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Lefturns
02-11-2018, 04:15 PM
I'm about to start with a regional and I keep hearing that a major airline will hire military guys quickly. I keep hearing that I won't stay at a regional more than a year, but I find it hard to believe. Are there any military helo pilots that made it to a major recently? How long were you at a regional?


Hacker15e
02-11-2018, 05:15 PM
Keep in mind that it hasn't really even been two years yet since the regionals really started being interested in military helo guys. It is still very, very early on with these rotary wing transition programs at the airlines. I don't imagine many -- if any -- participants have enough fixed wing PIC time yet to have moved on to the big leagues. Many are probably still working their way through getting enough pre-airline flight time to get their R-ATPs.

The "you won't be here more than a year" gouge is valid for most fixed-wing military guys at the regionals to get re-current/recent or get 121 time on their resumes. I'm not sure that same timeline applies to rotary wing transition guys who have a lot more fixed wing experience to build before they're really competitive for the majors.

Otterbox
02-11-2018, 06:37 PM
I'm about to start with a regional and I keep hearing that a major airline will hire military guys quickly. I keep hearing that I won't stay at a regional more than a year, but I find it hard to believe. Are there any military helo pilots that made it to a major recently? How long were you at a regional?

According to the interview prep companies briefing the RTP folks you’ll be treated as a regional airline pilot when they look at your hours etc, but you’ll get some bonus points for having a military background.

Its probably reasonable to expect 3-5 years at a regional, depending on how hard you worked to get hired at a major and how well you build your resume over that period of time.


BeatNavy
02-11-2018, 08:21 PM
I'm about to start with a regional and I keep hearing that a major airline will hire military guys quickly. I keep hearing that I won't stay at a regional more than a year, but I find it hard to believe. Are there any military helo pilots that made it to a major recently? How long were you at a regional?

I was a pure mil helo guy and started 3.5 years ago at a bottom feeder regional (had a smattering of FW bug smasher hours but did my own ďRTPĒ before that was a thing getting additional FW ratings with my GI bill as I was getting out). I spent 1.5 years there before moving to jetblue. Could have been a little less but I had to defer a couple classes.

With 2 months of training, some reserve months initially, building time didnít really start until about 6-8 months after I started at said regional. A year after I started at my regional, I had about 600 jet hours, and thatís when I applied to JetBlue, the only major that really counts helo time. By the time I interviewed, deferred a couple classes, then started class, I had just hit 1k 121 SIC hours and could upgrade at my regional. I had to decide whether to upgrade and get 121 PIC or go to a lower tier major. I chose the latter. Iíd have been at 1k TPIC about 3 years after starting the whole thing, and I donít think I could have started at a legacy much quicker than that.

Ymmv. I have many helo turned regional friends who canít get a call here or anywhere else with 2k+ regional hours. Another helo friend spent around 18 months before jetblue hired him, but no legacy would. The hiring wave is in its early stages and the regional and mil ranks have thinned considerably, so hopefully regional time drops for you and others. But based on current stats, anecdotally from my observations, count on 1-2 years minimum for JetBlue, and 3-5 years for a legacy. Good luck.

rickair7777
02-12-2018, 09:00 AM
I would expect the situation to improve as hiring ramps up. Fundamentally, you're still a rated military aviator and a known quantity. They'll almost have to hire you before they reach too deep into the regional/135/91 barrel.

Privateer
02-12-2018, 11:55 AM
I'm about to start with a regional and I keep hearing that a major airline will hire military guys quickly. I keep hearing that I won't stay at a regional more than a year, but I find it hard to believe. Are there any military helo pilots that made it to a major recently? How long were you at a regional?

I was a SkyWest captain (AUG2007 hire) and still currently flying for the ARNG. Graduated FT Rucker in 2010 and currently have approx 1100 hours of helo time. Hired by UAL on JUN15 (I was the only helo guy in the class). Note also the aviation industry was way different then as it is right now so take that into consideration.

To answer your question, helo guys do get hired.

rickair7777
02-12-2018, 12:37 PM
I was a SkyWest captain (AUG2007 hire) and still currently flying for the ARNG. Graduated FT Rucker in 2010 and currently have approx 1100 hours of helo time. Hired by UAL on JUN15 (I was the only helo guy in the class). Note also the aviation industry was way different then as it is right now so take that into consideration.

To answer your question, helo guys do get hired.

You were more of a FW jet pilot with military helo time. Your regional time was the foundation of your package, the mil RW was icing on the cake.

Lefturns
02-12-2018, 04:32 PM
I'm excited about the career change. I've got a lot of RW time, and I'm looking forward to learning a new aircraft and the 121 industry. Thank for all of the replies.

Coolbrz
06-04-2018, 06:35 AM
Hey all,

Wanted to give this thread a bump. As the first group of early RTP adopters hit the regional line in earnest Iím interested in the marketability of all (most) military helo guys/gals.

Iím an Army guy so thatís most relevant for me personally but thereís likely similarities between the Navy/Marines/AF as well.

Iíd imagine details matter, ie. Commissioned vs warrant officer, assignments, duties, etc.

Ultimately looking for any personal accounts or reliable anecdotes of when, and with what background, primarily helo guys can reasonably expect to be in the realistic hiring window for a major. Not withstanding flow programs.

Anyone have/heard/in the know of anything?

Otterbox
06-04-2018, 09:48 AM
Hey all,

Wanted to give this thread a bump. As the first group of early RTP adopters hit the regional line in earnest Iím interested in the marketability of all (most) military helo guys/gals.

Iím an Army guy so thatís most relevant for me personally but thereís likely similarities between the Navy/Marines/AF as well.

Iíd imagine details matter, ie. Commissioned vs warrant officer, assignments, duties, etc.

Ultimately looking for any personal accounts or reliable anecdotes of when, and with what background, primarily helo guys can reasonably expect to be in the realistic hiring window for a major. Not withstanding flow programs.

Anyone have/heard/in the know of anything?

I recently had a buddy who spent 15 years flying helicopters gained some fixed wing multi experience for his last tour on AD and went on to fly some multi engine stuff overseas , it took about 4 years for him to gain significant fixed wing hours/ quails to be picked up by Delta.

Based on that and another buddy who was a 4 year RJ FO with no PIC getting on at Delta two classes behind my helo transition buddy, a fair guess is 3-5 years of fixed wing multi engine flying depending on how hard you network.

Eriknjones
06-28-2018, 09:15 AM
I am certain you have been asked this many times since your post so please forgive the duplication!
In reference to your time with the regionals and Jet Blue, could you please share a cost of living estimation, such as annual pay and how you may have offset the low salary to provide family support. How did you make it work????
Thank you!

tonsterboy5
06-28-2018, 10:46 AM
I am certain you have been asked this many times since your post so please forgive the duplication!
In reference to your time with the regionals and Jet Blue, could you please share a cost of living estimation, such as annual pay and how you may have offset the low salary to provide family support. How did you make it work????
Thank you!

Look at the main pages for the regionals to get an estimation of pay. How to provide for family? The same way everyone one else in America does for $50k a year.. only difference is you have no student load debt or flight training debt if you come from the military so you should be way better off. Sure you won't get BAH on top of base pay but with a little budgeting you will learn its very easy to live on $50-80k a year in all but a few cities.

rickair7777
06-28-2018, 01:29 PM
I am certain you have been asked this many times since your post so please forgive the duplication!
In reference to your time with the regionals and Jet Blue, could you please share a cost of living estimation, such as annual pay and how you may have offset the low salary to provide family support. How did you make it work????
Thank you!

It's going to be tough, and will require some adjustments in lifestyle (or spouse gets a good job).

Also have to factor in costs associated with crashpads, eating out, etc if you can't move to base.

Taco280AI
07-03-2018, 08:53 AM
Interested in this as well. Know of some civilian/regional guys who went to the majors in 2 years, others currently waiting for 7 years.

Hopefully the military training and experience will get us there faster than without, but I'll just keep flying, building my time, updating my apps, and hopefully get that call.

Blackhawk
07-07-2018, 07:21 PM
Interested in this as well. Know of some civilian/regional guys who went to the majors in 2 years, others currently waiting for 7 years.

Hopefully the military training and experience will get us there faster than without, but I'll just keep flying, building my time, updating my apps, and hopefully get that call.

... or much more. I'll keep plugging away, but even if it doesn't happen it's a better lifestyle than what I had in the military.

Taco280AI
07-07-2018, 09:25 PM
That's a fact

rickair7777
07-08-2018, 11:33 AM
Interested in this as well. Know of some civilian/regional guys who went to the majors in 2 years, others currently waiting for 7 years.

Hopefully the military training and experience will get us there faster than without, but I'll just keep flying, building my time, updating my apps, and hopefully get that call.

For someone entering regionals today as a civilian (assuming clean record and good interpersonal skills), I would estimate 2-3 years for ULCC, or 4-6 years for Big Six (based on retirements). Military experience *should* reduce that some, but it's not a guarantee. I understand Army RW may not get called as fast as other service RW (who had FW training in primary). It's possible to get called sooner, but nobody is quite sure what the formula is. I have noticed that when very junior regional pilots get called by Big-Six, they are almost always young (under 30).

Taco280AI
07-15-2018, 08:40 PM
I have some legit questions about rotor time not being counted.

This IS NOT a post about why a dual turbine engine, 22,000 pound helicopter isn't counted when a little C152 is...

Why don't some count rotor time, like Southwest? According to them I'm a 400 hour pilot. Is there a known reason why they don't? Any rumors they might change their policy down the road?

Even though they don't count the actual flight hours, do they still consider you a military trained and experienced pilot? Or not at all and simply look at you as prior military in general, on same footing as a staffer or infantry?

Are a few places I'm very interested in down the road, but have doubts I'll have an opportunity to even get a call, unless I want to wait years longer and potentially give up a lot of seniority.

Seems common for mil pilots to get picked up sooner than civ pilots, in general, so just as an example:

SWA would see me as a 121 pilot, says apply when you have 6000 more FW hours
vs
DL sees a former military, current 121 pilot and gives me a chance to interview 3000 FW hours from now.

No matter what I love the job, enjoy what I'm doing, and will keep flying, keep applying and see what happens.

Otterbox
07-15-2018, 10:59 PM
I have some legit questions about rotor time not being counted.

This IS NOT a post about why a dual turbine engine, 22,000 pound helicopter isn't counted when a little C152 is...

Why don't some count rotor time, like Southwest? According to them I'm a 400 hour pilot. Is there a known reason why they don't? Any rumors they might change their policy down the road?

Even though they don't count the actual flight hours, do they still consider you a military trained and experienced pilot? Or not at all and simply look at you as prior military in general, on same footing as a staffer or infantry?

Are a few places I'm very interested in down the road, but have doubts I'll have an opportunity to even get a call, unless I want to wait years longer and potentially give up a lot of seniority.

Seems common for mil pilots to get picked up sooner than civ pilots, in general, so just as an example:

SWA would see me as a 121 pilot, says apply when you have 6000 more FW hours
vs
DL sees a former military, current 121 pilot and gives me a chance to interview 3000 FW hours from now.

No matter what I love the job, enjoy what I'm doing, and will keep flying, keep applying and see what happens.

No changes to helo hours counting seem to be on the horizon for places filling classes... regionals now do for the lower R-ATP mins.

The way it currently stands your best chance to get an interview with Southwest is have more than the minimum # of fixed wing hours, a four year degree and 737 type rating.

Sliceback
07-16-2018, 05:48 AM
I have some legit questions about rotor time not being counted.


Why don't some count rotor time, like Southwest? According to them I'm a 400 hour pilot. Is there a known reason why they don't?

SWA would see me as a 121 pilot, says apply when you have 6000 more FW hours
vs
DL sees a former military, current 121 pilot and gives me a chance to interview 3000 FW hours from now.


If you had a company that had a helicopter pilot slot, and had thousands of applications from guys with thousands of hours of RW time, would you select a airline guy, who just switched over or hasn't flown FW in years but who is up to 250 hrs of RW time ,over the guys who've been flying helicopter for an average of 5000-8000 hrs?

DL's requirement of 3,000 hrs is probably their "good enough" line. In other words they're giving zero credit, but perhaps some military service credit, for your RW time.

The airlines have data on thousands, or tens of thousands, of their pilots. Non-competitive FW time, in a resume considered 'good enough' because of it's RW time, was found to be a predictor of future training problems.

There are studies on the internet about the areas of strength, or weakness, that the airlines have identified among pilot backgrounds.

rickair7777
07-16-2018, 06:46 AM
Bottom line, it comes down to training cost and landings.

The training part is pretty easy to measure, assuming somebody has some data on RW pilots doing 121 training. The bean counters like to hire pilots who will complete training in the allotted time, and they tweak that algorithm to the Nth degree.

Landings may vary by individual, but fundamentally landing a big jet in a gusty crosswind is harder than landing an ASEL. The basics apply, but then you have to deviate from there, and someone with only a relative handful of FW landings (perhaps less than 100 in a XW) might not have the instincts as finely honed as more experienced FW pilots. That's the concern, and although it's hard to quantify precisely, the uncertainty and probably personal biases of decision makers will likely mean that nobody who can fill classes with quality FW applicants is going to go out of their way to accommodate RW pilots. Honestly, consider yourself fortunate that some of the regionals will bend over backwards for you... that wasn't the case a few years ago, you'd be renting a cessna if you wanted to fly airlines.

I know, I know helos are harder in all regards, but it's a different ind of hard when it comes to landings, different instincts.

BeatNavy
07-16-2018, 11:51 AM
Bottom line, it comes down to training cost and landings.

The training part is pretty easy to measure, assuming somebody has some data on RW pilots doing 121 training. The bean counters like to hire pilots who will complete training in the allotted time, and they tweak that algorithm to the Nth degree.

Landings may vary by individual, but fundamentally landing a big jet in a gusty crosswind is harder than landing an ASEL. The basics apply, but then you have to deviate from there, and someone with only a relative handful of FW landings (perhaps less than 100 in a XW) might not have the instincts as finely honed as more experienced FW pilots. That's the concern, and although it's hard to quantify precisely, the uncertainty and probably personal biases of decision makers will likely mean that nobody who can fill classes with quality FW applicants is going to go out of their way to accommodate RW pilots. Honestly, consider yourself fortunate that some of the regionals will bend over backwards for you... that wasn't the case a few years ago, you'd be renting a cessna if you wanted to fly airlines.

I know, I know helos are harder in all regards, but it's a different ind of hard when it comes to landings, different instincts.

So AA (insert other legacy here) doesnít want to hire a mil helo/RTP guy because he may not have the instincts to be able to land a big jet in a crosswind, but they are fine with said helo/RTP guy flying their pax in a wholly-owned RJ and landing that jet in a crosswind? Hmmm. How many mil helo guys have bent metal landing RJs? Also, whatís an acceptable time in RJ land flying jets for a mil helo guy to be good enough? If the answer was a year or 2 to get ~1k of jet time (depending on the rest of the resume of course, Iím just talking min jet time to be acceptable), Iíd be ok with that. But that isnít the case. Mil helo guys have little to no advantage over civilian (and non-flying mil) guys at most airlines. If a mil helo guy makes it through a regional initial and has a year of line flying experience, I canít see how thereíd be a training issue at a major. And if there was to be a landing issue with a big jet in a crosswind, wouldnít that apply to landing the hypothetical E175/CRJ also?

I think the real issue is bias. AF/Navy aviation historically have the fighter>heavy>helo hierarchy/mentality, and army helos are in another category far below those. Hell, even a C12, citation, or gulfstream army pilot canít go fly a C12 or gulfstream (or any other FW) in the ANG/AFR without going through all of UPT, so the biases arenít just at the airlines, but army helo stink is a special kind that is hard to get off. The airlines have always had AF/Navy pilots in leadership positions, and those biases have carried over.

JetBlue counts helo time (with a mandatory 500 hours minimum fixed wing time) and doesnít seem to have any issues with it, and they arenít short qualified applicants (yet).

Non-helo pilots who perpetuate this bias like to argue itís a different kind of flying and a different kind of hard. It is. So is flying fighters, or ISR, or ______. It is all different than airline flying, yet each has varying similarities. But itís all flying.

What airlines cite as the reason they like hiring military guys (and why the FAA has their reduced hour rATP for all mil pilots, incl helo only) is the fact that they made it into and graduated from a thorough and strenuous training program and are therefore vetted, often operate in complex situations requiring good judgment and high levels of SA, and thoroughly brief/debrief each flight, extracting more quality out of each flight hour. These qualities exist in all airframes and missions in all servicesóit isnít unique to fixed wing. But thatís clearly irrelevant for the big 6 regarding mil helo time. The flying/landing a jet part can be taught and mastered fairly quickly imo, especially by someone who has had a military flying job for 8+ years, regardless of their airframe.

The legacies are filling their regional ranks with mil helicopter guys, and helping with structured programs for it. Thatís good, I guess. Many regionals didn't even count my helo time and wouldnít talk to me 4 years ago when I got out. At least the regional pilot shortage has opened the door for many mil helo guys. Hopefully the trend will continue, because my BS flag goes up when an airline will gladly have an experienced mil helo guy at their regional flying their pax on an E175 for 5+ years before becoming experienced/good enough to fly a plane without the eagle/express/connection on it.

Tl;dr: the training, judgment, experience, and SA from crewed mil helo flying should count for something, but it doesnít. If a mil guy can make it through a regional initial and can fly the line for a year or so with no issues, no reason they couldnít do fine with training at a major. And landing a jet ainít that hard, but is an irrelevant argument anyway since airlines are fine letting prior helo only guys land their RJs.

But itís the way it is. My dissertation wonít change any minds.

Taco280AI
07-16-2018, 01:13 PM
If you had a company that had a helicopter pilot slot, and had thousands of applications from guys with thousands of hours of RW time, would you select a airline guy, who just switched over or hasn't flown FW in years but who is up to 250 hrs of RW time ,over the guys who've been flying helicopter for an average of 5000-8000 hrs?

DL's requirement of 3,000 hrs is probably their "good enough" line. In other words they're giving zero credit, but perhaps some military service credit, for your RW time.

The airlines have data on thousands, or tens of thousands, of their pilots. Non-competitive FW time, in a resume considered 'good enough' because of it's RW time, was found to be a predictor of future training problems.

There are studies on the internet about the areas of strength, or weakness, that the airlines have identified among pilot backgrounds.

I'm not getting your 250 hour reference. Nobody is going to Delta, Southwest, or any other major/legacy with 250 hours.

Delta does give credit for RW in terms of TT. SW doesn't count it at all. My reference to DL and 3000 FW hours is on top of my RW time. Difference is SW would count me as a 3000 TT pilot, not 3000 FW plus RW on top of that.

I have heard there are potential training issues when going from rotor to 121, but I don't know what all they are as far as failures or setbacks go. In the VERY limited sample size of my 121 training class all of us were military helicopter pilots. None failed anything or had to repeat anything due to our issues. Complex SIDs and STARs are new to me, but the only frustration was the lack of instruction and the flow of the flight from getting in. Whats first, whats next, whats next... but overall wasn't an issue. The odd man out got paired up with a FW only guy from another class and his new stick buddy had to repeat events twice because he struggled (which delayed my buddy). Another guy had to take time to deal with family stuff, so his stick buddy got paired up with another strictly FW guy, and that FW guy struggled and not only had to repeat events, but got held back causing the rotor guy to get another new stick buddy. Just because someone has more FW time (and equal TT) doesn't mean they are a better aviator, even in a FW aircraft.

The next few years will be interesting because there are a lot of rotor pilots with the regionals now and looking to move on as soon as they can.

rickair7777
07-16-2018, 01:44 PM
So AA (insert other legacy here) doesn’t want to hire a mil helo/RTP guy because he may not have the instincts to be able to land a big jet in a crosswind, but they are fine with said helo/RTP guy flying their pax in a wholly-owned RJ and landing that jet in a crosswind?

Now you're starting to understand how things work in this industry...

This applies across the board... the folks with the MOST relevant experience fly the bigger jets, and those with less fly the smaller jets... fewer pax at risk, and less metal to bend.


Hmmm. How many mil helo guys have bent metal landing RJs? Also, what’s an acceptable time in RJ land flying jets for a mil helo guy to be good enough? If the answer was a year or 2 to get ~1k of jet time (depending on the rest of the resume of course, I’m just talking min jet time to be acceptable), I’d be ok with that. But that isn’t the case. Mil helo guys have little to no advantage over civilian (and non-flying mil) guys at most airlines. If a mil helo guy makes it through a regional initial and has a year of line flying experience, I can’t see how there’d be a training issue at a major. And if there was to be a landing issue with a big jet in a crosswind, wouldn’t that apply to landing the hypothetical E175/CRJ also?

As I've said numerous times, USN trained helo pilots fly off the regional shelves after 18-24 months, I've seen it countless times at OO and in the reserves. They did of course fly FW in primary.


I think the real issue is bias. AF/Navy aviation historically have the fighter>heavy>helo hierarchy/mentality, and army helos are in another category far below those. Hell, even a C12, citation, or gulfstream army pilot can’t go fly a C12 or gulfstream (or any other FW) in the ANG/AFR without going through all of UPT, so the biases aren’t just at the airlines, but army helo stink is a special kind that is hard to get off. The airlines have always had AF/Navy pilots in leadership positions, and those biases have carried over.

That was my reference to personal biases. How much of it is based on reality is hard to say.


JetBlue counts helo time (with a mandatory 500 hours minimum fixed wing time) and doesn’t seem to have any issues with it, and they aren’t short qualified applicants (yet).

They don't have the same competitive pool that the big guys do. Many mil guys don't apply there, and nowdays even many RJ drivers are holding out for the big-six.


Non-helo pilots who perpetuate this bias like to argue it’s a different kind of flying and a different kind of hard. It is. So is flying fighters, or ISR, or ______. It is all different than airline flying, yet each has varying similarities. But it’s all flying.


I was explaining why it's the way it is, not advocating for it.

But I still think hundreds of FW landings is a good thing.

Sliceback
07-16-2018, 02:47 PM
ďI think the real issue is biasď

Anyone can believe whatever they want. Hereís AAís story -

Prior RW guys, with ďnon competitive FW time on their resumesĒ, were 23% of the guys that had long term training difficulties at AA. They were 3% of the population. The company had no idea until they did the research.

RW guys with ďcompetitiveĒ FW resumes as part of their overall qualifications didnít show up as an outlier.

Which is why AA made the decision 20 yrs ago that RW time didnít count towards any of the minimums required.

Anecdotal stories donít count. Weíve all got them. Both good and bad.

When you walk in the simulator itís not a given that the IP/CKA knows your RW vs FW time which makes any accusation of bias hard to prove.

If JB accepts RW guys with 500 FW hrs Iíd chase that opportunity and keep applying to the choices higher up your list until youíre successful or strike out.

Taco280AI
07-16-2018, 03:03 PM
So 20+ years ago RW pilots had a hard time switching? Any idea what the difficulties were back then? Any data today with all the rotor pilots coming into the regionals? Would be interesting to see todays numbers from regional training, if there are any trends.

Things like that is why I'm asking. I don't know what Rucker training was like back then. I do know what it is like this decade. Maybe there was a lack in training, instruments perhaps, that contributed to RW guys having trouble with the switch.

And for that data, were rotor guys going straight to 727s and MD80s from helicopters after putting around in 150s? Asking cause I have no idea.

Toonces
07-17-2018, 05:31 AM
Are there any military helo pilots that made it to a major recently? How long were you at a regional?


Pure Navy helo driver. 3.5 years in the 135 world before interviewing at JetBlue. About 2000 hrs FW when hired. I think the timelines mentioned are pretty reasonable based on other stories.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Sliceback
07-17-2018, 03:32 PM
So 20+ years ago RW pilots had a hard time switching? Any idea what the difficulties were back then? Any data today with all the rotor pilots coming into the regionals? Would be interesting to see todays numbers from regional training, if there are any trends.

Things like that is why I'm asking. I don't know what Rucker training was like back then. I do know what it is like this decade. Maybe there was a lack in training, instruments perhaps, that contributed to RW guys having trouble with the switch.

And for that data, were rotor guys going straight to 727s and MD80s from helicopters after putting around in 150s? Asking cause I have no idea.

The study was done about 20 years ago. It covered guys hired going back decades (1960's?) until the mid to late 1990's.

From my experience, to include going through two full training courses with first assignment helo pilots that got hired with low, and small (T-34) FW time, a weak point was a slower instrument scan and not making the smaller pitch and power changes required with jet speeds, weights, and sink rates. Combined those two issues made the engine failure and low vis approaches a source of a lot of stress.