Helo Training question with a Twist

slide33

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What's the possibility of me getting into WOFT (Warrant Officer Flight Training) for the Army Guard/Reserve?

Here's the complicated part. I'm a 1st Lt in the USAF. I washed from UPT at Laughlin due to airsickness (written up as an LOA -Lack of Adaptability). All I've ever wanted to do is be a military pilot. I don't care in what. From what I understand I've burned my bridges as far as USAF and Navy go. But am I still elligible for army? I've finished my private and plan to get my CFI before I'm off Active Duty.

I'd like to go Guard/Reserve once off AD.

I'm hoping the "anything is waiverable" clause can apply to me somehow here. I'm looking for brutal honesty here.

Thanks fellas.
 

Andy Neill

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Have you considered how you would fare with airsickness in an aircraft that is much less natural feeling than an airplane while under night vision goggles? This might not be the best environment for you.
 

jurisj

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As the previous poster stated, you need to realize that you will feel a lot more unnatural sensations in a helicopter than in an airplane, and that is certainly amplified when flying under goggles. Also, in order to make it through flight school, you will still have to pass the Instrument course which will mean almost 30 hours under the hood. If you're getting sick in what I presume is visual flight conditions, I don't know how you'd make it through instrument or real weather conditions. (Or nighttime unaided for that matter.) Those are issues you definitely need to evaluate for yourself.

As for the Army, well, there's a big shortage of pilots so they tend to go to greater lengths to let people in. I've even met guys with AFAST scores of 90 (barely passing). I'm sure you'd have to see a ton of doctors, but it is theoretically possible to get accepted. I stress theoretically. Since you're looking at NG (Reserve is not an issue because there's virtually no Reserve aviation left in the Army), it pretty much depends on the state and their needs. Also, some states will allow you to "revert" to CW2 or something like that if you're prior commissioned, but not all. Reverting is not allowed at all in the Regular Army... every WO has to go through WOCS to wear the squashed bug.

In short, it's a long shot.

- Juris
 

slide33

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I understand your points on senstation differences in helos. However, I don't get sick from just looking at an airplane. My problems came in the constantly high G environment of T-37 contact flying. I'm talking pulling 3-6 G's frequently for 1.3-1.5 hours. It's tough to explain my experiences on this forum exactly. I have no problem under the hood (of civilian aircraft-which I understand is not a helo) or in the soup with instrument flying. The constant G's were what got me. Another niche to my wash were several long breaks in training. I got sick my first 5 rides and then was clean the next 7. There was a week and a half break in training due to weather, following which I had a streak of sickness. I'd lost my acclimation to the environment. This happened again due to weather and then again due to a month off for Christmas. I believe if I'd been able to fly constantly, I would have been able to keep my acclimation to get through the contact/acro stages. And personally, I don't think any flying environment is "natural" in feeling. You just have to get used to it.

Therefore, in short - I think I can handle the sensations of helo flight. Just to add (and I know it's a weak point) I had no problems on the Huey ride I got as a cadet. Loved it actually.

Bottom line is this. I'm going to fly. I know I can handle civilian flying. Haven't been on an American flight where they did spins or cuban eights yet. But I've always, and still do want to be a military pilot. I'm not giving up yet. Thanks for the help.
 

jurisj

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In that case, I'd imagine that the biggest hurdles would be convincing a flight surgeon to sign you off, and then convincing an interview board that you're worthy despite being washed out of another service's flight program. Good luck,

- Juris
 

roninpilot

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I'm going to be a little more optomistic than the previous postings. I believe you have a good chance. Helicopter flying definately provides for a different sensation as has already been posted, but it's different than being subject to several Gs for extended periods of time. I would certainly apply if I were you now is probably one of the best times to do so. The army is desparately short of qualified applicants, so much so that the last few warrant officer boards have been at or near 100% selection. The first thing you must understand is that you cannot take no for an answer. I've seen a waiver for just about anything and your situation is certainly no exception. You could call the U.S. Army Medical center at Ft. Rucker, Alabama and speak to a flight surgeon, but even if they say no I would not accept that. If this is something you really want to do then I think it can be done. If you have any more specific questions you can email direct.

Good Luck

Roka
 

slide33

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Gentlemen,

I just want to say how much I appreciate your time and advice, whether it be optimistic towards my goal or not. I'm looking for the straight $hit here, and I think you've all given just that. One thing that I hope will help my cause is the civilian time I plan to have acquired by the time I'm ready to separate from the USAF. I plan to get up to CFI by then (2 yrs). Hopefully, this will show I am a competent pilot, and give me some credibility. I have seen some promising posts on www.aptap.org (army pilots to airline pilots). Here are a few examples.

"I met a guy in the army guard several years back that did not make it through UPT because of air sickness. He was a huey driver and had no problems.
As for details???
Keep plugging away.
Marty
ASA DFW CRJ FO
USAF Res HH-60G's(former FLARNG UH-60L's)"

"SOL,
Go for it. The worst they can say is NO. My stick buddy in flight school puked his brains out on his first flight in a Huey. Then in the Apache AQC while flying "the bag", he could not get around the pattern once without filling up a sick sack. He took some airsickness drugs to get thru it. Now he is a Longbow IP. Had another female LT in Korea that could not fly at night without filling up her flight glove. Even though we gave her a hat with straps and a glove attached to it, she is still probably flying. Good luck, Don't take no for an answer.
Pete"

Thanks again.
 
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lleec2008

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I washed out of UPT!!!

just a little background on my situation....

Well, I got sick(nothing disqualifying and have I am cleared medically) at the end of phase two of three. I sat for over three months with less than 5 flights left, but I couldn't get my proficiency back to that degree before my last checkride(I was always safe but not to the standard when I got back on flying status). My training platform was phased out at the same time(T-37) I was in the last class in the country), so I would have had to start from day 1 in the T-6. Not an option in the USAF's mind. My academic average was high, just hit a bump in the road. There are people flying currently in the army who washed from other branches and vices versa. I just don't know any personally.

I was in flight school with a former Apache guy.... he first brought the inter-service transfer to the army on the radar. He said, the mentality is much different and he thinks id like it more, fit in better and more importantly.... be very successful.

Sorry about the long post, but I was born to do this and cannot allow this situation to defeat me. I will not.
Thank you all for your time and thoughts.
 

lleec2008

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So, if I understand correctly... even though you were washed out of USAF UPT, it is still an option to go in the ARMY(according to the regulations). I have not met anyone who have done this, but I have heard of many. Does anyone know of an instance where this transpired? What is the process?

I Really want to fly army... people have done it from my shoe before.
I just need help find a way.
Thanks
Please advise.
 

AirCobra

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So, if I understand correctly... even though you were washed out of USAF UPT, it is still an option to go in the ARMY(according to the regulations). I have not met anyone who have done this, but I have heard of many. Does anyone know of an instance where this transpired? What is the process?

I Really want to fly army... people have done it from my shoe before.
I just need help find a way.
Thanks
Please advise.
I am pretty sure failure in any military flight program disqualifies you from entering another military flight program.
 

AirCobra

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slide33 said it was for medical reasons, not for performance. I worked with recruiting a long time ago (early 90's) but I am fairly certain we were unable to put at least two different Air Force UPT failures into Army or Navy flight school.

I will try to do some research and find the exact regulation. It could have been rescinded for all I know but it is something that you will want to verify with your recruiter before you start the process.
 

AirCobra

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I was able to find the Army reg from 611-110. Since the reg is still in place I would strongly recommend first applying for the exception. Don't go through the whole process of testing, boards, and physicals only to find out they are not granting exceptions on the upcoming board.

The number of exceptions or waivers granted usually depends on the needs of the service or the number of qualified applicants. Once the quota for applicants is filled the board will often stop accepting waivers even though an applicant is otherwise qualified.

People I know that have been accepted for another military flight program were usually RIF'ed or Banked by the Air Force in the mid 90's, then were released from their commitment. As I previously mentioned the two UPT failures I knew of that were for performance were not allowed to enter Army Flight Training.

http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/r611_110.pdf

1-5
e.​
Elimination from a previous course of military–sponsored flight instruction normally precludes entry or reentry
into Army aviation flight training. The Headquarters, Department of the Army (HQDA) (DAPC–OPA–CV) will

consider requests for exception on a case–by–case basis.





 

T-1GUY

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I have to say as a T-1 instructor for five years, it was almost impossible to wash someone out. The only folks I ever saw it happen to just didn't have the skills required to be successful. Continuity was a huge concern especially for someone having issues like yourself.

That being said, I flew with numerous pilots who after their major weapon system flying went to PIT to become instructors in the T-37. One I consider a good friend had horrible flight sickness that really lasted a good while while training. She eventually got over it, and went on to become an instructor.

Flying a T-37 is a very different environment, from G's, lack of good air conditioning, and a lack of pressurization. Even experienced aviators have issue's.

I remember hugging the toilet after my first cross country. My father came in to check on me and said "so you want to be a top gun???"

I eventually got over it. If I go a good length of time not in the environment, I still can get the spins a little.

My point is, if you want to fly for a living, keep at it and fight thru the sickness. Go to the playground and spin yourself silly to build up a resistance to it.

Don't stop working towards your dream if this is truly what you want...
 

Ih8AFYesmen

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An upper classman in my ROTC unit washed out of UPT. I heard that he went to the ARMY and got picked up for a pilot slot. As someone said before, it's all about supply and demand and the Army seems to need helo pilots. I'd go for it. Don't give up even if they say no.
 

CRJFlyer

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I really hope your right about the Army needing Helo pilots!! I'm almost there and every time I see a youtube vid. I get that much more excited..Well that and no possibility of getting furloughed for atleast the next 8 years:laugh:
 

AirCobra

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I really hope your right about the Army needing Helo pilots!! I'm almost there and every time I see a youtube vid. I get that much more excited..Well that and no possibility of getting furloughed for atleast the next 8 years:laugh:
Have you seen this National Guard commercial they play at movie theatres?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbfPj00pTNY

The music reminds of of those old Marine commercials where the guy is climbing a mountain to kill a cartoon dragon with a sword. This commerical is way better because it shows what the National Guard actually does, in sort of a Michael Bay stylized way, but you still get the point.

BTW here is the commercial from the 80's that got me to join the Marines :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ki32TxKNga4
 

pilotyip

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I don't about the Army, but I was a former Navy Aviation Recruiter. I know that physiological disqualification from any military flight-training program was an automatic disqualification from applying for Navy/USMC/USCG flt training both pilot and NFO. BTW I did OK airsickness wise as a pilot, but sitting sideways at the Nav station in the back of the P-3 at low altitude, I was airsick a lot
 

lleec2008

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Thank you all for the words. If anyone has a friend that went army after washing out of upt...please PM me. It would be so appreciated. I know this will work. I just have hold on.
 

Ih8AFYesmen

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Depends on how one handles airsickness.
I know a handful of guys who made it through UPT without completely getting over airsickness. I think one of them is even flying Vipers. As long as it did not impact flying, it was okay (ie. a quick puke and back to business, if you know what I mean).
I had a student who puked on every sortie AND he could not stay focused because of airsickness. He ended up washing out.
 
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