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Old 10-05-2006, 09:21 AM   #1  
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Default VA benifits for flight school

Has anyone used their VA benifits for flight school. I was infantry in the guard and recieve ed benifits, those will pay for 60% of my flight school after attaining my PPL. Has anyone done this. Do you have to go to a full time accelerated program or what/? I cant seem to reach any one at the VA office or the school that can tell me how it works. I still need my PPL so i want to get a loan to pay for that and the 40% that my benifits dont pay for. I dont think i can just drop everything and go to flight school full time either. Any one been in a similar predicament>>? Can you get a loan to go to school on a pay as you go basis?
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Old 10-05-2006, 10:32 AM   #2  
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Originally Posted by peck333 View Post
Has anyone used their VA benifits for flight school. I was infantry in the guard and recieve ed benifits, those will pay for 60% of my flight school after attaining my PPL. Has anyone done this. Do you have to go to a full time accelerated program or what/? I cant seem to reach any one at the VA office or the school that can tell me how it works. I still need my PPL so i want to get a loan to pay for that and the 40% that my benifits dont pay for. I dont think i can just drop everything and go to flight school full time either. Any one been in a similar predicament>>? Can you get a loan to go to school on a pay as you go basis?
The MGIB is complicated for flight training...

1) It will NOT pay for the private pilot license or anything associated with it. You have to get a private on your own before applying VA to your flight training.

2) It will pay for an instrument rating ONLY if you are enrolled in a commercial license course at the same time.

3) There are two regulations that govern flight training: 14CFR part 91 and part 141. You must enroll in a part 141 program to use your benefits; not all schools opertae 141 programs, but the ones that do will usually accept VA benefits. Note: the school has to do a significant amount of paperwork related to MGIB, so not all 141 schools will participate.

4) MGIB will re-imburse you for 60% of certain training costs, but NOT all costs. My experience was that MGIB paid for about 50% of total costs.

5) The VA will re-imburse you AFTER the paperwork is submitted (maybe 4-8 weeks later). This means that a) you have to pay for your training costs up front, b) make sure the school submits the paperwork correctly at month end, and c) wait for your check. Schools will NOT advance you the money, you need to pay up front (you may be able to get a loan).

6) Entry-level flight training is full of scam artists...buyer beware is the key here. Make sure you talk to students and instructors at a school, not just salesmen. These are sure signs of a scam:
- Most Large Campus, glossy brochure schools, except for state universities. Any school with full-page ads in a aviation magazine (except ATP, they seem to be all right)
- Anyone who promises you an airline job
- Anyone who charges more than about $50,000
- Anyone who tries to sell you jet training...you DO NOT need and CANNOT afford jet training at the entry level. You need a PPL, IR, COMM, ME, CFI, CFII, and MEI ratings so you can get a job as a flight instructor.

7) Note: Some predatory 141 schools will raise their prices for MGIB students by a large margin...essentially stealing your benefits. When looking for a school, identify which ones offer 141 programs and VA benefits, then inquire about prices WITHOUT letting them know you are military...if you visit them, have long hair otherwise they know. Once you get a written quote, then you can talk about MGIB.

8) In the long run you WILL need a 4-year degree to succeed in this industry. Some people, including those who want to sell you flight training will probably tell you otherwise, but you absolutely must have it. Without it you will be stuck in crappy jobs that everybody else (who all have degrees) uses for a stepping stone to better things. Due to recent changes in the MGIB you are probably better off just paying for flight training yourself, and enrolling in a state college. The benefits for college are MUCH better than for flight training.

Whatever you decide to do, come back to these forums and let us know...we'll tell you if it sounds like a good idea or not.

Good Luck

Last edited by rickair7777; 10-05-2006 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 10-05-2006, 11:30 AM   #3  
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Thanks for being so complete in your response, best info ive recieved so far
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Old 10-05-2006, 03:40 PM   #4  
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GI BILL has a better return on investment if you use it only for a 4 year degree. If you already have a four year degree get an MBA / MS. IMHO, don't use it on flight training.

You need a backup in this industry - use the GI BILL to secure that for you. Use your labor to pay for flight training..

-LAFF
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Old 10-05-2006, 05:11 PM   #5  
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With the current (roughly) 36k payout, it is possible to use the GI Bill for both the 60% flight re-imbursement, as well as using the rest for college.
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