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GI BILL,PILOTS IN DANGER LOSING BENEFITS


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The civilian CFI guys are happy about it, they think it will reduce training cost and competition. Total B.S.

 

Velocity is right the abuse has broken the system.

 

Instead of taking the benefits away, maybe the system needs more oversight instead.

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It would not be the first time, they did it in the late 1970's back then you had to at least have a private pilot cert first that you then it was a 90/10 split, the VA would pay 90% of the cost and you were resposible for 10% of the bill! The stopped VA benefits for flight training all together, bad economic times made for a bad employment out look, just as it is today for a lot of people! And lest face it, when 12 students can get billed by a flight school for 6 million dollars, things have gotten a little out of hand! It needs to be rained in, but cutting flight training from those vets that want it, no I would not want to see that, maybe going back to having to do the private yourself out of pocket and then maybe having to pick up 10 to 20 % of the rest to CFII! Either way nobody is going to like what ends up happening! And with Trillon Dollar a year deficeits or dam close to that, its not sustainable!

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It would not be the first time, they did it in the late 1970's back then you had to at least have a private pilot cert first that you then it was a 90/10 split, the VA would pay 90% of the cost and you were resposible for 10% of the bill! The stopped VA benefits for flight training all together, bad economic times made for a bad employment out look, just as it is today for a lot of people! And lest face it, when 12 students can get billed by a flight school for 6 million dollars, things have gotten a little out of hand! It needs to be rained in, but cutting flight training from those vets that want it, no I would not want to see that, maybe going back to having to do the private yourself out of pocket and then maybe having to pick up 10 to 20 % of the rest to CFII! Either way nobody is going to like what ends up happening! And with Trillon Dollar a year deficeits or dam close to that, its not sustainable!

I agree that it's not sustainable but if you look at the number of Veterans reviving benefits compared to the number of civillians, we are maybe 1% of the population.

 

There should be a cap that is reasonable to the required training costs. What I don't understand is these guys on the forums trash talking the veteran student pilots.

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The civilian CFI guys are happy about it, they think it will reduce training cost and competition. Total B.S..

Yes, as tax payers we don't want to spend the money to train 100 vets on just 12. And if you want to be competitive in the civilian training market you need 200 hours in the r22, which should only cost $60k!

 

But you're right its just b.s.

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Yes, as tax payers we don't want to spend the money to train 100 vets on just 12. And if you want to be competitive in the civilian training market you need 200 hours in the r22, which should only cost $60k!

 

But you're right its just b.s.

First off, taking a benefit away from someone who earned it is B.S.

 

The fact is, there should have been a cap to prevent this. So instead of punishing the flight schools, we punish the soldiers.

 

My point was, folks like you Eagle, benefit from this because you don't have more competition looking for a job with you. It drives training costs down, which is a good thing. It also reduces the amount of student pilots which is going to cut CFI and CFII hours.

 

This fix to the system still doesn't help those veterans that want to be pilots and use tier hard earned benefits to pay for it.

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The civilian CFI guys are happy about it, they think it will reduce training cost and competition. Total B.S.

Velocity is right the abuse has broken the system.

Instead of taking the benefits away, maybe the system needs more oversight instead.

Those cfi guys won't have anyone to teach without the vets. That's a big chunk of potential students gone. And it'll be awhile before any flight schools start lowering costs.

 

Just my opinion.

 

I agree. The flight schools need to be kept in check here. When the vets signed up, this GI bill was part of the deal. It's not like they could've backed out on their part of the deal partway through if they wanted.

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What I don't understand is these guys on the forums trash talking the veteran student pilots.

It's because these veteren students should have known better. By doing a little research they would have know that 500k is an insane amount of money for training.

 

More importantly, if they had done their research, they would've know that training in anything other then a Robinson or 300 severely hurts their chances of getting their 1st job in an allready overcrowded industry.

 

So they received training that isn't useful at 5x's the cost of normal training. They deserved the GI bill but they have to do their part also. Unfortunately due to lack of research and greedy schools, a lot of vets now won't get the schooling/training they both deserve and were promised.

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There should be a cap that is reasonable to the required training costs. What I don't understand is these guys on the forums trash talking the veteran student pilots.

 

Posted 16 March 2015 - 19:47

There are a lot of emails flying around the industry to caring people about this HR 476 Bill.

Typically our Govt. sets up easy abuses and now wants to pull everything from deserving veterans.

My suggestion would be something like:

If we look at a reasonable cost of VA flight training for a career helicopter pilot and plan for some over run due to PT differences and in fairness to offer the benefit to all Vets, it would not be unreasonable to limit the flight training to:
piston helicopters
$ 160,000 max including ground school -Heavy pilots that must fly a R44 need to apply themselves to reach minimum times required.
Pvt. limited to max 70 hours to stop "just playing around"
IFR limited to 55 hours
Commercial to 160 hours total including Pvt. & IFR
CFI & CFII to 50 hours
Total 210 hours
Meet SFAR 73 for R22, R44
Schools would have to have valid programs to be competitive and get PTs thru the training.
College or University degree program funds could be in addition to the flt. trng. funds. but not used for flight training.
Turbine, NVG, Long line programs are not required as repeatedly stated by employers at Heli Success.
  • Posted 19 March 2015 - 17:03

    In visiting a few of the flight schools that train Vets in helicopters, I asked how many drop out and when?

    I was told that many Vets were introduced to helicopters in Afghanistan or Iraq and thought that it would be cool to fly helicopters. Many did not even think about doing this for a living/career, they just wanted to fly helicopters and took advantage of a free training opportunity to get to fly a helicopter. Some drop out during Private when they realize that it requires studying and learning a large amount of information and that they must take a written test, oral and practical test.

    Those that passed the Private did not always continue into an Instrument rating. So, by this point many had dropped out.

    Having said this, those that were serious about acquiring an education and Pilot certificates to become a career pilot, applied themselves and can be or have been successful in becoming CFIIs. Some are also jointly completing college or university degrees.

    As with all applicants (Vets or not), some are more serious than others and complete the programs in lesser times.

    Currently, there are industry professionals getting prepared to approach Congress about not cutting off benefits but rectifying the allowed abuses. We are also concerned about not dumping a lot of CFIIs on the street with no jobs and no way to complete the career path to the next tier level.

    I am a decorated combat veteran (from a lifetime ago) and feel that our Vets deserve opportunities but also must be responsible in selecting and attaining an educational path.

    Hopefully we can get the abuses stopped but continue to offer educational benefits for those that serve our country.

    Many of you are throwing around costs of training numbers that are not realistic in getting pilots in training to the most employable position of meeting SFAR 73 to teach as a CFII R-H in both the R22 & R44. My suggestions above give Vets or private pay PTs the path to readiness in our industry. I understand that not everyone that attains the above listed ratings will get hired.

    Another point, flight schools will not be lowering costs of training if VA funding is ended.

    Just because we served our country does not make everything we do or do not do correct. Not caring about what your education or playing around costs your country and not caring about what remains for those that follow you is not acceptable.

    Mike

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  • 2 weeks later...

The recommendations Mike posted isn't far off of the program at Guidance. In the program there you get 65 hours for private, i think it was just over 20hrs flight time for instrument ( and a good bit of sim as well), and I'm not sure about the break down on the rest, but you finish with 215ish hours at the end, with no electives. The R66 turbine program, and the option to do commercial in that is useless. Back when I first started the R44 program at Guidance I had figured the total cost to be in the $175k range with no turbine time.

 

The turbine time, iPads issued to new students, glass mfd cockpits in the R44, long line, etc, is all marketing gimmick.

 

I took a break after my instrument semester to come work at my current job. To pay off 100% of my debt, and save a large nest egg, to be prepared to support my family on a very small income as a CFI. If all of this VA funding goes away, at least I have an A&P and later this year (if all goes well) an IA to fall back on. Certainly hope that the program gets more oversight that it needs instead of just eliminated all together.

 

With all of that said, I was surprised at how many students at Guidance that showed up semester after semester for private 1 training were there to just have fun and fly helicopters. One class had three friends from the military that were there just to do the program for fun with no intent to make it a career. One idea could be to make class sizes smaller. Make it harder to get in. Application interviews, an essay explaining why you want to be a pilot, etc. Kind of like getting into an Ivy league School. Weed out those who lack the commitment from the get go. And eliminate all turbine training.

Edited by superstallion6113
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Dump the degree requirements also. It has nothing to do with landing a job as an entry level pilot. Flight training is a vocational trade. Not a college/education degree program. As I said in another thread, everyone keeps talking about the flight schools. Don't forget colleges are creating ridiculous degree programs and grabbing their share of the money as well.

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Dump the degree requirements also. It has nothing to do with landing a job as an entry level pilot. Flight training is a vocational trade. Not a college/education degree program. As I said in another thread, everyone keeps talking about the flight schools. Don't forget colleges are creating ridiculous degree programs and grabbing their share of the money as well.

 

Depending on the college, the degree requirements aren't that expensive. I believe my AS degree general ed classes I believe come to 12 credits, and just over $70 per credit hour. It's the VA that is convinced the degree means something, when like you said, really does nothing as a helicopter pilot. A 4 year degree in aviation safety, business admin, or some other back up career would be better, that could still keep you employed in the aviation field.

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The GI Bill is great and much deserved but let's be real.

 

A soldier spends 4 years in the Army and people actually think he should get $200,000 in flight training?

 

Do the math. That is an extra $4166.00 worth of pay for every month that E-4 spent in the Army. On top of the salary (let's say $2500 month minimum not including housing and benefits) that they actually received, who believes that 22 year old was actually worth $80,000 + benefits per year for those 4 years? And that is a conservative estimate. That is stupid.

 

....and I've been an E-4, seen combat, and been in much longer than those 4 year soldiers. Don't give me the worn out line of "they were promised," "they earned it," etc. Nobody promised, nor should we tolerate, rampant fraud, waste and abuse. Nobody earned the right to those runaway costs.

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Depending on the college, the degree requirements aren't that expensive. I believe my AS degree general ed classes I believe come to 12 credits, and just over $70 per credit hour. It's the VA that is convinced the degree means something, when like you said, really does nothing as a helicopter pilot. A 4 year degree in aviation safety, business admin, or some other back up career would be better, that could still keep you employed in the aviation field.

 

Does the VA pay for other trade schools like say Wyotech, and if so do they insist on an attached college degree program as well?

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Does the VA pay for other trade schools like say Wyotech, and if so do they insist on an attached college degree program as well?

Not sure if it's required. A friend of mine went to Universal Technical Institute in Phoenix for their automotive program and used his Post 9/11 GI Bill, and finished with a 2 year degree.

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  • 2 weeks later...

There is a lot of numbers being thrown around that are not accurately researched. I am right in the heart of this topic. I am currently a flight student at Silverhawk Aviation Academy in Idaho. In my opinion this is one of the best flight schools in the helicopter industry. They have vets graduating the program with an AAS and certs including private, commercial, cfi, cfii. Which includes some turbine and long line training. There are guys finishing this course on a regular basis and spending around $100,000. Yeah that may seem alot but that does include all tuition and fees from the college it contracts with. Now where the problem lies is with the few programs that are taking advantage of the "loop hole" and charging ridiculous prices for student pilots. Upper Limit Aviation being on of them. This school charges $3500 an hour for a Bell 206. That in turn gets sent to the VA. This school has several students that finished the course with bills around $500,000. That is the problem! That program is being unethical and making a bad name for the entire industry. There are plenty of programs doing it right, like Silverhawk. I am 100% against waste and abuse of the system, but if congress puts a small cap (like the one for fixed wing schools, $21,000 ish) then it greatly hurt the industry. Now in my opinion, there needs to be an investigation done and terms that can be agreed upon that doesn't bring the industry to it's knees. Say making a cap is the best idea. The cap would need to be set within reason so where our vet students are entering the job market with huge student loans. In my opinion, setting a cap of around $100,000 for the entire program is not unreasonable,

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The GI Bill is great and much deserved but let's be real.

 

A soldier spends 4 years in the Army and people actually think he should get $200,000 in flight training?

 

Do the math. That is an extra $4166.00 worth of pay for every month that E-4 spent in the Army. On top of the salary (let's say $2500 month minimum not including housing and benefits) that they actually received, who believes that 22 year old was actually worth $80,000 + benefits per year for those 4 years? And that is a conservative estimate. That is stupid.

 

....and I've been an E-4, seen combat, and been in much longer than those 4 year soldiers. Don't give me the worn out line of "they were promised," "they earned it," etc. Nobody promised, nor should we tolerate, rampant fraud, waste and abuse. Nobody earned the right to those runaway costs.

Now calculate the ones who far exceeded $200K!

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I wonder how many of these vets are going on to professional careers? Seems to me this is similar to SSH in that they intentionally over recruited and made promises about jobs that many didn't get. As the other article said, they're creating a "bottleneck" right now in that you have way too many CFIs without positions to put them in. Like I said, I think these schools are existing right now in order to serve themselves and not the actual market demand.

 

I like to see fellow veterans getting benefits we deserve but I think most of this will result with getting expensive ratings that they'll never be able to use.

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One other issue I see is how veterans are owning up to the cost of their training. I had cash, if it ran out, then training stopped. I was super nervous when my anticipated budget on my PVT cert went way over. This meant monies for my instrument and other ratings were cut short. I had to really focus on my training past private in order to contain my budgeted monies and complete my training. I am married with kids and had a full time job all while training. I spent roughly a touch over 100k and did not get longline training due to my over spent private budget.

 

Now I see the vets in the same school. Most are post 9/11 with 100% covered costs. Some are partial GI covered due to time in service and have to pocket the difference. Some own their training, the cost of it, the invoices for it, and strive to make it work.

 

Others just toss the invoices and say they dont care because they arent paying for it. This just ticks me off beyond reason when I hear them say this. Spending money with no accountability for the path it goes.

 

Benefit or Government assistance, it doesnt matter how you slice it, there should be a limit set, and an accountability required for its use. Both the student and the school should burden the weight of the task. This isnt a career for everyone, and its not for everyone that shows up to try it out. Some wash out early, some later on. However, there have been schools abusing the loopsholes to collect monies to train when the instructors and schools knew full well the student wasnt serious about being there.

 

Hopefully this will end with some tighter regulations, but meaningful focus rather than just ostridge effect it like they did in the 90's.

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