Sunday, May 17, 2009

Post 9/11 GI Bill and Flight Training

OK, after more research and some feed back from the VA this is what I've found.

The newest version of the post 9/11 GI Bill is a great option for flight training but only if you are going for the full college experience and doesn't pay for any training that is outside of an actual degree program. (this couldn't be confirmed by even the VA at this point)

The Montgomery GI bill still pays the 60/40 split that they have for years but only applies after you have your PPL.

I wanted to give this update because there are so many veterans in the Pacific Northwest and I know my unit has been pushing the change to the post 9/11 plan. You aren't required to change plans but if you enlisted for the 9/11 GI bill you can't go back to the Montgomery so make sure you know what you want to use the money for before you enroll.

OK, so now that I've thrown that out there, what is a soldier supposed to do so they can afford training? I know the club shut down on my post and now we have to pay higher prices and travel much further for training. Both of these changes cause a huge problem for most service members.

With the pull back on student loans and such, how is a service member supposed to pay for the PPL so they can take advantage of the GI bill benefits? Grrrr


Jeffrey Synk said...

Nice post. Financing your flight training is more of a daunting task than most people think and definitely more stressful.

Many first officer's that I fly with, straight out of college, are$100K in debt. Not a good situation to be in.

Alternatively, there are people in your position that can't utilized their GI Bill yet either.

Here are a few ideas.

1. Do a home-study course for your Private Pilot written. Home study courses aren't really that expensive but you can probably find some on the Internet, Craigslist, or eBay. Also, maybe go in with a few other buddies to pay for it, then sell it on Craigslist, etc. Once you take the test, it is good for two years.

2. Do your Private Pilot as Part 61. Save the Part 141 training for when you are serious and are going to use the GI Bill. Most Part 141 schools will handle all the paper work for you.

3. Find another job and save save save that money specifically for flight training. Put it away into a money market and DO NOT TOUCH it till you are ready to pay for your flight training.

4. Ask a relative to float you the money and offer to pay them back with interest, say 2-3%. That is way better than getting a loan from the bank at 15%. Be sure to set up a payment plan, document your arrangement, and, here is the big one, PAY THEM BACK!

5. As you pointed out,, is a great way to get funding, however, currently they are not accepting neither new lender or borrower, but that should end soon.

Anyway, I hope that helps a little. The big thing to do is totally dedicate yourself to getting your Private Pilot and beyond! The money will come.

To Your Flying Success...


Anonymous said...

Apparently you do not need to enroll for the "full college experience":

"The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has approved ATP’s Airline Career Pilot Program for reimbursement under the Montgomery GI Bill. You won’t find a better value in professional pilot training for veterans.

All flight training for the VA-approved curriculum is accomplished at ATP’s Panama City, FL flight school under FAA-approved 141 flight training courses.

The VA-approved Airline Career Pilot Program includes the same certificates and flight time as our Part 61 Airline Career Pilot Program."

Anonymous said...

New update! The post 911 GI Bill will pay for flight training if it is sought through an Institution of Higher Learning. This is a complicated way to say a degree program at a college. Yavapai College in Prescott, AZ just approved a program that starts January 20th, 2010. It is an Associates Degree program that will take 21 continuous months of training that will result in an Associates Degree of Applied Sciences in Helicopter Aviaiton and your Commercial Helicopter license with Certified Flight Instructor Instrument (CFII). The college owns the program and is contracting the labs (flight portion) through Guidance Helicopters. Also the vet will qualify for $1300 BAH per month via the zip code. All flight traing in provided under FAR 141. I suggest you take a look.

Anonymous said...

Yavapai College in Prescott, AZ just approved FIXED WING TRAINING tht will result in an Associates Degree of Applied Sciences. The college owns the program and uses North Aire Aviation who has been in business for over 38 years and is a Cessna Pilots Center.