Best route to civilian MedEvac pilot? [Archive] - Glock Talk


View Full Version : Best route to civilian MedEvac pilot?

04-28-2004, 22:34
I know the military is the obvious answer for training, experience and hours. But that is not an option for me. So...

1. Private Helo Pilot first, right?
2. Then Commercial Helo rating, right?
3. Then rack up 1,500-2,000 flight hours flying rotocraft commercially before a MedEvac program will even look at you, right?

How long would that take and how much (ballpark) would it cost? Finally, what is the current market for MedEvac pilots like right now?


M2 Carbine
04-29-2004, 00:24
Number 3 is a big problem.

How do you build up a thousand to two thousand hours when no one will hire you because you don't have a thousand to two thousand hours.;Q

Helicopters are used because no other (cheaper) machine will do the job. Which means the job is difficult and dangerous.

So that comes back to # 3 again.
No owner/operator can take the chance on a low time pilot.

(An airplane pilot with 500-1,000 hours, all things considered is probably a pretty safe bet. A helicopter pilot with 500-1,000 hours, all things considered is an accident waiting for a place to happen)

Heck, the last 5 helicopter pilots killed in the Gulf of Mexico were way over 10,000 hour pilots and beyound just being high time pilots they were by any measure damned good pilots.

(I don't know that I know the last two that crashed a couple weeks ago, haven't heard their names, but I'de bet they were over 10,000 hours also)

I think most of the MedEvac jobs now require two instrument pilots and probably an ATP.

I hate to be so negative but that's why most commercial helicopter pilots are ex military but even in the military it's hard to build flight time in a few years.
I'de talked to military pilots, in the late 90's that were lucky to get 200 hours a year.

04-29-2004, 19:48
Unfortunately, that's why you're not getting a lot of good news on this post; there isn't much.

Nothing's impossible, though. The chief pilot of our local Sheriff's dept. air wing (rotor) pulled himself up by his bootstraps civilian-style.

Back to unfortunately, he is the only example I can think of.

Best wishes, though...

10-19-2004, 14:28
I work for a aeromedical operation in Jville Fl and all of our pilot's have over 3000 PIC Turbine hours. Most flight services require this. Most do not fly IFR and most are single pilot. You can rack up hours with sightseeing, oil rigs, etc.
Good luck!!

10-19-2004, 15:46
Originally posted by M2 Carbine
I hate to be so negative but that's why most commercial helicopter pilots are ex military but even in the military it's hard to build flight time in a few years.
I'de talked to military pilots, in the late 90's that were lucky to get 200 hours a year.

They average about 500-600 in my squadron nowadays...


Medpilot 2
10-20-2004, 13:02
Switch to fix-wing EMS. It's much easier and less costly to get into. :cool: ;f ;a

10-20-2004, 16:22
Sight-seeing helicopters around Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon come to mind, as well as substitute pilot for telivision stations.

10-20-2004, 16:40
when my K9 retired last year, i decided to leave full time law enforcement. I got my commercial helicopter rating about 3 years ago with hopes of going into my departments aviation unit. Long story short... i fly about 700 hours per year as the lead flight instructor for a helicopter company. MOST medivac helicopter companies require at least 500 hours CIVILIAN flight time. If you really want it bad enough, get a commercial rating and then an instructor rating, and bust your butt. 2000-3000 hours can be had in about 3-4 years.

PM me directly if your interested in some real world advice.

10-20-2004, 21:29

Nice to hear from ya. My female (patrol/bomb) is retired now, but I have a new, young male now training to replace her (patrol/narc.) As this thread is a little old, here's an update:

I will be starting flight school in the spring. I will get private rating for both fixed wing and helo, commercial rating for both, instructor rating for both, instrument rating for both. Then instruct part-time for both to accumulate hours. If I ever decide to leave LE, I will look at other options to gain additonal hours (tourist, TV, off-shore, etc). Then once I have enough hours (2500-3000) I will at least be qualified to apply for most MedEvac positions.

Thanks for the advice all.

K9, I drop you a pic soon of my new partner, Valdo.

M2 Carbine
10-21-2004, 18:37
Offshore jobs have been getting harder to get.

Most of the customers (oil companies) keep writing more and more requirements in the contracts.
Minimum flight time, time flying offshore, time in aircraft, ATP, helicopter instrument.

There were customers that I had flown for years, that overnight, I was no longer qualified to fly for when they began to require a helicopter instrument in a non instrument Bell 206 or 407.

Over 22,000 hours and I was no longer qualified to fly for them because I didn't have (or want) a helicopter instrument ticket. ;Q

I laughed at them and told them it was their loss not mine and I'd wave at them when I went by and saw their asses in the water.;f

The sad thing is the last load of passengers that went in couldn't wave at anyone.

10-23-2004, 08:17
I just took my instrument and instrument instructor checkride yesterday (passed on the fist go!) I did both of them at the dame time and spend 2.5 in an oral exam, and 1.8 under the hood flying.

I did not really want to get it, but as M2 said, it's hard to get a job without it.

I am the lead pilot/instructor pilot for a helicopter company, so I did not really need it, but the insurance company like it.

The examiner I had is the Lead pilot for a large EMS operation. He said his company is hiring pilots with 1500 helicopter time to fly EMS. You MUST have a instrument rating though. Even for a VFR slot.

Offshore is now looking for pilot with 1000 hours, but again they want an instrumnet rating.