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What were the deciding factors on picking your airframe?


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So I see the response of "pick the mission, not the bird" when people ask for suggestions on what they should fly. I just want to know what puts a smile on your face when you get up in the air.

 

Outside of the basic functions of a helicopter - what is something that you get to experience driving your bird that you wouldn't get on any other bird? Do you have any regrets now that you've gotten involved deeper, or did reality align similarly with what you were told to expect from each airframe during WOFT? A lot of you wrote why you wanted to be an army aviator - now that you are, is it all that you hoped it to be? Is there any specific BS that is aviation or airframe specific that you have to put up with?

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What they dont tell you...

 

Be prepared to spend all day planning missions you will not get to fly.

 

You WILL be put into something that you have no clue about and must deliver a finished product(additional duties)

 

Not really harped on in flight school as army regs are your lifeblood, but dive into other stuff like the FARAIM before someone tells you to.

 

Airframe wise, I wouldnt change a thing(unless a 160th opportunity arises). I love my aircraft. Having a full heads up display in your eye makes life a lot easier. Taking a helicopter to 100-120 degrees in roll is a blast. A LOT more to memorize than just 5's and 9's due to the gunnery aspect such as minimum/maximum ranges, danger close ranges for each weapon, things that will inhibit a shot, even cloud clearances for weapons. The list goes on.

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I fly 60's. didn't want them bc I'm an officer and there is a huge overpopulation of 60 LT's. All I can say is thank god for unanswered prayers. I love me some Blackhawk. Sure the chinook can carry more pacs but the Blackhawks mission being AASLT or medevac is just a blast. They're fast, can stop on a dime, and have a turning radious like a freaking motorcycle. Can fit into relatively small spaces. Did I mention fast? Awesome machine. Wouldn't have t any other way.

PS. If you fly Apaches your just gonna burn circles in the sky overseas. Lift is where the real action is ;)

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I fly 60's. didn't want them bc I'm an officer and there is a huge overpopulation of 60 LT's. All I can say is thank god for unanswered prayers. I love me some Blackhawk. Sure the chinook can carry more pacs but the Blackhawks mission being AASLT or medevac is just a blast. They're fast, can stop on a dime, and have a turning radious like a freaking motorcycle. Can fit into relatively small spaces. Did I mention fast? Awesome machine. Wouldn't have t any other way.

PS. If you fly Apaches your just gonna burn circles in the sky overseas. Lift is where the real action is ;)

I'd have to agree and disagree with you there, the 64s have a looooot of days where they're just circling the bowl for hours on end. They also have days where they are in heavy battle with 50+ insurgents, coming back to rearm for hours on end. I'd say each airframe has its own thrills and its own boring missions. (VIP mission on blackhawks, don't forget to have your crewchief fluff his butt pillow)

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I bet you were REALLY sad when the KW was taken off the table.

He flew the KW. And ended up getting the chick he wanted.

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I bet you were REALLY sad when the KW was taken off the table.

 

Well, I did fly the Kiowa. And now I am a CH47F IP. And I got the girl I wanted. So yea, it worked out nicely.

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I really don't think you can go wrong with any Army aircraft. I haven't talked to anyone yet that after several months of flying their aircraft wished they picked or were given a different airframe.

 

But, like Jeff said, having the HDU with all that symbology in your eye is absolutely amazing. I love that. And, the first time I did combat maneuvering flight (CMF) absolutely sealed the deal for me. I have never had so much fun in my life, my jaw hurt from smiling to big and too much.

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Outside of the basic functions of a helicopter - what is something that you get to experience driving your bird that you wouldn't get on any other bird?

 

Nowadays I'm flying 58Cs, so I get to fly an aircraft with no stability augmentation and a mediocre tail rotor in high density altitudes and mountainous terrain, where it is constantly windy and on the majority of days I am near max gross weight. My stick and rudder skills have never been better.

 

Do you have any regrets now that you've gotten involved deeper, or did reality align similarly with what you were told to expect from each airframe during WOFT?

 

I have no regrets about the airframe I picked. Now that I'm looking for jobs I sometimes wish I had picked something that I could take IMC, but in the units I've been in the tradeoff would have been total time. We flew twice as many hours as the utility/lift pilots and were only rivaled by our attack brethren, but even they did not average as much flight time as we did.

 

A lot of you wrote why you wanted to be an army aviator - now that you are, is it all that you hoped it to be?

 

Yes and no. I'm proud of my service and have some incredible memories. But it certainly isn't what I pictured it being. I don't think there's a way to know what it's like beforehand. Doesn't matter though, because when you put it in perspective it's an excellent job.

 

Is there any specific BS that is aviation or airframe specific that you have to put up with?

 

Well, yes. I don't have an airframe anymore. That came with all sorts of problems! But from what I've seen aviation can be a very busy place. Your MOS is a challenging one and takes a great amount of skill and dedication to be good at, with a big price to pay if you are not. On top of that you will be expected to perform many other duties that will sometimes pressure you into neglecting your flying. The tough part is learning how to manage everything so that you can be an asset to your unit and not a liability.

Edited by SBuzzkill
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SBuzzkill, were you prior service prior to going into Army Aviation? I only ask because the "everything you thought it would be" question. My expectations are somewhat tempered having been in the Marine Corps and never fought a dragon. I know Creep0321 was saying he's having a blast. I guess I'm just wondering if the "not everything I thought it would be" is just the classic thing that applies to pretty much every MOS and branch of the military.

This is a fascinating thread, though I'm going Guard so my choice is already "made." Great to read nonetheless.

Mike

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I am not prior service. I'll expand a bit on what I meant.

 

When I joined the Army we were still in Iraq and Afghanistan and it looked like we would be for a while. The path for career progression seemed pretty clear and advancement looked likely. Unfortunately we divested my airframe and it's been a tough road ever since.

 

That's what I mean by it hasn't been what I expected. My day to day life as an aviator is exactly what was advertised, but I never anticipated watching an entire community eat itself and having to deal with the stagnation that resulted from having too many pilots (at the time) with nowhere to go.

 

We all have a blast until we don't. I love the current job I'm in.

Edited by SBuzzkill
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Every

 

We all have a blast until we don't. I love the current job I'm in.

 

That first sentence is truth throughout the Army--whether conventional or SOF (SOF can get rid them easier, but a few do slip through), active or reserve. Command climates are so independent of one another (Bde through Company) and yet interdependent (have a bad one somewhere in the chain above you you'll know it unless you have a REALLY strong shield). The KW community felt that occur from on high.

 

May the good occur much more than the bad (it generally does...edit: decimation of the 58Ds withstanding).

Edited by METT-TC
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I came from the 46 community. So, I definitely had a soft spot for Assault support. Had the lone 47 not come off the board right before me, I would have definitely had a long pause. But I picked 60M and haven't looked back. Love the mission and I get plenty of hours.

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I came from the 46 community. So, I definitely had a soft spot for Assault support. Had the lone 47 not come off the board right before me, I would have definitely had a long pause. But I picked 60M and haven't looked back. Love the mission and I get plenty of hours.

 

How many is plenty Juan? Curious how everyone is doing out there after flight school.

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How many is plenty Juan? Curious how everyone is doing out there after flight school.

Gotten about 240 hours since we left. Sitting at 380 right now and about 5 hours away from having my 50 as a PC.

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Gotten about 240 hours since we left. Sitting at 380 right now and about 5 hours away from having my 50 as a PC.

You're flying a lot more than me. I don't think I've made minimums yet. We just got an email asking if anyone wants to go fly Apaches though....

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Yea I heard about that. Bragg is running an AQC for the 64, and If I was a 60 bubba at Bragg I would probably jump on it.

 

 

Just know it has a 3 year ADSO....

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Yea I heard about that. Bragg is running an AQC for the 64, and If I was a 60 bubba at Bragg I would probably jump on it.

 

 

Just know it has a 3 year ADSO....

This just makes me laugh because I had Bragg as my #2 pick and still didnt get it.

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Yea I heard about that. Bragg is running an AQC for the 64, and If I was a 60 bubba at Bragg I would probably jump on it.

 

 

Just know it has a 3 year ADSO....

 

I never paid close attention to the aircraft ADSOs, but isn't everything but the 160th birds served concurrently?

 

Man, going guns from utility...when a deployment surge is on, the 64 guys feast. But when one isn't on...

 

Feast or famine is so localized / garrison dependent for the non PC guys and gals--getting another aircraft on the ORB/759 is cool. But surviving / getting to PC is where it is at (actually tracked is, but making PC is the next step). And for the young(er) RCM on the previous page that hit PC at 300 or so (non Korea), you're doing WELL / exceeding that standard. Very.

Edited by METT-TC
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