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Retired LEO to civilian police pilot

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#1 MPD007



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Posted 03 May 2015 - 20:51

I will be retiring as a LEO soon (15 years, sergeant). It will be a medical retirement (back surgery) so nothing that will prevent me from being medically cleared for flying. I have always wanted to fly and am looking at this forced retirement as an opportunity to finally pursue this dream. I love the LEO community and my goal would be to become a helicopter pilot for an agency that utilizes civilian pilots and not sworn pilots. I have not begun flight training yet. I have enough saved to pay for a commercial rating and probably up to 150 - 200 hours TT. I know that the agencies that use sworn officers train their own. I've read on here the arguments for and against using sworn or civilian pilots. Are there any agencies that would hire a retired LEO and train him (very unlikely) or hire a retired LEO with commercial rating and low hours and train him up to more hours? Thanks in advance for any responses.
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#2 Flying Pig

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Posted 04 May 2015 - 10:29

I'm confident in saying nobody is going to hire you and then train you from zero time. They would just take someone they already know. I would be very very confident in saying even with a commercial and 200hrs.... Nobody would hire you for the purposes of being a pilot. Being that you are medically retiring, you would come on as a civilian pilot. The idea that you have previous LE experience is pretty far down on the list considering you bring nothing to the table on the pilot side.
You would be better served to pursue an aviation career and then down the road see if it ever Brings you back to law enforcement. But with your scenario now, I'm confident in saying you will leave LE behind you and start a career flying like anyone else.
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#3 Spike


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Posted 04 May 2015 - 12:24

To add to my Pig-Buddy comments….


The majority of civilian pilots flying LE are employed by a helicopter operator who contracts that service to the LE agency.  The pilots who are hired for those positions have experience. Experience meaning; way more than a couple hundred hours.  Plus, most insurance carriers of LE helicopters are no different than any other helicopter operator. Specifically, the minimum requirements to fly will be similar to any other turbine helicopter pilot job….


Sorry to tell you, but to get to where you want to go, you’ll need to get in line with everyone else…. That is, get trained, het hired as a CFI, build hours while teaching, do the tour or GOM thing and from there, you can focus on a civilian LE gig….  This is coming from a former civilian LE now sworn pilot…..

Edited by Spike, 04 May 2015 - 12:26.

#4 HeliMark


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Posted 05 May 2015 - 08:10

Also, something you may have to consider is a company hiring you with a history of a back issue. Even if you have no problem obtaining a first class medical, some companies may not want to have the potential of you having further back problems from the helicopter.


This is what I am facing when I retire next year after lots of years as a LEO and LEO pilot.



#5 viz



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Posted 17 May 2015 - 18:27

I am also a previous LEO from El Paso and we trained heavily with Homeland Security personnel. I am very interested in looking into this career field as well. I have worked hand in hand with them and hope to rejoin Texans once I finish my active duty obligation.

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