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Of the EMS pilots, did you start out with the civilian or military route? If you went civilian, how long did it take you to start flying EMS?

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  • 1 month later...
Of the EMS pilots, did you start out with the civilian or military route? If you went civilian, how long did it take you to start flying EMS?

I am now flying EMS. Did all of my training as a civilian. It took me nearly 3 years to get to EMS minimums. However, I had well over 3000 hours of fixed wing time. So I did all add on ratings and was familiar with many aspects of flying. I have friends who were trained in the military. I feel that my training was just as good. It will cost more to train as a civilian, but you are tied to anything. I am free to roam where I like without having to be called up. Nothing aginst any military folks..

Juniorbirdman

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I am now flying EMS. Did all of my training as a civilian. It took me nearly 3 years to get to EMS minimums. However, I had well over 3000 hours of fixed wing time. So I did all add on ratings and was familiar with many aspects of flying. I have friends who were trained in the military. I feel that my training was just as good. It will cost more to train as a civilian, but you are tied to anything. I am free to roam where I like without having to be called up. Nothing aginst any military folks..

Juniorbirdman

 

Just to give you a comparison I joined the military in 2001. I now have about 1900TT, 100N, 400NVG- and that's after spending almost a year in Iraq, a year in the Bahamas and finishing a year in Afghanistan. As Junior said he's free to roam where he likes. I have little experience with civilian training except for one of our guys that paid his own way in a 44. As far as base training is concerned I think the quality is equal- the only difference may be the variety of flying we do as opposed to the majority of civilian jobs out there. The one thing the Army will do for you is get you a Comm Ints rating, hours, turbine time (all Army aircraft are twin turbine with one exception) varying missions and a good paycheck. Two things it might not do for you is: get you the hours you would have gotten doing the CFI thing is less time and run the possibility of flying in a hostile environment. The only reason I have got the hours is multiple deployments. I will have flown 600hrs by the end of this year. My annual minimums are 96hrs TT, 4hrs N, 18NVG, 3 hrs H. In stateside time I might fly 100-150hrs per year. Luckily after six years I've gotten enough to at least meet the minimums for EMS. There are several costs and benefits of going either route. The only difference is how Junior and I have arrived at the same place.

Edited by chamerican
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Huh? Did I miss the Great Bahamian War of the Americas, or something??

 

Damn....

 

He's talking about OPBAT (Operation Bahamas Turks and Caicos).

Edited by palmfish
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The Army officially pulled out of OPBAT in October. The DEA is filling the void with their own Bell 412 helicopters and newly purchased twin-turbine Schweizer RU-38B reconnaissance airplanes.

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If you go the military route in some instances it makes it more difficult to find a job in the civilian side. Some civilian companies are hesitant to hire ex-military because after their active duty stint, they still have the commitment in the reserves, and that means a possible recall to active duty. Nothing pisses the boss of a company off more than spending a lot of money training a new pilot in type/model and then having him recalled back to active duty and then the company being required to save his spot and seniority as soon as his recall back to active service is completed as required by law. Choose your own fate!

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I did it the civilian route.......I started flying as a hobby for about 5-6 years. From the point I started flying commercially, it took me about 3 yrs to get to the EMS minimums. I got lucky though--I was hired during a very brief period when they lowered the turbine time minimums to ZERO. I still had 2000 hrs of helicopter time (R22/R44, & H269) plus 250 of airplane, but zero turbine.

 

Our company was mostly military guys (probably 90%+) when I started about 3.5 years ago. Since then, it's changed big time. Just a guess, but I'd say the civilians make up 30-40% now.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Looking back, I’m glad I went the military route. 12 years in the Air Force.

 

Pros: I’ve done things with a helicopter I can’t duplicate in the civilian realm and I got 2,400 hours in turbine helicopters.

Cons: I had to move every 4 years and that is THE reason I got out. You can’t “start” a life.

 

I didn’t have any guard/reserve commitment after my active duty.

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This is a PM I sent a few members here and haven't heard anything back yet. I thought posting it in this foum may help others as well...

 

I have a few questions that I thought you may be able to help me with about choosing to go the military route for aviation.

 

I spent 14 months in Iraq as a reservist. I was a Psychological Operations Specialist(37F) that deployed out of Ft. Bragg and was attached to the 101st on the initial rotation. Most of my time was spent up North, just outside of Mosul at Q-West airfield. We followed the 3rd ID on the initial assault/invasion from the Kuwaiti border all the way into Baghdad. After the president had declared an end to major combat, we were pushed north to Mosul to secure and stabilize that AO. I fell in love with helos over there. I would trade leaflets, bumper stickers, Iraqi artifacts, and just about anything I could to get on a bird. Since coming home and not re-enlisting, my dream or life goal is to become a helicopter pilot. However, I have found that the expenses to do it on the civilian side are astronomical and it requires that you either win the lottery or have a job that pays 6 figures.

 

Hopefully you can answer some of these for me or point me in the right direction.

 

1)I know there is no guarantee to getting accepted into flight school. How do I go about it? I know that I can't just walk into a recruiter's office and say that I want to go to WOCS and then on to flight school?

 

2)Do I have to choose an MOS and then submit a packet to WOCS and hope for the best? Do I have to go through/get accepted to WOCS before I can even think about flight in the military? I am assuming that if I do not get selected, I am just stuck with whatever job I chose and have to make the best of the time remaining on my contract? And, keep submitting my packet as often as allowable?

 

3)What if I do get accepted to WOCS, but do not get my choice of aviation? I'm pretty sure I don't want to get stuck in a field like Field Artillery or Intel.

 

4)I would be very content if I was able to enlist in a position as say a UH-60 Crew Chief and take my chances that way, but it does not appear that you can enlist into that position. When I was over there, it seemed as though every UH-60 & CH-47 crew chief was a Spec 4. Does it not work that way anymore? I would also consider a position as some type of mechanic or what not relating to aviation. But, the cew chief would be most ideal. However, I can't find anything on the Army's websites about that being an entry-level position.

 

5)Do you get to choose which aircraft you want to fly? I would love to go either Kiowa or Blackhawk, with Apache a distant second, and Chinook an even more distant third. How are flight assingments determined?

 

Am I way off base on some of this? If so, I would really appreciate if you could give me a better overview.

 

Thank You,

 

Matthew Patton

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Actually I was a little off on some points. VR member Chamerican sent me a very detailed PM about the process. On another board that I am a member of, it is against the terms of service to share PM's without having the approval of the other party. Once I find out if it is appropriate to post that info, I will gladly share it with everyone else as it was very helpful.

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Those are good questions I hope someone can answer, that's the reason I've not chosen to go military, afraid of not getting the pilot slot!

 

Just so it's clear: you submit your packet FOR the flight slot- it's called WOFT (Warrant Officer Flight Training). If you're not selected you don't go into the military and even if you are selected you still have the option to decline the offer- because you aren't under any obligation.

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  • 4 months later...

I know this is old but I thought the info might be useful to someone thinking about the military as a route now. The following answers are for the Army only. Other services obviously have their own rules.

 

 

 

 

Hopefully you can answer some of these for me or point me in the right direction.

 

1)I know there is no guarantee to getting accepted into flight school. How do I go about it? I know that I can't just walk into a recruiter's office and say that I want to go to WOCS and then on to flight school?

 

Actually, you can get guaranteed to be accepted to flight school before you leave. You go about it just like you said. You go to the recruiter and say you want to apply for the Warrant Officer Flight training program. Don't accept them talking you into anything else if that is what you really want.

 

2)Do I have to choose an MOS and then submit a packet to WOCS and hope for the best? Do I have to go through/get accepted to WOCS before I can even think about flight in the military? I am assuming that if I do not get selected, I am just stuck with whatever job I chose and have to make the best of the time remaining on my contract? And, keep submitting my packet as often as allowable?

 

No. You sign up for flight training before you go and WOCS is part of the deal. You will go to basic training, then WOCS, then Flight training. If you fail out of flight training, they can do a number of things including letting you leave the service, having you take an enlisted MOS or take a WO MOS. They keep changing what they do so I don't have a good answer.

 

 

3)What if I do get accepted to WOCS, but do not get my choice of aviation? I'm pretty sure I don't want to get stuck in a field like Field Artillery or Intel.

 

Again, you will know before you start that you have aviation. They won't change it on you.

 

4)I would be very content if I was able to enlist in a position as say a UH-60 Crew Chief and take my chances that way, but it does not appear that you can enlist into that position. When I was over there, it seemed as though every UH-60 & CH-47 crew chief was a Spec 4. Does it not work that way anymore? I would also consider a position as some type of mechanic or what not relating to aviation. But, the cew chief would be most ideal. However, I can't find anything on the Army's websites about that being an entry-level position.

 

If you want to be a crewchief, enlist as an aircraft mechanic (15 series MOS). UH-60 and CH-47 mechanics compete to fly as crew chiefs.

5)Do you get to choose which aircraft you want to fly? I would love to go either Kiowa or Blackhawk, with Apache a distant second, and Chinook an even more distant third. How are flight assingments determined?

 

No, you don't get to choose the aircraft you fly. You can request it though, and depending on your class standing, and how many airframes are available, you may get it.

 

Hope that helps

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DolphinDriver, excellent advice. Wish I would have heard all of this before I got the recruiter run around... no harm since I have yet to give in to his laziness but now I know I have to find someone who's willing to help put a packet together...Thanks much.

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