Navy Helo Pilot Advice

Hey all,

Super young naval aviator here. Still got 7 years until I complete my 8 year commitment to the Navy. I’m flying 60s out of Norfolk, VA at the moment and after 3 years I’ll move to my shore tour. I still haven’t decided if I want to stay in the Navy or transition out after my commitment. Obviously so many things can change from now until then that can change my wants/priorities. After this tour, I can most likely continue flying helos teaching in the FRS or in HTs, but if for some reason I want to go into the airline business, how beneficial would it be to have fixed wing time flying for VTs? What programs exist for the transition from helos to airlines and how does prior FW time effect the training timeline and expenses?

This is a concern for me because of my wife’s graduate school/career timeline, plus having kids and the location of our relatives. I’m just trying to decide if moving back to FL is necessary and worth it looking down the line for the future of my family.

(Not looking for Navy career advice, just wondering if becoming a FW instructor will be THAT much more beneficial)

Edit: ok so obviously having FW time is critical, I didn’t mean to imply that it’s not. If I didn’t seek out FW time in my Navy career, how would it impact trying to become an airline pilot through these existing programs?


The only program I’m aware of for Military helo pilots is Envoy’s ( But to answer your question how important is fixed wing time? That’s an easy one, it’s critical. Airline’s fly fixed wing aircraft and require a fixed wing ATP license. You could literally have 10,000hrs rotary, without the required fix wing time you’re unable to be hired. Envoy’s program is actually a partnership with ATP (who’s site this is) and they’ll work with you to get the time but again, sooner or later you will need it.


1 Like


Without fixed fine time, you have zero chance of being hired by the airlines, major or regional. To go directly to the majors, you will need significant fixed wing time and preferably in a fighter or larger airplane.

Any way you look at it, you need to get fixed wing time, especially if you want a shot of going straight to the majors out of the service.


1 Like

CommutAir, PSA, SkyWest, Mesa, Envoy and Horizon all have rotor transition programs.


1 Like