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Rotary wing career path opportunities after leaving military?


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I think most people tend to discuss the transition to airlines, but I'm curious to hear of any good opportunities outside the military continuing to fly helicopters?

 

From what I've read, law enforcement flying is pretty poor pay, or can be. I've seen border patrol paying roughly GS9 starting positions, stepping up quickly to 11 and higher. I would assume contract work overseas would also pay well. I'm just trying to collect ideas for the future, although I'm not even close to that point yet.

 

Also, I fly 64's, so I'm curious to see how much or little that influences employers decisions to hire. I'd assume border patrol would prefer 60 pilots.

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One of the biggest hurdles is the lack of time and as a 64 guy the lack of instruments and weather time. Unless we start another war pilots starting their careers within the last couple of years are looking at flying minimums and not much more for the entirety of their career. Look at job postings and see what they require/desire for experience and go from there. You can figure that a newer pilot without deployments and after a six year ADSO will have about 1000 hours total time, 400ish PIC, 300ish night/NVG/NVS and very little instrument/weather time.

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2 hours ago, Thedude said:

One of the biggest hurdles is the lack of time and as a 64 guy the lack of instruments and weather time. Unless we start another war pilots starting their careers within the last couple of years are looking at flying minimums and not much more for the entirety of their career. Look at job postings and see what they require/desire for experience and go from there. You can figure that a newer pilot without deployments and after a six year ADSO will have about 1000 hours total time, 400ish PIC, 300ish night/NVG/NVS and very little instrument/weather time.

I think I will meet the requirements by the time I'm retiring. I have roughly 8 years until that, and if I somehow manage to maintain even half the hours I've been getting since arriving at my unit I'll be above the 1000 minimum, but obviously none of the instrument requirements. Those hours being on the CBP page, not sure any others.

 

I'm just curious if anyone had experience in the hiring process and any insight in transitioning to any civilian sectors. So far, CBP seems to be the most rewarding for the requirements, and I would imagine some of their requirements are waiverable. My biggest concern, like you mentioned, is instrument time. 

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8 years of Army flying gives you a lot of flexibility to work towards what you want to do afterwards.  IPC will open a lot of doors.  Friends of mine used NTC flight detachment to get close to Vegas operators and quick flight time/experience building.  Once in Vegas they were able to make connections and move quickly into the fields they wanted (fire/utility).  Another buddy set his sights on instructing at Rucker and made the moves to get there while still on active duty.

Don’t sit on your heels in a CAB.  Figure out what you need and find a way to make it happen.  Branch managers can be a good resource if you are a good communicator and good at strategizing.  Also, save as much money as you can to pad the accounts for your transition.  That extra flexibility will allow you to take advantage of last minute opportunities.

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