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HH-60 Career Prospects


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Hi all!

I was recently picked up for a slot flying CSAR helos at (unnamed unit). I’ve been super excited for the mission but it appears there has been a major drawdown in CSAR activity. Does anyone have any insight on the likelihood of full-time orders after training/the amount of hours per year one will likely fly? I want to be sure I have realistic expectations and a plan to have a civilian career in case a career flying helicopters becomes unlikely due to lack of hours. Any insight into that community would be hugely appreciated.
 

Thanks for your time!

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It’s the guard, you should have a civ career plan regardless of airframe or location. Start the expectation now that you will only be part time after seasoning ends (don’t know how long that is at your unit, but it’s probably a lot shorter than you’d like). If long term orders pop up, then be pleasantly surprised, but no way you should count on that. In a nutshell, that’s the realistic expectation you should have right now.

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29 minutes ago, brabus said:

It’s the guard, you should have a civ career plan regardless of airframe or location. Start the expectation now that you will only be part time after seasoning ends (don’t know how long that is at your unit, but it’s probably a lot shorter than you’d like). If long term orders pop up, then be pleasantly surprised, but no way you should count on that. In a nutshell, that’s the realistic expectation you should have right now.

That makes sense. I’m hoping I can get enough experience while I’m full time to get a civilian pilot gig after seasoning is up so I can continue to build hours. If not, I have a degree that is fairly in demand so that should keep a roof over my head!

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When you finish UPT, make sure you get your mil comp certs with the FAA (commercial, instrument, multi); you’ll need at least the first two to realistically get a civ flying job that’s more than towing banners.

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1 hour ago, brabus said:

When you finish UPT, make sure you get your mil comp certs with the FAA (commercial, instrument, multi); you’ll need at least the first two to realistically get a civ flying job that’s more than towing banners.

I don't believe helo tracks are going through UPT anymore.  

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1 hour ago, uhhello said:

I don't believe helo tracks are going through UPT anymore.  

Didn’t know that; well he could still get a commercial/instrument (albeit for RW), still should knock that out.

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12 minutes ago, brabus said:

Didn’t know that; well he could still get a commercial/instrument (albeit for RW), still should knock that out.

I know they were doing test tracks the last two years.  Not sure if it's everyone now or not.  

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13 hours ago, GPGR said:

That makes sense. I’m hoping I can get enough experience while I’m full time to get a civilian pilot gig after seasoning is up so I can continue to build hours. If not, I have a degree that is fairly in demand so that should keep a roof over my head!

FYSA, I'm an army Medevac guy so take my comment with a grain of salt. This is just my experience from the army side which generally flies just as much, if not more than Air Force when it comes to helos. When you leave flight school you will have roughly 180 hrs helo. When you go to your unit you can bank on roughly 125 hrs per year. Most units you are a PI instead of PIC for roughly 2-3 years and have ~500 hrs TT. I wouldn't bank on helo for job prospects to be honest. The first job you would qualify for is a flight instructor position, most likely in a Robinson helicopter, which has SFAR 73 requirements and the FAA flight instructor certificate and isn't cheap to get. the next round of jobs you would be looking at is Air tours which generaly require 1000 hrs helo. The last stop is working EMS or a specialty field which is about 2000hrs and 1000 PIC. Not saying it isn't doable, but you are gonna be looking at about 8-10 years before you would qualify to do air tours as a guardsman. A Commercial RW with instrument is pretty worthless without time due to the large insurance constraints. There are always exceptions for how many hours you get over time depending on the unit, but that's about average. Long story short, don't quit your day job with the expectation to fly helos after seasoning.

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