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College of the Sequoias - Need Info!

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Hello everyone!


My name is Adam and sometime very soon I will be getting out of the Army to persue my education. As of right now I have a very genuine interest in becoming a helicopter pilot. I have researched just about everything I can get my hands on and understand the amount of time and effort that's required to have a successful career. That's why I really need some feed back on the school that I am looking at to make sure my time and more importantly, my VA benefits are not wasted.


After a lot of research I came across the College of the Sequoias Aviation school http://www.cosaviation.org/. They claim to have a very in depth 10 month "Fast Track" course which guarentees you to become fully certified. They also claim that they intend to hire as many students on as instructors for the school as they possibly can. This is great and exactly what I am looking for but I know that realisticly they cannot possibly hire all of thier students.


Have you or do you know anyone that has gone to or is currently attending this school? I just want a students perspective on the instructors, the quality of air crafts and the likelyhood of becoming an instruction with the promised 200 hours of flight time that the course promises.


Any and all help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't think that's one of the better programs for the Post 9/11 GI Bill right now. Haven't heard much about it, and nobody seems to be attending there. There are a few programs down in Arizona, a couple out here in Oregon, and a few others across the states.


Here is a list from another thread. I'm not sure if all of these schools still run the Post 9/11 Bill program for flight training.


Aims Community College

Bridgewater State College

Central Oregon Community College

College of the Sequoias

The Community College of Baltimore County

Dodge City Community College

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Prescott Campus)

Florida Institute of Technology

Hibbing Community College

Kansas State University

Liberty University

Metropolitan State College of Denver

Middle-Georgia College

Naugatuck Valley Community College

Palm Beach Community College

Portland Community College

Salt Lake City Community College

University of North Dakota

Wallace State Community College

Westfield State College

Yavapei College



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Its a legit program. I did my CFI checkride with their Chief Pilot who is also a DPE. I hear them on the radio flying around all the time. As far as getting a job with them after your done I think is all timing. If 10 of you finish in the same week your not all going to get hired.

The likely hood of getting your CFI in 200 hrs is more than doable. I was already a dual rated CFI before they started up but Ive talked to them about using my ratings to get their aviation degree program finished. CoS as a school is as decent of a community college as any Ive attended. Plus its all part of the State Center Community College District which also includes Reedley College and Fresno City.

I knew a guy from Lemoore NAS who went there, but he has since finished up the program and moved back to his home state to work as a CFI. He used the GI Bill. My brother also went down there to see the program and use the GI Bill. But hasnt started yet just because of time commitments vs his current schedule.


They have a tricked out R44 equipped with a FLIR and Aero Computer that they use for contract LE services for the City of Porterville and Kings County Sheriff.

Edited by Flying Pig
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I know the owner pretty well, he was my student. I highly recommend this school. One of the best ways to decide is go and hang out for a day, see if the atmosphere suits you. The one negative I have is that you will be in Tulare, however it will help you stay focused. Thank you for your service!


PS I know that they hire many of their students and they do more than flight instruction.

Edited by THE_COYOTE
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Hey adam my names bobby and im currently attending the flight program at the College of the Sequiouas Paso Robles location and im working on my commercial liscense right now. First off I'll tell u that VA benefits no longer have a cap on them anymore because the whole program here says it costs around 83k and the cap used to be 80k but everything is paid for so you don't have to worry, but you should get into the program asap because eventually the VA is gonna realize the 80k a student gets expensive really fast and also the sooner you get into the program the more likely it is that your gonna get hired on as an instructor. And we are expecting to start getting about 25 new students every semester now that the VA is covering flight training again so that is going to leave plenty of room for instructors. Now as far as the aircraft there are all in top working condition and recieve their required maintenace on schedule and the work is done in a timely sufficient manner so as not to effect our flight hours, but hey it's not perfect. Also the weathers' not perfect either so there is time when you can't fly so the 10 month program actually turns into like 12 months with the weather and maintenace issues but anywhere else your looking at about a year and a half to two years with the research that i did before i joined this program. You get 1100 for BAH so expect to have a roomate or two while your out here, but the housing is pretty cheap so its not really an issue. The instructors are very professional but understand that you are a student so you are treated that way but with the utmost respect. It's not like a college professor they are more like a friend because of the serverity of what your learning but obviously still extremely professional. So i think i touched on everything but if you have any other questions just let me know and ill answer them the best I can. Goodluck man.

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Thank you all very much for the replies and information. I should be getting out of the Army in the next couple of months and I plan on going back home, which about 5.5 hours for the Pasa Robles campus. I'm a bit nervous to the commitment level of something like this but at the same time I am also very excited. I can't freakin wait!!


P.S. I sure hope my VA benefits are still available for that much money when I get out!!!

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  • 5 months later...

Hello everyone. I am currently deployed to Afghanistan but am looking to enroll with COS aviation when I come home this month. I live in Fresno but am willing to make the commute each day to Tulare. Can anyone tell me what the average day is like at this school? I will be starting from scratch and would like to get some insight from people who are currently attending COS. My goal is to one day fly for LE and am willing to do what it takes to make that dream a reallity. I am currently 34 years old and know that time is not on my side, but flying is definately what I want to do, but was never able to afford it on my own. I plan on using my Post 9/11 GI Bill. Has anyone had any problems finding a job as an instructor after completing this course? If anyone has connections to the local PD or SO I would like to chat with you. I work full time for the Air National Guard in Fresno and am always at the airport. Thank you in advance for your assistance.

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  • 2 months later...

Just signed up for the forum after reading this info. For the most part my questions have been answered about the COS program.


I'm 37, using my GI Bill for the program in hopes to attend Spring of 2013. Here's the catch, I've never been a full time student. Can anyone give some realistic info about the area? Are you able to work while attending?


Thanks in advance



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I'm slated for Fall 2013, I assumed for Paso Robles. As far as work I've touched on a lot over the years.


1. Broadcast Editor and Producer

2. News Anchor/Reporter (civilian and military)

3. Sales Manager and F&I Director for Motorsports and Auto Dealers

4. DJ/VJ for numerous public and private events.

5. Program Director for Top 40 radio


just to name a few.


How's the timing and scheduling of classes vs availability or ability to work?

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  • 2 months later...


I am a student at COS in Paso Robles, CA so I can chime in on this thread. A typical day here is 2 hours of ground school and at least one flight a day. Some days you will not fly due to weather or maintenance and other days you might get to fly twice. We usually fly on saturday if you want to. Most students find the ground school to be very challenging and since it is an accelerated program you can expect to be pushed to learn a lot in a short amount of time.


You only have two semesters charged towards the GI bill so you will have plenty leftover. That is where the 10 months comes in, but, the actual time frame is more like 12 months. Each semester has about 15-18 students, which are split up in half, so your ground class has less than ten people in it. They mix up the students so everyone gets to know each other eventually.


Right now we have at least 5 R-22's and one R-44 for IFR. One of the 22's is a beta with some IFR instruments and the rest are all beta II's. So that is a student to aircraft ratio of 5:1 which seems pretty standard from what I have seen.


The area is great for flying, since we have mountains, the coast, and class D and C airspace nearby. The weather is good, with rain as a rarity and occasional fog that lifts by 10 or 11 AM. Winter is mild and summer is really hot. The wind can be interesting but that just makes you a better pilot.





Great instructors who are passionate about their jobs

Great weather

Fast program (some students get their private license in 2 months)

No gen ed or other college classes required, 100% aviation minded

Helicopters in great condition, many fresh out of overhaul, and maintenance is done next door

Instructors get their time and move on relatively fast, making room for graduates




The BAH is based on Visalia, which is a much cheaper place to live than Paso Robles.

You don't get BAH during breaks and during the extra time spent over 10 months

Out of state fee of $6,000

The college is about 2 hours away, I had to drive there one time just to do some paperwork

Pace may be too fast for some people and ground school has high standards



Overall, I love it here and I look forward to waking up everyday. I enjoy the challenge this school has to offer and the beautiful scenery I get to see when I fly. If you are a hard charging person or absolutely in love with flying then you will do well here. If you hate studying or think this is going to be handed to you then maybe look at schools with longer time frames.


Spots fill up fast so get going on the admissions ASAP. Call the school and ask questions. You will probably be speaking with Tracy and she is very helpful and friendly. She also is an instructor so she can be pretty busy.


It will help immensely if you start learning right now. Today. Google search FAA-H-8083-21A .pdf and get serious. Oh, and it is pronounced Paso Row-bulls. Weird, I know.

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Yea, that 300 is flown by Del Rio. They also have a couple bells and they do most of our maintenance.


And yea, the Visalia BAH is just under 1100 bucks. That puts me solidly in the poverty level. But how many poor people get fly helicopters? Ha, just about every low time pilot!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey guys I found this school and I love all ge information on it. I'm calling the school today to see when I can go thru get out 9-2013. What id living like I have a wife and 2 dogs with me and was just wondering about that.


What language is this?

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I think hes asking if a wife and 2 dogs are included in the training package. To answer your question, yes, in Tulare, CA it is very possible that a wife and 2 dogs could be negotiated as part of the commercial portion of your training. You will also notice a wide variety of young orphaned gang members that you can also select from to give your new family that finishing touch. Youll probably have to pay extra for the white picket fence though.

Edited by Flying Pig
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