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Advice on becoming an EMS pilot with no military experience


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I'm starting my second year of college in August, and recently decided to declare my major. My first year, and this next semester have been concentrated on strictly core classes, which will transfer with me. I plan on transfering in December to Middle Georgia College, achieving an aviation degree, and going from there. I want to work toward becoming an EMS pilot, and flying for Atlanta Medical Center. I've looked into many, many other careers, but can't imagine doing anything other than flying. I'm looking for advice from any training pilots or existing pilots on which road to take. I am trying to find the best ways to gain hours without enlisting into the military, such as becoming an instructor. If anyone can give any advice on classes, training, schools, etc. I would greatly appreciate the help!

 

Thank you kindly,

-Halie Pearl

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  • 2 weeks later...

Halie -

 

Welcome aboard :D !

Although not necessarily directly responding to your original question, read >. Plan on reaching a minimum set of requirements (total PIC hours, night, unaided, instrument, etc.), and there are different routes (usually with instruction for awhile). Keep in mind the current state of affairs tho - there will be some fundamental rules & changes coming in the not so distant future due to general 'operational' anomalies & issues...I'm not going to get much deeper at this point due to recent events in the industry.

 

-WATCH FOR THE PATTERNS, WATCH FOR THE WIRES-

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Hey Halie. So I'm still in the training phase right now, but have looked into flying EMS a little bit. I would suggest looking at some job announcements from different operators or where you would like to work eventually. That can give you a good idea of the requirements they are looking for so you can help set yourself up to achieve them. Hopefully you're aware that HEMS isn't an entry level job for helicopter pilots. Usually it seems to be the last job in a helicopter pilots career. I've talked with a lot of EMS pilots and there is a big diversity in their backgrounds prior to that point. A few years ago I would have said the majority were prior military, but actually it seems to me as if its getting a lot better with a good mix of civilian pilots.

 

Definitely talk to the local pilots where you're at and ask if they would mind talking to you about the job. Ive done this a couple times and got some really great insight and information. Both times they invited me to check out the helicopter and answered all my questions. It almost seemed like they were excited to spend time during their duty day waiting for a call, to talk to someone else about flying. Sounds like more and more they are preferring pilots with a degree but I doubt it would matter what field. Enjoy your training and do well so you can get a CFI job, then worry about what jobs you want to apply for that will help you reach the requirements for HEMS. Besides high hours and turbine time it looks like night, NVG, and instrument time is valuable. Good luck at MGC, I visited the campus and airport and was real impressed with the facility and the people. I ended up going to a different school though.

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I'm starting my second year of college in August, and recently decided to declare my major. My first year, and this next semester have been concentrated on strictly core classes, which will transfer with me. I plan on transfering in December to Middle Georgia College, achieving an aviation degree, and going from there. I want to work toward becoming an EMS pilot, and flying for Atlanta Medical Center. I've looked into many, many other careers, but can't imagine doing anything other than flying. I'm looking for advice from any training pilots or existing pilots on which road to take. I am trying to find the best ways to gain hours without enlisting into the military, such as becoming an instructor. If anyone can give any advice on classes, training, schools, etc. I would greatly appreciate the help!

 

Thank you kindly,

-Halie Pearl

 

Halie,

Good news and bad news, the bad news first- Atlanta Medical Center doesn't fly patients. They do receive a lot of patients and they're affiliated with Air Life Georgia, an Air Methods Corp. program. The program, "Air Life Georgia" has 6 helos, 3 of which are Omniflight aircraft and pilots. AMC and Omni have a lot more helos than that, of course.

More good news- I know somebody who's done exactly what you propose. If you'll PM me I'll pass your request for info to him.

General advice, often repeated in these forums- Get good training, including the instrument rating, and as much night flying as you can. The industry hires from all backgrounds, the critical bits are the night and IFR, but the broader your experience base the better.

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