Real Answers from Real Pilots

Atp rotorcraft to fixed wing


(NIKOLAOS KANELLOS) #1

Good afternoon to everybody

I would like some guidance and advice.
I am interested on pursuing a new career in the fixed wing world.

Already an ATP and SPIFR HEMS pilot with 3200 hours in helicopters but only Private IFR SEL.

What is the industry’s take on people with my experience.
Tried ATP school in Daytona. No course for transition. I’ve been trying to contact the recruiter for Envoy. No joy yet.

The ideal would be eventually to fly for AA on international routes.

What do you recommend ?

Thank you for your time


#2

Nikolaos,

Welcome to the forums! In leaving the rotorcraft world you are in many ways starting over, in many ways you are not.

The airlines will certainly consider your experience, but to a point. Of course your total time should count towards the 1,500 needed for the airlines, but you will need to show the airlines a significant amount of fixed wing time. Simply getting your tickets punched with the minimum time required is likely not going to be enough for an airline. As you know, helicopters and airplanes are completely different animals (I have zero idea how to fly a helicopter) so at some point you will need a decent amount of fixed wing flight time.

Since you already have so much time and experience I think that a program like ATP’s would be too much of a return to basics for you and not a good use of your financial resources. Unless, your instrument training was so long ago that you need a return to basics. Otherwise, I would suggest a flight school that can transition you to a commercial multi engine license.

What is your total single engine fixed wing time? How current is it? How current is your instrument rating?

Out of curiosity, where did you get all of the helicopter time? My uncle flies for Air Logistics in the Gulf of Mexico.

Chris


#3

Hello Nicholas and Welcome!

While you have an impressive rotary wing resume, I believe you do have some holes that’ll need to be filled before you’re employable at a Regional. The Regionals all have different ways of looking at rotary time but regardless they all need you to be qualified to get at least a Muliti-Engine R-ATP and many also have minimum ME and Fixed wing requirements (usually 100/250hrs). That of course means you’ll need to get you’re Multi-Engine rating and the R-ATP will require at least 25 hrs ME fixed wing time plus any other requirements (cross-country, night, etc). You need to talk to the Regional of your choice (Envoy for instance) and get their specifics. After that it’s a question of doing the math and seeing if it’s worth it for you.

BTW, I have seen that Envoy has a Rotary Transition program for Military Helicopter pilots, not sure if you’re former military OR if it’s available to those who are not but it’s definitely worth investigating.

Adam


(NIKOLAOS KANELLOS) #4

Thank you Chris and Adam

It is nice being to the forum and I hope I can bring some of my insight from the Rotor world.

I am an American resident but Greek citizen.

Chris, I was senior flight instructor for Bristow Academy in Titusville Fl for 4 years and flew for a military contract before I left for the HEMS world where I became Instructor Captain on ME helicopters. Flew Philly area for few more years and now I’m back in Florida.
So majority of my flight hours are training the PTS of all levels.

I haven’t flown airplane since 2011 but as an IFR pilot now I managed to keep my instrument skills as sharp as possible.

I completely understand that I need to get current and qualified for Commercial SEL, MEL, CFI/CFII/MEI.

To meet my ATP part 61 I will need up to 250hours. If I build that time as a CFI/CFII will that satisfy the Regional world or looking for a corporate job will put me in a better spot?

Adam Thank you for pointing out that Envoy might have a Rotory Transition program. I was not aware of it and couldn’t find it online. I’ll call again the recruiter.

If you guys have any recommendations or leads on flight schools or transition programs or contact info etc please let me know.

If you need any Rotorcraft advice please don’t hesitate.

Thanks again


#5

Nikolaos, (sorry for the earlier misspell),

Frankly the Regionals are seriously hurting looking for qualified applicants which is why they’re recruiting at flight schools, setting up flow-thrus and paying hiring bonuses (all unheard of in the past). As we all agree you need to get current and qualified to meet their hiring mins. However you think you can achieve that goal best (CFI or Corp) will be just fine. While I’m not military myself, I fly here in Hawaii and EVERYONE else is that’s how I heard about the Envoy Program, again def worth an ask.

As for rotary advice I have 14hrs rotary wing. I originally wanted to fly helicopters but found it WAYYYYYY too difficult and I’m not that bright :wink:

Adam


(NIKOLAOS KANELLOS) #6

Thanks Adam
I appreciate your time.

I’ll try and find the best route. I’ll let you know in a few months how things go.

As for your helicopter experience, I remember reading on this small fun article about helicopters vs airplane pilots.
We are both up in the air and that - I think we all agree - is awesome!


#7

Funny!

Thanks,

Adam