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Former military to civilian awkward experience zone hurdle advice


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I'm a recently separated UH-60M IP/AMC that's now finding myself in the Covid civilian world in an awkward spot trying to figure out the best path forward. I originally got my rotary PPL in an S-300 as a civilian and now have Commercial CFII Rotary with S-70 type and about 1150 total time. When I got my PPL (~2009), it seemed like once you passed 1000 hours, a lot of opportunities opened up. But as I research open pilot positions across the country that doesn't seem to hold true anymore. It seems like every job requires at least 1500 PIC helicopter time with a lot of specific experience I don't have (fire fighting, powerline work, etc). I'd be happy to teach to build the time but without the Robinson SFAR met it would require a significant personal investment to get that done.

I seem to find myself in an awkward spot. I have experience as a PIC, instructor, and mission commander in a 20 million dollar complex helicopter in less than ideal combat conditions but don't find myself qualified to do much in the civilian world. I'm hoping to gain some insight as to the best way forward to make myself more marketable and continue my rotary career in the civilian world. Teaching seems like the best option but with the lack of S300 schools I'm wondering if the investment to meet SFAR requirements for Robinsons would be worth it. I'm open to any options out there and appreciate any insight I can get. I have already used my CH 33 GI Bill benefits for a Bachelor's and am currently working with CH 31 to try and get what I can from that but flight training is not easy to get there. Overseas civilian contractor positions also aren't going to work for me either unfortunately (lower back issues with body armor). Looking forward to learning as much as I can from everyone here and thank you for your help!

 

Ryan

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I had ~1700 total hours when I got out and tours in Vegas was the most promising prospect I was looking at.  During normal times there’s seasonal work that pops up you could qualify for, and might as well apply to the higher minimums jobs and see if you can get any interviews.  Customs and Border Protection might be an option, I don’t know how competitive it is these days but definitely give it a shot.  There’s also the Guard to pad your transition a bit.  It sucks out there right now that’s for sure.

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8 minutes ago, SBuzzkill said:

I had ~1700 total hours when I got out and tours in Vegas was the most promising prospect I was looking at.  During normal times there’s seasonal work that pops up you could qualify for, and might as well apply to the higher minimums jobs and see if you can get any interviews.  Customs and Border Protection might be an option, I don’t know how competitive it is these days but definitely give it a shot.  There’s also the Guard to pad your transition a bit.  It sucks out there right now that’s for sure.

Have a friend who interviewed and everything through CBP but as soon as Covid hit they put him on indefinite pause so he's still sitting on his hands. Guard isn't an option due to the lower back body armor business unfortunately. Been applying to everywhere that requires 1500 with no luck so far. Looking at maybe trying to dry cherries this coming season in WA but who knows. I'd be more than happy to fly AS350's in Vegas for sure but not sure if they're even still doing that. I'll look into it and send out some resumes. I'm fine financially (wife is a PA) so that helps a ton but yeah...times are tough. Thanks for the tips though I appreciate the help!

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A friend of mine was at Papillon for a few years.  Lots of turnover so I imagine if you're persistent you can eventually land a job there.  Have you thought about applying to whoever the contractor is now at Rucker?  I'm sure that's pretty competitive, but should be an option with you being an IP right?  I've been out of the loop for a few years now, wish I could help more.  

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3 minutes ago, SBuzzkill said:

A friend of mine was at Papillon for a few years.  Lots of turnover so I imagine if you're persistent you can eventually land a job there.  Have you thought about applying to whoever the contractor is now at Rucker?  I'm sure that's pretty competitive, but should be an option with you being an IP right?  I've been out of the loop for a few years now, wish I could help more.  

Not a bad idea actually for Rucker. Teaching BWS could be alright...

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20 hours ago, I3uller said:

I'm a recently separated UH-60M IP/AMC that's now finding myself in the Covid civilian world in an awkward spot trying to figure out the best path forward. I originally got my rotary PPL in an S-300 as a civilian and now have Commercial CFII Rotary with S-70 type and about 1150 total time. When I got my PPL (~2009), it seemed like once you passed 1000 hours, a lot of opportunities opened up. But as I research open pilot positions across the country that doesn't seem to hold true anymore. It seems like every job requires at least 1500 PIC helicopter time with a lot of specific experience I don't have (fire fighting, powerline work, etc). I'd be happy to teach to build the time but without the Robinson SFAR met it would require a significant personal investment to get that done.

I seem to find myself in an awkward spot. I have experience as a PIC, instructor, and mission commander in a 20 million dollar complex helicopter in less than ideal combat conditions but don't find myself qualified to do much in the civilian world. I'm hoping to gain some insight as to the best way forward to make myself more marketable and continue my rotary career in the civilian world. Teaching seems like the best option but with the lack of S300 schools I'm wondering if the investment to meet SFAR requirements for Robinsons would be worth it. I'm open to any options out there and appreciate any insight I can get. I have already used my CH 33 GI Bill benefits for a Bachelor's and am currently working with CH 31 to try and get what I can from that but flight training is not easy to get there. Overseas civilian contractor positions also aren't going to work for me either unfortunately (lower back issues with body armor). Looking forward to learning as much as I can from everyone here and thank you for your help!

 

Ryan

If you haven’t already, check out RLC. They’re one of the main companies providing offshore support in the Gulf of Mexico. The oil/gas industry isn’t doing too great right now, but traditionally RLC has been a good place to gain experience and hires pilots at your experience level.

I don’t know if they are currently hiring; if not keep following up with them and eventually a position will open up.

https://www.rlcllc.com/

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