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School of choice???

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Im new here. I have done some looking but have not been able to find the info im looking for. I will be out of the Army this fall and I plan on using my Post 911 Gi Bill for helicopter flight traning. Now i just have to pic a school. I live in NC but i am ready for a change of view. So what i am asking is what is a good shool i can go to that will take me all the way to CFI-I. I have found 2 I like in West Palm Beach. Ocean Helicopters and Cloud 9. Does anyone have any info these 2 or have a better option? Thanks for any help and thank you for all the info on this forum!



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I personally have no info on those schools.


The "best" school is relative to what suits you the best.


After making sure a school will accept the ch 33 for all the courses, I highly recommend visiting and check a few of them out.


I would check for schools that can give other opportunities besides just flight training. Maybe utility or charter, or something. If you do get an instructing job after training, this will help break the cycle of instructing and help with the resume.


Heck, there might even be some in Hawaii that meet your needs :-)


I know that really didn't answer your questions, its just my two cents.

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I have limited experience with cloud nine, which would not do the school justice. I am in Utah and they just recently opened a school locally. The problem I ran into with them is West Palm Beach does not offer distance learning, therefore thier Ch 33 benefits don't work at the local school here. Another problem is there is only 2 guys running the place out here (they are both great guys) and they are also doing some comercial jobs on the side, so getting ahold of them is kinda tough.


If you are ready to move west, Upper Limit in Salt Lake City has a program for Ch 33, they just recently graduate thier first Ch 33 students from thier program. Be aware that not every school that is a part 141 school fits the Ch 33 criteria, I have been corrected about this a few times, however that is a good place to start as all schools that can offer a program under Ch 33 must be part 141.


In the future look for Mountain Ridge to be offering a program, they have a part 141 cert and are working on everything else required. All training here in Utah is High altitude/ mountain training.


Oh yeah, last I checked, the school in Hawaii was part 141 but did not qualify for the Ch33 benefits... :( Huge bummer! I wouldn't mind the VA paying my to train there.

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Thank you both. I have a few weeks off and get to come home from Iraq on R&R. I plan on driving down there and going to a few schools to check them out.


And as far as the wine goes...Ill be sure to send some your way as soon as I get back! I know how it feels to go a while with out a good bottle of Duplins best....

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...



I just wanted to write a quick one about how Palm Beach Helicopters helped me acheive my dream.


I finished up my 6 year enlistment in the Air Force in March of 2010. I wanted to become a helicopter pilot and I decided to rely on Palm Beach Helicopters to make it happen. I am an OIF/OEF Veteran with the Post 911 GI Bill benefits. Through this program I was able to get my PPL through CFII in a little over a year and graduate from the associated college, Palm Beach State University, in 18 months with an Associates in Aeronautical Science.....FOR FREE. Technically speaking it wasn't free because the Post 911 benefits covered the expenses but as far as my wallet knows, it was free!


If there are any Veterans, or civilians, that need information about becoming a helicopter pilot and not sure how to afford the expenses please write me back!

I know so many friends that were worried about getting out the Armed Forces because of the economy and whatnot. I am here to tell you, YOU CAN DO IT!


As for an update to the courses availible this semester, the Post 911 GI Bill is now covering NVG, Turbine Transition and External Load. All of these courses are now being taught at Palm Beach Helicopters and I will be sure to update you about these courses as soon as I take them next month!


I hope this serves as a light in the darkness for anyone looking for a professional school to obtain their helicotper licenses. You're not alone and I will help you out as much as possible.



Good luck and thanks for reading!


EOD Heli

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