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Helo career info

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
Yeah, I meant my timeframe in 06-09. I never remember my HS buds talking about an FLM concern but the 60B guys wouldn't shut up about it. The 60F/H airframes were no were near as old as the 60Bs so if there was a FLM program I doubt it was as closely managed especially with squadrons transitioning to the 60S.
Independent of the possibility of FLM on the HS side (I can't prove there was or wasn't), I'm guessing why you heard so much about it from the HSL guys was because so many of them had to track it personally. For HS, "Maintenance" worried about such things, but for HSL, a JO on every Det managed it with maintenance, and usually it was 2 JOs (MO and Ops) since they "should" have been working together to meet it on deployment. Plus the OIC would/should have been hawking it, too.

The other reason is because Romeo wasn't coming and the community knew it screwed up and tried to make due with the SLEP. The COs and O-6s that put the community in that position knew they had to follow the new plan to make their birds last, so it was always a thing on people's minds.

It's still a thing in HSM land now, but with the excess airframes the community has, the Wings are able to move assets around to manage the problem. Much smarter than what HSL did.
 

insanebikerboy

Internet killed the television star
pilot
None
Contributor
My first tour was HS and while I could have been oblivious, I don't ever recall FLM concerns. In the 2008/9 timeframe, our bigger concern was flight hour budget. We had guys that had to use the sim to make their annual mins.
 

IKE

Nerd Whirler
pilot
My first tour was HS and while I could have been oblivious, I don't ever recall FLM concerns. In the 2008/9 timeframe, our bigger concern was flight hour budget. We had guys that had to use the sim to make their annual mins.
There weren't. Guys leaving Japan in 2009-10 had 1,000+ in model. Those of us who left in '12 had more like 750-800. It was indeed a flight hour cut across the board in '10. I remember, because I made HAC, then sat.
 

ChuckMK23

Instructor, Flight.
pilot
I understand now the retention issues in light of fleet squadron flight hour activity - squadron life non deployed would genuinely suck for me If I could not count on flying at least 2x per week... not meaning to be captain obvious here - but the light really came on for me on what you guys are dealing with.
 

Jryan

New Member
I've been an officer for about 13 years, and I am almost at 2,000 hours (I'm on the low end, because I spent ~2.5 years not flying and went the test pilot route). If you get the right platform, take the right tours (HTs or SWTI), and serve outside of crazy government shutdowns, you could exceed 2,500 in 12 years. Top end would be my prior Skipper who wrapped up his CO tour (~18 years) with > 4,000 hours (he only didn't fly for 2 years).

As always, YMMV.
Awesome, thanks for the info. If you don't mind me asking a more personal question, how did you enjoy flying the OH-60? Would you do it over again?
(I don't know any USN helo guys so I haven't been able to ask these kinds of questions yet. I'm considering trying to fly for the Navy but want to make an informed decision.)
 

RobLyman

- hawk Pilot
pilot
None
Just for a point of reference, I looked at my logbook for 2010 and had 208 hours at home, followed by 199 hours in 2011 on deployment (medevac). We had just fielded brand new 60Ms in 2009, so none had even seen a PMI (phase) yet. Maintenance was obviously not an issue. On top of that, a lot of us were supplementing our flight hours by ferrying new 60Ms to other units who didn't have pilots qualified in the airframe yet. 2010 and 2011 were not bad years for us.

2018 total flight hours was 186 hours, with a very deliberate effort to fly only when I was doing check rides, RL progression, DLQs or test flights. ie zero day D$^& around flights. I seriously tried to stay off the schedule if I could. And yet I flew double my minimums. Over my career(s) which have included non-flying jobs and two 4-5 month medical suspensions (#mountainbikeaccidents, #orthosurgery), I have averaged 150 hours a year.

Just like the Navy, Army flying hours go to those with the quals.
 

IKE

Nerd Whirler
pilot
Awesome, thanks for the info. If you don't mind me asking a more personal question, how did you enjoy flying the OH-60? Would you do it over again?
(I don't know any USN helo guys so I haven't been able to ask these kinds of questions yet. I'm considering trying to fly for the Navy but want to make an informed decision.)
My progression has been very unique, and I would do it all over again.

As to the H-60, it's arguably the best medium-lift airframe out there (still). Most of the military variants don't have the greatest software in their cockpits, but IMO, the alternatives (NH-90, EC-725) are fragile and sensitive, even if they'll fly themselves and have pretty colors on the screens.

Honestly, the mission matters more than the aircraft when choosing a service or a platform with the service. If you must have helos, want to do helicoptery things, stay in the cockpit, get more hours, but get paid a little less, Army Warrant Officer may be better choice.

Navy will offer you a simultaneously fulfilling and frustrating environment of flying, leading, managing, and changing missions.
 
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