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Brand new student pilot


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Hello all, I am new to the forum, have been reading a lot of your guys posts and have learned quite a bit so far, so thanks in advance for keeping such a great website and tool updated with new ideas, knowledge and experience.

 

I will be starting school soon using the GI Bill out west, after 6 years in the Army I decided it's time for a career change. I am really excited to pursue my life long dream like most of you have already done. I am extremely jealous that I'm not doing the thing already like most of you.

 

Anyways one question I had for the veterans using Ch 33 benefits is how many of you(and I know there's a few different schools for Ch 33) are paying a fuel surcharge out of your pocket? And how is the tuition payments going? And is your BAH arriving on time consistently. I am worrying about these things since I pretty much abandoned any income I once had and am completely starting over with nothing but the clothes on my back basically.

 

Also, any comforting words would be great for a beginner like me to hear!

Thanks again to all you guys and girls

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Hey man, I started using the Ch.33 benefits last fall for helicopter training at a school out west. So far I have nothing negative to say about the Post 9/11 GI Bill. As far as the fuel surcharge, that is something I haven't heard much of. I looked into a lot of the programs out there and only a couple I remember had started a fuel surcharge. But even if the school is doing that nothing should have to come out of pocket. If someplace is wanting you to pay out of pocket, I would find somewhere else. So far I have not had one problem with payment from the VA. All tuition and BAH money was paid on time and in the correct amount. I was in the same boat as you starting with no money, but have used stafford loans from the college to give me some extra spending money for eating out, gas, etc.

 

So its totally do-able using the Ch.33 benefits. I was skeptical myself at first because it sounded to good to be true. Best of luck with school and flying, it really is awesome.

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Yes I am very skeptical. It does seem to good to be true. But I'm already committed to it. With prior knowledge of how government organizations run makes me apprehensive about everything working out like it's supposed to. But I hear that it does which is great news. Haven't looked into Stafford Loan, just the regular financial aid which I am having some difficulty with. Keep getting different answers whether the major is eligible or not.

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Yeah I was just approved yesterday for the Pell Grant and Stafford Loan. So hopefully that will alleviate some problems with money. I forgot about buying a headset and books. It is quite expensive to become a pilot. But I can't wait to get going. I bet it is awesome. Borderline unbelievable actually. Well to me anyways. I'm also attending a school out west. That seems like the place to be for helicopters. I keep reading that if you can fly in the mountains you can fly anywhere. Sure hope that's true.

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That's comforting to know that the system is working. It does sound to good to be true. As far as money goes, it is quite expensive to become a helicopter pilot. I don't know how the guys without the GI Bill do it. Amazing.

I was approved for the Pell Grant and Stafford Loan to so hopefully that will alleviate some money problems. I forgot I need to buy books and a headset. GGRRrrr

But I bet it is awesome to fly. It's all I think about on a daily basis. I'm going to school out west too. I keep reading that if you can fly in the mountains you can fly anywhere. Sure hope that's true.

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Look into RoanWell Falcon headsets on ebay. $145 bucks. Quality and design comparable to David Clark. I bought one for my flight training a couple weeks back and it has been working out great so far. Doesn't have noise canceling, but if you are on a budget, then this headset is perfect.

 

As of right now, Chapter 33 benefits are paying for all of the flight training expenses, to a certain flight hour amount. And obviously the Chapt 33 benefits are used through a college degree program with flight training. I think for the private helicopter course, the VA has agreed to pay for 52 hours of training for the private program at our school (don't know if that is the same across the country.) I'm attending the same school as rjl2001 above and it is taking most students around 52 hours to complete their private. Some students haven gone over, but from what I have heard it is only a few hours. For 1 1/2 hours of flight, to include instructor, fuel, etc, it runs about $245 at our school. Definitely take advantage of the Post 9/11 whether you have doubts about it or not. You will get $1100 or so a month for housing allowance, plus $1000 a year to help pay for books. I think to be eligible for the housing allowance, you need to be taking like 7 or 9 credit hours per semester (which is only 2-3 classes.)

 

So far it is working out great for myself and the rest of the ex military guys in my helicopter class (theres 12 or so and we are all ex military using the Chapt 33 benefits.)

 

Don't pass it up. Good luck with getting your training figured out!

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