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Army Aviators, is there a loophole for fixed wing?

Discussion in 'Military Pilots' started by uh60james, Nov 12, 2006.

  1. uh60james

    uh60james New Member

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    I want to fly fixed wing when I get out, but I heard a rumor that there is some secret squirrel way to go direct to fixed wing. Any know truth to this? No need to advertise it on this site, send me a PM. Thanks.
  2. MikeFavinger

    MikeFavinger Well-Known Member

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    After you get out, or through the Army?

    After you get out, no. You have reduced requirements if you have your Rotorcraft - Helicopter w/ Inst FAA certificate.

    See FAR 61.73 for rules for former military pilots.

    I have made the transition to fixed wing flying and am a CFII, so if you have any specific questions feel free to ask!
  3. uh60james

    uh60james New Member

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    Hey ChinookDriver. I guess my question wasn't real clear, I'm a 15T right now and am planning on going to a school to get my wings when I get out. However if there is some way to go direct to fixed wing in the Army I would gladly stay in and let the Army pay for it. I know if there is a way it is not well advertised. Just looking for some info on it if it is available or a contact at Rucker or wherever the Army does its fixed wing training. Thanks.
  4. MikeFavinger

    MikeFavinger Well-Known Member

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    Oh.. that's different.

    There is not a way to go direct to fixed wing... you have to be accepted to flight school, go through rotary wing training, and then hope you are the 1% who is accepted to fixed wing training. Other than that, as a helo warrant you can apply via 4187 to fixed wing after you have some experience... seen a few go that way.
  5. mward

    mward New Member

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    I don't really understand what the fascination is with being an army pilot and wanting to fly fixed wing aircraft. There are other branches of the military that have primarily fixed wing aircraft that you can join. Most of them, if not all, require a four year degree and so do airlines. I've been around army aviation for a few years now and I can personally say that I would take the Blackhawk over the C-12 (Kingair) or a C-23 (flying box) any day.
  6. MikeFavinger

    MikeFavinger Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, flying fixed-wing for the Army is usually something that just "happens" to people... it usually isn't, or can't be, a plan. I've said it before, but the Army is all about helicopters.
  7. 311

    311 New Member

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    You can be right seat in a King Air 90/200 in the civillian world with as little as 400 hours and a com/multi rating. If your heart is set on flying turbo props, maybe Army isn't the best choice lol.
  8. Biggyj81

    Biggyj81 New Member

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    Hey, well I am a Apache guy in the Army and was recently picked up for the Fixed Wing course. Let me tell ya man, if there was a quick way into fixed wing in the Army, I think i would have found it! I have to agree with a lot of the other replies, if you want to fly fixed wing exclusively, choose a different branch!!!!! The fixed Wing board is extremely competitive, at least on the Warrant officer side of the house. If your a commissioned guy, the quickest way into a FW slot is to go to the MI career course. I have two Captain buddies who got in that way. But for your average Army pilot the chances of getting fixed wing is pretty small...so go AIR FORCE:rawk:!!! Another thing to think about is if you do choose the Army, when aircraft selection rolls around, you may end up getting stuck with something you don't want...I am guessing since your a 60 guy then you probably want 60's. Well there is a shortage of Apache guys in the Army, so you may end up getting one. And if you do get Apache's, well then your chances of getting FW are even slimmer. And if you do get selected, the Army has a hard time letting its Apache guys go to fixed wing utilization tours. you may get one, you may not!..believe me..lol:mad: But they will gladly let you go to the FW course and give you that 5 year ADSO that comes along with it! Hoped this helped your decision a little bit. If you have any questions just give me a holler.
  9. Lefty

    Lefty Well-Known Member

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    If you get on with an OSA guard unit you can go direct fixed wing....there is your loophole!!!

    Also we have,

    Citations and Gulfstreams as well as Kingair's and Sherpa's
  10. falconvalley

    falconvalley Well-Known Member

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    Saw a very nice lookin' Army G-IV or V on the road a few days ago. Can't blame someone for trying.
  11. BCTAv8r

    BCTAv8r Well-Known Member

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    :yeahthat:

    I never understood why someone would join the military to fly an airframe that could also be flown in the civilian world.
  12. Lefty

    Lefty Well-Known Member

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    Because, in the military, you get top notch training, and it doesn't cost you a dime...among other reasons...

    and

    attack aircraft being the exception almost every airframe can be flown civilian side...
  13. ezplt

    ezplt New Member

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    Uh60james,

    I have to ask what your ultimate goal is before answering, is it to be commerical FW pilot? Believe it or not your idea about getting out and going to a flight school (especially with the aid of the GI bill) is probably better than getting army FW, because even though it is free it isn't necessarily getting to you to your goal quickly, and timing is EVERYTHING in this business. At any rate...

    Unfortunately, there is no "double secret" way to get a fixed-wing transition in the army. However, it is possible. First, I think it was Biggy who mentioned branching MI if you are a commissioned guy, that will probably be your best bet. Its certainly not a sure thing, but I flew in the MI and met alot of RLOs that did it that way. In fact, though I was a warrant officer, if I didn't get FW I was going to OCS and try and branch MI. Luckily I didn't have too. A few years back some guys were branching Medical Service Corps and getting fixed-wing, although I have no idea why and would do alot of research before trying this avenue.

    Your next best option would be the route skywestseth said, find an OSA guard unit that will bring you on board. If you do not have any friends in these units that are run by the state this is going to be a tough route because it is very nepotistic. They usually have plenty of folks cold calling them who are already FW rated and can start in the unit immediately, whereas they would have to spend the money to send you to the FW course and you would be unavailable to the unit for several months while you were there. Along those same lines are the USAR FW units. They may be a little less "good ole boy" than state guard units but that is still a part of them. They are having a tough time getting enough guys willing to deploy though, and it can't hurt to try and call them and make some contacts. Be sure to emphasize that you will take whatever thankless job no one wants (S4) and will deploy with a smile on your face. An obvious drawback to any reserve/guard job is that it is part time and you will need a full time job. Which brings me to one other option: Active Guard Reserve (AGR). Do some research on this but this is a great option. The downfall here is that you aren't already FW rated and if you are selected you will most likely go to a helo unit, but, you may be able to get in the system and work your way into one of the reserve FW units later on.

    Lastly, I would seriously look at going USAF, depending on your age. If you are still say, 23-25 it MAY be worth the effort. The downside being you will have a 10 year commitment after flight school (remember the part about getting to your goal quickly?!). Now, if you had a buddy in a USAFR or Air Guard unit who would be willing to help you out this would be a decent option as well. You could go to Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT), go to a USAFR unit, and due to the OPTEMPO fly your behind off and make contacts with airline guys in your unit. Most units I know of(except for fighter units) are flying so much you don't even need a civilian job.

    Now, I know what you are thinking, you protest, "I don't have all these supposed 'buddys' and 'connections'!" You most likely don't. If you want to be a commercial pilot you are going to have to go out of your comfort zone and make them. Any opportunity you have talk to Air Force guys, or Army FW guys is golden. Ask how they did it. Get some advice from them and make some friends, or at least acquaintances.

    Well james I hope that helps you somewhat. Good luck in your journey.

    ezplt, USAR, CW4 (Ret.)

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