Question For Juris--About Army Aviatiion

B-J-J Fighter

Royce Gracie in Action
Joined
Dec 1, 2001
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Can you tell me what your typical day is like at Rucker. How long are you in class? Do you fly everyday? How long is your average training flight? How much spare time do you have everyday?

I have a bachelors degree and I currently work Part 125 freight charters and also flight instruct on the side. I have always wanted to be involved in military aviation and fly helos and Im thinking of giving the Army a shot.

I just got married a few months ago and I wonder what life would be like for my wife as the partner of a warrant officer. How much time would I have to spend with her? What kind of conditions would we be living in? I love working out and lifting weights, would I have time to do this as well while Im there? How is the gym there?

Thanks for all your help. If your wondering Im 25 and have about 1500 TT 500 ME.
 

Michael Knight

helping the innocent
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Hey Fighter,

Since you like to work out a lot and you want to fly helos... why don't you join the Marines. They can offer a guaranteed flight slot and you won't have a problem flying helos. They also don't mind you working out on "company" time. You can even get involved in sports competitions and stuff.

Good luck,
Mike
 

KingAirGuy

Well-known member
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6000+
Army Rotary WIng

If you want to fly with the Marines go for it. Having been an Army Aviator I would tell you most of what you do is not flying. You can get flight time, but the bulk of your work is other than flying duties. Even as a Warrant, you do tons of "Additional" duties.

My Stick buddy in flight school was a starving CFI/ CFII with about 1000 hours fixed wing time. He was what we call highschool to flight school (although he had his BS degree, the program takes you off the street, thru basic training then into flight school). I have about 0 at the controls. He smoked thru (good air sence and already knew what an RMI and HSI were, I had a hard time spelling them let alone knowing what they were or how they worked)

Flight school is spoon fed. If you put in the effort and have the appititude, you should do well. Just beware that its a 6 year committment after you finish and get your wings. The chance of a fixed wing transition in the Army is very slim, however you can get them.

The bonus situation for Army Aviators also is not happening. The AF skimmed off a lot of Army rotary wing guys with that swoopy AF we actually pay our pilots flight pay and a bonus deal. There was actually a bonus program but only for Apache guys (Yes I turned down the $120,000.00 There is a reason the Army offers a bonus for anything. its spelled "The job sucks the most" There were so many restrictions and conditions, few actually took it.

All that said. I loved my time as an Army Aviator, definately would not trade it for anything (Hell then I would have had to pay for my ratings and flight time!)
 

jurisj

Kingsmen
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"Can you tell me what your typical day is like at Rucker. How long are you in class? Do you fly everyday? How long is your average training flight? How much spare time do you have everyday?"

The typical day in Army flight school depends on what stage your in and whether you're flying in mornings or afternoons (they alternate weeks). Days in Primary and Instruments tend to be shorter, days in Basic Combat Skills tend to be longer. This is my daily schedule right now in Basic Combat Skills:

0530-0630 Physical Training
0730-1030 Academics, though we often don't go a full 3 hours
1110 Get picked up and taken to the flightline by bus
1130-1230 Preflight briefing with your flight / Daily Questions
1230-1300 Briefing with your IP
1300-1700 Flying (Usually 1.2 - 2.0 hours a day, stickbuddy flies the rest)
1700-1800 Postflight brief / grading with your IP
1830 Get picked up by bus and taken back to post

When I've got a lot to do, such as checkride preparation, I can end up at the Learning Center studying until it closes at 2100. That makes for a long day, but it's rare.

At that point you're free, but typically you will need to spend an additional 1-3 hours studying and flight planning for the next day. During Primary your main concern at night is studying EP's and Op Limits. In Instruments it's flight planning and studying for academics. In Combat Skills, it's mission planning and studying your tactics.

"I have a bachelors degree and I currently work Part 125 freight charters and also flight instruct on the side. I have always wanted to be involved in military aviation and fly helos and Im thinking of giving the Army a shot. "

I was a defense contractor developing software in the Washington, DC area with a bachelors degree. I joined for the same reason and do not regret it, though the pay sucks in comparison.

"I just got married a few months ago and I wonder what life would be like for my wife as the partner of a warrant officer. How much time would I have to spend with her? What kind of conditions would we be living in?"

Being married, you'd have the option to live on post. I'd take it... the housing isn't bad and if you get your name on the housing list when you arrive for WOCS, you'll probably have a place available by the time you graduate. I'm single, so I can't comment about how much time you'll have with your wife and all, but know that you should be gone all day and will have to study a bit at night.

"I love working out and lifting weights, would I have time to do this as well while Im there? How is the gym there? "

The main gym on post was just decked out with brand new free weights, which is nice. They've got pretty much everything you can imagine... free weights, Nautilus machines, a variety of cardio machines, basketball/volleyball courts, olympic size swimming pool, etc. Whatever your thing is, you can do it. In order to truly get time to workout, the best thing is to do well on your record Physical Fitness Tests. If you score at least 90 points in each event (pushups, situps, and 2 mile run) you are exempt from the company PT that I mentioned in my schedule above. Then you can go and workout during that time... otherwise you may have to wait until after your duty day and weekends.

"Thanks for all your help. If your wondering Im 25 and have about 1500 TT 500 ME."

I can't imagine you having ANY trouble with flight school once you get over the whole transition to rotary wing. No problems. However, I have seen a guy with over 100 hours of civilian instrument time fail his Instrument checkride. The best advice that I've heard is, even if you know better from your civilian career, fly how the Army and how your IPs teach you. Most IPs are pretty good and they'll recognize your skill level and will teach you appropriately.

Good luck, and let me know if there's anything else I can help you with. Cheers,

- Juris
 

B-J-J Fighter

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Juris, thanks for the long very informative response, its much appreciated.

So you say the housing is good, my wifes a paralegal, would she beable to find any kind of work there at Rucker. She has about 2 years left to finish up her bachelors, is there any college in the area where she could finish up? Are there any civilian jobs on the base she might could get?

How is the pay for a warrant officer and how long is flight school?
 

jurisj

Kingsmen
Joined
Dec 1, 2001
Posts
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"my wifes a paralegal, would she beable to find any kind of work there at Rucker."

There certainly are law offices around. I don't know what the employment opportunities are like, though. Dothan may be the best bet for employment for her. You could try looking up the Dothan Eagle newspaper online and seeing if they publish job classifieds online.

"She has about 2 years left to finish up her bachelors, is there any college in the area where she could finish up?"

Embry-Riddle and Troy State both have satellite campuses on post for night school. I doin't know what they offer degree-wise. In the local area there's a few junior colleges, but no real big ones. Troy State University itself is only about 30 miles away.

"Are there any civilian jobs on the base she might could get?"

My understanding is that spouses get hiring preference for on-post employment. I don't know how useful this employment may be in reference to your wife's career, but that is my understanding.

"How is the pay for a warrant officer and how long is flight school?"

The whole process for flight school will take you about 1 1/2 years from Basic Training, through WOCS, through flight school, getting winged, completing your Aircraft Qualification Course, and leaving Fort Rucker for your first assignment.

You can learn about military pay rates at: http://www.dfas.mil/money/milpay/pay/

You'll earn E-4 in Basic, E-5 while in WOCS, then get paid as a W-1 from then on until promotion to CW2.

Cheers,

- Juris
 
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