Helicopter switch to airplanes.... unique circumstances.


New Member
Hey all, this is my first post. I understand that this question may have been brought up a few times but hang with me a moment and understand why I am bringing it up again. I am a Commercial Helicopter pilot with about 1500 hours PIC. I also have my ASEL. I have worked hard and have had a lot of fun. But as for money or a life outside flying? forget about it. So again I find myself looking at all my fixed wing acquaintances and wondering if that simply isn't the smarter way to go. I understand that it should be a seemingly easy transition for me with past experience....

But now I get into the personal details and essentially ask you fine ladies and gentlemen for the honest truth on how difficult things may be for ME in light of this: This year two very painful and potentially detrimental things have happened to me. First, I got myself a 'wet and reckless' which is essentially a low level DUI conviction. Second, while crop dusting in a helicopter I had an accident. no passengers. nobody hurt but the helicopter. These were both within 3 months of each other and both this year...... Spare me the destructive criticisms and ridicule. I take full responsibility for how I chose to respond to things that led to these two things. I learned my lessons. And if you're curious as to what those were: One, no matter the pressure it's your life so stay calm and remember that putting your foot down is better than crashing for everybody. Two, It certainly can happen to you (invulnerability anyone)? So always ask yourself if something is really worth it. I offer you this flow chart: not worth it? -----> don't do it.

my main questions:
- Is there a chance in Airlines or Cargo (Fed Ex) for me?
- Would a year or two of clean flying and legal history help or am I forever banished from the world of Airplanes or good helicopter jobs if you know? (not currently employed but still have a year long helicopter gig lined up soon. yes the future employer is aware of what has happened).
- please, if you have experienced an accident or legal trouble and pulled through, what advice might you have?
- I'm not trying to milk anything but I am trying to live. So, as a Gold seal CFI, USMC veteran, and individual who has been issue free in every way up until a few months ago..... would any of you with hiring authority give a chance to a guy like me who fully intends to make the best of the situation by using these lessons to become a safer and wiser pilot?


"Never tell me the odds!"
You'll have no problem getting hired in this environment. Mainline "might" be an issue years down the road if you go that route, though I suggest you don't, mainly because helicopter pilots are different and we don't fit in well with the mainline crowd. Blazers and hats....something something.....

I wouldn't worry about it and just start applying. Worst they can say is no?

There are a number of FedEx feeders that will pick you up if your ASEL is commercial level and you can fly to thier standards. There are no hard and fast rules about hours though. Some will recognize your helo time and some won't. You never know till you ask.


Well-Known Member
For freight, your SPIFR skills have to be there. That's something that you don't get a lot of practice with flying ag. I'd recommend spending sometime with a safety pilot and get very proficient. The regionals "will let pilots resign" if they aren't cutting it in the sim, too.

Good luck.


Hi there hungryhelipilot, first off welcome to JC I'm newer here as well. You shouldn't have anymore difficulty flying just over a few bad mistakes. I myself can understand that because I had two DUI's in 7 seven months of each other( which actually did me a favor if you can believe that) and im still changing careers to be a pilot. Probably won't be a easy thing to do but like you I learned from my mistakes and have become a better person for it. As far as hurdles goes I'd say you already have the biggest one beat imho which is the medical. Otherwise like av8tr1 said just keep applying! Worst they can say is no, or apply again in a few.