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Military Helicopter Pilots move to Civ Cargo

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Dec 5, 2005
Any helo pilots out there that made the switch to flying civilian cargo? Would love to hear your story. Thanks
There are a lot of them. But they all got fixed wing time before making the move.
I got out with minimum fixed wing time and couldn't get a job flying anything. I got my CFI and boosted my fixed wing time and while doing that I got my multi engine rating. After a couple of years I was able to get hired by a commuter which boosted my multi engine turbine time quite quickly. After that I flew corporate which resulted in a Sabreliner type rating then voila I was hired as a YS 11 FO. I had about 8200 hours at the time of which about 6800 was fixed wing.
The Pa. Army National Guard provided an excellent additional income to help me through some lean years.
Helo guys rate high in our book

USA Jet counts all rotor time toward total time and counts 50% of the ME Helo up to 650 hrs towards MEL minimums. We want a 100 hours of fixed wing MEL and no other fixed wing time to apply. We have hired a lot of low time fixed wing rotor guys. We have never had a training failure with these guys, I can not say the same of many other pilots some with 1000’s of hours of fixed wing MEL. In fact think a helo drivers control touch is better suited to flying jets than the C-310/PA-31 driver. They have all done very well in training and on the line. We have had them go to the DC-9 after 300 hours in the DA-20, no problems. It is unfortunate that many employers do not recognize how gifted these military rotor wing pilots are.
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I got out of the Army in 03 and have been at USA Jet for two years now. I was on the Falcon for 10 months then upgraded to the DC-9. Great place to transition into civilian flying. Hope this helps. PM me if you want more info.

Thanks for all the info. Does USA Jet have a website I could checkout? Do most mil folks stay in the guard for the first few years to supplement income? Whats the best way to get MEL time on the civilian side?
Some stay in the reserves, some don't. I have interviewed a couple Army helo guys who when throught a program someplace in FL, FSI maybe where they make you a CFIME and you and another CFIME fly together and you both get to legally log MEL time. Then you rent the airplane for a 100 hours and take cross countrys' We don't care anything about the quaility of the MEL time for military aviators, just meet the insurance requirement. We know you can fly and learn and we will teach you the USA Jet way to fly.


It's not a usajet website, so it doesn't have a ton about usajet, but it's better than nothing.

If U want more info on usajet, PM me.

Also, if you don't already know about it, make sure to go to aptap.org. It's the best rotary->fixed wing site.


It can be done with a little determination and motivation. I flew The UH-1 and AH-64 on active. Knocked out fixed-wing ratings and started flying a Caravan in Savannah, Ga(moonlighting) for a 135 operator called Telford. Later with AirNow. Got out of the regular Army, got qualified in a Falcon 20 and Falcon 50 in Dallas(SIC). Flew for PSA(USAiways Express) for 1.5 yrs and now I'm in training to fly the B722 with Express.Net Airlines hauling cargo. Good luck with your search Hooker.

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