Hurricane Hunters?

SmellsLikeAvGas

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Does anyone hear know anything about being a Hurricane Hunter? I know they are out of Biloxi, Miss, and are a Reserve unit. Anyone know if you can apply directly into the program, or if previous military flying experience is required?
 

wrxpilot

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SmellsLikeAvGas said:
Does anyone hear know anything about being a Hurricane Hunter? I know they are out of Biloxi, Miss, and are a Reserve unit. Anyone know if you can apply directly into the program, or if previous military flying experience is required?

Man would that be a cool job! Awhile ago I came across a fascinating story of one of the hurricane missions that almost became disastrous for the crew. Here's the link:
http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/hugo1.asp
 

hdodo

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Talk with a Air Force Reserve Recruiter about meeting the central AF Reserve pilot selection board held twice a year at the AF Reserve HQ @ Warner Robins AFB in Georgia. The recruiters will guide you through the process of applying to the board which meets once a year (in March and October if memory serves).Only your application package meets the board and if the members pick you then you have a slot for OTS and pilot training. You can then contact the unit you are AF Reserve unit you are interested in and ask them if they want you or not. This will almost always require a face to face interview with the gaining unit. Another option is to go down and interview with the unit you are interested in BEFORE the centralized pilot selection board meets and, if sucessfull, have the unit sponsor your package(STS) to the centralized board. Confused? You should be. Best of luck.
 

Flechas

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Nobody hear knows how to become one of those, but if you as around here, I'm sure somebody can help you ;)
 

rod farva

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I was just down there the other weekend. If you're not herk current, they said forget it. Another option is to enlist for a while in the unit, a buddy of mine at OTS did that.
 

dtfl

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Smells like av gas- are you a private pilot?
The wing at Keesler hires "newbies" as we always need 2lts in addition to older qualified guys. The airlift squadron just got 4 Lts out of UPT. I am not sure about the manning in the 53rd WRS - but a call or visit won't hurt. I dunno about the "current" requirement unless they are all full up. Lately the WinG CC has wanted the newbies to fly Tac Airlift first...and again, we got 4 newbies recently.
Doesn't hurt to visit and ask.
Realize that unit is also getting airland and NVG qualified. No more just flying storms.
 

erj-145mech

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There is also the other hurrican hunter outfit, NOAA. They operate two WP-3C aircraft, Kermit and Miss Piggy. They're based out of TPA, and have an operation in JAX too.
 

hindsight2020

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I agree you should at least call and find out. Some units only hire rated folks (current pilots of the airframe, basically), some hire new people (UPT slots). However, the atmosphere with the Reserve/Guard is ridiculous nowadays, I know because I've been calling my a$$ off and most of the units are handling hiring more conservatively now (that or they're giving me the guano cause I'm not in-house?)

At any rate, what hdodo was referring to were the options that you have to meet the HQ board, which is held twice a year. Your application package can either be submitted as 'sponsored' or 'unsponsored'. Sponsored is the way to go; the HQ board is, for the most part, a formality when you have been sponsored by a unit. When you're not, you're back to the 1% chance game and the chances of being selected drastically decrease. Not because your package is not strong, but because you have to compete with others and the unsponsored slots are extremely limited, compared to the majority of sponsored folks, who WILL get approved.

From my experience this year, units are actually encouraging me to go unsponsored, asserting that if approved by the board you will then become a 'free agent' of sorts and Robins (AFRC HQ) lets the units know that you exist, as they can fill their short-notice manning needs with the unsponsored candidates. Seems SOMEWHAT of sound advice considering the BRAC has taken a bat to the hornet's nest and people (particularly rated folks) are shuffling around for prospective new homes, which means lean times (for a change right?) for the UPT hopeful. But then you realize what it is that being unsponsored entails, and realize you're not getting that great of news. Like I mentioned before, call them up and ask what their hiring status is, that way you clear your options quicker.

Positions like the one rod_farva presents are becoming common in the Reserves and that's really discouraging.
 

SmellsLikeAvGas

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dtfl said:
Smells like av gas- are you a private pilot?
Yep, I have my private, and am almost done with the instrument. I would imagine by the time any application package would be together, I'd have finished my multi/comm as well.

Thanks to everyone for their advice.. and I'm going to check out the NOAA hunters as well.. thank you for letting me know more exist (I was hoping more would, but wasn't having much luck finding it online.)
 

bssthound

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Hi,

I'm a nav w/ the 53d WRS Air Force Reserve " Hurricane Hunters." As you can imagine, we get a LOT of inquiries, especially this time of year. We've hired several off the street. You MUST have a 4 year college degree, no exceptions. That's an Air Force requirement, period. Like dtfl said, all the new meat has gone to the tac airlift sqdn, lately. That includes one or two who came to the wx sqdn from UPT. Doesn't matter what anybody, including myself, says he's heard about any unit's needs, however; manning requirements do change. Send me a PM. I'm on a TDY right now but I do check this site from time to time.

Check out our website http://www.hurricanehunters.com

It's now our busy time of year so don't be surprised if a phone call isn't returned ASAP. We deploy at the drop of a hat, with less than a day's notice. It's definitely not a good time to schedule a visit but do so, anyway. There's always someone around the squadron who'll answer questions and show you around. We get a lot of inquiries from people who don't show up or who don't call back. If you're really interested take the time to come down. If it's still what you want to do then come down again. The more people associate a face with a name the more you stand out and the more willing they're going to be to help you out. Another thing, when you do get invited down for a tour/interview just be yourself. You're not going to impress anyone by putting on an act.

All that being said; best of luck. I personally get a lot of satisfaction from the mission. Bustin' out into the eye of a Cat 4 or 5 storm is pretty gosh-darn awesome. Our data does a lot to help prepare the coastal regions when a serious storm is coming and we take a lot of pride in that. Also, it's a good feeling to do airshows and have people lined up for a country mile to see our airplane and tell us how much they appreciate what we do. We get data that satellites don't just yet. I'm sure they will someday and we'll probably be replaced by drones. But until then, we provide a unique, valuable service. Please come see us. We're always looking for the right people to join.
 
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