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being selected for Cobra

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PhatFarmer35

Registered User
I just had a quick question. For those people who choose to become helo pilots, how difficult is it to become a Cobra pilot if that is what you want to fly? I know its based on a lot of different things, but would you say an average student in the helo pipeline who wanted to fly Cobras would have a hard time selecting them?
 

46Driver

"It's a mother beautiful bridge, and it's gon
Like everything else in flight school, it is timing. Most Marine students show up at the HT´s wanting Cobras, but by the time they are ready to graduate, many have changed their minds. From what I remember, Cobras and 53´s are neck and neck, and their is a substantial number that want Hueys or Phrogs. Reasons are primarily they want the assault mission or they prefer to pick duty station first and aircraft second.
 

phrogdriver

More humble than you would understand
pilot
Super Moderator
Second that. I coordinated a lot of selections. Now we go by the "quality spread," the same system they used at TBS for MOS selection. However, the #1 guy almost always gets his first choice. In terms of people wanting it more, the airframes break down fairly well in terms of who wants each one, with the exception that very few want the Huey. The jam comes in that there are a LOT of 46 slots, fewer 53E slots, fewer Cobra slots than that, and just a few Hueys. 53Ds are actually the hardest to get, since only 1 comes down every couple of weeks.
 

E5B

Flying the Line
pilot
Super Moderator
Yeah, everyone seems to want cobras at first. I remember at TBS the attitude being "If I don't get 18's, I'll settle for Cobras" When I got here to the HT's I was surprised to see that 46's are more popular than folks think. After talking to a few 46 guys I can see why. I know several guys who have 46's on the top of their list and Cobras last. Next to that I'd say the next most popular thing is "west". There's actually quite a few Marines I've been talking to that want Hueys.

Phrogdriver, as for this "quality spread" that you've seen, would you say there's a good chance for a someone wanting assault support to not get stuck with skids?
 

phrogdriver

More humble than you would understand
pilot
Super Moderator
Your "odds" are exactly the same overall, since the numbers of slots really didn't change. The only thing that changes is that only the #1 guy is really in control of his own destiny. The other guys are subject to how the thirds or halves get broken down. Before, the #2 guy was still in excellent shape--now he's 3rd or 4th in line.
 

skidkid

CAS Czar
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
Be number one and it is gauranteed. I dont know how the whole quality spread works but my winging class all pretty much wanted something different. Number one wanted 53s good news for me as number two. As you went down some guys got airframe or coast but not both. Bottomline is study and fly to be number one make sure student control knows waht you want and let the chips fall. You will love whatever you get.
 

splendid_splinter

HMLA flyer
phrogdrivel.. you're a little behind the times on what people are wanting these days. it's not the ole want cobras when you get there, want assault by the time you select pattern. i would say that most people knew what they wanted when they got there and stuck with it. and there was alot of diversity on what people wanted. there were alot of people actually competing for the limited amount of huey slots. not to put down another community, nearly all of the guys i knew that wanted 46's were all burned out and in their words, just didn't feel like studying much anymore.
 

phrogdriver

More humble than you would understand
pilot
Super Moderator
I'm not that behind the times--I instucted in HTs up until last month, and worked a lot on selections there. While you may have seen people cramming through the door for Hueys for a couple weeks, I'll tell you that the low number of people asking for UH-1s was a point of concern among the higher-ups within the past FY, and part of the reason we went to a spread. You weren't there when the we had Huey drafts. 46s have difficulties because we have more slots to fill than anyone else. Say hypothetically that equal numbers wanted each a/c--46s still have to put butts in more seats. It was concern over UH and 46 selection numbers and NSSs for those communities that drove the switch to a quality spread. That's not perception, that's reality. Believe me, I've talked to the people who ran the numbers.

And I wasn't the one who said that people switch preferences, anyway, just that not many people want Hueys. You might want to check that before you start saying "Phrogdrivel"--oh, you kill me!
 

phrogdriver

More humble than you would understand
pilot
Super Moderator
No, I don't agree. A lot of them just want to be in the assault support mission. We might get a few more looking to slack, but we don't get the horseshoe haircut, false-motivation types that skids tend to attract either, so I think that it works out okay in the end. "Oui?" Isn't that from the language of the surrender monkeys?
 

skidkid

CAS Czar
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
Ahh the glorious angst that is the Marine helo community. As frustrated as I have been from time to time with my "tired" colleagues and their lack of tactical savy the bottom line is I admire and respect the Phrog guys for going into some zones LLL but shooting controlling fixed wing and clearing a zone all at once takes a little more SA and ability and demands more of the co-pilot. We are suffering a bit under the quality spread especially when we get a guy who doesnt really want to be there
 

46Driver

"It's a mother beautiful bridge, and it's gon
skidkid said:
Ahh the glorious angst that is the Marine helo community. As frustrated as I have been from time to time with my "tired" colleagues and their lack of tactical savy the bottom line is I admire and respect the Phrog guys for going into some zones LLL but shooting controlling fixed wing and clearing a zone all at once takes a little more SA and ability and demands more of the co-pilot. We are suffering a bit under the quality spread especially when we get a guy who doesnt really want to be there
Here we go........

And flying a tight 6 ship assault formation on NVG's into a small zone without "browning out" requires a little more stick and rudder skill then just sitting in a hover at an AP or doing holding patterns as a radio relay.....

I was hearing these same arguments 12 years ago - glad to see nothing has changed......
 

jarhead

UAL; retired hinge
pilot
skid guys & assault support guys talking trash to one another, just like the Hornet & Harrier guys talk sh1t to one another about who's better ...

as soon as a fixed wing dude starts in on a skid or assault support guy, all the Helo guys band together against that fixed wing guy; same goes for the fixed wing guys when a Helo dude start talking trash about fixed wing ...

but as soon as that Squid or Air Farce puke starts putting down Marine Aviation, all Marine Aviators band together ...

ahh, the Marine Corps, a true Band of Brothers, i love it

Semper Fidelis
 
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