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So heres my back ground, I'm 20 not married, no kids, no debt, decent credit, and I have a desire to become a helicopter pilot. I'll have my associates this December and plan on moving to Louisiana in the spring to start training at Vortex. I visited the school this summer and took my intro flight. From what I saw when I was there, and their relationship with Airlog, I pretty much made up my mind on the spot.

 

The only thing is, I have seen a lot of flak being thrown up lately about loans and such. My question: Is becoming a helicopter through civilian training a realistic dream at my age and standing. Also I will have to finance the total amount.

 

Thank you,

 

Josh

 

P.S. Should I take more time to look at other schools, or is Vortex the best choice for me. ( I currently live in Missouri and Vortex's dorms initially attracted me, but that was before Katrina ) I would also rather attend a large school such as Vortex.

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I'm in the same spot. I've come to the conclusion that the next couple of months, while I'm saving as much as possible before heading to New Iberia, it's ramen and chili in a can for me. I'm to the point where I NEED to fly, so damn the consequences, I'm going to take the hit and finance everything. My job pays decently, and I'm sure if I need extra cash I can get a part time job around there.

 

As for Vortex, you and I have already been over why I picked em. While flying is fun, we're going in for the jobs. It never hurts to be affiliated with a school where you can network with people. I think the internship program is a big factor in my decision. That and a recommendation from a guy who already flies for AirLog.

 

The good thing about being in your 20's and unattatched is we know how to live CHEAP.

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I think you've picked a good school. Work hard and you'll do well.

 

With that said I have to add something that's probably not a popular thought around here. The downside to financing all your training is that there will probably be moments in the next couple of years where you question whether it's really what you want to do for a living. And in the latter portion of your training that won't be a good feeling.

 

I'm in Columbia and am about to finish my CPL, commuting to Olathe, KS. Where in MO are you?

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If you read the frys last thread where he does the math, financing is quite possibly the worst option. Maybe you could save half and finance the other half. From what I remember if you finance 50-60 grand, even at the best interest rate availible you will still have $900 month payments for the next 20 years. Sound good? Might as well go buy a house.

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Yeah, $900 a month payments do not sound like fun. Recently I have been scared towards joining the Army because of it. I care a lot about flying and little about being a soldier, so I have been able to resist the temptation of free flight school.

 

When I visited Vortex my instructor told me she planned on paying off her loans in 2 years, once she was hired by a gulf company. She just said she planned on maintaining the same life style for a couple years to help her get out of debt early.

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"When I visited Vortex my instructor told me she planned on paying off her loans in 2 years, once she was hired by a gulf company. She just said she planned on maintaining the same life style for a couple years to help her get out of debt early."

 

That's pretty much what I intend to do.

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not to burst your bubble but if you want to go about it cheaper, why not pay 152/hr for a 300cb at my school

(instruction included) rather than 250 in an r22. sounds too good to be true but it's not. Check this out: www.gavtc.org its by far the best kept secret in the rotary training world. think about it, fly 10 hours here, save 1000 bucks no brainer to me.

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Is it possible to attain a CFII from your school? Do they employ the pilots they train? Does $152/hr include all misc. costs? (fuel, insurance, etc...) Do you have to get a degree at that school, or can you simply attain the certificates?

 

yes..all of our interns get cfII at no cost. yes, in our helicopter program i have not known any person that wanted an internship to not get one. 152 is wet, with an instructor. you dont have to get a degree however in our diploma program, you will be taking various ground classes (meteorology, navigation,aviation regulations,private,commercial) you do have to pay for ground classes just as with anywhere else, but if you are a resident of georgia(for one year) you will get a grant that pays for all of your tuition and some of your books. BTW my rent at the government housing authority (projects, whatever you want to call it--nicer than most apartments in my town) is 25 dollars a month. oh there is an insurance fee of 12.50 per quarter (50.00 a year) all headsets and equipment are provide--might want to get a kneeboard.

if you have any more questions feel free to ask.

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Now, when you say intern you mean you don't get paid or what? Also how many helicopters does your school operate? How many helicopter only cfi's do they employ? Are most of your instructors people who recieved their certificate from your school? Are your heli instructors just working to 1000 hours for a different job? Could I take an intro flight before enrolling?

 

Ok thats all for now. Thank you so much for your time.

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Now, when you say intern you mean you don't get paid or what? Also how many helicopters does your school operate? How many helicopter only cfi's do they employ? Are most of your instructors people who recieved their certificate from your school? Are your heli instructors just working to 1000 hours for a different job? Could I take an intro flight before enrolling?

 

Ok thats all for now. Thank you so much for your time.

 

Hey..

 

Interns get 1000/ month for 40 hr's week... the schedule is really flexible and you wont be doing manual labor when you arent flying, its not like that...works out to a measly 6.50 an hour for flying, briefing, de-briefing, playing solitare on your computer etc. lol. Trust me, its plenty pay for here in Eastman. Interns like I said get CFII at no cost to them and interns also get 4 hours proficiency time a month that can use however they want to. There is 5 CFI's on staff now at our school.. my instructor just came over from a CFII fixed wing rating to teach helicopters which is awesome because a fixed wing pilot who has worked in the real world knows way more about instrument flying than just about any helicopter pilot. 3 of our instructors did get their ratings at my school and are looking forward to bigger and better things but you have to ask yourself, who wants to be a lifelong CFI with all the liability and hardly make any money at it? If a school tells you this, make sure its under a polygraph because i only know 1 person who has found it his life long passion to teach. Yes you can take a discovery flight (30 min) for 50 dollars or an intro flight (1 hr) for 100 or combine the 2 for 1 1/2 hours. hope this answers all of your questions for now. gtg but i'll talk to you guys later.

 

Nic

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$50,000 - 200 hours - private, instrument, commercial, CFI, and CFII

 

$50,000 paid over 6 years at 9% is $900 a month

 

$50,000 paid over 15 years at 9% is $500 a month

 

this is through Vortex and TERI at a part 141 school.

 

R22 time is not $250 an hour

 

there are always students looking for roommates in New Iberia, and there are lots of part time jobs available, although not recommended

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$50,000 - 200 hours - private, instrument, commercial, CFI, and CFII

 

$50,000 paid over 6 years at 9% is $900 a month

 

$50,000 paid over 15 years at 9% is $500 a month

 

this is through Vortex and TERI at a part 141 school.

 

R22 time is not $250 an hour

 

there are always students looking for roommates in New Iberia, and there are lots of part time jobs available, although not recommended

 

http://www.salliemae.com/get_student_loan/...Career_training

 

A 9% rate is probably optimistic...the student would have to have an "excellent" credit rating. More realistic would be a "good" credit rating and that carries a rate of 10.25%. And then there's the loan fees...Sallie Mae's example looks like about three points so add another $1,500 upfront to that $50K. So, a loan of $51,500 at 10.25% for 15 years has a monthly payment of $561.32.

 

But that's if the student starts making payments when the loan is disbursed...i.e., no deferred payments or interest...while he is still in training.

 

If the student gets talked into the twelve month deferral plan the rate jumps to 11.25%. And when the twelve months are up and the loan payments begin the loan amount will be about $57,600. The monthly payments on that are $663.75.

 

Writing a $663 check to the bank every month for fifteen years if you're actually a working helicopter pilot might be (but probably isn't) worth it. But what about writing that check while you're piloting a forklift or a UPS truck because you decided too late you didn't really want to move the family to Louisiana?

 

It's a lot of money for a piece of paper that is only good for one thing.

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For what it's worth, Sallie Mae offed me 11.5% when I applied with them. This was back in March, Prime was around 7 i think? Credit score was 740 with an "excellent" rating. Basically, even all my credit cards had lower interest rates than that. Basically, since flight training isn't a proper 4 year school, the rate is pretty bad.

 

However, good luck finding any other way to borrow the money. Your choices are pretty much let someone else pay for it (Uncle Sam, your rich uncle Bill maybe) or use your own money (Savings, equity, plasma) or student loan (SM, Career Xpress, etc). Each one has their own risks and sacrifices.

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$50,000 - 200 hours - private, instrument, commercial, CFI, and CFII

 

$50,000 paid over 6 years at 9% is $900 a month

 

$50,000 paid over 15 years at 9% is $500 a month

 

this is through Vortex and TERI at a part 141 school.

 

R22 time is not $250 an hour

 

there are always students looking for roommates in New Iberia, and there are lots of part time jobs available, although not recommended

[/quote

 

50,000, 30,000 dollars... same difference... i pay 8.5% through teri without a cosigner..i'm 22 with good

credit

 

from vortex website

Robinson R-22 Primary Dual $225.00 Per Hour

Robinson R-22 Solo $215.00 Per Hour

Robinson R-22 IFR,CFI,CFII Advanced Dual $235.00 Per Hour

Ground School Group Primary $20.00 Per Hour

Ground School Individual $35.00 Per Hour

Ground School Group IFR & CFI $35.00 Per Hour

 

ok i admit being 15- 25 dollars off

better than goverment ran helicopter training at 152 dual, solo, whatever?

oh yeah.. GAVTC is merging with Middle GA College to offer Bachelor's degrees.. Ground school is typically 350 per quarter for out of state residences but that's about 120 contact hours.. not even 4 dollars an hour!!

 

Oh and i forgot to reiterate the fact that after a year at school in Georgia you become a legal resident and dont pay any of the tuition charges (still have to pay for flight time obviously)

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there are always students looking for roommates in New Iberia, and there are lots of part time jobs available, although not recommended

 

 

This is true. I'll be going to vortex in January or February and I'm definitely looking for a roomie to defer the cost of rent/utilities.

 

Just got back from visiting their campus and I'm impressed. The CFII's seemed very professional and safety-oriented, and the students seemed pretty amicable. The area leaves a little to be desired as far as things to do, but that just leaves more time to study and fly, right?

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It's great to hear there are many available, like minded roomates in New Iberia. If I end up at Vortex I probably wont be there until March or May. The school in Georgia has peeked my interest, and I plan on paying them a visit some time this coming spring.

 

Thank you all for your input, please feel free to add anything to the post.

 

P.S. To Fry: While your comments are pessimistic and somewhat discouraging, I appreciate you telling the nightmare this dream can become. You provide a sharp bite of reality that provides me with needed caution.

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I didn't find Fry's comments pessimistic or discouraging at all. He offers a healthy dose of reality. Not everyone that signs up will finish the course. And not everyone that finishes the course will want to do it for a living. And there will be a few that might have a hard time finding a job.

 

Absolute best case scenario will find you making heavy payments for a long time. For some, it's just the price to be paid to do what they really want to do with their lives. And for them it's absolutely the best choice. I consider it equivalent to paying for college.

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Absolute best case scenario will find you making heavy payments for a long time. For some, it's just the price to be paid to do what they really want to do with their lives. And for them it's absolutely the best choice. I consider it equivalent to paying for college.

Amen. You know, I look at it as "paying your dues" in a way. I think it weeds out alot of people who might have tried it as a "hey, this is cool" kind of thing, but don't have the drive to sacrfice and put everything on the line. I may be out of line and catch some heat for that, but that's okay. It's probably fairly easy for me to say that, being 22 and single, but if a 50 year old HVAC tech can drop everything and get their CFII, so can I.

 

I also may be showing my age when I say I that I think one of the most important things you can do with your life is get a job that you enjoy on one level or another, even if most of us helo pilots become glorified taxi drivers. Hey, I'm flying, that's good enough for me.

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"When I visited Vortex my instructor told me she planned on paying off her loans in 2 years, once she was hired by a gulf company. She just said she planned on maintaining the same life style for a couple years to help her get out of debt early."

 

That's pretty much what I intend to do.

 

i'm a newbie posting but i've been reading for months. it's too bad for those of us just starting that the guys who have already been thru this successfully are all out there flying and too busy to post positive stories! I want to hear from someone who has really DONE this with financing and is working off the debt load, however painfully.

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i'm a newbie posting but i've been reading for months. it's too bad for those of us just starting that the guys who have already been thru this successfully are all out there flying and too busy to post positive stories! I want to hear from someone who has really DONE this with financing and is working off the debt load, however painfully.

 

You're not hearing from them because there aren't any. This boom in mass marketed financed flight training has only really taken off in the last three years...with Silver State and KeyBank. There are probably just not all that many that have actually gone on to paying jobs beyond instructing. Also, when the boom started interest rates were lower and Silver State was offering its get-em-in-the-door pricing for its program; $43.5k. So if you do hear from someone they will probably be relating an experience that will be nowhere near what yours will be if you're starting now at $70k and 11% - 14%. I can't imagine you'll hear from the poor slobs that are on the hook for $65k - $70k because they don't want to talk about paying for training...instead of a house...for a job they will probably never get.

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Okay, now that's pessimistic.

 

I met a guy a few weeks ago who trained with SSH. Says it was very good training, but if he had to do it over again he probably wouldn't because it was a bit pricey, and that was at the $50K price. But he's a CFII now, part-time because he has another good job to help pay off the $500 monthly payments for the remaining 13 years. But he's building hours and hopes to fly for a living eventually. In the meantime he seems to be enjoying himself.

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