Army Helicopter Pilot

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by brien23, May 14, 2019.

  1. brien23

    brien23 Cleared for Takeoff

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    How many hours a month do Army Helicopter pilots get in the pilots seat or second seat to log as pilot. Most Turbine helicopter jobs want 1500 hr time, how long does that take for a Army Helicopter pilot to get that much time in their log book.
     
  2. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Well it’ll be difficult to give a certain number or years because of all the variables. Are we talking WO or RLO? A simple answer, If a UH-60 guy in a FAC1 WO line pilot position they are are required to get 48 hrs semiannually so 96 annually. Realistically though, one could average 175-200 hrs per year. So, maybe 8 years to get enough time for a turbine gig.

    Problem is, several factors can influence that number and bump it up or down. Things that will push hours up depend on specific tracks such as instructor pilot, maintenance test pilot, safety, or TAC ops. If you track instructor pilot, you would be well over 200 hrs a year. I averaged 320 hrs a year by being IP/IE/SP. Deployments can push the average up significantly. On deployment you can fly upwards of 1,000 hrs combat time just in that year. Type unit also matters. Go to 101st or 82nd and they’ll fly on a regular basis. Obviously special ops like 160th or Flight Concepts (SEASPRAY) don’t worry about budgets, so they can write their own ticket when it comes to building hours. Go to some small unit that just flys general support and they might barely be getting mins because of budget constraints.

    If we’re talking RLO, those guys hours will vary wildly. They might be in a FAC 1 platoon leader (FAC 1) position for a year and get over 200 hrs. Then they might be in a staff (FAC 2) position for several years getting only 60 hours per year. Most Captains I knew, did only an initial ADSO and none of them got out with more than 1,000 hrs. A few Captains could hit 1,500 hrs when they get out but they’d have to have at least 2 deployments and really press to get on the schedule. By the time you get 1,500 hrs as an RLO, you’re looking at a Major with maybe 15 years of service. They just don’t get the time because of all the staff duties they’re assigned. A WO on the other hand, can stay in the cockpit for an entire career if they play their cards right.

    So really, some (WO) can come out after a 6 year hitch and get 1,500 hrs, or 15 years for others (RLO).
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
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  3. darrell

    darrell Pre-takeoff checklist

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    2 years for BlackHawks. 10 years for Apaches.

    I kid, I kid. :D
     
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  4. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Lol! I was watching an EMS documentary on TV a couple years back at work. One of the pilots flying this EC-145 was a former Captain who flew Apaches. I looked at my medcrew and said “you can bet he padded his logbook to get that job.” :D
     
  5. darrell

    darrell Pre-takeoff checklist

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    With deployments these days they are finally getting a ton of hours, but yeah back in my day (I got out in '95) it was normal to take 20 years to get to 2000 hours if you were in Apaches. I was a 67R, for reference.
     
  6. Gerhardt

    Gerhardt En-Route

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    Many years ago there was a 60 Minutes segment about how there had to be a design flaw with the Apaches because of a series of accidents. Anything ever come to the study of the cause of the accidents, or was it just a fluke?
     
  7. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Been in aircraft MX for about 12 years, have yet to see any aircraft without a design flaw, some are disgustingly obvious lol.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  8. darrell

    darrell Pre-takeoff checklist

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    There was a big kerfuffle about gas generator rotors on the T700 engines made by GE that affected Black Hawk and Apaches from around 1985 to 1988? I'm not familiar with any serious design flaw that caused a series of Apache accidents.
     
  9. kurttruk

    kurttruk Pre-Flight

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    I know of guys in apaches that got over 1200 on a deployment in the 2006-2007 surge. These where mtp’s and Ip’s. Not sure what the op tempo is now. I got out in 2009. 67R/15R. Last I heard monthly minimums where 23hours or so. That was about all they got as well stateside. Not sure it’s that low anymore as the budget crunch isn’t the same as it was a few years ago.
     
  10. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Heck, forget the 1,500 hrs for a helo job. I’d say at least half the guys I knew are either fixed wing or on the path for fixed wing. 750 hrs is their magic number.
     
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  11. Gerhardt

    Gerhardt En-Route

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    Yeah, but it's like riding motorcycles. They'll go through some major DTs wanting to get their hands on a cyclic.

    In all seriousness...A friend of mine is one of the few who didn't go the fixed wing route. Has been oil patch flying since he got out, ready to retire now. Never had any $ to save, his health isn't good, hearing is all but gone.
     
  12. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Well I’ve seen a few come back to helos after a few months or even a few years at a regional. Don’t think it had anything to do with missing helos, they just didn’t care for the lifestyle change of the regional. One friend said he loved flying a CRJ at his airline but his family didn’t care for him being gone so much.
     
  13. Warlock

    Warlock Line Up and Wait

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    I got a little over 1000hrs in my first three years of flying in the army...took another 16-17 years to get the next 1000 as an RLO...80% of my time was AH-1 and AH-64...and as an early 64 pilot the sixty min report was crap...chop coller was a problem but once we safety wired them in the early A’s we quit having issues.
     
  14. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Just saw a guy on FB retire after 20 years and got only 2,350 hrs. Probably wasn’t in a flying position during all of those 20 though.

    I tell people, if you want to build hours, you go to the airlines, not the military. Serving the customer is always in demand in civilian flying. It’s feast or famine in military flying.
     
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