Helicopter Pilot

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by USAFA_Falcon_15, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. USAFA_Falcon_15

    USAFA_Falcon_15 USAFA '15 Appointee

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    I'm currently a 2dig at USAFA and am seriously considering trying to cross commission to the Navy to fly. Yet, with my little Navy experience I have a few questions.

    1. What are the focus missions for navy helo pilots, obviously this depends on air frame, but broad view?
    2. What's the culture of Navy pilots like?
    3. What are the fallback for those who washout of UPT?
    4. What's the future like? Where do careers lead?
     
  2. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I'm sure someone else can answer your questions; however, cross-commissioning is very difficult and very rare. You said you wanted to transfer in order to fly. Obviously, the USAF has many pilot billets -- what are you seeking in the USN that you can't achieve in the USAF? I ask b/c, typically, one of the main reasons transfer is allowed is to pursue a career field not available in your service -- for example, SEALs.
     
  3. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    1. The overwhelming majority (aside from like 2 squadrons of 53s) fly some variant of the -60. The MH-60S does a whole bunch of rando missions ranging from vertical replenishment at sea to SAR to SEAL support (only a couple squadrons), and anti-surface warfare. The SH-60R does mostly anti-submarine stuff. Either way, much time will be spent on boats, whether carriers, amphibs, or detachments to smaller ships.

    2. Though I'm biased towards Marine aviators, most Navy pilots are just good dudes. I don't really know how to explain it. There's definitely some people who are cocky or arrogant, but almost universally people help each other out (both instructors and students) and will bend over backwards for you if need it. It's a competitive environment because most students (and pilots) are competitive, type-A people, but it's not in a backstabbing or selfish way.

    3. It depends. Sometimes it's CIVLANT. Right now, redes options for (Navy) attrites are not great. They're trying to cut people and attrites can make that an easy decision for big Navy. Depending on what community needs people, attrites go on to Surface Warfare, Intel, Information Warfare, Supply, or Aviation Maintainence. On occaision (like if someone has good knowledge and is clearly working hard but completely lacks stick skills, or just barely fails the program) attrites are allowed to become NFOs.

    4. After flight school, winged aviators alternate between sea and shore tours. On sea tours, you're assigned to a fleet squadron, are given a division/"ground job," and usually deploy. Shore tours can vary between being in a "production" role (at any level of flight school), or being an NROTC/USNA instructor, staff tours, or some other weird options. Aside from a few very specific ones, almost all shore tours open to aviators regardless of platform, including stuff like TPS.
    A large proportion (majority? Not sure) of Naval Aviators are helo guys. Though traditionally most aviation admiral positions go to tailhook it seems like that's starting to change and helo pilots are getting in on the action. In short, you're not really limited in the Navy if you choose rotary or multiengine versus tailhook.

    Cross-commissioning is a real long shot. My boyfriend cross-commissioned Marine Corps from USMA and it's definitely not easy (but at least from USMA seemed to have not a lot of logic attached the decision to who could or couldn't? It's weird). If you can, try and get a (Navy) aviation cruise. I dont know how USAFA does training or how feasible it would be, but it would both expose you to the Navy and Naval Aviators and give you some ammunition for cross-commissioning.

    Best of luck. Check out airwarriors.com for tons more information about Navy air, training, and platforms.
     
  4. USAFA_Falcon_15

    USAFA_Falcon_15 USAFA '15 Appointee

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    Wonderful. Thank you both so much! I have one more question. What is the best place to get study material for the ASTB?
     
  5. phil904

    phil904 NAPSter

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    Suggestions

    I've never taken the real ASTB, but I have taken some practice sections in various study guides. I hope that this helps. Amazon, Barnes and Noble and ebay are good places to shop for books listed below.

    To start, I would also suggest finding a book called ARCO: Military Flight Aptitude Book as the material in the book is much like the material on the ASTB. (http://www.amazon.com/Military-Flight-Aptitude-Petersons-Master/dp/076891700X)

    Math Test:
    ARCO GRE/GMAT Math Review (http://www.amazon.com/ARCO-GMAT-Math.../dp/0768918316).
    This book covers all the math problems on the ASTB and shows you the easiest way to do them.

    Reading Test:
    The best thing for that is the Arco book really. The key is to answer the question based ONLY on the information in the passage.

    Mechanical Comprehension:
    Most of this is physics related so if you haven't taken a physics class or if you haven't seen it in a while, I would suggest sitting down and going over physics. This book might help: Barron's How to Prepare for the Mechanical Aptitude and Spatial Relations Tests.

    Spatial Apperception Test:
    The key to this is practice. Do as many as you can find until you feel comfortable. The Arco questions are not as difficult as the ones on the ASTB, but it's a start.

    Aviation and Nautical Information Test:
    This one is perhaps the most difficult to study for since it covers such a wide range of information. If you don't have any previous flight experience, the FAA prints some nice stuff on the subject (http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/ ).

    I also found a ASTB Personal study guide if this helps at all: http://www.futureofficer.com/downloads/ASTB_Personal_Study_Guide.pdf
     
  6. USAFA_Falcon_15

    USAFA_Falcon_15 USAFA '15 Appointee

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    Thank you, sir. It is much appreciated.
     
  7. phil904

    phil904 NAPSter

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    No problem, sir. Glad I could be of some assistance.
     

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