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VA accredited programs May 2014 +


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i new here, i wanted to start a thread that is newer and has the most up to date info for VA accredited schools as i keep sifting through info from 2010-2012 and i know things change constantly. looking to find the best school to go and train at and want to get opinions from students who have recently graduated. im still active duty and have been researching alot. im willing to go anywhere to go to school. i have been looking at upper limit for the last year but read many bad reviews about them. i have a list of what i believe are good career schools:

 

muana loa helicopters hawaii

guidance arizona

hillsboro aviation oregon

upper limit avaiation utah

college of sequoias cali

my biggest thing is finding a school that has a good program and isnt a scam. and also be able to start a thread for new people trying to find the most up to date information

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I heard that COS is out of the aviation business or lost its VA approval -not sure, please verify.

 

Leading Edge Aviation in Bend, Oregon is a modern flight training program with excellent staff and linked to Central Oregon Community College. LEA trains both helicopters and airplanes and I personally trained their staff as FITS SBT Facilitators. DPE on staff.

 

In April, 2014 I trained 46 of Upper Limit Aviations' helicopter instructor staff, 3 airplane instructor staff, 1 marketing director and an adjunct professor from Southern Utah University as FITS SBT Facilitators for their modern flight training program upgrade.

 

After being on site, meeting management, instructors, professors and looking over aircraft, maintenance facilities and personnel, I recommend either of these two flight schools in there present operations.

 

Neither school asks for large sums of money up front, both train both VA and non VA pilots in both helicopters and airplanes and have a quality operation. Both have a Safety Management System (SMS) in place that is evolving.

 

I am waiting to hear back from Chris at Guidance about getting their CFIs trained as FITS SBT Facilitators.

 

Email me if you need more info or reference my web site about the value of modern flight training.

 

www.modernflighttraining.com

 

Sincerely,

 

Mike

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I'm in the same position as you, Thomas. I just got accepted to Wallace State Community college in Alabama for their helicopter program. Middle Georgia State College also has a helicopter program.

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I'm glad you started this. I saw the old threads on the subject, but its good to have an updated one. I have been looking into Guidance Aviation a lot. I went and flew with them about a year ago. It seemed like a really good school. I was treated well the entire time i was there and no one tried to bad mouth other schools or high pressure sell me on anything.

 

I've also been looking into Leading Edge Aviation. I'm going to try and go up there sometime this fall and check out the school. I have heard nothing but good things about them and the area looks amazing.

 

I've heard of one in Ohio called Higher Ground. I don't know too much about them.

 

Muana Loa seems really good, but the last i saw is its not covered by the GI Bill.

 

Hope this helps. I'll be following this thread for any updates.

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University of North Dakota has a large helicopter school and is VA, they do fixed wing as well. UND has a special deal with army ROTC, much easier to secure aviation branch when you commission if you graduate from there.

 

My personal recommendation is Kansas State - Salina. They can train helicopter/fixed wing/UAV and are VA friendly. Located near Fort Riley so lots of army folks attend there.

 

Are you looking to pursue a bachelors degree? Is your ultimate goal to be a commercial helicopter pilot or airplane pilot? I've been doing a lot of research in this area lately and helicopter programs are much less common than fixed wing, but I'm sure you can find something to fit your goals if you look around. PM me if you have any questions and I'll try to help. I'm still working on a way to get the VA to buy me a helicopter I can use for 'training'...

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I hear that, apacheguy. I was considering using my Boots To Business to get a Mosquito XET for aerial photography until some guys on here told me that the hours I logged on it wouldn't really matter.

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As a former student at both Leading Edge Aviation and Guidance Aviation I would highly recommend either of them to a fellow veteran looking to get into this endeavor. I know an instructor at Upper Limit Aviation in TN, and I think he did tell me that having worked there now that ULA wouldn't be at the top of his list if he were starting training again. I recently moved to central Florida and have noticed Ocean Helicopters has a really good reputation down here. I think Ocean Helicopters, Palm Beach Helicopters, and Cloud 9 are all options for training providers at the Palm Beach Community College helicopter program that is VA approved also.

 

My suggestion is to visit as many programs as you can in person before making a decision.

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Just spoke with the Marsha of the helicopter flight program at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville, AL. The program uses only S300s for both PPL-H and CPL-H, and one of their S300s is an instrument trainer. They do not have a Robinson transition course that will allow you to meet SFAR 73. Currently, the PPL-H, CPL-H and the IFR course are the only courses that are VA approved. The CFI and CFII courses are supposed to be VA approved within the next month. I just figured I would go ahead and post this up in case anybody on here is planning on going to Wallace State using VA benefits.

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Just my two cents, and take it for what its worth, but I would be cautious (very) about starting at a place that I can't finish. Something that is supposed to, about to, or will soon be, etc...isn't approved yet. It's very easy to say that the approval is just right around the corner, but so is my lotto jackpot. Lots of things can happen, especially with the VA. They are so back logged now its crazy.

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I did my private at Civic helicopters back in 07 with the understanding that they would have their VA approval waaaaaaaaaay before I finished my private. Never happened. A couple years later, they still didnt have it. I don't know what their particular situation is now, don't care..... Just illustrating that I started at a school that swore to me that I would have no issues using my GI Bill there to finish all of my training.

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  • 1 month later...

Just spoke to Marsha Bradford again from Wallace State. The VA approval for the CFI and CFII just came through two weeks ago, so i can finish what I started. I am still going to have to het enough hours on the R22 and R44 to meeet SFAR 73 though. I was in a position where I had to make a quick decision, and was already accepted at WSCC. So that will be a hinderance. Maybe I can pick up some ferry flights with a CFI and do the RHC safety course to get my sign off. The only thing holding me up now is the ACT test and my Class 2 Medical.

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COS Paso Robles and Tulare are both closed. What happened is kind of complicated. COS applied to open a new base in Paso Robles based on their inability to facilitate all of the interested students at the Tulare campus. COS used the same college program for both bases(College of the Sequoias) The VA and FAA both approved the new facility and everything was normal for about 3 semesters. Then another school in some other state applied to open a satelite school as well using the college program at their base for the satelite school as well... The VA denied them citing a rule that states you cannot opperate a flight school more than 50 miles from the college. The other school appealed the ruling citing that the VA had approved COS to opperate a second school almost 4 hours away from their primary school... the VA realized they have made a mistake and pulled COS's Paso Robles funding on zero notice, 3 days after a new semester had began leaving staff, and students dazed. Some students and staff transfered to the Tulare base and some left for other schools. After the exodus of students from the Paso base the program fell below the civilian student quota or 85/15 rule and the VA pulled funding for the Tulare campus as well, effectively leaving COS dead in the water, overstaffed, with lots of equipment. COS didn't do anything wrong and current students are finishing up their hours and then the doors will probably close for good. Other schools and potential flight students should probably take notice that this might be the beginning of the end for VA funding. We all knew it was coming with the rampant abuse of the program by companies like Upper Limit.

 

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As Ive said before, I have no evidence to support my claim, but the day is coming when this fully funded VA/College flight training arraignment is going to come to an end.

 

I don't know which is why Im asking.... but is there any other training program that the VA funds like this that is as expensive as flight training where you graduate with a bunch of certs but are still almost completely unemployable? Flight training with your degree has to be pushing $100K+ and you end up with a pilot who has a degree and 175hrs. So in reality... you paid $100K for your 175hrs. If your goal is to fly, nobody really cares about your degree.

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I seriously home the VA approval does not end for flight training. That's the only way a lot of us can fund our training. If the Army would allow VS to fund a ppl as part of a program to allow veterans to get all their certifications, then itt would not be a big deal annd you would not see such abuse of thiss funding from schools. It would also save the VA a lot of money by only paying for the training the students are interested in. But they will. only pay for a PPL if it is part of a degree program which is where they went wrong.

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I don't think its the degree part that's the problem (although the type of degree certainly doesn't help), student loans also often require a degree program. Its the extra crap that schools like ULA are pushing, and training all in the R44 or turbine that's what will be the downfall.

Edited by eagle5
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I am not disagreeing wiith you. I just think that if your average on-airport flight school cou recieve VA funding to train Veterans without having to go through the hoops, things might be different. Then every flight school could accept VA funded student pilots, and the few schools that are attached to universities would not be able to get away with robbing the VA blind. Plus the VA would save a lot of money.

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For me personally, the college aviation program is the better option. That's what I am enrolled in now. The reason it's better for me is because I get get my certificates while the Post 9/11 GI Bill pays for 100% of my tuition, flight lab fees, books, and pays my rent. That is important because I have a family to take care of. If I were to take just the flight training, I would still have to pay for my own PPL, andd the VA would reimburse 60% of my flight training costs for all certificates after that. I would still have to pay for it up front. I am not saying that the college route is a bad thing. I am just saying that if the VA would pay for stand alone flight training the same way they pay for the college aviation programs, they would save a lot of money, andd the schools like ULA would not have such free reign to abuse VA funding as there would be a lot more competition.

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I recently finished training through Silverhawk aviation In Caldwell. They offer VA through a partnership now with Treasure Valley Community College.

 

The school has really expanded to handle the influx of students due to the new program, but they waited long enough and watched how others did, before having their program offered. Its being done right, and the students are really enjoying the opportunity.

 

I paid my way through, no regrets there, in fact looking forward to having a shot at teaching there myself.

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