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Post 9/11 GI Bill Changes

Post 9/11 GI Bill GI Bill Changes Veterans Benefits VA Private Pilots License PPL Flight Training

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#1 ajm872000

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Posted 11 February 2017 - 03:25

This thread is intended to put out the most up to date information on the Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits as it pertains to flight training. A lot of big changes that will affect future student's decisions. The biggest one that I can see being the requirement to have your PPL prior to beginning a flight training program in conjunction with an Institution of Higher Learning. This was previously only a requirement for vocational flight training.

 

In addition, the yearly amount for vocational flight training was reduced to $12,048.50 and certain verbiage was placed into the documentation that makes students pay out of pocket for training in anything other than the basic aircraft (read R22, 300C, etc.) So, if you exceed the weight requirements of the R22 the student will have to pay the difference out of pocket to train in the R44. Although because it states "aircraft utilized by other students" I could see schools dumping the R22s in favor of more expensive aircraft to try to exploit this loophole. Also doesn't clarify if that's other students at that school, statewide or nationwide.

 

I've attached a PDF that highlights the changes.

Attached Files



#2 crashed_05

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Posted 11 February 2017 - 18:32

This will be great motivation for some students to not take 100 hrs to get their private certificate...and not do it in Jet Rangers.


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#3 ajm872000

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 05:58

 

This will be great motivation for some students to not take 100 hrs to get their private certificate...and not do it in Jet Rangers.

 

I agree. I think the old system had way too many loopholes that allowed a few students to ruin the experience for all future students. I think that there needs to be a lot more education done on the military side of the house while the soldiers are still in so they can make a plan of action. I don't know many soldiers with $15-$20000 laying around to put into a PPL but they'd be a lot less likely to go out and blow their bonuses on sports cars, big trucks and BS in general if they knew they'd have to put that money towards their private pilots license. The information on the VA website is also still outdated... go figure.



#4 takefootoff

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 07:43

I think 15-20k is reasonable, if you go thru an institution of higher learning (community college) traditional student loan rates are available and pell grants and scholarships tooooo. With that BAH from 12credits coming in and a part time job, I think it could be done painlessly.

 

Its a shame the OP sounds like a motivator, he would have been dedicated from the get-go and 100% coverage would have been sweet.

 

I wish I had the power to go over to the college and tell them to drop a certain student I got from the program....the dude is on his phone when i'm doing ground and was up playing video games the night before his instrument checkride. That frickin nerd blew the oral exam on knowledge he was accountable for from private and destroyed my very short lived 100% pass rate.



#5 ajm872000

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 09:59

I think 15-20k is reasonable, if you go thru an institution of higher learning (community college) traditional student loan rates are available and pell grants and scholarships tooooo. With that BAH from 12credits coming in and a part time job, I think it could be done painlessly.

 

Its a shame the OP sounds like a motivator, he would have been dedicated from the get-go and 100% coverage would have been sweet.

 

I wish I had the power to go over to the college and tell them to drop a certain student I got from the program....the dude is on his phone when i'm doing ground and was up playing video games the night before his instrument checkride. That frickin nerd blew the oral exam on knowledge he was accountable for from private and destroyed my very short lived 100% pass rate.

Easy fix to that would be to have the student pay out of pocket up front for the cost of the training and reimburse them only if they pass their exams/check rides; maybe a 50-50 disbursement. It is reasonable for sure but you have to be very careful how you use those 36 months of benefits. Especially now that schools can't group students going for air traffic control degrees but aren't flying into those going for their actual flight certifications. Much harder for schools to maintain 85-15. Either way I saw the writing on the wall about a year ago when all the stuff about Guidance Aviation came to light. Way too high profile to be ignored even if that wasn't even the most extreme examples. Speaking of which is Guidance Aviation still kicking? I saw their website was still up. Do you think those students are going to have a hard time finding work if they manage to make it to the magic number of hours? There has to be a major stigma associated with those schools (read blacklist).



#6 saintcajun78

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 15:41

Newbie here, found the forum while searching options for pursuing my goal of becoming a helicopter pilot upon retiring from the Air Force. I just hit 20 years last November and I plan to retire at 22 years then persue my next career which will hopfully be as a helicopter pilot!

 

I am thinking of pursuing my PPL prior to retiring as I can see most schools that accept VA assistance will only fund anyting past PPL (vocational). As far as schools like Upper limit and a few others that provide a degree associated program that will pretty much cover all training cost I just don't think that will be a feasabe option for myself and my family due to the locations. However this may be a possibility if I go to Varacity aviation in the Houston area (they only approve VA for raitings above PPL).

 

I am from Louisiana orginally and that is where we plan on moving back to once I retire so finding training close to home is a priority. I did come across a program at South Louisiana Community college in New Iberia La. that has an International School of Aviation Excellence program that seems promising however I do not believe they accept any VA benies and I am currently waiting on a call back from them to make sure. However I would be willing to pay out of pocket and possibly finance what else I need to obtain my CFI. The advantage I have over lets say a young man/woman coming out of the military after 4-6 years is that I have my retirement to fall back on as well as my wife's income.

 

All in all I want to achieve this goal and I will explore all possible options to obtain it. I have read through a few threads here and know that there are a lot of folks here much smarter than I am concerning the subject. So I am all ears to any advice you guys may be willing to bestow upon me. Also if you have any questions please let me know. Thanks in advance!



#7 ajm872000

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 19:15

Newbie here, found the forum while searching options for pursuing my goal of becoming a helicopter pilot upon retiring from the Air Force. I just hit 20 years last November and I plan to retire at 22 years then persue my next career which will hopfully be as a helicopter pilot!

 

I am thinking of pursuing my PPL prior to retiring as I can see most schools that accept VA assistance will only fund anyting past PPL (vocational). As far as schools like Upper limit and a few others that provide a degree associated program that will pretty much cover all training cost I just don't think that will be a feasabe option for myself and my family due to the locations. However this may be a possibility if I go to Varacity aviation in the Houston area (they only approve VA for raitings above PPL).

 

I am from Louisiana orginally and that is where we plan on moving back to once I retire so finding training close to home is a priority. I did come across a program at South Louisiana Community college in New Iberia La. that has an International School of Aviation Excellence program that seems promising however I do not believe they accept any VA benies and I am currently waiting on a call back from them to make sure. However I would be willing to pay out of pocket and possibly finance what else I need to obtain my CFI. The advantage I have over lets say a young man/woman coming out of the military after 4-6 years is that I have my retirement to fall back on as well as my wife's income.

 

All in all I want to achieve this goal and I will explore all possible options to obtain it. I have read through a few threads here and know that there are a lot of folks here much smarter than I am concerning the subject. So I am all ears to any advice you guys may be willing to bestow upon me. Also if you have any questions please let me know. Thanks in advance!

I would say that, from what I have been able to read, moving around a lot for the first few years is pretty much unavoidable. You may have some luck if you can find a school in or near Louisiana that accepts VA benefits and hires their CFIIs as instructors. I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum as you. I have 7 years in and am looking at funding my PPL out of pocket while I'm still in the Army while I ride out the last year required for my GI bill benefits. Once that's done, moving somewhere that has a great flight program with a high possibility of being hired as an instructor after going through and meeting all the requirements for my CFII and then grinding out the next several years probably moving between NV, AK, and HI doing tour pilot work building up turbine hours. The G/I bill changed so you can no longer use it as part of a degree program unless your PPL is complete so any school in the U.S. will have this requirement regardless of the state that you go to. I don't know if any of the more seasoned veterans can make any recommendations for good flight schools in conjunction w/degree programs and those which you should avoid at all costs (Guidance Aviation). 



#8 flygirlm310

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 12:25

...The biggest one that I can see being the requirement to have your PPL prior to beginning a flight training program in conjunction with an Institution of Higher Learning. This was previously only a requirement for vocational flight training.

 

 

 

This is true for some schools, but I fly at Leading Edge Aviation through Central Oregon Community College and they can cover 100% of ratings, including your PPL.

When you have to consider location, training environment, hiring, etc. on top of benefits and what type of aircraft you may have to fly... it's a lot. But I feel like I hit the jackpot with LEA. It ticks all of the boxes.

Anyway, I think there is some misinformation out there because there actually are schools like Leading Edge that cover all ratings including PPL, and there are probably students out there spending a lot of money on their PPL that don't know that it's possible to have all ratings covered at a school that isn't going to stick them in a turbine for them. 


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#9 Iheartaviation

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 15:37

You do not need your private license to be eligible to use your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits unless you are going direct through a vocational flight school.  If you attend a college program(Institution of higher learning) where flight training is part of the degree program and they have an in house program the private would also be covered by the Post 9/11 GI Bill.  The key things you want to ask when researching flight program. You would want to ask if the program/college is eligible to enroll student who are eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill  and if their program is an in-house program. 

 

If you exceed the weight limitation for a Robinson R22 you do not have to pay out of pocket for the difference to do your training in a Robinson R44.  You want to talk to the aviation college program on the weight limitation for the aircraft that they use.  I know that Central Oregon Community College (COCC) in Bend Oregon has the option for students to train in the Robinson R44 only if they exceed the weight limitation of the Robinson R22.  The students do not have to pay the difference.  Those students who exceed the weight limitation of the R22 get enrolled in an R44 track as part of the degree program where the Post 9/11 GI Bill still covers the cost.


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#10 takefootoff

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 22:40

Guess I'll be making some phone calls.

#11 ajm872000

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 08:52

You do not need your private license to be eligible to use your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits unless you are going direct through a vocational flight school.  If you attend a college program(Institution of higher learning) where flight training is part of the degree program and they have an in house program the private would also be covered by the Post 9/11 GI Bill.  The key things you want to ask when researching flight program. You would want to ask if the program/college is eligible to enroll student who are eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill  and if their program is an in-house program. 

 

If you exceed the weight limitation for a Robinson R22 you do not have to pay out of pocket for the difference to do your training in a Robinson R44.  You want to talk to the aviation college program on the weight limitation for the aircraft that they use.  I know that Central Oregon Community College (COCC) in Bend Oregon has the option for students to train in the Robinson R44 only if they exceed the weight limitation of the Robinson R22.  The students do not have to pay the difference.  Those students who exceed the weight limitation of the R22 get enrolled in an R44 track as part of the degree program where the Post 9/11 GI Bill still covers the cost.

Slide 11 covers the portion on the weight discrepancy "Where the FAA requires that an individual student to use a more expensive aircraft for whatever reason, the difference between the cost of that aircraft and the less expensive aircraft utilized by other students must be paid by the student." So, is the R44 track considered a different track/degree from the R22?



#12 ajm872000

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 08:56

 

This is true for some schools, but I fly at Leading Edge Aviation through Central Oregon Community College and they can cover 100% of ratings, including your PPL.

When you have to consider location, training environment, hiring, etc. on top of benefits and what type of aircraft you may have to fly... it's a lot. But I feel like I hit the jackpot with LEA. It ticks all of the boxes.

Anyway, I think there is some misinformation out there because there actually are schools like Leading Edge that cover all ratings including PPL, and there are probably students out there spending a lot of money on their PPL that don't know that it's possible to have all ratings covered at a school that isn't going to stick them in a turbine for them. 

I actually reread the verbiage after you and Iheart posted and it's tricky wording. Basically if the school contracts out for the PPL then it's not covered but if they cover PPL as part of the degree track then it is still covered. That's good to know.



#13 flygirlm310

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 11:40

I actually reread the verbiage after you and Iheart posted and it's tricky wording. Basically if the school contracts out for the PPL then it's not covered but if they cover PPL as part of the degree track then it is still covered. That's good to know.

Yeah, it is kinda tricky wording. But that discrepancy can mean a difference of thousands and thousands of dollars for a student pursuing their PPL, so it's definitely important to make sure the correct info is out there!



#14 WolftalonID

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 10:05

There are several schools that have connected with colleges around the country to provide VA benefit flight training. When the VA finalized the changes to the training allocation they intended to restrict the waste and cut off those who abused the loop holes.

They did a fantastic job of it if you ask me. Those who still want to learn bad enough will be willing to move and attend a school that covers the training. PPL is covered at the schools who proved they were doing things right.

Schools that went in and connected with a college were able to fairly smoothly transition their PPL program into the colleges control and keep them running. Albiet they did one weird move, the VA made the PPL program part 61, cutting out any oversite from the FAA. Regardless, it is still an option for those willing to attend the schools providing the full training.

In Idaho, Treasurer Valley Community College in Caldwell provides a VA program from PPL through CFI-I. They are partnered with Silverhawk Aviation Academy. I trained there and taught there. The VA audit just about or did use them as a role model for how to do things right, and they still have the full program running because of it.

This industry tends to get quickly off track of ethics when dollars are on the line. Like a giant game of hungry hippos. Get it while you can. Some industry leaders hold fast to their ethical values and provide service based on the industries needs in the future and in the now.

We all have seen what happens to those who dont. I suggest if your looking for training to search out the best option for your needs, and include a hard look at the reputation of the place you want to train with. A general rule of thumb....if you can't find any smack talk on the web...they aren't making any to talk about.
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#15 A-aron

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 17:19

What is the current max amount allowed while working on a license through an IHL? I completed up through my commercial with instrument rating prior to all the changes a few years ago, but due to an internship and all the changes I decided to just focus on my degree and graduate. Now its been about two years since I last flew and I am looking to get into flying again since the job hunt is taking longer than I expected in a non-aviation field.



#16 Andrew N

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 11:02

There are several schools that have connected with colleges around the country to provide VA benefit flight training. When the VA finalized the changes to the training allocation they intended to restrict the waste and cut off those who abused the loop holes.

They did a fantastic job of it if you ask me. Those who still want to learn bad enough will be willing to move and attend a school that covers the training. PPL is covered at the schools who proved they were doing things right.

Schools that went in and connected with a college were able to fairly smoothly transition their PPL program into the colleges control and keep them running. Albiet they did one weird move, the VA made the PPL program part 61, cutting out any oversite from the FAA. Regardless, it is still an option for those willing to attend the schools providing the full training.

In Idaho, Treasurer Valley Community College in Caldwell provides a VA program from PPL through CFI-I. They are partnered with Silverhawk Aviation Academy. I trained there and taught there. The VA audit just about or did use them as a role model for how to do things right, and they still have the full program running because of it.

This industry tends to get quickly off track of ethics when dollars are on the line. Like a giant game of hungry hippos. Get it while you can. Some industry leaders hold fast to their ethical values and provide service based on the industries needs in the future and in the now.

We all have seen what happens to those who dont. I suggest if your looking for training to search out the best option for your needs, and include a hard look at the reputation of the place you want to train with. A general rule of thumb....if you can't find any smack talk on the web...they aren't making any to talk about.

 

Couldn't have articulated that any better...

 

Straight out of the enlisted side of the military one of the first things I wanted to do was find a college that would allow me to use post 9/11 benefits to learn to fly. Ended up moving to Alabama and am currently attending Wallace State Community College.. mainly because I was also able to land a good job in Huntsville that would feed the family and pay the bills while I went to school. I have many friends who left the military and went out to get flight training at various schools.. one of them is having to take out loans because a low cap was imposed on the school by the VA and another friend's school's program was suspended indefinitely. Both due to reasons you described above.

 

Being able to learn to fly has been a dream come true and I'm thankful my school has dotted all their eyes and crossed the T's required to keep the operation going. We're a very small college, with only about 7 or 8 students in the helicopter program.. we share 3 helicopters. 1 R22 and 2 H269's. The 2 Schweitzers are down for maintenance a lot of the time.. but that's the biggest issue I've found with the school so far. As appealing as learning to fly straight out of the gate in a JetRanger sounds... I wish other schools would stop abusing the system and applaud the VA for taking steps to preserve the intent of the aviation aspects of the GI bill and not get rid of it.


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#17 BlitzGS430

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 18:02

Andrew N, I'm 17 years enlisted, but tried to get on at Wallace State last week with post 9/11, and was told not accepting any more students in the helicopter program. I'm stuck with R44, H269, Scwhezier 300, because of height issues.. That was main reason for choosing to apply there, and the distance from where I live now. I have previous time in R44 from AZ. I wonder why I was told that the program is not accepting students though?

#18 LionHeart

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 07:13

Research GI Bill and "85/15" rule. This is likely why they aren't currently accepting students. The waiting list at my school was more than a year because of this. Also, GI Bill is no longer paying for Private Pilot rating. Just a heads up. Let me add a qualifier to that. VA will only pay for PVT Rating if the flight school is owned by the college.
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#19 BlitzGS430

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 10:01

I think with the school I was looking at it boiled down to lack of aircraft and instructors.



#20 WolftalonID

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 19:23

Research GI Bill and "85/15" rule. This is likely why they aren't currently accepting students. The waiting list at my school was more than a year because of this. Also, GI Bill is no longer paying for Private Pilot rating. Just a heads up. Let me add a qualifier to that. VA will only pay for PVT Rating if the flight school is owned by the college.


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