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whiskeychevelle

Employment after active duty?

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I know there are a lot of contractor jobs out there but can anybody speak to opportunities in the civilian world after active duty for RPA pilots? Specifically- what the pay is and if the contracts are here to stay for the next 10-20 years? I may be transitioning from a manned mws to RPAs and am curious. 

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Just from sheer statistic on how many RPA guys there are and the availability of contract jobs that pay at least as much as active duty O pay; they are pretty saturated. You have an edge coming from UPT you can apply for CONUS contractor positions, because you have a CPL. A lot of RPA guys think that they can apply for those positions when in reality they can only apply for the OCONOS positions, unless they shell out the money and get their CPL.

On pay; depending on what position you get it can be between 200-300K

I would recon that specifically RPA contractor jobs don't have a great future outlook. AF just cut 10 CAPs of Contractor lines this year. Marines are operating their own MQ-9 lines and will probably look to less to contractors. The Army has their own stuff as well etc. If it dosent contribute to the future fight I would expect less of it. 

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Short term I wonder how thats working out for the 18x contractors with the combination of economic downturn and the Air Force is cutting its contracting CAPS and the Marines are operating their own MQ-9s to fulfill their mission requirements.

Also h eres a quick pic of that UPS airline. I'm sure it pays more than most quad copter jobs, but i wonder how it compares to Active duty major or even senior captain pay for an 18x.

image.png

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Big difference between a quad copter and an MQ-9 or GH. I'm not sure the skill sets are comparable. 

I would take the RPA position as it overall broadens your resume but have a plan to regain currencies/flight hours in the future. Then you have fall backs. 

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No quibbles about keeping your manned flying logbooks fresh, but like I said before, I think the future is bright. 

I can easily envision a national airspace that has plenty of cargo aircraft flying as RPAs. Auto takeoff, fly an op mission with an e mission loaded, auto land, all monitored by RPA pilots or mission managers or whatever you wanna call it back in Memphis or Louisville.

We’re in the baby steps phase where they’re doing some larger quad copters for local delivery, but we all know that much of the automation for airliner-sized RPAs already exists and I think cargo in particular will cut pilots (and associated life support necessities) from being on board their aircraft when they feel they can do safely and within the regulatory environment.

I’m also very optimistic on the outlook for public safety agencies to use larger RPA-class aircraft for law enforcement and disaster response as that technology gets cheaper, easier to operate, and more acceptable to the FAA.

Edited by nsplayr

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