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Thread: New guy checking in

  1. #1
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    Default New guy checking in

    Hey Guys,

    Been browsing the forums for the last month or so. A few threads here always pop up when I Google Alaska bush flying or some variation. Currently serving in the Navy in a rate totally unrelated to aviation however I took an introductory flight class long before I enlisted and was instantly hooked, just never had the financial means to achieve the dream, until now. Looking to use my GI Bill at UAA to get the B.S. in Professional Piloting. I was wondering if anyone here had any experiences (good or bad) with the UAA program? AKSoldier on here was kind enough to answer my emails. (Thanks man!) However more opinions/experiences are always welcomed. Will likely be making the move after my contract is up in the early spring of 2015. Ultimately I would love to fly float planes and work out of the Juneau area, but it's not do or die on that aspect and would probably be happy anywhere, as long as I can get in the air. Single guy with no kids or major financial responsibilities so looking to take the plunge before it's too late!

    Searching through the threads here I see a lot of wisdom and experience, hopefully some of you gents will be generous enough to pass some of that on to me. Thanks!

    -Neal

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    I'm not sure if the BS in Prof piloting is the way I would go. Waste of a whole lotta time and money in my opinion. If you had major airline ambitions, then maybe yes... You need to get flying time. UAA is going to drag you down a long boring road with tons of theory...if your ambitions are to fly in Alaska, then use your Navy experience and get your A&P. Buy an airplane and start flying. Trade A&P work for flight instruction. You are going to have to get 500 hrs float time before anyone will hire you. The whole degree route is going to leave you broke with 250 hrs, working as a CFI somewhere...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by pipercub View Post
    I'm not sure if the BS in Prof piloting is the way I would go. Waste of a whole lotta time and money in my opinion. If you had major airline ambitions, then maybe yes... You need to get flying time. UAA is going to drag you down a long boring road with tons of theory...if your ambitions are to fly in Alaska, then use your Navy experience and get your A&P. Buy an airplane and start flying. Trade A&P work for flight instruction. You are going to have to get 500 hrs float time before anyone will hire you. The whole degree route is going to leave you broke with 250 hrs, working as a CFI somewhere...
    I share the same opinion normally.

    HOWEVER, you are spending GI bill money......so you won't be nearly as broke in the end. Think ahead with your finances and the UAA/GI Bill route could be a pretty good way to go for a guy like yourself. I hear the flight time is still kind of painful/per hour but if you start now and map it out, its not nearly as painful as a guy without the bill.

    Thanks for your service.

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    I have actually considered going the A&P route first and then using whatever is left of the GI money to start on a flight program. One of the reasons I wanted to go with UAA was because I get a housing stipend if I go to a school with a degree program. I dont mind working my ass off to make ends meet or dipping into some of my savings (although Id rather not) if it means getting better training or I get the necessary qualifications in a more reasonable time frame but having that extra financial cushion is always nice and one less thing to worry about. I can still use the GI Bill to take flight lessons as a non-degree program. I just wouldnt be able to use it for a private pilots license, from what I understand though it would cover instruction for all other ratings. Another reason I am considering the A&P route too is if any medical condition popped up that would prevent me from flying, I would have that to fall back on. Thanks for your thoughts/opinions thus far.

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    Member AK-HUNT's Avatar
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    You won't regret getting the A&P. Makes airplane ownership reasonable.

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    Use your GI bill benefits for either and make sure you use as much as you can. While it is still available.
    Back when I came off active duty the first time with my first branch ( 6 years Navy ) , I made the mistake of getting wrapped up in other things and not finishing up a degree I had started under the old PACE program. The longer I waiting the harder it was to get started with school again.

    One good thing about the A&P program ( UAA has a 4 year A&P Plus program ) is that while all the junior pilots are forced to leave the state every winter or starve, the wrench guys are inside the hangar collecting pay.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

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    If you want a 4 year degree pursue a degree in something you want to do and take the flying lessons on the side. My wife was in the UAA aviation program for awhile, but was frustrated with flight schedules, very conservative weather cancellations, and where they let you take the planes (no gravel). They have some great instructors but its lots of theory and designed for the airline career oriented person. They also want you to complete the degree in the allotted 4 years, no part time students. I learned to fly at a private 141 school and felt the instruction was more practical, flexible, and cost effective and if you are planning on professional flying it will get you to the same place. Your college degree will just be more skills for your resume!

  8. #8

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    Neal
    I think you have a great plan. I would also encourage you to get the A&P license. You can still fly on the side while you are going to school. There are programs that get you pilot ratings without a degree. But then you have burned up the school money and may not fly. If you could get you private license before you get out it will help. You can get a cheap plane or join a flying club to get hours built up. There a lot of ways to get to where you are going and staying single will help
    DENNY

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    Hey Neal, I looked at the UAA course list since the last email, and it seems they are now also offering an AA piloting program. That's obviously less time consuming on the general ed end, and might leave you with enough of that GI bill to add on the A&P. Just something to chew on if you aren't interested in the BS degree. I almost wish I had gone that route myself, but I was already pretty close to the AA degree when I got out of the army.

    Shoot this guy a message - he's a heck of a nice guy, a Chief pilot and a wealth of info for aviation. Tell him I sent ya: http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...21179-IndyCzar

    You might want to look through the forums and get your post count up a bit too. I think once you get past ten posts you'll be able to use the PM feature. That will make it easier to pick some aviators' brains.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

    Noone has a more intimate understanding of, or deeper appreciation for freedom, than a soldier who has fought for it in a country where it does not exist.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for all your input guys. Much appreciated!

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