then go regionals for the 121 time.

Do you think it would be best to just go straight to 121 or stay in the USMC for additional 3 years? (Assuming I can get a FW gig). End goal is the majors.

I’ve been lurking on this forum for years now and I appreciate everyone’s willingness to help each other out.

My take would be if your end goal is to fly "In the Bigs" then get moving in that direction if you are financially prepared to do so since it would seem that your military career is coming to a close. The only real debate would be if you can get to 20 to collect retirement; and many would argue it even then.

Assuming the 3 year difference is going to equate to a 3 year hire difference at your ultimate destination we a talking hundreds of thousands of dollars not to mention the seniority differential across your years. May not seem like much now but 300 or 600 or 1200 or 2400 (depending on the airline) seniority numbers at age 60 (when you need it) will make an enormous difference in what schedule and vacation you can hold.

As I understand it, many regionals are offering Rotor Transition Programs to get you to your ATP minimums, pay for your ATP, and then put you in class. A friend of mine went through one of them interviewed at the beginning of the summer and he was in class in December. All that to say I'm not sure your option 2 of 3 years makes a whole lot of sense when you can accomplish the same in 6 months assuming you are financially prepared to make the leap.

Worth exactly what you paid for it... best wishes and Semper Fi!!!

155mm
01-28-2018, 07:13 PM
I always thought the USMC rotor pilots were dual rated FW and RW? The ones I knew went to undergraduate pilot school in fixed wing then on to rotorwing. If thats the case, the regional RW transition program should be straight forward! Personally, I think the military in general is going to have to do a lot more to sweeten the pot to keep career folks.


BrownDoubles
01-28-2018, 07:26 PM
I always thought the USMC rotor pilots were dual rated FW and RW? The ones I knew went to undergraduate pilot school in fixed wing then on to rotorwing. If thats the case, the regional RW transition program should be straight forward! Personally, I think the military in general is going to have to do a lot more to sweeten the pot to keep career folks.

True; around a 100 hours of FW time to get through primary... at least that's what I bagged more than a few moons ago.

155mm
01-28-2018, 07:44 PM
True; around a 100 hours of FW time to get through primary... at least that's what I bagged more than a few moons ago.

Is it enough to take the mil comp exam for a comm instrument airplane?

SaltyDog
01-28-2018, 08:48 PM
Iíve been passed for promotion (1P) and Iím considering my options...... End goal is the majors.


End goal suggests moving now! You can still do the ANG while pursuing the 121 path. (Read about USERRA on internet)
Its a jolt, but will pay dividends down range when you get on earlier and enjoy seniority that will last long down range.
Good fortunes!
SD

BigIron
01-29-2018, 03:25 AM
Thank you for the responses. Marines do get about 100 FW hours and I received my airplane single engine commercial and instrument rating.

It sounds like the quickest way to a major is to get to the regionals vice staying for 3 more years in a FW billet.

155mm
01-29-2018, 04:34 AM
Thank you for the responses. Marines do get about 100 FW hours and I received my airplane single engine commercial and instrument rating.

It sounds like the quickest way to a major is to get to the regionals vice staying for 3 more years in a FW billet.

I wonder if you could get on with one of those 135 pilatus or caravan outfits to build fw time? Maybe even a Fedex feeder? I think you need 250 hours fw and 25 multi for a RATP 121 job. You obviously have the total time.

Synixman
01-29-2018, 06:05 AM
If you're financially able to (certainly a factor), I'd leave and do one the regional RTP programs. We've got a lot of guys in similar spots here in Pensacola and only a few who've got side hustles are really wanting to take the continuation. Even if you do a tour in C-12s or T-6s, you're likely still going to have to do some time at a regional. Today, the guys getting hired straight out of VT IP tours are C130/Jet/P-3/P-8 types. Helo guys seem to need some more time to be competitive.

GoVandals
01-29-2018, 06:19 AM
Iíve been passed for promotion (1P) and Iím considering my options. Iíve applied with an ANG unit that appears to be highly competitive due to its mission, Iím optimistic but need to have a plan if not selected. Im a helo pilot in the USMC with about 1500 hours and Iím considering two options:

1: Get separation pay, go regionals with the RW transition program.

2: Take continuation (3 years additional commitment then seps pay) with the hopes of getting a C-12 (station) or FW flight school spot, get plenty of FW hours then go regionals for the 121 time.

Do you think it would be best to just go straight to 121 or stay in the USMC for additional 3 years? (Assuming I can get a FW gig). End goal is the majors.

Iíve been lurking on this forum for years now and I appreciate everyoneís willingness to help each other out.

I just went through the USMC RW to FW ANG transition along with a regional job. Go now, donít wait.

Should you get hired by the ANG unit, I would only wait to separate until you have you Guard upchit approved. It can be a lengthy and aggrivating process. You should have plenty of time though since your mandatory separation date will be 6 months after next years results. Should you not accept continuation that is...

155mm
01-29-2018, 06:47 AM
What's the scoop on this Rotorwing Transition Program (RTP)? Does the regional foot the whole bill? Is it a loan? There must certainly be contractual agreements to fly for the regional for x number of years? What are the Pros and Cons?

BrownDoubles
01-29-2018, 08:39 AM
What's the scoop on this Rotorwing Transition Program (RTP)? Does the regional foot the whole bill? Is it a loan? There must certainly be contractual agreements to fly for the regional for x number of years? What are the Pros and Cons?

"Most military rotor pilots qualify for the FAAís lowest minimum restricted ATP. Although many of you have the 750 hour total time, you fall short of the 250 hour fixed wing PIC requirement or 25 hour multi engine requirement. ... will contribute up to $23,000 towards your flight time requirements in order to achieve the R-ATP."

I looked at two websites they both look similar, I think the obligation is a year or two but if a major called in the meantime it would be well worth the buyout. I suspect HR departments are finding great successes through this program because it spread like wildfire. Glad to see my rotor brothers have an avenue.

155mm
01-29-2018, 09:04 AM
"Most military rotor pilots qualify for the FAA’s lowest minimum restricted ATP. Although many of you have the 750 hour total time, you fall short of the 250 hour fixed wing PIC requirement or 25 hour multi engine requirement. ... will contribute up to $23,000 towards your flight time requirements in order to achieve the R-ATP."

I looked at two websites they both look similar, I think the obligation is a year or two but if a major called in the meantime it would be well worth the buyout. I suspect HR departments are finding great successes through this program because it spread like wildfire. Glad to see my rotor brothers have an avenue.

Thanks for your response. In the case of USMC RW pilots, they are dual rated so why not get a 135 PIC or SIC job to start and later get hired by a Regional with a hiring bonus versus paying to fly a pos piper something? Perhaps it's a faster track going RTP?

"c) Except as provided in paragraph (a) of this section, no certificate holder may use a person, nor may any person serve, as pilot in command of an aircraft under IFR unless that person -

(1) Holds at least a commercial pilot certificate with appropriate category and class ratings and, if required, an appropriate type rating for that aircraft; and

(2) Has had at least 1,200 hours of flight time as a pilot, including 500 hours of cross country flight time, 100 hours of night flight time, and 75 hours of actual or simulated instrument time at least 50 hours of which were in actual flight; and

(3) For an airplane, holds an instrument rating or an airline transport pilot certificate with an airplane category rating; or"
https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/135.243

Am I reading this correctly? It doesn't say the total flight time/x-c/night/instr necessarily has to be in an airplane just that you need the time and appropriate airplane ratings.

If this is correct, one could get a 135 PIC or SIC job flying a Caravan or Pilatus and use the income to get a multi commercial on days off. Of course Safety first, wouldn't want you to get hurt flying for some crap outfit. At a minimum, can't hurt to interview.

BrownDoubles
01-29-2018, 02:23 PM
Thanks for your response. In the case of USMC RW pilots, they are dual rated so why not get a 135 PIC or SIC job to start and later get hired by a Regional with a hiring bonus versus paying to fly a pos piper something? Perhaps it's a faster track going RTP?

"c) Except as provided in paragraph (a) of this section, no certificate holder may use a person, nor may any person serve, as pilot in command of an aircraft under IFR unless that person -

(1) Holds at least a commercial pilot certificate with appropriate category and class ratings and, if required, an appropriate type rating for that aircraft; and

(2) Has had at least 1,200 hours of flight time as a pilot, including 500 hours of cross country flight time, 100 hours of night flight time, and 75 hours of actual or simulated instrument time at least 50 hours of which were in actual flight; and

(3) For an airplane, holds an instrument rating or an airline transport pilot certificate with an airplane category rating; or"
https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/135.243

Am I reading this correctly? It doesn't say the total flight time/x-c/night/instr necessarily has to be in an airplane just that you need the time and appropriate airplane ratings.

If this is correct, one could get a 135 PIC or SIC job flying a Caravan or Pilatus and use the income to get a multi commercial on days off. Of course Safety first, wouldn't want you to get hurt flying for some crap outfit. At a minimum, can't hurt to interview.

My short answer is to get to your ultimate destination as soon as possible (pretty close to) no matter what the cost (at least financially). So if you are going to route through a regional anyway just go to the regional. Look at your resume from that airline's recruiter's standpoint and ask yourself what you need to fill your gaps to be competitive. I would recommend setting goals for each stage and then move on so that you can get to your final job sooner.

Not to mention quality of life as a general rule is better as you move up the ladder; regionals better than 135; LCC better than regionals; majors/legacies better than LCC.

Just my opinion...

155mm
01-29-2018, 02:46 PM
My short answer is to get to your ultimate destination as soon as possible (pretty close to) no matter what the cost (at least financially). So if you are going to route through a regional anyway just go to the regional. Look at your resume from that airline's recruiter's standpoint and ask yourself what you need to fill your gaps to be competitive. I would recommend setting goals for each stage and then move on so that you can get to your final job sooner.

Not to mention quality of life as a general rule is better as you move up the ladder; regionals better than 135; LCC better than regionals; majors/legacies better than LCC.

Just my opinion...

I appreciate your viewpoint. Here's mine. If a commercial pilot is qualified to get paid for the job then why lose a chunk of change flying mickey mouse airplanes to pad a logbook? Flying around the patch in a single engine recip is virtually worthless "experience" and it will take about 3 to 6 months to build the time. At least get a 135 operator to send you to Flight Safety and learn to fly a Caravan for a few months. Now you are gaining experience and getting paid. In addition, you are not committed to the couple of Regionals that offer the RTP program. I do agree the search for an optimum QOL will always be an issue!

BrownDoubles
01-29-2018, 03:14 PM
I appreciate your viewpoint. Here's mine. If a commercial pilot is qualified to get paid for the job then why spend a small fortune on flying mickey mouse airplanes to pad a logbook? Flying around the patch in a single engine recip is virtually worthless "experience". At least going to Flight Safety to learn a Caravan and fly 135 for a few months, you are getting experience and pay. I do agree the search for an optimum QOL will always be an issue! In addition, you are not committed to the couple of Regionals that offer the RTP program.

Again, I'm not overly familiar with that segment but if you are able to accomplish the same thing on basically the same timeline then there isn't a time sacrifice to your dream job so it is exactly in line with what I said.

I have many friends "trapped" at the regional level with in excess of 10000 RJ PIC. Great quality of life and making good money and they don't want to give that up to take a pay cut and head to an LCC. I would venture to guess that when a legacy recruiter looks at their resume to day or a year from now it holds the same strength. How does another 1000 RJ PIC strengthen their position? The 135 flying will do little to nothing for your resume other than get you to your ATP which is your goal. I simply caution you and my friends going through it to not get too comfortable anywhere. My trapped friends could do things at their current airlines like LCA, union leadership roles, CP, recruiting, etc. They have fallen in love with where they are but can't understand why their phone isn't ringing.

I hope that better explains it... I wish everyone could get a call tomorrow from their dream job but the facts still remain that pilot shortage or not there are still 10000, 12000, 14000, 18000 resumes (depending on the airline and their counting methods) on file competing for a few hundred positions each year.

collegedropout9
01-30-2018, 03:44 AM
Browndoubles is spot on... If your ultimate goal is to get to the legacy 121 World then start building your FW time ASAP. I have ridden in far too many Jumpseatís in my career where the crews became ďcomfortableĒ in their careerís and never did the dirty work to get to the next step. They donít network, they donít update, they donít attend Job Fairs, etc. Military guys are guilty of the same. If I had a nickel for every fellow RW pilot that asked me why I was spending money on obtaining my own ratings on my own dime instead of waiting for a FW Q course I would be rich. What I mean by that, is that a individual thinks they always have more time to update their resume. For example, Do you have any idea how many pilots are going to retire in the next ten years at AA??? You have a very big check mark on your application. You are a trained USMC aviator. If you wait a couple of years to let someone else train you to build more FW time, then you will allow ďTHOUSANDS of Other APPLICANTSĒ to pass you by. Go out on your own and obtain more ratings. The regionals DO NOT CARE if you built your time giving dual in a CEssna 172 or in the right seat of a TP. The more ratings you have scores points on the application. Take personal control of your career. The quicker the better. Best of Luck, CD9

Merle Dixon
01-30-2018, 04:48 AM
Browndoubles is spot on... If your ultimate goal is to get to the legacy 121 World then start building your FW time ASAP. I have ridden in far too many Jumpseatís in my career where the crews became ďcomfortableĒ in their careerís and never did the dirty work to get to the next step. They donít network, they donít update, they donít attend Job Fairs, etc. Military guys are guilty of the same. If I had a nickel for every fellow RW pilot that asked me why I was spending money on obtaining my own ratings on my own dime instead of waiting for a FW Q course I would be rich. What I mean by that, is that a individual thinks they always have more time to update their resume. For example, Do you have any idea how many pilots are going to retire in the next ten years at AA??? You have a very big check mark on your application. You are a trained USMC aviator. If you wait a couple of years to let someone else train you to build more FW time, then you will allow ďTHOUSANDS of Other APPLICANTSĒ to pass you by. Go out on your own and obtain more ratings. The regionals DO NOT CARE if you built your time giving dual in a CEssna 172 or in the right seat of a TP. The more ratings you have scores points on the application. Take personal control of your career. The quicker the better. Best of Luck, CD9

collegedropout9 could not be more correct. Hell, Delta alone is hiring 1,000 pilots in 2018. If you havenít yet, look at the major airline profiles here on APC. The retirement numbers for DAL, UAL, and AA the next 8 to 10 years are staggering. Get out now, do not wait. Good luck.

Synixman
01-30-2018, 05:40 AM
To the OP, here's some perspective on RTP programs at Regionals from an Army RW perspective. You've already got ~125 T-34/T-6 hours from Primary, so you're a good chunk of the way to your R-ATP.

https://theaviatoragent.wordpress.com/2017/09/23/the-truth-about-rotor-transition-programs/

On his site, he also did some research and ranked the different programs since all are not created equal and some regionals have high FW time requirements for an eventual Captain upgrade, which would hurt you as a helo guy.

https://theaviatoragent.wordpress.com/2017/12/20/top-regional-airlines-for-transitioning-helicopter-pilots-2018/

Why are Regionals offering these programs with little to no strings attached? I'd argue the labor market is forcing them to. They're struggling to fill seats.

155mm
01-30-2018, 06:04 AM
To the OP, here's some perspective on RTP programs at Regionals from an Army RW perspective. You've already got ~125 T-34/T-6 hours from Primary, so you're a good chunk of the way to your R-ATP.

https://theaviatoragent.wordpress.com/2017/09/23/the-truth-about-rotor-transition-programs/

On his site, he also did some research and ranked the different programs since all are not created equal and some regionals have high FW time requirements for an eventual Captain upgrade, which would hurt you as a helo guy.

https://theaviatoragent.wordpress.com/2017/12/20/top-regional-airlines-for-transitioning-helicopter-pilots-2018/

Why are Regionals offering these programs with little to no strings attached? I'd argue the labor market is forcing them to. They're struggling to fill seats.

Excellent information with Pros and Cons!

Scraggly Heron
01-30-2018, 06:46 AM
Quick note for the OP--separation pay is considered an advance on disability payments. So if you have 20% for messed up knees, you would not receive disability until the amount of your separation pay equaled what would have been paid in disability. IIRC, separation pay is taxable, while disability pay is not.

BigIron
01-30-2018, 08:21 AM
To the OP, here's some perspective on RTP programs at Regionals from an Army RW perspective. You've already got ~125 T-34/T-6 hours from Primary, so you're a good chunk of the way to your R-ATP.

https://theaviatoragent.wordpress.com/2017/09/23/the-truth-about-rotor-transition-programs/

On his site, he also did some research and ranked the different programs since all are not created equal and some regionals have high FW time requirements for an eventual Captain upgrade, which would hurt you as a helo guy.

https://theaviatoragent.wordpress.com/2017/12/20/top-regional-airlines-for-transitioning-helicopter-pilots-2018/

Why are Regionals offering these programs with little to no strings attached? I'd argue the labor market is forcing them to. They're struggling to fill seats.

Great, thank you.

kbay hombre
02-13-2018, 11:35 PM
I’ve been passed for promotion (1P) and I’m considering my options. I’ve applied with an ANG unit that appears to be highly competitive due to its mission, I’m optimistic but need to have a plan if not selected. Im a helo pilot in the USMC with about 1500 hours and I’m considering two options:

1: Get separation pay, go regionals with the RW transition program.

2: Take continuation (3 years additional commitment then seps pay) with the hopes of getting a C-12 (station) or FW flight school spot, get plenty of FW hours then go regionals for the 121 time.

Do you think it would be best to just go straight to 121 or stay in the USMC for additional 3 years? (Assuming I can get a FW gig). End goal is the majors.

I’ve been lurking on this forum for years now and I appreciate everyone’s willingness to help each other out.

I can relate, was passed over once a few years ago but made it the second time around. When I was a 1P, I was looking into exactly what you are, and asking the same questions. I only just retired recently.

The hiring environment has changed markedly the last few years. As everyone else has already said, it's a boom period right now. Maybe it will last a decade or more, or maybe it won't. Get in while you can. What I recommend is you take a fat separation check, go to a regional, and go reserves/guard as soon as possible simultaneously so that you can keep building time for retirement. Believe me, the longer you spend after getting out before you go weekend warrior, the more you'll regret it later on when you are in your 40's and still having to drill to get to 20.

Even if you don't get into an aviation reserve billet/unit, freaking go be a yeoman or a desk jockey of some sort; even resign your commission and go an enlisted rate if you have to. Just get back in, get that cheap Tricare (medical + dental for about $70/month as a reservist), and keep building time to 20 and a military retirement. Who cares whether you get a flying billet right after AD sep; just get back in! You've got to be at least an O3 by this point and if you were passed over you've got nearly 10 years commissioned or more, so when you go into the reserves/guard, you usually start fresh with time in grade and the clock restarts, meaning you get a minimum of another 6 years as an O3 and who knows what it'll be like when you get to 16-18 years in. At its worse a few years ago I saw people taking Temp Early Retirement Authority (TERA) at anywhere from 15-19 years commissioned. A reserve pension/retirement (kicks in at 60) for even a very very senior O3 is a nice extra chunk of change.

rickair7777
02-14-2018, 05:44 AM
Even if you don't get into an aviation reserve billet/unit, freaking go be a yeoman or a desk jockey of some sort; even resign your commission and go an enlisted rate if you have to. Just get back in, get that cheap Tricare (medical + dental for about $70/month as a reservist), and keep building time to 20 and a military retirement. Who cares whether you get a flying billet right after AD sep; just get back in! You've got to be at least an O3 by this point and if you were passed over you've got nearly 10 years commissioned or more, so when you go into the reserves/guard, you usually start fresh with time in grade and the clock restarts, meaning you get a minimum of another 6 years as an O3 and who knows what it'll be like when you get to 16-18 years in. At its worse a few years ago I saw people taking Temp Early Retirement Authority (TERA) at anywhere from 15-19 years commissioned. A reserve pension/retirement (kicks in at 60) for even a very very senior O3 is a nice extra chunk of change.

Historically sound advice. If the airline industry continues it's epic trend, you might not even need the mil retirement, ie the hassle wouldn't be worth more than money in light of your airline earnings. I think it's on a pretty good track for 15 years, but the industry is cyclical and highly vulnerable to Black Swans. In addition to retirement and medical, if you get furloughed you can *usually* go on long-term orders (not always, but industry downturns often seem to coincide with war...). But I mostly enjoy the reserves (don't enjoy scheduling my life around the reserves).



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