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View Full Version : Path to ATP


Romeo Hotel
09-12-2015, 10:09 AM
I fall in to a pretty common category of posters in this thread. Separating from the military soon, VA benefits to burn, and clueless in terms of where to burn them.

In the first post I made, I was advised to seek out a 141 school not associated with a degree as most are from private institutions that will cost me an arm and a leg even with my benefits. After doing some digging, and finding the right training center for me... THIS particular article was brought to my attention. (http://learntoflyhere.com/2015/03/04/new-atp-certification-requirements-pilots-guide/)

I just want to make sure I understand my situation correctly. Unless I get a degree from one of these schools (http://learntoflyhere.com/2015/03/04/new-atp-certification-requirements-pilots-guide/), the minimum requirements to obtaining R-ATP for me would be 1,500 hrs and 200 hrs cross country.

Would spending the extra money on the degree, come out in the wash since it reduces total flight time? My head is spinning here. I'm ready to test for my PPL next month and I know I will be a pilot for the rest of my life. I love it... But trying to find a way to make a career out of it is making me pull my hair out.


uavking
09-12-2015, 11:28 AM
I assume you're going to use the Post-9/11 GI Bill. If so, the value maximizing option is to go to a public two or four year college or university anywhere in the country and get your flying paid 100% (assuming enough time in service). Make sure that you're funneling the GI Bill through an academic program and you'll be sitting pretty $-wise (*cough BAH *cough). Remember that if you already have a degree you can transfer most of those credits in and shorten your stay at community college, etc. If you haven't done college, please don't sell yourself short. Pick a quality school with a good all around reputation (say Auburn, etc.) and enjoy the ride.

I used about 12 months of benefits to get my tickets at a two year college (already had a BS). If I could do it over again, I would have chosen my program more carefully and made sure to go to a school with CFI/II built into their degree plan (heck, a school that also offered rotary would've been cool too), and authorized by the FAA for R-ATP (https://www.faa.gov/pilots/training/atp/media/Institutional_Authority_List.pdf). You'll get many different opinions on here, some based on outdated info, but that's my take on what to do.

Also, I wouldn't go crazy over getting a 250 or 500 hour reduction, but it's nice if available. It can be the difference between working an extra survey season (probably what I'll have to do) or heading to the regionals earlier.

Romeo Hotel
09-12-2015, 12:41 PM
If so, the value maximizing option is to go to a public two or four year college or university anywhere in the country and get your flying paid 100% (assuming enough time in service). Make sure that you're funneling the GI Bill through an academic program and you'll be sitting pretty $-wise (*cough BAH *cough). Remember that if you already have a degree you can transfer most of those credits in and shorten your stay at community college, etc.

I used about 12 months of benefits to get my tickets at a two year college (already had a BS). If I could do it over again, I would have chosen my program more carefully and made sure to go to a school with CFI/II built into their degree plan (heck, a school that also offered rotary would've been cool too), and authorized by the FAA for R-ATP (https://www.faa.gov/pilots/training/atp/media/Institutional_Authority_List.pdf). You'll get many different opinions on here, some based on outdated info, but that's my take on what to do.

Also, I wouldn't go crazy over getting a 250 or 500 hour reduction, but it's nice if available. It can be the difference between working an extra survey season (probably what I'll have to do) or heading to the regionals earlier.


That's basically what I'm trying to figure out. I live in FL so most of the schools that offer flight training are private. The one way I can think to save some cash in that aspect, is using the credits I already have. I have two A.A.s and a B.S. but my understanding is that even with 100% coverage from the VA and transferring credits, flight costs will most likely be out of pocket.

That seems to be the running theme every time I look up a school, or use the GI Bill calculator on the VA website. While I may be covered for the degree itself... the flight training will be almost entirely out of pocket.


uavking
09-13-2015, 04:56 AM
That seems to be the running theme every time I look up a school, or use the GI Bill calculator on the VA website. While I may be covered for the degree itself... the flight training will be almost entirely out of pocket.

Ignore the GI Bill calculator. All you care about is whether flight fees are billed as part of university tuition and fees which are, in turn, paid by the VA. At the majority of schools, flight is a required part of a degree, and thus payable as tuition and fees for GI Bill purposes.

For example, the school I went to, San Jacinto College in TX which is a community college, lists each flight rating as an individual course on their degree plan. Each course generates a charge for flight fees, which become course fees, and are certified on a larger semester tuition bill for the VA. VA pays the school at some point in the year, but to the student it doesn't matter because the school knows the VA is good for it, and counts the course as paid. At my school this block of money is then released to the flight provider who carries it in a flight account that is billed against for instruction. BLUF, if you are 100% Post-9/11 GI Bill, then nothing comes out of pocket; enjoy BAH and book money direct deposited to your bank account.

I looked at FL in my national school search, and you're right, there aren't really any good public options. Remember, though, that you can use the GI Bill at any public school anywhere in the country and, thanks to legislation, get in-state rates. You really need to broaden your search and do a holistic cost-benefit analysis of top 2/4 yr aviation programs looking at school quality, weather, what the degree plan includes for coursework, etc.

uavking
09-13-2015, 05:04 AM
Here is an example of a BS in Aeronautics type degree plan (Arizona State; disclosure: I'm an MBA grad from ASU): https://webapp4.asu.edu/programs/t5/roadmaps/ASU00/TSAMTFBS/null/ALL/2014?init=false&nopassive=true

Professional Flight, B.S. | Aviation (http://poly.engineering.asu.edu/aviation/professional-flight-bs/)

Want to do it at a two year? Cool, here's an example degree plan (Texas State Tech in Waco):
Texas State Technical College | Programs | Aircraft Pilot Training (http://www.tstc.edu/programs/AircraftPilotTraining)

The common theme is that every required course listed on those plans is payable as tuition and fees by the VA, and they're both public schools.

davidm21
09-13-2015, 10:46 AM
That's basically what I'm trying to figure out. I live in FL so most of the schools that offer flight training are private. The one way I can think to save some cash in that aspect, is using the credits I already have. I have two A.A.s and a B.S. but my understanding is that even with 100% coverage from the VA and transferring credits, flight costs will most likely be out of pocket.

That seems to be the running theme every time I look up a school, or use the GI Bill calculator on the VA website. While I may be covered for the degree itself... the flight training will be almost entirely out of pocket.

I just left teaching at a public FL flight school (after using my GI for A&P) I fly professionally now in CA and will be getting my ATP next month via Type rating (scholarships exist for this!).

DO NOT DO PRIVATE TRAINING! I spent almost half of my GI bill doing my CFI/I/MEI ratings and it was a waste! I mean that thoroughly! I didn't get BAH doing this and paid for almost 1/3 of the training out of pocket! What a complete waste of benefit and money.

There are TWO public FL community college schools that have FAA and VA authorization for tickets up to and including CFI. One has been around a long time and is very well established, the other is relatively newer but has the VA program firmly in place. Both coincidentally have the same contract provider (HOVA). The first place I would look at is Broward College in Hollywood, FL (Ft. Lauderdale suburb). I taught out of that school and it is fairly well established and most of the students enjoy it there. The demographics of students seems pretty well mixed (So. FL) and there are a lot of VA students. The other place I would look at is Polk State College out of Lakeland, FL. They have a smaller program. Keep in mind the area/demographics is different (North Central FL) but their program is good as well. I do believe that Polk has or is certainly close to getting a BS program (more benefits).

Obviously most of us are not trying to squeeze every dime out of the government because we feel entitled. But not using your benefits to the highest extent possible is just throwing money away that can help sustain your family while away getting an education.

Romeo Hotel
09-13-2015, 12:58 PM
There are TWO public FL community college schools that have FAA and VA authorization for tickets up to and including CFI. One has been around a long time and is very well established, the other is relatively newer but has the VA program firmly in place. Both coincidentally have the same contract provider (HOVA). The first place I would look at is Broward College in Hollywood, FL (Ft. Lauderdale suburb). I taught out of that school and it is fairly well established and most of the students enjoy it there. The demographics of students seems pretty well mixed (So. FL) and there are a lot of VA students. The other place I would look at is Polk State College out of Lakeland, FL. They have a smaller program. Keep in mind the area/demographics is different (North Central FL) but their program is good as well. I do believe that Polk has or is certainly close to getting a BS program (more benefits).
.

Thanks for the help. I didn't know about Polk.
I've checked out the Broward site and couldn't really find much info relating to the R-ATP restrictions, or the hours the program offers. Can you shed some light on that?

davidm21
09-13-2015, 02:28 PM
Thanks for the help. I didn't know about Polk.
I've checked out the Broward site and couldn't really find much info relating to the R-ATP restrictions, or the hours the program offers. Can you shed some light on that?

Broward has the 1250 R-ATP authorization. Not sure about Polk but since they are also a community college program they likely have the same.

fiveninerzero
09-13-2015, 05:37 PM
I couldn't really find much info relating to the R-ATP restrictions, or the hours the program offers. Can you shed some light on that?

Here is the official list from the FAA. Enjoy: https://www.faa.gov/pilots/training/atp/media/Institutional_Authority_List.pdf

Find the school that will take the most of your credits without making you duplicate effort since you already have a degree. UND looks to be pretty accepting if you already have an accredited degree (save about 60 credits in transfer of general/core subjects/use around 18 mos of GI Bill up to CFI), plus you get 500 hours off your RATP since their program is approved. The downside is it is in North Dakota, which is the opposite of Florida!

Keep in mind that you'll still have to flight instruct/tow banners/drop skydivers/throw boxes etc. for around 750 hours. Unfortunately, the GI Bill doesn't offer a way to build time or experience.

Romeo Hotel
09-14-2015, 10:54 AM
Keep in mind that you'll still have to flight instruct/tow banners/drop skydivers/throw boxes etc. for around 750 hours. Unfortunately, the GI Bill doesn't offer a way to build time or experience.

Totally fine with whatever gig I've got to put up with to build time. None of those would break my heart.

Thanks for the input. I was actually able to find exactly what I'm looking for at AB Tech in NC. I'm completely blown away that it appears to be EXACTLY what I'm looking for with full coverage from the VA.

So a big THANK YOU to you, and all of the other posters like you who helped point me in the right direction. If I hadn't joined this forum, I'd be in the process of signing up for a Bachelor's I don't really need from a private place like ERU just to get started.