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Space Available Flights (HOPS or Space-A)

Discussion in 'Military Medicine' started by DOc Jersey, Apr 28, 2004.

  1. DOc Jersey

    DOc Jersey AZCOM 2007, AIRFORCE HPSP

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    Does anyone have any experience trying to fly space a? What is our catagory as HPSP students and where can we fly? Would make this summer much cheaper and was looking for advice, thanks!
     
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  3. Leforte

    Leforte Member
    Moderator Physician PhD Faculty 10+ Year Member

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    You would be last on the list.

    First is Emergency Leave
    Then Active Duty on Leave
    Then Retirees
    Then Reservists (which you are as an HPSP person)

    Depending on location/time of year/need of the services you could wait anywhere from days to weeks.

    You can always go to a MAC terminal and get on the list weeks in advance and come to the top of the list IN YOU CATEGORY, which is still, after all the others go first.
     
  4. Spang

    Spang SDN Angel
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    Having been the pilot on hundreds of pax/cargo mission in US and OUTCONUS, as well as having having hopped a few places myself, my opinion is that Space-A is essentially worthless. Unless you're traveling on a route that has scheduled missions, with relatively large aircraft, and the schedule fits into your plans, you stand a real chance of sleeping in a terminal somewhere and eating out of a vending machine.

    Space-A is great if you don't care where you're going or when, or if you have to sleep on the floor of the pax terminal and not shower for a couple of days. We would see the same retirees over and over again with their crap stuffed in a suitcase, begging for rides from the terminal to a hotel because they couldn't catch a hop for a day or two. Fine for them, they have no where to be! Any number of things will cause a well-planned trip to go bad including weather, mechanical problems, re-routes by JOSAC, etc.

    The best way to do it is if you know the crew and they are going somewhere for a specific amount of time, like a det or a 3 or 4-day round robin, and then coming back. Obviously this takes some inside gouge that's not easy to get as an HPSP student on summer break.

    My advice if you want to run off to someplace at the last minute is get one of those internet deals, at least then you have a return ticket.

    Sorry to bust your bubble, but the fact is, aside from the schedule routes, most of which are either MEDEVAC or OUTCONUS Cat-B's, Space-A ain't all it's cracked up to be.

    Spang
     
  5. flighterdoc

    flighterdoc Rocket Scientist
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    Ha. Time to spare? Try military air.

    As a Transport pilot (C130's) for 14+ years, I have a biased opinion. Good luck. Especially these days. If it works, great - if it doesn't, you're going to pay full commercial rate. And, even if you get on a flight that is supposed to go from point A to point B, they might divert inflight and go to point Z. Or, you might get bumped at the last minute. And don't forget, the military bases are NOT where the commercial flights are, getting from one to another is often a hassle to near impossibility.
     
  6. DOc Jersey

    DOc Jersey AZCOM 2007, AIRFORCE HPSP

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    Thanks for your input, does anyone know what paperwork we would need to fly, where to get it and is it true we can only fly in CONUS, Alaska and Hawaii?
     
  7. MoosePilot

    MoosePilot Y Bombardier
    7+ Year Member

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    There are some good books out there. I don't have any experience from the system except the unfortunate role as the guy who has to bump pax for cargo or divert, ruining their plans.

    I think the only paperwork you would need would be your ID card and perhaps leave paperwork when appropriate. It used to be that CONUS was the only place you could *not* fly, because the military was not supposed to compete with the airlines, but IIRC that's changed recently. Definitely google search something like space + available + military

    Do your homework. If you want to travel Dover to Germany, it's very possible these days. Know who is going where and your job is half done. Dover or Charleston are too excellent starting points, or Travis and McChord on the West Coast (but note most traffic is heading East these days, no matter where it originates).
     

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