As World War II raged on, the GI Bill (The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944) was passed to provide benefits to veterans returning from the war. Though the first GI Bill expired in 1956, other programs were created to assist U.S. military veterans and their families gain access to funds needed for college, graduate school, and training programs. That said, as a U.S. Military Veteran, you can use the GI Bill to pay for training to obtain your pilot’s license, but the process can be somewhat complicated as you decide on the right flight school, navigate the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and more. Airlink Flight School wants you to achieve your aviation dream, so let’s learn more!
The GI Bill and Your Private Pilot’s License
If you are hoping for a career in aviation after leaving the military, you should know that a private pilot’s license is the first step. A private pilot’s license allows you to fly for transportation, but The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) prohibits private pilots from accepting any compensation for flying. The good news is, thanks to recent legislation, you can use the GI Bill to pay for flight school to earn your private pilot’s license.
If you’ve already looked into the cost of flight school, you know aviation is not an inexpensive career choice. While earning your private pilot’s license won’t gain you any compensation for flying, it is the first step in getting your commercial pilot’s license. Even so, using the GI Bill to cover the cost of getting your personal pilot’s license isn’t without challenges. The VA can explain all the details, but generally, you’ll have to pay costs to obtain your private pilot’s license and once you move past that to your commercial certifications, you can seek reimbursement for the original expenses.
At VA.gov, you’ll find the requirements you must meet, as a veteran, for flight training assistance. These include:
- Qualify for the Post-9/11 GI Bill or Montgomery GI Bill, and
- Have a private pilot’s license, and
- Have a second-class medical certificate valid for second-class privileges—or a first-class medical certificate if you want to pursue the Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate.
Benefits will vary based on the flight school program selected and other considerations.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill is the choice of most veterans seeking funds for flight school. The Post-9/11 GI Bill will cover a percentage of benefits based on eligibility, GI Bill entitlements, and the program/school in which you enroll. The payout is dependent on the training program – a public college or university degree program, a private college or university degree program, or a Part 141 pilot school vocational program. Your benefits are also contingent on eligibility and remaining entitlements. The public college or university option includes training costs up to in-state tuition/fees as well as the potential for housing stipends, books, and more. The private college or university option features an annual limit for tuition/fees, and may include housing stipends, books, and more. The vocation option, like the private college or university options provides an annual limit for tuition/fees, but does not all for housing stipends, books, and more. Ongoing legislation may change these benefits for veterans.
The Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD) is another option for veterans who served two years active duty military service. In this scenario, the VA will pay 60 percent of fees approved for flight school expenses. Only honorable discharge veterans qualify and benefits are based on length of service, chosen education/training, qualifications (college fund or kicker), category, and payment into $600 Buy-Up program. These benefits are accessible for 10 years, but again legislation may alter the situation.
Airlink Flight School Supports U.S. Troops
Airlink Flight School’s Waterville, Maine location have been approved by the main State Approving Agency for Veterans Education Programs for the use of GI Bill benefits. Call today for more information.