11th Apr 2012, 11:31
I've always had a deep passion for aviation and aircraft. Always looked up into the sky everytime I heard something buzzing in the air. I'm just really confused on what to do and usually you guys seem to help me wander and get back on the road to success. I'm about to be separated from the military (downsizing sucks) I had been an Aviation Electrician and Electronics Tech for 5 years. Have experience with working on electronics at the component level and working on Sikorsky MH-60's.
I really want to pursue a career as a pilot. I'm so dedicated I've been saving all the money I can to fund the PPL. I know people say I will make nothing at first and maybe for length of time. As I prepare to get out I have the GI Bill I can use to go to college. I was recommended something completely separate from aviation so to have a backup career. So I was thinking of getting a BS in IT. I already have about a year and a half done of college courses. Mostly General Ed. But I was thinking of the more specialized colleges with aviation programs.
My decision comes in here: I am wondering if I should go to college while taking lessons or do one first over the other? I also thought of using the GI Bill solely on flight training. I was thinking of was a BS in Meterorolgy w/ Flight Option (CPL/ME) or BS in Aviation Management w/flight option (all the way to CPL and ME again) which is a business degree at a college. Are any of those two degress worth anything as a backup?
PoA what do you think is the best path?
Thanks in advance everyone!
11th Apr 2012, 18:19
At this point in your life, use the GI Bill primarily for a BS/BA degree, with flight training secondary.
I would do anything BUT "Aviation Management." When the industry is in a downturn, why have the same industry as your "backup"?
IT is a good field. With your electronics experience, you might even think about Electrical/Electronics Engineering. Meteorology might be a reasonable option, depending on the school and what the jobs outlook is for Meteorologists.
Take lessons while you're in school, as long as you can handle the financial load. If you can't fly at least once a week, delay until you can. Get the ground school and written test out of the way as soon as possible. While you can do it even before you start flying, for some people the experience in the air helps tie together some of the bookwork.
20th May 2012, 15:33
Sorry it took so long to get back to you. Thanks for the advice. I've down loads of research with constant changing rules on how to use the benefit.
I am 100% eligible. I have not transferred over to Post 9/11 which I can do at anytime.
Almost to my questions. I was informed by a VA rep that I can get up to 48 mos of education benefits as long as I exhaust all of the MGIB and then apply for one year of Post 9/11. Instead of only getting 36 mos for only the Post 9/11 or MGIB. Now my Questions:
What way (if anyone has expereince in using either GI Bill) would be best to use for flight training.
Should I just use 36 months of the MGIB (meaning I will have to pay 40%) which equals the VA reimbursing me up to approx $58,000 for the equivalent of 36 months (their 60%), my out of pocket would be about $35,000 (my 40%)? That would get me over $85,000 in flight training for a 35,000 investment on my part which is way less than what some kids are having to finance or pay for flight school plus I'm getting over 80 grand worth. Then after all that is said and done I'll have a year of Post 9/11 to either use on college with BAH for 12 months (3 semesters).
Should I play it safe, go to a Community College then Uni using the Post 9/11 and use the BAH for flight training along the way and use the money I've been saving up for what I was gonna use for my 40% of the MGIB and supplement the BAH to help with flight training?
I could also still use the MGIB to get 48 months (36 of MGIB and 12 of Post 9/11) and go to Community since it's so cheap and since the govt pays a flat rate of 1473 a month while attending plus my 150 (buy up program) for a total of 1623 a month (MGIB) and just pocket what I don't spend on classes and use on Flight training Then after 36 switch it over to Post 9/11 to finish up UNI and pocket BAH money for a year?
These are the three ways I have been deciding on and its hard to choose what will help me best in the long run for a job after my benefits run out. HELP!
21st May 2012, 02:15
First, check out the community college, on-line colleges/universities, and your nearest state college/universities. MANY of them will give you credit toward your Associate or bachelor degree for your military schools and experience. Compare what they will give you and what it will take to complete the degree you want. Just WATCH OUT for the for-profit schools that might give you more "life credit" but make you pay dearly for the rest...
Some state universities have great aviation programs. Is there one near you?
Look for other scholarships to supplement the GI Bill. There are a LOT of scholarships out there, but you have to research and apply for them. Check into your local service organizations and the guidance counselors aththe community college for pointers.
I would NOT take the first option, using up all your GI Bill $$ for flight training. In today's market you need a backup plan if you want to fly. Get into school first, and use "leftover" $$ for flying. If you have to, finance the Private license yourself, and save the aid for the Multi, Instrument, Commercial, and CFI.