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arbalist1
06-13-2018, 12:46 PM
So I went to a flight school for AMEL back in January. I payed up front, as most flight schools require. When my hours were sent in to the VA, the VA initially denied reimbursement because of a clerical error. Took about six weeks to sort out, and another two weeks for the VA to actually process the check to the flight school. I got the run around for a few weeks from the flight school until I was finally able to talk to the owner today. He told me he's having to wait to send me my check because some airlines haven't reimbursed him for RTP flying (I'm not an RTP guy). Long story short, as of today, he spent my reimbursement money and doesn't have the cash on hand at the moment to give me my reimbursement. But he will, "as soon as he can."

Sooo, anyone else have an issue like this using the GI Bill? I've been googling, but can't figure out where to start. Does the VA have any sort of control over this? I'm assuming I'm going to have to lawyer up soon.


rickair7777
06-13-2018, 01:03 PM
Why did the VA send the money to him? When I used the GI Bill, they sent the money to me, direct deposit.

The only way I could imagine that the VA should send money to the school would be if there was an outstanding bill, and money was owed to the school, ie the school didn't bill you in advance? Call the VA, if it's your money that guy can get in very deep doo doo by cashing a check from the VA and not allocating those funds properly... ie, federal fraud.

Word to the wise... NEVER deposit more than about one week's worth of flight training funds up front to any school. If it's a very short course, hold back 50% until completion. If they won't enroll you under those terms, eff 'em, find a new school. Possible exception for large, VERY established university flight programs (ERAU, UND, etc).

It is exceedingly common for flight schools to be run by fraud-minded individuals, and also exceeding common for them to live hand-to-month, or worse, rely on deposits from new enrollments to fund YOUR training because they already spent YOUR entire deposit on something else.

kevbo
06-13-2018, 01:11 PM
Why did the VA send the money to him? When I used the GI Bill, they sent the money to me, direct deposit.


It is exceedingly common for flight schools to be run by fraud-minded individuals, and also exceeding common for them to live hand-to-month, or worse, rely on deposits from new enrollments to fund YOUR training because they already spent YOUR entire deposit on something else.

Exceedingly common? More like the golden rule!


rickair7777
06-13-2018, 01:17 PM
Exceedingly common? More like the golden rule!

I was trying to leave some plausible deniability in there in case there is an ethical flight school operator out there. But you're probably right.

nfnsquared
06-13-2018, 04:07 PM
Pyramid Aviation?

trc8301
06-17-2018, 06:18 PM
The only way I could imagine that the VA should send money to the school would be if there was an outstanding bill, and money was owed to the school, ie the school didn't bill you in advance? Call the VA, if it's your money that guy can get in very deep doo doo by cashing a check from the VA and not allocating those funds properly... ie, federal fraud.


Interesting to hear. Portland Community College/Hillsboro Aero Academy did exactly that. The college would enroll me in a class (say Multi-Comm or whatever), and they would send the money to the college, and it got sent straight to the flight school. I just drew from that account until I took the associated check ride, or 1 year hit, whichever came first. It was up to each student to ensure that you are flying close to the 141 plan. There was a little money in there for some extra flying for each certificate.

hydrostream
06-18-2018, 03:57 PM
Why did the VA send the money to him? When I used the GI Bill, they sent the money to me, direct deposit.

The only way I could imagine that the VA should send money to the school would be if there was an outstanding bill, and money was owed to the school, ie the school didn't bill you in advance? Call the VA, if it's your money that guy can get in very deep doo doo by cashing a check from the VA and not allocating those funds properly... ie, federal fraud.

Word to the wise... NEVER deposit more than about one week's worth of flight training funds up front to any school. If it's a very short course, hold back 50% until completion. If they won't enroll you under those terms, eff 'em, find a new school. Possible exception for large, VERY established university flight programs (ERAU, UND, etc).

It is exceedingly common for flight schools to be run by fraud-minded individuals, and also exceeding common for them to live hand-to-month, or worse, rely on deposits from new enrollments to fund YOUR training because they already spent YOUR entire deposit on something else.

Montgomery or Post-9/11?

rickair7777
06-18-2018, 05:48 PM
Montgomery or Post-9/11?

It was MGIB. Sounds like post 9/11 may be different?

BeatNavy
06-18-2018, 05:54 PM
It was MGIB. Sounds like post 9/11 may be different?

Yes. My VA money went from the VA to a 141 college, and I never paid a dime up front. It just appeared in a flight account one day.

Taco280AI
06-19-2018, 04:13 AM
The Post 911 is different. They pay the school directly and covers 100% (not including your private anymore), up to around $13k a year.

How much is this school not paying you back for?

rickair7777
06-19-2018, 05:38 AM
The Post 911 is different. They pay the school directly and covers 100% (not including your private anymore), up to around $13k a year.

How much is this school not paying you back for?

In the old days, you had to pay up front as you go, and then get reimbursed by the VA as training was completed and documented. I guess this system avoids the need for the student to have some capital, but pre-paying a lot of money to a flight school is just stoopid! You'd think the VA would know the nature of the beast by now...

Taco280AI
06-19-2018, 07:05 AM
Might depend on the school, but I don't think they pre pay. The one I used would bill the VA for hours I flew, then get reimbursed. Rinse and repeat.

Difference between my school and his is that mine didn't try to get me to prepay for training, then reimburse me when the VA finally paid them.

rickair7777
06-19-2018, 10:21 AM
Might depend on the school, but I don't think they pre pay. The one I used would bill the VA for hours I flew, then get reimbursed. Rinse and repeat.

I hope they don't pre-pay, or at least not more than about one week's worth.


Difference between my school and his is that mine didn't try to get me to prepay for training, then reimburse me when the VA finally paid them.

Yeah that's utter BS. The idea of a flight school getting their greasy little mitts on MY money AND the VA's money at the same time is ludicrous... especially given the inherent criminality of flight school operators.