I do know a number of Marine helicopter pilots, however I’m undecided at what level, precisely, they request or are “volentold” to go to rotary-wing, vice mounted wing coaching. I consider it occurs after their preliminary flight screening in a small fixed-wing prop-job, however I may very well be mistaken.
What I can reply is the way it works within the Air Force (or at the very least the way it labored 35 years in the past…), as a result of I almost went that method, myself.
Late in my senior yr of faculty Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (ROTC), an officer got here and made a pitch to us pilot candidates in try to get some volunteers for Undergraduate Helicopter Training (UHT). Part of the deal was that we’d be promised a chance to improve to jets after our first tour in helicopters. I used to be tempted, as my dad had flown each fixed- and rotary-wing within the USAF, and I all the time had a specific curiosity in his time as an Air Rescue Service helicopter pilot. I discussed this to him and he informed me he would kill me if I did it. So, I respectfully declined the consideration.
A couple of years later, I ran right into a USAF helicopter pilot who had been a few years forward of me in our ROTC program. I requested him how he appreciated it, and he had the perfect reply.
First, the Air Force sends its UHT trainees to the Army’s college at Ft. Rucker for his or her primary helicopter coaching. However, Ft. Rucker’s program is predicated on the previous Aviation Cadets mannequin (my dad was an Aviation Cadet throughout WWII), the place the candidate is getting coaching in each flying and officership, on the similar time. However, USAF pilot trainees are already commissioned officers once they arrive at Rucker, in order that they don’t need to put up with the officer coaching. All they need to do is fly and have an excellent time. Since the Army’s pupil pilots are beneath a number of stress in any other case, the flying portion of the coaching is seemingly fairly relaxed. My good friend informed me that someday, he and a few his Air Force lieutenant buddies checked out a UH-1 and proceeded to crash it (fortuitously, nobody was harm). When they obtained again to Operations, the quite bored Ops Sergeant informed them to take a look at one other one, and go fly some extra – he’d see to recovering the broken plane. Whoa! I can’t think about something like that taking place within the Air Force!
Needless to say, my good friend an his buddies all graduated and have been now having a ball flying Air Force helos. I requested him if he was going to transition to fixed-wing, and he mentioned he couldn’t imaging eager to.
I additionally had a category chief in pilot coaching who was a senior captain, and had precise fight time as a helicopter pilot – a really uncommon factor in line Air Force pilots of that day. Up till then, the USAF had a “gentleman’s course” to get helo pilots their fixed-wing score, nevertheless, to economize (undecided how THAT added up), they determined to begin feeding them straight into the total Undergraduate Pilot Training course. Bottom line: my class chief ended up bailing on the “mickey mouse games” of UPT and went again to flying helicopters. For the document, I didn’t see any mickey mouse in UPT, however apparently he had issue placing up with second lieutenant First Assignment Instructor Pilots with a fraction of his flying time.