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Helicopter School claims that G.I. bill covers 100% of flight training.


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Hello.

 

 

I've been in the Air Force now for 11 years, and I'm just not happy. All I've ever wanted to do is fly, but at this point, it seems like I'm letting my dream slip away. I'm 31 years old.....too old to commission and fly with the Air Force. I was doing some online research about helicopter training schools and was looking for one that took the post 9/11 G.I. bill. I came across Palm Beach Helicopters in Palm Beach, Fl. I called a representative of the flight school and he told me exactly what they said on their website, " You can use your Post 9/11 Chapter 33 GI benefits in this program and receive 100% coverage if your are eligible. This program gets you Private, Instrument, Commercial, Flight Instructor, Instrument Flight Instructor, Night Vision Goggle, Long Line, and Turbine Transition training." So, in essence, does this mean that the G.I. Bill is going to cover this completely? I've read where they only cover up to 60% and that's only if you already have your private pilot license. I may have this miscostrued, but what I'm getting is that it covers the private portion as well? I guess they have a two year degree program with Palm Beach State College as well that would also be a part of the tuition. Can someone give me some advise on if I will have to come out of the pocket with an astronomical amount of money for helicopter training, or do you believe what they say is true about the G.I. Bill coverage? Thanks.

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It is true, you can get 100% coverage for your training using chapter 33. I am currently active duty AF, and just did my first solo flight through Upper Limit Aviation. The only out of pocket I have spent is for equipment and books. I did get some checks for books from the VA, but I bought many of them before I started. You just have to go through an Institute of Higher Learning (degree program), there are getting to be quite a few to choose from.

 

I could explain further but, there are multiple threads covering this topic.

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It is true, you can get 100% coverage for your training using chapter 33. I am currently active duty AF, and just did my first solo flight through Upper Limit Aviation. The only out of pocket I have spent is for equipment and books. I did get some checks for books from the VA, but I bought many of them before I started. You just have to go through an Institute of Higher Learning (degree program), there are getting to be quite a few to choose from.

 

I could explain further but, there are multiple threads covering this topic.

 

 

I guess I need to read up on how Chapter 33 works in conjunction with flight training. I had no idea that you could still be Active Duty and at the same time do flight training. I was under the perception that it was a high risk activity that the Air Force wouldn't allow

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Clinton,

 

 

I maybe the person you talked with at Palm Beach Helicopters. The 60% reimbursement you ask about is true for chapter 31 Montgomery GI bill users and they do have to pay for their private when enrolling directly at the flight school. The Chapter 33 Post 9/11 users have a maximum of $10,000.00 per academic year to spend after paying for their own private when enrolling directly at the flight school.

 

 

The large difference for Chapter 33 post 9/11 users is enrolling in a degree program at a college or university. In this case it is then 100% for eligible veterans including a book allowance and a housing allowance. The only thing that is not covered is when the college charges more per credit hour for non state residence students. In the case of the college we are affiliated with this could amount to three or four thousand dollars per semester. This problem can be overcome by either taking a year to establish state residency OR being discharged from the service into the home of record that you intend to live and attend school.

 

 

As far as using your benefits while still active I cannot answer that question. I know we have had some active reservist use their benefits.

 

 

Your best source of information is the VA representative at the particular college or school that you chose.

 

 

Dan Crowe

 

Palm Beach Helicopters

 

PS when you are researching the benefits remember that a degree program is not "flight training" as defined by the VA when taking vocational training such as directly at a flight school.

 

Edited by aircoastal
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I guess I need to read up on how Chapter 33 works in conjunction with flight training. I had no idea that you could still be Active Duty and at the same time do flight training. I was under the perception that it was a high risk activity that the Air Force wouldn't allow

 

That is up to your Commander to decide if he will sign your HRA sheet. I wrote mine up stating that I would be flying under strict supervision of a qualified flight instructor and that the program is monitored Monitored under part 141. (or something like that) I may be screwed if my next commander won't sign one when I leave my current squadron in 6 months.

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The large difference for Chapter 33 post 9/11 users is enrolling in a degree program at a college or university. In this case it is then 100% for eligible veterans including a book allowance and a housing allowance. The only thing that is not covered is when the college charges more per credit hour for non state residence students. In the case of the college we are affiliated with this could amount to three or four thousand dollars per semester. This problem can be overcome by either taking a year to establish state residency OR being discharged from the service into the home of record that you intend to live and attend school.

 

 

 

 

 

Dan,

 

I appreciate the clarification. I have it straight now. So, as long as I enroll in a degree program, I will be covered 100% by Chapter 33 post 9/11 G.I. Bill. Since I am a Florida resident, I should be good. I'm going to talk to the Education office on base about being able to accomplish both school with flight training and still being on active duty. I'll keep in contact.

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Dan,

 

 

Thanks for the Clarification on the Chapter 33. This seems like something that can really end up doing. I didn't want to be in a situation where I'm buried in debt and just be plucking away at a large amount of money. I will definitely stay in contact, and if I have any further questions, I will call. You've been very helpful.

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I'm currently in Afghanistan, but my home station is Moody, AFB GA. I'd like to correspond with you on how you were able to accomplish flight training and still be on active duty. Look me up on the global under my screen name.

 

E-mail sent

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Dan,

 

I'm going to talk to the Education office on base about being able to accomplish both school with flight training and still being on active duty. I'll keep in contact.

Don't get too discouraged when you talk to them. When I tried that they told me flight training was not covered by ch33, I ended up educating them on how it worked. Opposite of what I intended going into the meeting. You should do your own research, and talk to people with experience in the program, like a VA rep at a school offering it.

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  • 2 months later...

Most helicopter schools anymore have wised up to the value of having a Part 141 approved program and bringing the veterans in. I'm a CFI with one that's only a few years old. All of my students are vets too. 100% covered tuition and fees and flight fees if you are at a public college. At private schools (like Embry-Riddle in Prescott) the $10,000 flight fee cap reemerges.

 

Other things to consider is finding a school that either A) Has a yellow ribbon program to cover the difference between in-state and out of state tuition. OR B) is in your state of residence so that you can just not worry about the difference in tuitions and go straight into the program.

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  • 9 months later...

Hello clinton, im currently AD in the coast guard and looking to get out next year in around October or july to then go to palm beach state. Im currently taking two classes online concerning english as part of the degree program to get a head start. . Unlike you i dont see my self sticking around and being active plus going to school. Pretty much over my rate/mos. It will indeed cover everything from what iv read though make sure to use your tuition assistance if you take anything online. Also switch to post 9/11 as mentioned above if your getting out. With the Mont GI you would have to pay the private license out of pocket from my understanding. Good to see im not the only one looking into that college. Im not sure if you intend to do the degree program or attempt to pay some money out of pocket to go straight to flight school

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I used the Post 911 to get my CFII. Ended up paying $6,000 for out of state tuition but also got a pell grant for $5,000. Amazing!

 

My advice to you is start saving money while you are active duty now so that you can survive the years after training. The stipend is good for getting through school but the pay blows as a CFI and most other low level jobs. More importantly, a lot of my students that didn't get picked up at the school had trouble getting by and not having the money to fly around the country to do job interviews for instructor positions.

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Im seeing a few vets using the flight training benefit and then choosing other careers. I know a few who have done the program and then never even pursue a CFI route. Just took their degree and went on to a completely unrelated field. Be curious to see how many people do that. One person I know personally said it was just a fun way to get through college and that he never intended to fly for a living.

Edited by Flying Pig
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