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Mapping out post AF career options (already at 10 year point). Intent is to eek out an AD retirement and then punch at 20. Anyone have any experience applying for those types of jobs? Is it possible to work an airline career to pay the bills?

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Look under the careers other than airlines thread. There was some good info posted recently there. 

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Do you want to be a SEAT pilot? Fly the heavies? Air attack is more of an entry level pilot gig. SEAT guys make good money once they're federally carded but are gone all season. Change is afoot in the industry though. You've got plenty of time. SEAT guys need Ag time though. Just go to a fire conference sometime and network. Carding requirements are public and set by OAS. You'll probably see companies post on JSFirm and the like as they are having a lot of trouble filling seats.

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If you're getting out because of lifestyle then think twice about fire fighting. You live like a gypsy. You do not need ag spray experience for SEATs. Lots of guys go in from single seat fighters. One of the biggest outfits is run by a viper dude, and he hires a lot of AF & Navy. Lead plane is another options, but it's also the gypsy life and working for USFS which has laughable leadership (worse the AF -- imagine that).

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If you're getting out because of lifestyle then think twice about fire fighting. You live like a gypsy. You do not need ag spray experience for SEATs. Lots of guys go in from single seat fighters. One of the biggest outfits is run by a viper dude, and he hires a lot of AF & Navy. Lead plane is another options, but it's also the gypsy life and working for USFS which has laughable leadership (worse the AF -- imagine that).

Good point on lifestyle. To clarify, it’s post-20 yr plan.

Thanks for the gouge. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that there are other federal agencies with leadership problems.

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On 4/29/2019 at 8:09 PM, skibum said:

If you're getting out because of lifestyle then think twice about fire fighting. You live like a gypsy. You do not need ag spray experience for SEATs. Lots of guys go in from single seat fighters. One of the biggest outfits is run by a viper dude, and he hires a lot of AF & Navy. Lead plane is another options, but it's also the gypsy life and working for USFS which has laughable leadership (worse the AF -- imagine that).

Which SEAT contractor are you referring to? Don’t think I ever ran across any SEAT guys who were former fighter, or even AF, pilots in 3 seasons flying Fed air attack. Not that I worked with every pilot or company. Just curious really...

I agree with your assessment of the lifestyle for a SEAT or Fed pilot, lots of time on the road.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/29/2019 at 3:10 PM, MechGov said:

 

Mapping out post AF career options (already at 10 year point). Intent is to eek out an AD retirement and then punch at 20. Anyone have any experience applying for those types of jobs? Is it possible to work an airline career to pay the bills?

 

In general, I would get away from thinking of the industry as a part-time or retirement gig, and more of a career to pursue. Sure, there are certain jobs available that fit that role, but they generally don’t pay much and are inconsistent  year to year. If all you want is a little fun flying fire, then look to Air Attack jobs with any number of contractors in a 690 or King Air.

The more serious, better paying jobs generally demand more dedication and time. You basically have Fed jobs (USFS & BLM), Fed contractors (Air Attack, SEAT, & Large Tankers), and State jobs (CalFire, etc). These may be year round or seasonal, but also full-time work.

Its a small industry and I’ve found most opportunities are found through good old fashioned networking. That’s a tall order for a pilot coming off AD, believe me, I understand. Vets do have an advantage getting Fed jobs, so that is one way to get started. I flew a Fed Air Attack (contractor) for a few years before getting the chance to get on with CalFire (DynCorp). Met tons of people and got a good feel for the industry.

The real challenge is the transition from a good paying job, to a path that may or may not work out for you. Especially with all the opportunity in the airlines right now. There is no standard path in this industry, everyone just kind of finds their way somehow. Usually hard work and sacrifice. Having a mil retirement helps ease that transition.

Edited by Shaft34
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Now that was some very spot on information. I would truly use these pros above like Shaft34 to further investigate this particular niche working group. Along with my civilian counterpart in D.C., (he was the master of the interweaving of USFS, BLM, CalFireSmoke jumpers, TACPs and MAFFS) we were constantly in Boise NIFC working support funding/reimbursement/Feds involvement and lines of authority during Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) to include value of reconnaissance assets both manned and unmanned. Granted the NNC oversight has added yet another layer of sensitivity but that has rare effect on the civilian side. Some really challenging/rewarding flying by those heroes. It’s definitely a niche mission with true mission accomplishment. Good luck on your future endeavor.

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I got to see Shaft's S-2 last year.  Frickin' gorgeous.  As clean as the day it left the factory.  

Here's a screen shot of Shaft doing shit that saves lives.  

Shaft.jpg

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I got to see Shaft's S-2 last year.  Frickin' gorgeous.  As clean as the day it left the factory.  
Here's a screen shot of Shaft doing shit that saves lives.  
Shaft.thumb.jpg.e9a8d67f33e879d006d4f77f5deac1af.jpg

That’s glorious

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Anybody here fly the MAFFS mission? I’m interested in that post AD but I’m not a 130 guy. Would that matter to those units?

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Anybody here fly the MAFFS mission? I’m interested in that post AD but I’m not a 130 guy. Would that matter to those units?


I can’t speak for MAFFS specifically, but I can speak for the ANG when I say that if you are a rated pilot and a good dude that wants to join any ANG unit, no matter what your background, you have a very good chance these days.

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17 hours ago, Danger41 said:

Anybody here fly the MAFFS mission? I’m interested in that post AD but I’m not a 130 guy. Would that matter to those units?

As long as you don't expect to go from Little Rock to a fire in 6-9 months, you can probably get there eventually.  After MAFFS 7, they tightened up the experience minimums.

Either way, MAFFS is a fraction of the mission so make sure you're joining wanting to do the Herk mission.  You'll do a lot more of that than fires, even once you have the experience for MAFFS.

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Congrats to Shaft!  He recently got his "card", and after many years of hard work is now a full-blown Initial Attack Tanker Captain.  

Well done, Sir!

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