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View Full Version : Military Helicopter Pilot


daddysocks
01-18-2019, 03:15 PM
I am considering becoming a helo pilot in the army national guard. How much of an advantage will I have when I apply for major airlines after the regionals? Obviously I won’t be as desirable as a fixed wing military pilot. However, will I still have a good chance at a major?


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C37AFE
01-18-2019, 03:20 PM
Do it. 500 hrs heli plus 250 airplane and your at regionals

at6d
01-18-2019, 03:32 PM
Some majors do not accept rotor time.


Ohlsan
01-18-2019, 06:58 PM
Some majors do not accept rotor time.

Most majors don’t accept helicopter time, I believe Hawaiian and JetBlue are the only Major/LCC that do. This may change in the future, but as of now it is what is unfortunately.

Taco280AI
01-18-2019, 07:55 PM
As far as I know the only ones that don't are Southwest, UPS and FedEx. Alaska will take half, up to 1000 hours. JetBlue, IIRC, accepts all as normal flight time. The rest, as far as I know, count it toward total time, but you still need jet time. Delta recruiters have said as much when asked.

BeatNavy
01-18-2019, 11:36 PM
I started in army helicopters (albeit active duty), and I will say it’s about the slowest way of trying to become a major airline pilot. It’ll generally be the slowest place to build time (that only a few airlines will take), you’ll still have to do almost as much time in the regionals as a straight civilian, etc. If you really want to do it, I’d focus on a fixed-wing career when able and try to get some fw ratings either before Rucker if you can, or shortly after you get back. Then get on at a regional as soon as you can and part time it in the guard. Just know the army takes some of the most fun things and somehow makes them not fun.

Maybe the guard is different so ymmv, but I wouldn’t advise anyone to join the army to fly, especially not someone whose goal is to be at a major. Also, if your goal is to get to a major, the other part of that should be to get to a major as young as possible the way seniority plays into it. Getting on at a major at 35 compared to the same major at 30 is a HUGE difference in career earnings and QOL, especially over the next 5-10 years. Good luck with the decision. I’d recommend the ANG/AFR anyday, but if army helicopters are what you want then do it. It was never really a dream of mine, more like a nightmare I got stuck in for 8 years. But it had its awesome moments amongst the misery.

hilltopflyer
01-19-2019, 05:07 AM
I had to helo guys bust out of my new hire class and talking to a couple guys on JetBlue’s hiring committee they might start limiting the helo time like everyone else. Just something to think about.

rickair7777
01-19-2019, 05:12 AM
Since you'll need almost as much civvie time as a non-mil pilot, if you do this it should be guard or reserve. Ideally get your civilian ratings, get a regional job, and then if you still want, go do it. By the time you finish mil training you'll be senior enough to upgrade comfortable at the regional. When you have competitive civilian times for the bigs, the mil helo flying should be icing on the cake.

If you can get some mil FW flying in as well that will help.

As was mentioned not as career-enhancing as FW mil time, whatever slight benefit you get with the major recruiters will probably be negated by the extra time out for reserve mil duty.

If you want go AD, you'll want to work on FW FAA ratings while on AD, get as much time as possible (and CFI ratings) before you get out but that's going cost you 8-10 years or so. Regionals can hire mil pilots with 750 hours, but you'll need to research how many FW hours you'll need (varies by airline).

dbflyer
01-19-2019, 07:54 AM
I am considering becoming a helo pilot in the army national guard. How much of an advantage will I have when I apply for major airlines after the regionals? Obviously I won’t be as desirable as a fixed wing military pilot. However, will I still have a good chance at a major?


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Here's the advice I give all young folks looking at the military... Join the Military only if you really want to be in the military, not just as a way to get somewhere else. So do you really want to fly helicopters for the Army? If so, then go do it without attaching it to the idea of getting to a major airline. It might help, it might not, no one can see that far into the future but either way it is flight time and qualifies you for a R-ATP.

If your only goal is to get to a major, the fastest path is pretty clearly defined and it doesn't include Army helicopters.

BTW, I currently fly both helicopters and a citation for my job and in my opinion, while the airplane side has a lot more career opportunities right now, the rotor side is a lot more fun.

Taco280AI
01-19-2019, 08:28 AM
You won't fly the most hours going RW in the Army. But they will pay for your flight training and pay you while going through it. They will also pay for college, allow you to get VA home loans, let you fly at 30 feet AGL, and get numerous other military benefits and discounts. Or instead of rotor you can go for fixed wing as well flying the King Air. The lifestyle can suck, they do a good job of taking the fun out of things, but every now and then you get to fly some fun missions and overall it's a great experience.

Gundriver64
01-20-2019, 02:29 AM
Here's the advice I give all young folks looking at the military... Join the Military only if you really want to be in the military, not just as a way to get somewhere else. So do you really want to fly helicopters for the Army? If so, then go do it without attaching it to the idea of getting to a major airline. It might help, it might not, no one can see that far into the future but either way it is flight time and qualifies you for a R-ATP.

If your only goal is to get to a major, the fastest path is pretty clearly defined and it doesn't include Army helicopters.

BTW, I currently fly both helicopters and a citation for my job and in my opinion, while the airplane side has a lot more career opportunities right now, the rotor side is a lot more fun.

This^^^^^^^^^^

rabbo
01-20-2019, 04:13 AM
It has been said that you are a soldier first, an officer second, an aviator third. As an army aviator you still have to do ground stuff and you'll have a staff role, whether warrant or commissioned, that will eventually limit your time spent flying. If you make a lot of time to go fly and do some missions like hurricane response, expect 200 hours a year tops as a part timer. Despite what people might tell you, you will not get an active guard reserve job until you have proven yourself to your unit and been accepted into the good old boy system. You will not get an ARNG fixed wing slot. You will spend months working on a flight school packet while a recruiter jerks you around, then you'll go to school for 12-18 months, get back with something like 150 hours, spend two weeks on orders, then go to flying 100-200 hours a year. You might go to a unit with a non-deployable aircraft or you might go to a unit that deploys every 3-4 years. You won't have the time or mental capacity to learn airplanes while you're in flight school. So you can expect your airline goal to still be several years away.

That was deliberately negative as is the tone of this post in general. Try to talk yourself out of it like I am here. I like the army and I like flying. We do some cool stuff. I love the people I fly with. I read the international news, bad people do bad things, and I still feel the same desire to help stop it.

If you want to be an airline pilot, do that. If you want to serve your country by flying america's sons and daughters into combat, do that. You can do both, but they're separate questions.

Hobbit64
01-20-2019, 05:37 AM
Very Good advice here... Please take note.
To further the discussion, the current senior Warrant Officer Aviator was quoted as saying: “The Army will still be the Army without Aviators.”
For a flying career, go elsewhere. At a LCC I sit next to CAPT’s that are my age.
Like the others, I enjoy the people & flying but ....
Don’t delay your career for it

StandardBrief
01-30-2019, 02:28 PM
I am considering becoming a helo pilot in the army national guard. How much of an advantage will I have when I apply for major airlines after the regionals? Obviously I won’t be as desirable as a fixed wing military pilot. However, will I still have a good chance at a major?


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At this particular time in modern history, I would not recommend Army aviation to anybody. By joining now you are willing to accept the following:

1) Stupid low amount of flight time
2) Stupid high amount of extra duties to include:
a) Stocking the fridge
b) ALSE Officer,
c) Supply Officer
d) HAZMAT Officer
e) Unit Movement Officer
f) Fire warden
g) Stocking the fridge
h) Sexual harassment rep
i) Resilience representative
j) Container inspector
k) Infantry ruckmarcher
l) OPSEC Officer
m) enlisted PT participator
n) seat warmer
o) staring at wall until 1930 waiting to go home but you can't
because the commander hates his wife and wants you to stay at
work with him/her
p) fellow officer stabber-in-backer just to get a good evaluation in
order to get promoted
q) -10 test taker
r) -10 test RETAKER because you failed the first one because you
haven't flown a helicopter in 6 months and forgot how it works
s) Mission planner for flights you won't fly
t) Stock fridge, listen to fat W4 complain about lack of fat snacks
u) Stock fridge, listen to crew chiefs talk about lack of mountain
dew
v) Wash aircraft that other people fly
w) Redo your proficiency flight eval because dumb ass instructor
****ed up your records
x) Get talked down to by everybody, including enlisted
y) Watch clearly incapable people get promoted
z) Arms room supervisor

If you want to be an airline pilot, do literally anything besides join the Army. If you want to defend the country one JRTC rotation at a time, join the Army. Do not be fooled, the airlines aren't hiring helicopter pilots because they suddenly realize we're amazing (we ARE amazing though...seriously). They are hiring them because the desired pool of fixed wing pilots is not as full. The current market requires butts in seats. I am not shaming military rotary wing pilots, I was one for many years, I am just speaking the facts about supply and demand. By the time you get enough flight time through the Army to go to the airlines, the RTP programs will probably no longer exist. It is an amazing time for current Army pilots who have done there time fighting the wars and are ready for a change, but i would not recommend you go just to get qualified for the R-ATP. You can get 1500 hours of total time faster in the civilian world than you can get 750 total time with Army rotary wing.

bh539
02-04-2019, 08:53 AM
1) Stupid low amount of flight time
2) Stupid high amount of extra duties to include:
a) Stocking the fridge
b) ALSE Officer,
c) Supply Officer
d) HAZMAT Officer
e) Unit Movement Officer
f) Fire warden
g) Stocking the fridge
h) Sexual harassment rep
i) Resilience representative
j) Container inspector
k) Infantry ruckmarcher
l) OPSEC Officer
m) enlisted PT participator
n) seat warmer
o) staring at wall until 1930 waiting to go home but you can't
because the commander hates his wife and wants you to stay at
work with him/her
p) fellow officer stabber-in-backer just to get a good evaluation in
order to get promoted
q) -10 test taker
r) -10 test RETAKER because you failed the first one because you
haven't flown a helicopter in 6 months and forgot how it works
s) Mission planner for flights you won't fly
t) Stock fridge, listen to fat W4 complain about lack of fat snacks
u) Stock fridge, listen to crew chiefs talk about lack of mountain
dew
v) Wash aircraft that other people fly
w) Redo your proficiency flight eval because dumb ass instructor
****ed up your records
x) Get talked down to by everybody, including enlisted
y) Watch clearly incapable people get promoted
z) Arms room supervisor


Wow sounds like we had identical careers

67c10
02-10-2019, 06:42 PM
At this particular time in modern history, I would not recommend Army aviation to anybody. By joining now you are willing to accept the following:

1) Stupid low amount of flight time
2) Stupid high amount of extra duties to include:
a) Stocking the fridge
b) ALSE Officer,
c) Supply Officer
d) HAZMAT Officer
e) Unit Movement Officer
f) Fire warden
g) Stocking the fridge
h) Sexual harassment rep
i) Resilience representative
j) Container inspector
k) Infantry ruckmarcher
l) OPSEC Officer
m) enlisted PT participator
n) seat warmer
o) staring at wall until 1930 waiting to go home but you can't
because the commander hates his wife and wants you to stay at
work with him/her
p) fellow officer stabber-in-backer just to get a good evaluation in
order to get promoted
q) -10 test taker
r) -10 test RETAKER because you failed the first one because you
haven't flown a helicopter in 6 months and forgot how it works
s) Mission planner for flights you won't fly
t) Stock fridge, listen to fat W4 complain about lack of fat snacks
u) Stock fridge, listen to crew chiefs talk about lack of mountain
dew
v) Wash aircraft that other people fly
w) Redo your proficiency flight eval because dumb ass instructor
****ed up your records
x) Get talked down to by everybody, including enlisted
y) Watch clearly incapable people get promoted
z) Arms room supervisor

If you want to be an airline pilot, do literally anything besides join the Army. If you want to defend the country one JRTC rotation at a time, join the Army. Do not be fooled, the airlines aren't hiring helicopter pilots because they suddenly realize we're amazing (we ARE amazing though...seriously). They are hiring them because the desired pool of fixed wing pilots is not as full. The current market requires butts in seats. I am not shaming military rotary wing pilots, I was one for many years, I am just speaking the facts about supply and demand. By the time you get enough flight time through the Army to go to the airlines, the RTP programs will probably no longer exist. It is an amazing time for current Army pilots who have done there time fighting the wars and are ready for a change, but i would not recommend you go just to get qualified for the R-ATP. You can get 1500 hours of total time faster in the civilian world than you can get 750 total time with Army rotary wing.

I have to respectfully disagree with this post, as this is just one mans experience. I know many may have a similar experience, but many also have an amazing time serving their country and flying some of the most thrilling missions in combat you could ever dream of.

As a new guy, you will stock the fridge, learn how to plan missions for the experienced pilots to fly. Its paying your dues in becoming an Army Aviator. You will have a couple additional duties, that don't take too much time at all.

But if you are out here failing -10 tests, making up APART check rides, stabbing others in the back for a good OER, having fat W4's complain about how ******y your fridge is, don't fly for 6 months, get every single additional duty thrown at you, warm seats for other pilots AND whine about doing some PT in the morning. You would become the typical ****** bag just like the many others who enter this career, whom no one can rely on in combat. Who no one trusts to ever make PC, or get sent to a track school like IP or MTP.

If you want to be an Army Helicopter pilot, do it for the pride of serving your country. Be selfless. Study hard and get first in your class so you get an opportunity to fly the aircraft you want. Show up to PT when you don't have to. Make PC before your peers. Put out for your 6 year obligation after flight school and you will be rewarded for the rest of your life, then stay in for 20 or get out and fly for the airlines. This life is not easy. I went to combat 6 months out of flight school. I deployed twice in my first 3 years as a pilot. I *****ed about sleeping in a tent multiple times. But I loved every minute of it.

If all you want to do is become an airline pilot, do not join the Army as a stepping stone and getting paid for some ratings. Join the Army if you truly want to serve the country.

hydrostream
02-15-2019, 11:23 AM
^You know what you're talking about. You hit the nail on the head 67c10.



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