Afghanistan Pilot Jobs

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by brien23, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. brien23

    brien23 Line Up and Wait

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    Where do you find overseas DOD contracted pilot jobs in Afghanistan. I see a lot of civilian contracted flying. Where do you find these jobs? I am sure they pay very good since you are flying in a hostile fire zone and most people would be timid to take one of these jobs.
     
  2. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If you have a commercial certificate or higher, you can register at Propilotworld.com and you will occasionally see some job postings for the contractors. You'll probably also get some leads on companies that contract out, plus get insight from those who have done it.

    Not so sure it is a matter of being timid....most folks just don't want to have to deploy like the military for as long as those guys do. They tend to be out of the country for a while.

    Also, don't expect that the job requirements are less...still going to need to have competitive time and experience. Good luck!

    FWIW, alot of the good CONUS government contract jobs are done by the same companies that operate in CENTCOM, so being willing to fly over there can be a great way to get the future job closer to home.
     
  3. MSPAviator

    MSPAviator Cleared for Takeoff

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    If I was flying in a place like that and had to force land somewhere, I wouldn't allow myself to be captured alive by the enemy. :eek:
     
  4. John Baker

    John Baker Final Approach

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    That's a whole lot easier said than done.

    John
     
  5. Teller1900

    Teller1900 En-Route

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  6. steingar

    steingar Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Sorry, I'd rather work at Burger King. The whole flying thing is hard enough without folks shooting at you. I hope I'm never that hard up.
     
  7. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    L-3 Communications is another one. I know a few people who have gone to fly King Airs in Afghanistan.
     
  8. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    FWIW, alot of the guys who take those jobs are coming from the military and are a bit more used to that sort of thing.
     
  9. steingar

    steingar Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Didn't know you could really get used to that kind of thing. If it works for them...
     
  10. dmccormack

    dmccormack Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Thank God some are willing to do it.....
     
  11. steingar

    steingar Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Don't know about that. If no one was willing to do it, we wouldn't have any wars, and we'd have to resolve our disputes peacefully. Now wouldn't that be nice?
     
  12. CJones

    CJones En-Route

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    And if frogs could fly, they wouldn't bump their butt on the ground.
     
  13. Tom-D

    Tom-D Touchdown! Greaser!

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    they also looking for Mechanics and support people.
     
  14. Richard

    Richard Final Approach

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    You speak as if ugly war and divine peace are the only alternatives. Get rid of ugly war and well, there ya go. But peace is not the absence of war. And peace comes in many flavors.
     
  15. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    People do it because they can make 2-3 times what they would be making flying the equivalent equipment in the States. Plus it's an adventure.
     
  16. Art VanDelay

    Art VanDelay Pattern Altitude

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    Most of those jobs go to former military and or people with or who can obtain a security clearance. Although they might make an exception if you had a bunch of Bush Flying time.
    Previous time in DHC-6 or 7, CASA 212, C-208 and or King Air would be helpful as well.
     
  17. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Dunno, the couple people I'm thinking of were not ex-military but they had significant King Air time.
     
  18. EvilEagle

    EvilEagle Line Up and Wait

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    Just got back from Afghanistan flying King Airs. Lots of contract types and they are always hiring because it's not something that most people want to do for long. A couple of trips over there is a good way to make some cash, but not a great way to make a living.

    It's honestly fairly boring and we hardly ever get shot at anymore (at least the stuff you'd be doing in a King Air).
     
  19. MSPAviator

    MSPAviator Cleared for Takeoff

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    Do you guys do steep spiraling descents to avoid ground fire? Are you armed (sidearms/personal weapons)? If you did go down, would they send in the cavalry to come rescue you? What kind of runways do you land on? 10,000ft. concrete, dirt, gravel? Do you fly at night in the mountains?
     
  20. Jack Spectre

    Jack Spectre Line Up and Wait

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    Well, I could wish in one hand and take a dump in the other....which one do you think would fill up first?

    There will always be tyrants, and there will always be people willing to oppose tyranny. We will never see the end of war.
     
  21. Teller1900

    Teller1900 En-Route

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    One of the guys I used to fly with is over there with a company whose name escapes me. He flies the DHC-8-100/200/300. They operate with two pilots and two loadmasters (or a loadmaster and a crew chief). Everyone is qualified on the M-4 and a sidearm. It sounds like they are mostly on improved strips; generally well away from the main action, though it sounds like they get to hear some firework at night.
     
  22. Anymouse

    Anymouse Pattern Altitude

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    I've been doing this kind of work for almost 7 years now. Being in the right place, at the right time is what got me the job. In a nutshell, my previous company in Alaska had four Casas that were sold out from underneath them by our parent company. I immediately called up the new owners and offered my resume. Never heard of them, but they were called Blackwater Aviation. About a year later they got the contract in Afghanistan and I was hired.

    A month after that I picked up one of their planes in Australia and flew it into Afghanistan. Stayed there for a couple years, then started on a contract in Africa. Stayed there a couple years, went back to Afghanistan. Stayed there a couple years and I now I'm back in Africa again.

    All that being said, getting hired in these jobs is really right place, right time, along with a lot of who you know. My company AAR (Blackwater Aviation was sold early last year and no longer exists) has been trying to get away from the who you know deal, but so far that hasn't seemed to produce too many good people. You're best bet is to submit resumes, hope for an interview (or at least to meet someone with enough authority to hire) and keep in friendly contact, not being a pest. But really the best way is to have someone in good standing with the company that's flown with you and willing to vouch for you.

    As far as working conditions, it varies. For the most part, you can expect to stay in either a B-hut (plywood walls) or a tent. The first year of my second tour in Afghanistan was in a tent. The last few months were in a Conex. Our company is doing mostly 60/30 rotations, but there are some that are getting 60/60 and I think maybe 45/45. Other companies (Dyncorp for sure) are doing 6 months/13 days.

    Pay is normally based on a daily rate and may or may not include a per diem. My company will only pay per diem if it's required by contract. The Afghan contract does not require it. The good news is that Afghan per diem ain't much anyway.

    Due to IRS having new interpretation of the rules, and their resultant crackdowns, the days of 1099s is coming to an end. At AAR, we're now all W-2 employees. Depending on your situation, it can be good or bad. If you play your cards right, it's possible that you can qualify for the Foreign Earned Income Exemption. This is worth roughly 90k+ being knocked off your taxable income. See your CPA for details.

    For special training, if you go to Afghanistan, you'll need to take a CRC course. This is mostly classroom, but covers SERE topics, cultural stuff, combat medicine and weapons training (M-16, M-4, AK-47, 9MM). It last a week and involves a detailed medical examination.

    As far as risk over in Afghanistan goes? Well, it's a war zone. What can I say? There are bad guys that want to kill you. For the most part, you'll be held prisoner on the base. Unless you go over as a truck driver, don't expect to ever get off of a base as a civilian. As a result, you'll have very little exposure to the general population, however rocket attacks happen quite often. Mostly these are harmless, but they do kill people when they fall in the right spot. Not much you can do to mitigate that risk. Good news on this is that for the most part, when you find out about a rocket attack (hear it, red alert, etc.) it's over with. There are exceptions though.

    As far as planes getting shot, our helos get shot at all the time and get hit from time to time. The Casas are also low flyers and get shot at quite often. Fortunately, the Taliban fighters are lousy shots, but our planes have picked up some bullets from time to time. The high flyers are out of small arms range and don't get bothered. The "stinger" threat is minimal for various reasons.

    Fortunately, we've never caught anything that caused us to go down (although we did lose a couple helos in Iraq a few years ago). Just takes a while to do the sheet metal repairs. Most times when I got shot at, I didn't realize it until a passenger mentioned it to me later. However, there was one time when I was back taxiing for departure that a mortar dropped in front of me. It was right on centerline and just off the end of the runway. This resulted in my first and only emergency takeoff. I didn't feel like hanging around.

    To help mitigate the risk when landing, I typically will either come in steep (like 2000-3000 FPM) or fast (180-200 knots until a mile out) and put the brakes on at the last minute. The Casa is real versatile when doing this kind of stuff. Also, takeoffs are done either max performance (to get altitude over the base) or low level departure from the base and a zoom climb after getting away from the area. I try to mix it up and varied my technique based on what I felt was necessary at the time.

    Whew!! I think I answered most of the questions in this thread. Y'all have fun now!!


    BTW... I'm pretty sure Teller's friend works for us. There's only two Dash 8 operators in Afghanistan that I'm aware of. I don't think the other guys take two load masters.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011