Airline Pilot Forums

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Phyr0
11-14-2018, 07:30 AM
Greetings all. I am an active duty military officer that will be separating from the service in 3 years. I've always desired a career in aviation but the military sent me down a different route and it's just not what I want to do. While I finish up my commitment, I'd like to look for ways I can make my transition after separation as smooth as possible.

As an officer, I already have a BS, so I am not interested in going to school for another degree to have the GI Bill pick up the bundled tuition/flight costs. I am interested, however, in using the GI Bill however I can to pay for training. I'm aware that the Bill will not cover private unless it is bundled, so that'll likely be an out of pocket expense. But what about IR/commercial/multi/ATP at a part 141? Does the bill just cover ~13K annual and I need to pay the rest? I already have 14 hrs, pre-solo, and am considering getting my private done at a part 61.

I'm wondering if it's possible/worth it to pay my way through weekend flying to CFI status, and use that as a time builder/income earner to grind out my 1500. Alternatively, would it be wise to consider ATP school?

Some particulars about me: I am 29, married with no kids, 2 dogs. I have a house in Navarre, FL and my wife is going to school for a masters in Biology, est graduation Summer 2021. We're not opposed to separating for a while for the purpose of career building. That is to say, my parents live in Jacksonville and if I need to live there for 18 months to save money while I go through ATP school, that's on the table. Also, we have no idea where she may find work when she graduates. Sure, there are 38 ATP schools around the US, but there's still a chance we may be apart.

I am also considering getting a reserve job as an O-4 in the USAF. I haven't worked out the particulars yet, but I'm considering the IMA program where you can come on for a month out of the year and get all the reserve obligations for that year out of the way, that way I wouldn't have the one weekend a month obligation.

All that said, I'm really just looking for advice from those that have been there and can help guide my decisions. What can I expect from GI Bill at a part 141/ATP. Considering timelines, would it be better to try to get to CFI (weekend only/couple flights a month) by Jun 2021 and then build hours as a banner guy/CFI, or would it be better to save as much money as possible/pay off debt before going all-in at an ATP school w/ GI Bill and financing?

Cheers.


rickair7777
11-14-2018, 11:04 AM
Your military experience doesn't change much, you are a younger career changer, so all the discussions here relevant to that apply to you. Your military experience can help with a couple things...

1. GI Bill might offset training costs.
2. Reserves can offset low entry level pay.
3. If you can network with airline pilots in the reserves, that will be very helpful.
4. Airlines will give you a tiny bit of preference, because they know you'll show up on time with a good shave and pressed shirt.

sourdough44
11-14-2018, 11:41 AM
‘3 years to go and you want a career in aviation’? With that in mind I would continue to plug away towards your private pilot while still in the military.

You already have the handful of hours, have a degree, and enough time ahead of you. Time to get back in the light aircraft cockpit.


Stoked27
11-14-2018, 12:48 PM
As an officer, I already have a BS, so I am not interested in going to school for another degree to have the GI Bill pick up the bundled tuition/flight costs. I am interested, however, in using the GI Bill however I can to pay for training.

This confuses me. No one says you have to finish the degree if you use the GI bill for flight ratings through a university. You'll just need to finish the courses that you sign up for each semester. I have a B.S. and a Masters, but I signed up for university courses with my GI bill because the bundling grants you up to ~$37k per year at a private university plus BAH, rather than cashing out 12 months of benefits for $13k without BAH. Some universities will let you accelerate your courses by taking two flight courses per semester.

When using the GI bill for the $13k route, that's doesn't mean you can only access $13k annually; it means that you're trading 12 months of benefits for about $13k that you can use at a flight school. I get more than $13k in BAH each year, let alone the tuition and flight school fees that the GI bill covers. Cashing out your GI bill to train via Part 61 is a horrible financial use of your GI bill, but you might be able to finish your training a few months quicker. I don't think it's worth cashing it out. Some people feel that the timeline is more important so you can get your seniority at a major sooner, but all that debt for just a few months saved? Nothing in life is guaranteed, you might lose your medical, the economy could crash again, or you might want to fly corporate.

I would recommend working on your Private and IR before you separate. Then upon separation fast-track yourself through the university route for anything remaining so you can access $37k in a relatively short 1-2 semesters. Summer semesters are short so they're great for accelerated flight training. I would save the Commercial for after separation since it tends to be very expensive.

TyWebb
11-14-2018, 02:59 PM
This confuses me. No one says you have to finish the degree if you use the GI bill for flight ratings through a university. You'll just need to finish the courses that you sign up for each semester. I have a B.S. and a Masters, but I signed up for university courses with my GI bill because the bundling grants you up to ~$37k per year at a private university plus BAH, rather than cashing out 12 months of benefits for $13k without BAH. Some universities will let you accelerate your courses by taking two flight courses per semester.

When using the GI bill for the $13k route, that's doesn't mean you can only access $13k annually; it means that you're trading 12 months of benefits for about $13k that you can use at a flight school. I get more than $13k in BAH each year, let alone the tuition and flight school fees that the GI bill covers. Cashing out your GI bill to train via Part 61 is a horrible financial use of your GI bill, but you might be able to finish your training a few months quicker. I don't think it's worth cashing it out. Some people feel that the timeline is more important so you can get your seniority at a major sooner, but all that debt for just a few months saved? Nothing in life is guaranteed, you might lose your medical, the economy could crash again, or you might want to fly corporate.

I would recommend working on your Private and IR before you separate. Then upon separation fast-track yourself through the university route for anything remaining so you can access $37k in a relatively short 1-2 semesters. Summer semesters are short so they're great for accelerated flight training. I would save the Commercial for after separation since it tends to be very expensive.


^^^ This


Don't waste the GI Bill giving up 1 year for 13.5k.. please. I was an Army aviator and could have gotten my rating fairly quickly but still did the route mentioned above. As well did several other aviators that didn't choose to do an airline RTP program. With you needing to go CFI to build hours, it just makes even more sense to do what has been laid out for you above. Enjoy the BAH, no work and concentrate on learning a new skill to the highest level so you are a good instructor.

tnalkire
11-15-2018, 04:55 PM
DM sent to you

tnalkire
11-15-2018, 05:16 PM
I would recommend working on your Private and IR before you separate. Then upon separation fast-track yourself through the university route for anything remaining so you can access $37k in a relatively short 1-2 semesters. Summer semesters are short so they're great for accelerated flight training. I would save the Commercial for after separation since it tends to be very expensive.

It would all depend what his schedule can afford. I was able to find a small school coupled with a flight school and went from student to MEI in about 3 years. The classes were all online except one. Waited for a summer semester and took a month of leave.

If the OP decides to find a university to take advantage of the GI and associated benefits after separation then wait to do the instrument. If the university is approved for R-ATP he would save a year of flying.

Training both 61 and 141 it really comes down to what the person wants, can afford and fits their life style.