I was wondering if there is anyone out there who used the GI bill to pay for training after attaining there private pilot certificate on their own dime. I just got my private and was hoping to get some guidance on the best way forward, utilizing the GI Bill for funding, while attending a school that provides the flexibility needed to continue working full time in the military. I’m ok with moving slow, I’ve sill got 6 years until I retire from the military and hope to start actually making money by flying.
I used my GI Bill through Liberty University to get my ratings after my PPL. I usually fly on weekends or after work to get everything done and you’ll have plenty of time to finish up the flight hours. Instrument is done over a 16 week semester, commercial is broken down into 3 separate 16 week semesters, CFI is a 16 week semester, and CFII, ME, MEI are done on a 8 week semester per rating. You’ll also have an online ground school that goes with each rating that you’re required to take. The ground school uses Kings along with assignments from Liberty that must be accomplished.
Overall it’s pretty easy to navigate through the courses once you get VA approval.
I understand the ground school was online but what about the actual flying, was that through liberty? Did you have to live near one of their campuses and specifically fly with their instructors? I am located in Oklahoma City so liberty might not be an option. What was your first step to finding a school that the VA will actually pay for?
Hey Robert! I am going to chime in, as we have some stuff in common. 1… we both live in Oklahoma. 2… you are active duty, and I am a veteran. All of this information is MY opinion, although many share it. Using your GI Bill for flight training in any capacity outside a Part 141/ university program is a huge GI Bill value reduction. Avoid the flight school in Bethany…
Now, I do recommend that you go to a university. Liberty is a great one, although they do not have any flight training affiliates in Oklahoma. But you’re in luck! OU has an aviation program, and they are not too far from OKC! They do have a secondary application in order to get in the program, but you should be able to get all of your ratings through that program with the GI Bill (exam fees aside).
It will be a juggle act going through school and the a full time job… but I did it, and its possible. Utilize breaks in classes (spring break, summer, winter, etc…) to knock out extra flying to keep you ahead, and knock out the FAA written exams you have not completed as well.
Anyway, good luck!
I used Liberty’s Flight Training Affiliates but it sounds like there are none near you. I flew with a local flight school that contracts out to Liberty and get credit like any other school.
Use WEAMS to find a flight school that takes VA funding but be careful of using your benefits outside of a part 141 program. You’ll burn through your benefits very quickly and not be able to finish many ratings. I was able to get all the way through MEI on the GI Bill with the only out of pocket costs being PPL and exam fees, it just takes several academic years to maximize the benefit.
what branch are you in? I would be really interested in asking you some questions about flying in the military if that’s the case for you and you’d be willing to answer them.
I’m in the Air Force but I do not fly for the Air Force. However I do work directly with pilots of all branches as a controller so I may have the answers to your questions. What are they?
Is there any way someone can leave before their enlistment time is up—or is this only possible because of injuries?
There are ways of leaving before your “enlistment” is up that does not include medical, disciplinary or administrative reasons. Keep in mind that it’s completely up the needs of the particular branch of service to let you go early and there are no guarantees for being able to.
I’m not sure what you intentions are but here’s a couple things to keep in mind. To be eligible for your GI Bill you must serve 36 months and have an honorable discharge to get 100% of your benefit. You could potentially enlist for 4 years and get out 1 year early but why not just finish your entire time as agreed upon.
If you plan on military pilot training then you don’t have an “enlistment” but rather a service commitment. Your commitment would be 10 years after you successfully complete undergraduate pilot training. I’ve rarely seen manned aircraft pilots leave the military early and on good terms. Maybe you could transfer to a Guard or Reserve slot? That’s quite the gamble and no guarantee.
That’s right. If you enlist for a certain number of years you have to stay. Rare exceptions for medical reasons or legal action such as dishonorable discharge.
Not to mention a whole host of questions with your potential future employers about why you left early. It is not a good look.
You’ve made several posts regarding your faith. I don’t know of any religion that condones going back on your word or a commitment for your own gain.