The FBI’s Surveillance and Aviation Section is in charge many of manned and unmanned aircraft, however the Critical Incident Response Group has its own Tactical Aviation Unit. The Tactical Aviation Unit is mostly made up of helicopters that transport SWAT and HRTs to their missions on U.S. soil, but they also have aircraft which can manage international transport for global missions.

Job Description for FBI Tactical Aviation Pilots

The Tactical Aviation Unit oversees the Tactical Helicopter Unit (THU), which works primarily for the HRTs. The THU fleet includes 8 UH-60 Black Hawks and some McDonnell Douglas 530 Little Bird light helicopters, which are all designed for tactical transport. HRT group helicopter pilots are required to maintaining elite mission performance, as well as flying for daily training.

FBI pilots also give air support for land missions including vehicle searches, dangerous arrests, and medical rescues. The Tactical Aviation Unit also has various light aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles that can surveil situations from above. Pilots must train on a regular basis and in varying weather conditions and environmental situations.

Tactical Aviation jobs have the following responsibilities:

1. Being able to fly a helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft in unpleasant weather and live combat.
2. Making deliveries to operatives in the field, both on land and water.
3. Maintaining their elite flying skills.
4. Undertaking daily and periodic tactical training.
5. Keeping up situational knowledge of current crisis.
6. Training new pilot recruits.
7. Maintaining and repairing aircraft.
8. Liaising with commanders to provide support to other teams operations.

Salary for FBI Tactical Aviation Pilots

Tactical Aviation Unit operatives start at a GS-10 pay rate. This might be different for Aviation personnel who come to the FBI with an experienced military rank or other relevant commercial aviation experience. Aviation officers assigned to HRTs get a GS-14 or GS-15 salary, as they are considered supervisors. Tactical Aviation Unit staff also get a 12.5 to 28.7 percent bonus for cost of living, as well as a 25 percent bonus for Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime. Agents also receive benefits including health and life insurance, Thrift Savings Plan, paid leave, and retirement benefits for 20-25 years of service.