Jump to content

Helicopter Pilot or Bust


Recommended Posts

Can anyone help? My life mission is to be a helicopter pilot. Here is my story.


After graduating from college and securing a job as a financial aid dept. counselor, I worked for four years and decided that the desk environment is just not for me. At 29, My lifelong goal of becoming a professional helicopter pilot was always lingering in the back of my mind. I visited a local Army Recruiter's Office and started working on my WOFT packet. I went through and passed the required aviation tests, a flight physical, and passing scores on a physical fitness test, an Officer application, letters of recommendation from three of my professors, my employer, and a couple Army Aviators I was introduced to, and a stack of other documents about inch thick pertaining to my past experiences and qualifications--not to mention my degree.


This process took about a year to complete. Once all had been signed off on, I was scheduled a meeting at battalion headquarters to be interviewed for Warrant Officer Candidacy. I was recommended from that board, which then sent my packet to Fort Rucker, AL for selection. I was told my packet couldn't have been any better. I was even asked if my "Why I Want To Be An Army Aviator" essay could be used as a template for the region. But alas, I was not selected for the July and September selection boards. My scores, were in line with most, varying only by a few points here and there, but out of 29 applicants, I was not one of them.


So, given the determine gent I am, I've started refreshing myself on Private Loans and Adult/Non-Traditional scholarships & grants to obtain my ratings at a local executive airport. Any helicopter pilot or enthusiast will tell you how difficult it is to find funding, and the minimum I'll need is $50k. There's no scholarships, virtually no schools are accredited, and if they're are, they require some ridiculous associates degree in order to receive Title IV aid (i.e. Stafford Loans, Pell Grant). And even then, you don't have enough money leftover after Freshman-level Staffords to pay for your ratings also. I just can't seem to find any other options.


My recruiter has offered me the option to go in as a normal Officer through OCS. I'm considering it as a definite option, and I'm well-aware of the benefits, but I don't want to get stuck in something that keeps me away from aviation and furthering my career goals. The commitment would be a total of four years, but would obviously give me a wealth of benefit by means of the G.I. Bill and tuition assistance.


Any advice for going either route would be much appreciated. I'd rather stay civilian, but I see how much the military offers.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

If they are talking about OCS, I dont think officers get the GI Bill? Has that that changed?


We do. However, SLRP (student loan repayment program) has been discontinued for Officers and Warrant Officers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can anyone help? My life mission is to be a helicopter pilot.....


...I'd rather stay civilian,...




In that case you only have two options. Go to one of those schools requiring a college program so you can borrow money for flight training.


- or-


Get a "real" job and start saving your pennies!


I doubt this is what you want to hear, but sometimes reality just sucks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since you already have your degree... You can always look into the Marine guaranteed pilot program, which pays higher than the army's warrant officer program and opens you up to additional career opportunities and various type of aircraft... However they will not guarantee rotorcraft and that means you could end up flying fixed wing aircraft based of the needs of the Marines at time of selection...


Hope this helps...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...