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TOPIC: State Trooper Looking for Full Time Pilot Position

State Trooper Looking for Full Time Pilot Position 11 months 3 weeks ago #530

  • Michael VanRenterghem
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I am currently a State Trooper and have 11 years as a police officer with my agency. I started flying back when I was 18 and got my private pilots (helicopter) license a few months later, but I was forced to take time off for personal reasons (mostly financial). Fast forward 16 years- I've had the opportunity to finally get back into aviation and am not letting the boat pass me by this time. I've finished my instrument rating and am at the end of my commercial helicopter license (as soon as my instructor signs me off to take my check ride) with approximately 235 hours TT. I am looking to transition to a full time pilot position and, unfortunately, there aren't a lot of helicopters used for LE in the Northwest. Are there any agencies out there that would be interested in hiring a low(er) time pilot that is a hard-working, dedicated employee who is willing to relocate?
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State Trooper Looking for Full Time Pilot Position 7 months 3 weeks ago #543

  • Jon Goldin
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It's hard to walk away from 11 years at a department only to start all over again somewhere else. especially if your only goal is to fly for that dept. The biggest problem is, there is never a guarantee that you'll get picked for a pilot position. There might be officers who have been waiting for years to get a pilot spot, and you're now the low man in seniority. Are you willing to relocate on the hopes that you'll eventually get to fly? No agency is going to hire you to fly for them right off the bat. You'll have to put time in on the road. All while keeping current in your flying to build time. The two states with the most aviation units are California and Florida. A lot of depts. bring you in as a TFO first, and then transition you to the pilot seat. You'd better give some serious thought as to whether you want to take the time and money to try and get hired by another dept, on the slim chance that you will fly for them one day. Remember, each state has it's own certifications, you might have to do a full academy. Dreams do come true, but it's a lot to risk to get it to come true.
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State Trooper Looking for Full Time Pilot Position 7 months 1 week ago #548

  • Lee Majors
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While what Jon has stated is true for a lot of agencies, especially large agencies, requirements vary widely. Hiring at smaller agencies is often a matter of timing. If they are in need they will make concessions and accommodations to fill positions. Especially if there's nobody in the department to move into the slot. Not every department has pilots lined up on the road looking to get into aviation. An 11 year certified LEO with a commercial and instrument helicopter and 235 hours of helicopter time is not too far off from being marketable to smaller agencies. Continue to build time and consider adding airplane ratings. Many agencies now are adding airplanes to their fleet and that rating may just give you the edge over the next guy. Visit agencies and meet the chief pilots. When their need comes up they need to remember meeting you and the positive impression you made. I still consider my unit that's been in operation since 1974 a small unit in an agency of 700 employees. We've trained pilots from within, hired experienced law enforcement pilots from outside, and hired civilian pilots and trained them to be cops. It all depends on the agency and their need at the time. I remember years ago a civilian pilot came by to visit and introduce himself. As he walked out of the chief pilots door one of the pilots walked in and tendered his resignation. The guy that had just walked out got the job. Networking is critical in our business.
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State Trooper Looking for Full Time Pilot Position 6 months 1 week ago #552

  • Michael VanRenterghem
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Thank you both for taking the time to respond. It's always nice to get some insight from those already in the field.

Mr. Majors,
I'm not sure how I didn't notice the job posting that you put on here (prior to a few days ago). I did apply even though I don't quite meet the minimum hours requirement, but I didn't want to let the opportunity pass by without at least trying. I would love to talk to you more about this opportunity if this is something where you guys can use discretion.
Last Edit: 6 months 1 week ago by Michael VanRenterghem.
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State Trooper Looking for Full Time Pilot Position 2 weeks 16 hours ago #575

  • Lee Majors
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Michael, will you be attending APSA in Omaha week after next. If you can make it I'd like to catch up with you while you're there.
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State Trooper Looking for Full Time Pilot Position 2 days 21 hours ago #576

  • Michael VanRenterghem
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Thank you for reaching out to me. I will be there (Thursday - Saturday) and would love to meet up with you at some point. My phone number is 503-341-1466. For some reason I don't get notifications from this website so text or a call is best.
Last Edit: 2 days 21 hours ago by Michael VanRenterghem.
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