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Hello VR, I'm currently putting together a packet for the July 2019 board and I am curious about fixed wing careers vs. rotary wing careers.

 

1. Is there a real difference in day-to-day work/life in comparison?

2. I've heard that the duty stations for FW are less than desirable, is this true?

3. Are the promotion rates affected when going FW?

4. Is there any advantage over the other?

 

Thanks!

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1. We don't really go to the field (save maybe an overnight once in a blue moon for range day or something). Day to day work is usually 9-5ish. As a junior warrant you'll be put in charge of something like the fridge to start, then after that ALSE, supply, flight ops, etc.

2. Duty stations covered above. There are a few more one off spots (like jets in japan or C-27s in Bragg/Yuma), but those are rare/impossible to get as your first duty station.

3. Promotion rates to CW3 are high. FW guys are more competitive going into the airlines/ISR contracting over seas so the Army is trying to throw everything at the guys around 6 years into their ADSO to keep them from leaving. They're currently offering a $105k bonus for a 3 year ADSO to any 155E (MC-12 pilot) with an upslip. You don't have to be tracked, or even a PC to be eligible for that bonus, that's how hard up the FW community is.

4. Advantages to FW would be: little/no field time/roughing it. TDY is spent in a hotel. Deployments are usually short. MAX 6 months but the norm is 2-4ish. Your hours in a FW platform transfer over better to the civilian side in most cases (airlines/ISR contracting). Also, there are tons of fun additional training opportunities such as: upset recovery training (aerobatics in an extra 300 and a jet), bush pilot course in Alaska, CTP/ATP paid for by the Army (your results may vary on that one), sea plane course, and any additional courses you may want for your additional duty (I'm a cyber/S6 guy by trade/degree and I've been to training and been certified in a number of cyber schools while serving as a pilot here).

Disadvantages: FW is not as engaging/stimulating/exciting as the rotary world. Take that for what it's worth. There's also not as much direct support of the guys on the ground (we can/do do it occasionally, but it's not our normal everyday deployed job). So I guess job fulfillment would/could be a drawback.

Hopefully this is a good rundown to help you out.

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What were selection results when you got to choose?

One very important note is that you MUST fly UH72s in flight school in order to even have a shot at a fixed wing slot. If you fly TH67s, fixed wing will not be an option during selection. Do whatever is necessary to join a 72 class. I'm flying 60s in Korea and I would give a kidney to transfer to fixed wing (even though its impossible right now).

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I found this image awhile back for all the possible duty stations for specific airframes.

 

Can anyone verify that this is still accurate? If not, what are the updates?

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One very important note is that you MUST fly UH72s in flight school in order to even have a shot at a fixed wing slot. If you fly TH67s, fixed wing will not be an option during selection. Do whatever is necessary to join a 72 class. I'm flying 60s in Korea and I would give a kidney to transfer to fixed wing (even though its impossible right now).

Interesting, what's the difference that creates that requirement?

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Interesting, what's the difference that creates that requirement?

Most likely a requirement to be a rated aviator in rotary wing. The TH67 classes don't receive a qualification in the 67/206/58, the UH72 classes are qualified in the 72/EC145.

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Yup, FW flight school guys used to have to go to the 60 course and then FW so that they had qualification in an Army rotary wing aircraft, so by just forcing them to all come from the 72 classes they can skip the training and money for you to learn to fly a 60 that you will never touch again.

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