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Using GI Bill fixed wing ratings


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#1 TylerCitadel

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 11:25

Has anyone had experience using the GI bill for fixed wing ratings after getting a PPL? Any pros and cons using the Montgomery vs post 9/11?

#2 adriel0491

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 16:08

I was using it to get my ppl but got selected sland didn't finish it. had friends taking commercial rating on fixed wing with the gi GI Bill... you won't get BAH if active but you'll get like a grand for book and stuff...

#3 ByteFlighter

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 16:19

I was using it to get my ppl but got selected sland didn't finish it. had friends taking commercial rating on fixed wing with the gi GI Bill... you won't get BAH if active but you'll get like a grand for book and stuff...

"you wont get BAH if active" What?



#4 mdeneso

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 16:49

"you wont get BAH if active" What?

If you are on active duty and dip into your GI bill, the Army will not pay you bah twice.

#5 adriel0491

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 21:20

^^^ this

#6 Christian84

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Posted 25 August 2018 - 07:15

Hey man,

I was in the same position as you are. People with the mgib actually make out really well. First thing: call the va office as soon as you can, they have become very helpful over the years.

From my experience: I was offered to switch when I was finishing up ratings. If you still have money left in your mgib, use all of it first. You can then switch and get an additional 3 years of benefits.
The big difference between the two as it relates to flight training is that (as in my case, enrolled in a flight school vs college flight program) is the way payments are handled.

The mgbi is Post paid and doesnt always cover 100% of the costs, but a fixed percentage with a higher cap.

Once you switch, you are capped per fiscal year (August to August I think) at around 5,800 per year, but if the total cost is less than that, the va will pay 100%. You are then responsible for the overages.

In either case, a couple of things apply.

1- you will always be responsible for check ride fees, books, faa exams, and most supplies such as foggles, knee boards, e6b.

2- both programs use hours, not dollar amounts for benefits. This is crucial especially for low time guys. It also gives you the power to select your school on quality rather than price.

An example of this: As a private pilot with 40 hours you are more likely to exceed the minimum hours for your instrument rating than if you did your commercial first and than did an instrument add on.
reasoning behind this: instrument flying is com heavy and most guys are still adjusting to to radios, and dont really have a grasp on topics such the ATC/Pilot relationship. The biggest Fear low time guys have is correcting ATCs mistakes, or flat out rejecting stupid requests. ( like: Cessna 152 climb and maintain 15,000)
Or even worse not knowing when you can/can not reject them. The whole thing behind this is that if youre not rock solid on the radio, you now have to spend brain power talking IN ADDITION to flying on gauges.

Have a realistic expectation based on an honest self analysis. Dont assume youre that .01% that doesnt go over the minimums on any rating.

Also, speak to previous students because not every flight hour is equally effective. Taxi time, ramp time, hold time, etc count and are billable. So if you are doing youre time at a busy bravo airport you will spend way more time on the ground than if you do it at a small private field. As you progress this will make a huge difference. The most expensive words youll hear later on are Twinstar 123 you are number 10 for takeoff.

3- Know that the MGIB lets you spend as much of your remaining benefits per year as you want because its dollar capped program (I.e if you have a contract for 40k you can spend it all in one year, or spread it out over ten years but the max benefit is 40k) once you switch its (my personal experience) a yearly benefit. So, in my case my max benefit was 17400. Because I did all flight training at 5800/year my max benefit was just over 17k. BUT that means about 1 rating per year. Not very efficient.

Ok, this is starting to sound more like rambling the more I write. Im doing this on the phone while watching my kiddo, so Im a bit distracted. There are tons of other considerations when choosing to switch. Free free to message me and Ill give you my email or phone number. Always happy to share my experience and help you avoid some pitfalls.

Flight training isnt as common and therefore most va reps you talk to will give you different answers or worse, wrong answers. Some will be honest and tell you they dont know, some will find out for you, and others think they know what they are taking about.

Here is the biggest caution. ONCE YOU SWITCH, YOUR REMAINING MGIG BENIFTS ARE FOREFIT, AND YOU CANNOT SWITCH BACK. (you may also lose any kickers you have, depending on how they were written)

Heres the biggest benift. You get both! I used my entire MGBi, then switched and got 3 additional years of benefit.

I used the va for my stuff and it is the reason I could afford to get where I am :)

I got:
Instrument
Commercial Single and Multi (fixed wing)
Commercial helicopter ( SFAR in the 22 and 44)

#7 Christian84

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Posted 25 August 2018 - 07:22

Oh, just an add on to my post- (As not active service guy) you will not get BAH for flight programs unless you are enrolled in a VA approved college flight degree program.

Speaking of, make sure that the va gives you the ok to go to the school BEFORE you start taking lessons. They can deny your benifits if they dont approve the school and then youre stuck with the bill

#8 ByteFlighter

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Posted 25 August 2018 - 12:54

If you are on active duty and dip into your GI bill, the Army will not pay you bah twice.

Must of fell asleep during that power point.



#9 SBuzzkill

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Posted 26 August 2018 - 12:03

So check this out.  At least with Post 9/11 GI Bill every school seems to be using it differently.  Some schools are paid directly from VA, other schools charge you up front and then pay you back when the VA pays them, some guys are saying they're getting extra money per month over the cap, other guys are somehow counting ratings as academic years and using more money while most guys are stuck with the August 1st definition for an academic year and capped accordingly.  There are differences if you are attaching your flight training to a degree producing school vs doing it as vocational training (pure flight training), etc.

 

My point is, you're going to hear something different from everyone as far as how to use benefits and how far they will go.  If you have a specific school you will be going to, it is futile to ask the peanut gallery how their benefits work.  Because somehow what one school is doing on the east coast does not relate to what another is doing on the west coast.  I don't care what "CW4 Goofman" who's doing his ratings at Skyfinity has to say about maximizing benefits, unless you're relocating to do your training it doesn't matter.

 

Go online, apply for your certificate of eligibility, and take it to the school you will be attending.  From there it's between you, the rep, and the VA.  Work with the school of your choice and read the fine print.  Do your research, and realize that things are constantly changing within the VA.  Good luck!

 

Edit:  Just adding that while it's enticing to use GI Bill to cover ratings, if you can afford them on your own it might be better to do them part 61 and skip the VA.  You will have much more flexibility and will potential finish a lot faster and cheaper.  Again, do your research!


Edited by SBuzzkill, 26 August 2018 - 12:06.


#10 highside7r

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Posted 29 August 2018 - 00:38

Great info SBuzzkill as I am looking at using my what started as MGIB, now Post 9/11. I had an old instructor tell me once to use it for a type rating now that the Army basically paid for everything else! Just retired and looking to use it finally, I miss flying helos so started the search for a VA approved rotary CFII course, what a pain that has been calling around and getting "we don't offer that" or waiting on VA approval. Trying to get the best gouge out and not word of mouth info that is hardly up to date with what the VA decides this week.


DUSTOFF

#11 ByteFlighter

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Posted 29 August 2018 - 19:46

https://www.forbes.c...e/#3aea16ced524

 

There is a bill that is addressing flight school expenses specifically in Congress right now...

 

As an advocate of free markets, this bill looks like trash to me at first look. But I've seen this overcharging of GI bill benefits first hand with ATP flight school and even college (Embry Riddle) as this tends to happen when the school doesn't need to be competitive when your available cash flow is published publicly, thus allowing them to charge higher rates if they know it won't cause you much issue....But, it might actually lower flight school costs for Vets/AD members in the long run if they know that overcharging could potentially lead to a cut in their funding that is proposed by the bill.






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