“In U.S. Navy jargon, gouge is the essential piece of information; the heart of the matter; or outstanding test-preparation material (such as an old test copy). A person who is tired of hearing all the extraneous information surrounding a problem might exclaim “Just give me the gouge!”



It is an opportunity of a lifetime even if you don’t pursue the airlines as a career. The opportunity to have someone else pay for your fixed-wing add-ons through RTP (or even if you pay for some of your own ratings) will be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars–maybe millions of dollars over your career.

Take the job with the regional just for a year or two, depending on the contract, even if you still only want to just fly helicopters. The reason for maximizing this opportunity is that you will have made yourself ten times more marketable and a better overall pilot. As a helo guy/gal, all you can do is fly helicopters, nothing else. You are very limited. After this program you will have every rating you will EVER need. 

Plus, with two years at a 121 regional, you will have an additional 1500-2000 hours of ME FW jet time, and you will be incredibly proficient with instruments.

After leaving the Army, or as a civilian, once you’ve hit the “magic” hours for a turbine job, you can be a: HEMS pilot, tour pilot, offshore pilot, utility pilot, etc.

After doing the regional gig, you are now qualified to take a job as all of the above PLUS: airline pilot, freight pilot, contract fixed/rotor pilot for the government, military, overseas contract, foreign carriers in Europe, Middle East, Asia, South America, etc., corporate pilot (fixed or rotary, or both), anywhere from a local company to a Fortune 100 company, law enforcement pilot, medevac pilot (fixed or rotary), Instructor Pilot (CAE, Flight Safety, Higher Power, Airline, or local part 61/141 school), government pilot (FAA, Forestry, Dep. of Interior, etc), frefighting pilot (Fixed or Rotary), pilot for Cessna, Beechcraft, Lockheed, Gulfstream, Embraer, Bombardier, etc., or DPE (Designated Pilot Examiner–fixed and rotary).

Your flying job prospects are limitless after doing the regional airline gig. You can always go back to flying helicopters if you want to, but this opportunity will NOT always be there. Again, you can always go back to flying helicopters. Having the fixed-wing experience will also give you the chance to pick a job that best meets your professional and personal goals for you and your family. 

Just think about it.

John DeFranco
American Airlines B777 First Officer
Former U.S. Army, AH-64/C-12

If you aren’t convinced what a great source or help RTAG is, consider this . . . I just spoke to a regional airline recruiter and even they are plugging RTAG and pointing people to this site.
-Kelly Ward

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