Long Term Career Goal Questions

ManHooker

Active Member
I'm a new RW military pilot that has been in the military for a little over 10 years. At the end of my current tour I'll have the choice of taking a reserve retirement or taking another tour and then getting an active retirement. Not posting this in the military section because my question doesn't have anything to do with the military.

Unless I am reading CFR 16.160 incorrectly, I will need 750 hours to get a restricted ATP. To get an unrestricted however, I will still need to meet all of the FW requirements in 16.159. There are regionals that will accept the restricted ATP along with some FW requirements, which I would hopefully land a job with in order to build additional time to get the unrestricted ATP. Does this all sound like I have it straight?

If that is correct could someone provide some guidance on if my future plans make sense? In simplistic terms, I need to first work on getting my private license, then I need to get a multi-engine w/instrument rating. Then I can work on slowly building hours in order to meet regional/ATP requirements. Probably get a CFI to broaden knowledge and new skills while also lessening the financial impact of building FW hours. Then hopefully at the end of the next 4-5 years, be able to apply for a regional job. Is that generally the correct way to be thinking about this?

The other option for me is to hopefully transition to FW for my next tour, and build time that way while also paying out of pocket to get any additional requirements taken care of. But I'll also receiving the regular retirement which will be a nice safety net.

Last question I have is about cargo jobs vs the airlines. It seems many of the threads I see are people asking about going to regionals then a legacy carrier, and far less people talking about getting into a cargo job for FedEx or UPS. Is there any reason behind this?
 

MikeFavinger

Hubschrauber Flieger
Welcome to JetCareers! Looks like you might be a 47 driver? I was one too years ago.

My first piece of advice is the join the RTAG and RTAG Nation Facebook groups and read all the pinned posts there. There is a wealth of information there specifically for your situation to include many ways to finance your flight training using a plethora of programs free to you. They’ll also be able to answer your Restricted ATP questions a lot better than I could. Additionally, they host a free job fair every year… tons of folks got hired at the last one.

That said, there are many places outside the regionals hiring rATP former helicopter pilots these days. A regional is a great first step, but LCCs (like Frontier) or AMCIs (cargo airlines like Atlas) have been known to pick up helo pilots with fresh FW certs.

If you are considering going to the Guard/Reserves after your AD ADSO is up in order to start at the airlines, I’d say that these days that is an excellent option. You’d retain a retirement check (just further down the road) and you’d get a seniority number way sooner than later with greater career lifetime earnings than you could dream about in the military.

You don’t really need to get a private pilot certificate - you are already a commercial pilot so you could earn a commercial FW cert right off. However, some part 141 programs might have you get private privileges first or you might just choose that route for various reasons (flying friends and family around, etc).

FedEx and UPS are excellent, excellent places to end up. Plenty of members here at both. There are just more passenger airline pilots around so that’s probably why you hear less about them. Anecdotally, it might be a little tougher to get hired at those places than passenger Legacies… not sure though.

Best of luck! Happy to see another Army pilot here!
 

DE727UPS

Well-Known Member
I remember doing training with an older F/O who was just coming back from medical. He was a helo guy in the army and was pretty high up in the command and in the guard. He was just the nicest guy and apologized in advance for any weakness in his game. The funny thing was our instructor had been in his unit under his command and was very patient with us. You could tell he had a lot of respect for the guy. I've also flown with Apache guys who were in the guard/reserves. Several others who had flown helo's early on an transitioned to fixed wing in the service. If you stay in the reserves, it would help your resume greatly if you could transition to a fixed wing job. Even a King Air or something like that looks good.
 

mikecweb

Well-Known Member
I remember doing training with an older F/O who was just coming back from medical. He was a helo guy in the army and was pretty high up in the command and in the guard. He was just the nicest guy and apologized in advance for any weakness in his game. The funny thing was our instructor had been in his unit under his command and was very patient with us. You could tell he had a lot of respect for the guy. I've also flown with Apache guys who were in the guard/reserves. Several others who had flown helo's early on an transitioned to fixed wing in the service. If you stay in the reserves, it would help your resume greatly if you could transition to a fixed wing job. Even a King Air or something like that looks good.
I always say this to @MikeFavinger and it’s so true, Army helo to FW dudes are always apologizing. By and large everyone has been a solid pilot and an incredibly hard worker.
 

Adler

Low-Level Individual
I have read on Instagram that luck favors the Bold. Opportunity favors the prepared. Life favors discipline, focus, and hard work. Be Bold. Believe in yourself. Have a vision and a plan: Your vision needs to be bigger than money. You need to see past making enough money. Project out 5-10 years. If you're not making enough to be ok after 1-2 years, you're in the wrong business. Be willing to sacrifice to make your dream a reality. What you are required to sacrifice is different for everyone, but once you get started, you will know what is required to make your dream a reality. Don't be afraid of making mistakes and be honest enough with yourself to admit the mistakes and learn from them. And the most important, I think, is to put people around you who are where you want to be, and who have done what you are trying to do successfully, and be willing to accept guidance and council from them.
 

///AMG

Well-Known Member
You don’t really need to get a private pilot certificate - you are already a commercial pilot so you could earn a commercial FW cert right off. However, some part 141 programs might have you get private privileges first or you might just choose that route for various reasons (flying friends and family around, etc).
Yeah this brotha. You aren't gonna be starting from scratch. Look up RTP programs, tons of folks have done what you are possibly wanting to do.

As for reserves vs active, long term there is more money in the retirement itself from the active retirement. I'm guessing you had the choice between BRS and HI-3/traditional so there are some nuances if you opted for the former. But either way it boils down to how much longer you want the mil life, deployments, etc. For me, it was exactly 0 more days, which is why I turned down the O-4 milestone job and went reserves instead. But that calculus is only your own. Not to put too much military discussion in an otherwise (as you stated) intentionally non-mil question.

I don't think there is a particular move towards one segment of 121 flying or another. Locally at my reserve squadron, I'd say half of our new hires have also gotten jobs at Delta/United and the other half have gone Fedex or UPS. No real rhyme or reason, just whomever called them back first. I wouldn't read too much into it.
 
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