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Your interest in military aviation

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#1 TrashHauler

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 12:36

To break some of the traditional "selection" and "what if" posts monotony (nothing wrong with those, in fact they have been tremendously helpful) and to get to know some of you, what was it that attracted you to military aviation? Since this is a helo forum, what was it about RW that attracted you over FW? Every time I speak to someone about about helos I repeatedly hear about the inherent dangers of RW aircraft and countless other negatives. Obviously most of you all pressed on despite that, but why? Unlike on your selection board interviews "because it's cool" and "I wanted to blow stuff up" is a perfectly acceptable answer here, though feel free to elaborate.

 

Also feel free to share a few war stories, exciting moments in your career, what you loved/hated about your career, and anything else you feel like adding. One thing I love about being in the ops (flying) side of the Air Force is the atmosphere and camaraderie of fellow aviators and their experiences flying the mission, so I would love to hear more of aviation life from other perspectives.

 

Also, since this is a "General Military Helicopter" forum, are there any other service branches represented here, past or present? I came here for the WOFT stuff, so I appreciate the presence, but has anyone flown for anyone else?


"If it's leakin' don't worry it's still full. If it ain't leakin', buckle up."

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#2 cwil7280

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 13:05

I'd rather fly a helicopter over fixed wing any day. Sure most planes can fly higher and faster than most helicopters, but speed is relative. 130 knots at tree top level feels a sh*t ton faster than 500 knots at 30,000 feet. Add in the fact that a helicopter can hover and land virtually anywhere, it blows my mind that anyone would rather fly an airplane.
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#3 TrashHauler

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 13:14

130 knots at tree top level feels a sh*t ton faster than 500 knots at 30,000 feet.

Ain't no level like low level.

 

Low level is what drew me to the C-130. However when you're not doing that it's...well....boring.


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#4 magnus017

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 13:16

Honestly? I came from the Marine Corps and didn't like how they handled their aviation side of the house. I Looked at the other three branches and came to some conclusions.

 

Army: rotary wing only, all cool air-frames I would enjoy flying(ironically I got c-12's in selection so throw that out the window haha), and I get to be a warrant. The cons were: no jet experience/fixed wing opportunities (again, c-12's, go figure), difficult time trying to apply for NASA as an Army warrant with only helo time.

 

Air force: chance to fly fighters, cargo/tsp would be ok too, easier/more likely to be accepted by NASA, quality of life, more civilian flying options post career. Cons: a real threat/possibility of being stuck in UAV's forever (which terrifies me), seeing as I would be an OTS grad, potential bias/carrer road blocks due to me not being ROTC or an Academy grad.

 

Navy: had my packet all built and was ready to board but the Army approved me first. Navy had high potential for rotary wing or jets. The con was if you got designated a navigator and were doomed for eternity to be a back seater.

 

Given those 3 options I am mostly pleased that I chose the Army path. I am a little remorseful that I didn't explore the guard (both Air and Army) to a greater extent, as I had a well paying civilian career that I enjoyed and was portable. But 4-6 years down the road I can re-explore those options so no worries.


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#5 napoleonpp

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 13:27

I wanted to join the military since I was probably 12. The Apache on the front of the brochure drew me towards Aviation alone. I signed up as a Chinook mechanic. I volunteered to go to the Flight Company as soon as I showed up to my first unit. I had the best 5-6 years of my life as a Flight Engineer on the 47. I loved the mission, the interaction with the ground force and the community.
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#6 Wally

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 13:35

To break some of the traditional "selection" and "what if" posts monotony (nothing wrong with those, in fact they have been tremendously helpful) and to get to know some of you, what was it that attracted you to military aviation? Since this is a helo forum, what was it about RW that attracted you over FW? Every time I speak to someone about about helos I repeatedly hear about the inherent dangers of RW aircraft and countless other negatives. Obviously most of you all pressed on despite that, but why? Unlike on your selection board interviews "because it's cool" and "I wanted to blow stuff up" is a perfectly acceptable answer here, though feel free to elaborate.

 

Also feel free to share a few war stories, exciting moments in your career, what you loved/hated about your career, and anything else you feel like adding. One thing I love about being in the ops (flying) side of the Air Force is the atmosphere and camaraderie of fellow aviators and their experiences flying the mission, so I would love to hear more of aviation life from other perspectives.

 

Also, since this is a "General Military Helicopter" forum, are there any other service branches represented here, past or present? I came here for the WOFT stuff, so I appreciate the presence, but has anyone flown for anyone else?

 

High school-flight school-Vietnam. Young, dumb and, well you know the rest. I have loved flying ever since and by "flying" I mean taking off and landing. Hovering? Meh, I don't think about it but I'm happy when it goes well. Cross country part is what pays the bill, so that's "work". Airplanes spend way too much time going places instead of taking off and landing.


Just a pilot (retired, so I have a LOT of time)...


#7 TrashHauler

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 13:38

Air force: chance to fly fighters, cargo/tsp would be ok too, easier/more likely to be accepted by NASA, quality of life, more civilian flying options post career. Cons: a real threat/possibility of being stuck in UAV's forever (which terrifies me), seeing as I would be an OTS grad, potential bias/carrer road blocks due to me not being ROTC or an Academy grad.

 

Navy: had my packet all built and was ready to board but the Army approved me first. Navy had high potential for rotary wing or jets. The con was if you got designated a navigator and were doomed for eternity to be a back seater.

 

Being stuck in UAVs is cash money in the civilian world when you get out, though, plus their bonuses are beyond belief because nobody wants to fly them and they can't keep people. Every one does their six and gets out to $$$$$$ (<--yes that's six figures).

 

I understand what you mean about being a back-seater. Though if I were to get my commission with the AF (they have a few backseaters) or Navy, I'd still take that over something like maintenance or intel. Nothing wrong at all with those but enjoy flying, and being promoted. 

 

The AF Guard and Reserve take plenty of prior service from all backgrounds if you meet requirements. If you ever decide this down the road let me know I can help you out, I have a few contacts. Hopefully I'm flying Army helos with you then but if not, shoot me a message, I'll still be here.


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#8 TrashHauler

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 13:41

I wanted to join the military since I was probably 12. The Apache on the front of the brochure drew me towards Aviation alone. I signed up as a Chinook mechanic. I volunteered to go to the Flight Company as soon as I showed up to my first unit. I had the best 5-6 years of my life as a Flight Engineer on the 47. I loved the mission, the interaction with the ground force and the community.

 

How do the 47s utilize their FEs? Weight and balance, loading unloading, all that good stuff? I know on some air frames, at least in the AF, the FE can man a gun too.


"If it's leakin' don't worry it's still full. If it ain't leakin', buckle up."

"What could possibly go wrong?"

 


#9 napoleonpp

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 14:04

 
How do the 47s utilize their FEs? Weight and balance, loading unloading, all that good stuff? I know on some air frames, at least in the AF, the FE can man a gun too.

Well you actually start out as a crew chief, then after you show you are mature, and have the experience and knowledge they give you an FE checkride. At that point you are in charge of your 4 man crew, troubleshooting and what not. Kind of like Pilot in Command but for the back enders.

In my unit we didn't mess with weight and balance at all, that was the pilots job. We were in charge of the loading and unloading of personnel and sending the count to the pilot. We performed fast ropes, hoist, sling loads, SPIES, amphibs and loading vehicles to name some. Announce the position of the dust and when we were going to be browned out when performing air assaults. We would make the appropriate altitude calls, drift calls, releasing the ropes, etc. As well as manning the guns. Just to name a few of the things to kind of generalize it.
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#10 TrashHauler

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 14:18

I can see why you enjoyed that. There is absolutely nothing like flying and being a part of a crew and hacking the mission. Thanks for the input.


"If it's leakin' don't worry it's still full. If it ain't leakin', buckle up."

"What could possibly go wrong?"

 


#11 StockTrader

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 17:38

One of the very first books my mom bought me was a complete guide on the AH-64. I think I was around 6? It was on from there. Thought that the only way to be an army pilot was the academy like the other branches and that I missed my shot by pursuing athletics. Couldnt shake the "what if", started researching OCS. Learned what a Warrant was and never looked back. Selection is 2 months away at this point. I kind of had a slight obsession with military aircraft growing up, to put it lightly.
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#12 Drew

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 17:40

I wanted to join the military since I was probably 12. The Apache on the front of the brochure drew me towards Aviation alone. I signed up as a Chinook mechanic. I volunteered to go to the Flight Company as soon as I showed up to my first unit. I had the best 5-6 years of my life as a Flight Engineer on the 47. I loved the mission, the interaction with the ground force and the community.


How is the 64 community where you are at? Warrant?

#13 magnus017

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 17:45

 

Being stuck in UAVs is cash money in the civilian world when you get out, though, plus their bonuses are beyond belief because nobody wants to fly them and they can't keep people. Every one does their six and gets out to $$$$$$ (<--yes that's six figures).

 

I understand what you mean about being a back-seater. Though if I were to get my commission with the AF (they have a few backseaters) or Navy, I'd still take that over something like maintenance or intel. Nothing wrong at all with those but enjoy flying, and being promoted. 

 

The AF Guard and Reserve take plenty of prior service from all backgrounds if you meet requirements. If you ever decide this down the road let me know I can help you out, I have a few contacts. Hopefully I'm flying Army helos with you then but if not, shoot me a message, I'll still be here.

 

That's the thing. I don't care as much about flying on the outside, came from a very lucrative career (systems/network engineering and cybersecurity). I'll be early 30's when my ADSO is up (or maybe sooner) and will most definitely be either looking at the Air Guard and/or the Coast Guard. The thought of flying from a computer screen is just so unappealing to me that I don't think I could bear it. So no UAV's for me.



#14 napoleonpp

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 17:57

How is the 64 community where you are at? Warrant?


Yes I'm a Warrant. It's actually really chill here in the unit I'm in. All I heard throughout flight school was how 64 guys are all HOOAH, douchebags and cocky. Not the case here at all. You will find certain people like that in every community. Also have to consider your source. I loved hearing from other students about what they really thought of the other airframes. Hearing their expert opinion because they had a whopping 20 hours in a TH-67 or 60/64. But yeah it's really relaxed here.
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#15 akscott60

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 19:58

Im third generation military aviator. I started flying in 1998. It is all I know.


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#16 Luofynerd

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 20:37

I went to an air show when I was a kid and there was a few static display aircraft from the Army. I was obsessed. 12 or so years later I joined the Army to work on those very helicopters. I actually picked my airframe because I was misinformed of the job. I was under the impression that crewchief flew in the aircraft, so I was like I CAN FLY IN AN APACHE?! Little did I know my recruiter didn't know wtf he was talking about. The moment I knew I wanted to be a pilot was my first actual flight in a 60. The moment we lifted I was grinning from ear to ear. Since then I've been building my packet.

#17 napoleonpp

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 22:07

I went to an air show when I was a kid and there was a few static display aircraft from the Army. I was obsessed. 12 or so years later I joined the Army to work on those very helicopters. I actually picked my airframe because I was misinformed of the job. I was under the impression that crewchief flew in the aircraft, so I was like I CAN FLY IN AN APACHE?! Little did I know my recruiter didn't know wtf he was talking about. The moment I knew I wanted to be a pilot was my first actual flight in a 60. The moment we lifted I was grinning from ear to ear. Since then I've been building my packet.


I actually told my recruiter that I wanted to work on 64s because I knew I eventually wanted to fly them. He came back and told me that he couldn't get me that but that I could get chinooks and that I could fly on them. That alone was enough to sell me on them and I didn't even know what it was at the time.

#18 brackac

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 22:37

Grandfather went through Rucker, Father went through Rucker, sister was born at Rucker, and my other Grandfather was the Game Warden on Rucker.



#19 Rob Lyman

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Posted 17 March 2016 - 04:47

It all started with an ​NROTC scholarship. Two days after graduation (1985) I was in Pensacola. I started flight school 2 weeks later. I wanted to fly F/A-18s (who didn't?) but I had zero, zilch, nada flight experience. I got ho hum grades at the beginning of primary. By the time I was rocking in the T-34C my grades weren't good enough for one of the two out of twenty jet slots. I chose helos.

 

I flew Seahawks and stayed in the cockpit for almost 8 years, but the staff tour convinced me to get out of the Navy. I did one year in the USNR (picked up O-4) and two in the IRR. Then I started a civilian career and earned my civilian CFI, CFII, and MEI the hard way before the military equivalency was available.

 

I was doing part time instructing when a crazy ARNG pilot I was instructing fixed wing suggested I check out the guard. I was 43 when I put on an Army uniform for the first time. They said, "We want you to be an MTP." So off to the MMC and MLC (now AMOC) I went. This was followed by 60A AQC, 60A/L MTP, 60M transition and 60M MTP. That was all within an eight month period. At the last week of the 60M MTP they asked if I was interested in a full time MTP tech job. I did the interview over the phone and was offered the job before I finished the course.

 

I came back to my job after 8 months and asked my boss if I could talk to him. I was going to give him my two weeks notice. He said, "Sure, I need to talk to you anyway." He told me everyone in my department except me and one other person were getting laid off. Then I gave him my news.

 

So here I am now as an MTP/ME/IP in the 60A/L/M. I am a full time technician in the national guard. Or at least I am until I get back from Ft Rucker when I start AGR.

 

I have flown the SH-60B & F, HH-60H & M, UH-60A, L & M, and the EH-60A. I have flown so many different types of missions I can't recall them all.

 

Why be a military helicopter pilot?


MTP/ME/IP/IE/SP


#20 Radam

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 15:49

I have always been interested in military aviation and if I could turn the clock back about 20 years, I would definitely get into the army to fly...  I was young and dumb and didn't give heli's much thought back then and new that I probably wouldn't have the academic chops to compete for a fighter slot in either the AF or Navy. 

 

Fast forward to present and I feel like I have the best job ever.  I get to fly Heli's everyday and flying Ag I get to fly very low level, make turns and (at least in my mind) its like making gun runs...would be more fun if the trigger was hooked up to the spray though, and not a little toggle switch

 

On another note, I do get to fly an OH-58 everyday which is what I would have wanted to fly in the Army anyway...







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