Jump to content


TigerTugsFrasca VRForum468Helicopter AcademyVOLO_VRHome200
Photo
- - - - -

Navy MH-60S Pilot transitioning


  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 sojvmi96

sojvmi96

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts

Posted 03 November 2016 - 07:30

Hey guys!  I am a Navy MH-60S pilot a few years out from retiring(probably about 3.5) and looking for some ideas and advice about flying helos after the military.

 

A little background:

-  By the time I retire, 25 years as a Rotary Wing, Naval Aviator;

-  Approx 3,300 hours total time.  150 hours in the T-34C, 100 or so in the TH-57 (Bell Jet Ranger equivalent), 1,800 in the MH-60S, 1,200 in the HH-46D.  Maybe 800 hour NVDs, plently of actual instrument time and Aircraft Commander time, but I couldn't tell you how much off the top of my head; and a whopping 12 hours of combat time (don't laugh ex-Army guys!).  I know, 3300 hour over 25 years?  Not every set of orders in the Navy lets you fly.; 

-  All of my military aircraft qualifications (for which there may be no need outside of the military):  Weapons and Tactics Instructor, Maintenance Test Pilot, Standardization/Instrument Check Pilot, etc;

-  A tour as a squadron Commanding Officer, as a Maintenance Officer, and as an MH-60S instructor, but it will have been about 4 years since I last flew when I retire;

-  Plenty of leadership and staff work experience over 25 years;

 

Any insight into the following questions would be appreciated!

 

1.  Simply put, what jobs, or maybe what types of jobs, are out there?

               I think HEMS when I think post military career flying.  Seems like a good way to go.  Halfway decent salary, and I am assuming fairly predictable with 7 on/7off, day night rotation.  What else is out there that offers a decent salary and a regular schedule?  Anything?

 

2.  HEMS locations in rural areas.

               Most of the jobs I see advertised are in rural areas, but obviously many hospitals have HEMS services.  My guess is that there is little turnover in these hospital jobs, and when there is, you really have to know someone to get your foot in the door (like most jobs?).  Any advice on this?

 

3.  Is a lack of recent flight time a deal breaker for most companies?  How about time in model?

               As stated above, I will not have flown for a few years by the time I get out.  Should I try and get a CFI/CFII ticket to get recent flight time in a Robinson or something inexpensive to fly?  Is it worth it?  I have Bell 206 time from Navy flight school.  But that was 1998! 

 

4.  What is the interview process like?

               The Navy doesn't put a lot of emphasis on knowing the AIM and FAR inside and out, not like our Navy publications anyway, so I know I need to hit the books hard on that front.  What other areas of "book knowledge" are out there that a HEMS company, or any civilian helicopter operator for that matter, emphasize?  I feel like I will be pretty far behind my counterparts in this regard.

 

5.  Other than my commercial helo license, what else should I pursue?  Is an ATP worth getting, or even needed?

 

6.  Any other thought about making the transition?  I am not worried about starting near the bottom -  I know its a different world - but I don't know if I am too keen on being on the very FIRST rung of the ladder.  Maybe the second or third one up... 

 

Thanks in advance for your time in answering these questions!  I am both excited and a little scared (kind of like my first full auto) about making the transition in a few years.

 

 



#2 Wally

Wally

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,627 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Jefferson, GA
  • Interests:Reading's high on the list.
  • Company working for:none

Posted 03 November 2016 - 14:31

This is a good forum to start planning. Do a search, there are answers here to questions that haven't occurred to you yet...

 

Some answers from my point of view:

 

"1.  Simply put, what jobs, or maybe what types of jobs, are out there?

               I think HEMS when I think post military career flying.  Seems like a good way to go.  Halfway decent salary, and I am assuming fairly predictable with 7 on/7off, day night rotation.  What else is out there that offers a decent salary and a regular schedule?  Anything?"

 

I liked HEMS and did it for 15 years. I was at a happy base, which makes all the difference. There is only one good reason to do HEMS- you're home after work. That said, pick the place(s) you want to live and start the process(es) there. Be specific and local. Good operators have bad bases, and vice versa.

 

If you don't have industry contacts, maybe this will help you decide where you want to go:

http://emsflightcrew.com/world-map

 

2.  HEMS locations in rural areas.

               Most of the jobs I see advertised are in rural areas, but obviously many hospitals have HEMS services.  My guess is that there is little turnover in these hospital jobs, and when there is, you really have to know someone to get your foot in the door (like most jobs?).  Any advice on this?

 

Community based (free-standing) services have a generally better reputation for work environment. Everybody works more or less under the same rules. The internal politics at hospital based programs can be treacherous, even (or especially) at prestigious institutions.

 

Community based will generally be outside the metro area so the asset will be nearer those needing transport to the metro facilities.

 

A happy base has low turnover. You don't 'need to know anybody to get a job in HEMS" but I wouldn't cross the street for an HEMS job before I had talked to people at the base and with trusted sources experienced with the the company. Good/bad operators have bad/good bases, and that base is where you will spend 99.9% of your working time.

 

3.  Is a lack of recent flight time a deal breaker for most companies?  How about time in model?

               As stated above, I will not have flown for a few years by the time I get out.  Should I try and get a CFI/CFII ticket to get recent flight time in a Robinson or something inexpensive to fly?  Is it worth it?  I have Bell 206 time from Navy flight school.  But that was 1998!

 

I don't think recent experience is necessarily a deal breaker. Attitude is. Be realistic and conservative. If you're concerned about rusty skills, buy an hour or two, whatever it takes to make you a comfortable professional pilot again. That dedication is what an employer is hiring. I could teach a monkey to stir the stick (but not an attorney, another story).

 

4.  What is the interview process like?

               The Navy doesn't put a lot of emphasis on knowing the AIM and FAR inside and out, not like our Navy publications anyway, so I know I need to hit the books hard on that front.  What other areas of "book knowledge" are out there that a HEMS company, or any civilian helicopter operator for that matter, emphasize?  I feel like I will be pretty far behind my counterparts in this regard.

 

The interview? Varies by employer. I spent a year getting hired at my last job while declining other offers. I wanted answers to questions as did they, I knew the company but nobody locally. Then a meeting with various of the professions involved- aviation, medical, maintenance, managements, and an offer and scheduling Part 135 training and company indoc...

 

5.  Other than my commercial helo license, what else should I pursue?  Is an ATP worth getting, or even needed?

 

An ATP is desirable, not required. You can fly commercial level maneuvers, so some level of instrument competency is the only challenge. Be serious about that if you're going to an SPIFR program. Otherwise, don't be "caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy".and you'll be fine. Initially. The base is a bigger challenge...

 

6.  Any other thought about making the transition?  I am not worried about starting near the bottom -  I know its a different world - but I don't know if I am too keen on being on the very FIRST rung of the ladder.  Maybe the second or third one up... 

 

The good thing about being at the bottom rung is it's an easy step and a real snooze, day to day. I don't want to be the boss, so I didn't have management ambitions.


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


#3 mudkow60

mudkow60

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 145 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 04 November 2016 - 06:19

Where are you looking to be based?  I am retiring soon as well, and have friends that fly EMS all over the country.  PM me if you want to chat.



#4 sojvmi96

sojvmi96

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts

Posted 07 November 2016 - 07:38

Mudkow60 - I am not sure execatly where I'd like to live. If I had my choice, it would be San Diego, however I realize this location would make it pretty hard to find a job flying HEMS. I have no idea how many HEMS bases there are in SoCal, but I can't imagine there are that many, and with the density of retired helicopter pilots in the San Diego area, the jobs probably don't pop up very often. I have one more tour after my current set of orders here in Brussels, so will also depend on where I go after here, and if I like that location. I am pretty tired of moving the family at this point, 7 moves over 20+ years. Where are you stationed out of, and have you looked at Border Patrol out of Brown Field in San Diego?

#5 superstallion6113

superstallion6113

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 311 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Kabul, AFG
  • Interests:Helicopters, Jeeps, snowboarding, mountain biking.

Posted 09 November 2016 - 07:34

Are you willing to travel overseas for extended periods of time? You could fly the CH-46E as a contractor for the Dept of State in Kabul, Afghanistan doing short passenger transport flights a few times per day from the embassy to Kabul International Airport. Pay is just over $200k per year working 90 days on and 30 days off. MTPs make slightly more. Do it for a year, make a bunch of money, and get recent medium aircraft flight experience. 


Edited by superstallion6113, 10 November 2016 - 11:22.





1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users



Genesys VR Forum 200MaunaLoaVRHome200HeliHelmets-VR HomePrecisionVRForumHome200Spectrum_VRHome200NFCVRForum200HomeAMTC 2018BE_VRHome200