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I need advice for my aviation career


bdow77

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Well, I think this is only my second post and the last one was in April. I'm 31 and am trying to start a new career. I had been searching for a the right helicopter flight school that worked for me. I actually found a flight school near my home in Oklahoma City. I have taken the intro flight and moved on to my second lesson. Since then I've been on hold due to lack of funds but I'm waiting on money to come in currently. I have joined the Army National Guard and am waiting for an enlistment bonus of $20K to reach my account. I CAN'T WAIT TO GET BACK UP IN THE AIR!!!!!!!

 

My main goal is to eventually become a helicopter pilot and fly for hire. My plan is to get my PPL with the bonus money that I will eventually receive. I also plan on going to school in Sept. 08 to get my A&P license. The ARNG will pay for my tuition for school and since I am prior service (active duty) I have the GI Bill. So, basically the VA will be paying me to go to school and the guard will be paying for school. I plan on trying to save as much money as possible while in school to help jump-start the rest of my flight training. After I graduate from the 18-month Aviation Maintenance Technology course I plan on trying to get a job working on helicopters at a flight school. I may try to go through the Robinson 22 maintenance class, as well. Another idea is to switch jobs in the military after I get out of school to a helicopter mechanic. This would provide more experience for my career goals. If you're wondering why I didn't just go into the ARNG under that job to begin with; it's because I wouldn't have got my enlistment bonus right a way. You see, I was already qualified as a 92A(supply) from my prior service and to get the bonus up front you have to be MOS (Military Occupational Skill) qualified. I figure if I learn to work on helicopters it would better my chances in the industry because I'll be more marketable having my PPL and A&P. Then I could slowly work my way through the rest of my pilot training (CPL,Instrument,CFI,CFII) instead of taking out a bunch of loans and be in debt.

 

I would like to get some feedback from people in the industry. I would like hear from A&P mechanics, especially, because I've been reading some negativity from mechanics in the industry. I'd say it more coming from the airline industry, so I'd like to hear more from the mechanics and pilots in the helicopter industry. What are the pros and cons of the helicopter mechanic industry? Does this sound like a good, solid plan? Can an A&P mechanic make decent money ($40-50K) working on helicopters?I appreciate everyone on this site. Thanks in advance.

Edited by bdow77
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  • 3 weeks later...

I second Dolphindriver's comment... Plus, then you can fly a chinook. :D

 

If you are already in the Guard, and desire to fly helicopters... why not do both, and let our Uncle pick up the tab? You will walk out of Ft Rucker with a Comm ticket with an Instrument rating, as well as a couple of hours flying nothing but turbine helo's. Oh, and you get paid to do it. My first flight in the 47 under goggles, I looked over at my IP before we picked up to a hover and said "Damn, I can't believe I get paid to do this."

 

 

Oh, and by the way, last I heard there was still a 10k bonus for Guardsmen to go to flight school.

 

Just my 2 cents.

 

 

CHAD

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Thanks for the replies dolphindriver and FLHoooker..............

 

I talked to the SAO (State Aviation Officer) about 6 months ago; he told me that each state is only allowed to send a certain number of applicants to flight school each year and Oklahoma has those spots filled up until 2010. I will be 33 in June of 2010. It seems to me that I would have a very slim chance of being selected because of my age. The prerequisite states: Be at least 18, but not have reached their 33rd birthday at the convening of the selection board. I know this is no excuse to not submit a packet, so I'm going to see a Warrant Officer recruiter tomorrow. I guess we'll see what happens. There's plenty of things I've yet to complete such as LOR, AFAST, Class I FDME and whatever else I've missed. I do have 120 GT score, though.

 

I've read many posts from you FLHooker that have inspired me to submit a packet. I've just been discouraged because of my age. I guess if I don't get accepted for one reason or the other I can go with my second plan that I discussed in my original post. Any other advice from you guys would be great.

 

Thanks!

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  • 1 month later...
Thanks for the replies dolphindriver and FLHoooker..............

 

I talked to the SAO (State Aviation Officer) about 6 months ago; he told me that each state is only allowed to send a certain number of applicants to flight school each year and Oklahoma has those spots filled up until 2010. I will be 33 in June of 2010. It seems to me that I would have a very slim chance of being selected because of my age. The prerequisite states: Be at least 18, but not have reached their 33rd birthday at the convening of the selection board. I know this is no excuse to not submit a packet, so I'm going to see a Warrant Officer recruiter tomorrow. I guess we'll see what happens. There's plenty of things I've yet to complete such as LOR, AFAST, Class I FDME and whatever else I've missed. I do have 120 GT score, though.

 

I've read many posts from you FLHooker that have inspired me to submit a packet. I've just been discouraged because of my age. I guess if I don't get accepted for one reason or the other I can go with my second plan that I discussed in my original post. Any other advice from you guys would be great.

 

Thanks!

 

 

Let me know how that goes. I was going to submit a branch transfer packet, but the age thing kind of made me wonder as well (I'm 39). A recent policy change dated 30 May states that commissioned officers can only branch transfer after 36 months of active federal service. I began my commissioned time in the reserves so when I hit 36 months of ACTIVE service, I'll be a good year into my captain time. According to the HRC web site, you need a waiver for age, for being a CPT, and in my case, for having lasik. I can't imagine making it with 3 necessary waivers. I'd consider a switch to the warrant side of the house if it would work... If anyone has any guidance, let me know.

 

anthony.soika@iraq.centcom.mil

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A&P won't help much in this industry. If you want to be an A&P just be an A&P. You have to LOVE IT THOUGH! The pay isn't that great and customers tend to treat A&P's like DIRT!

 

A&P WILL help you get hired at a flight school though! Other than that it is a SMALL bargaining chip!

 

Best bet if you want to FLY is have the military pay for it some way some how!

 

If not Do what ever it takes to get those flight hours!!

 

Good Luck!

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