These answers apply only to Veterans Using their GI BILL
NOTICE TO VETERANS Palm Beach State College has indefinitely suspended new enrollment in the Helicopter Degree Program. You may still use your benefits at Palm Beach Helicopters however they will be limited to vocational flight training benefits which means you pay for your private certificate and then receive $12,000.00 annually for the remainder of your training. Most of these questions were related to the College Degree Program.
Q: Will this cost me anything or will my GI bill education benefits pay for everything?
First. check your benefits remaining. If you have three years or more active duty then you should have 100% coverage for the In State Tuition Rate, book allowance and housing allowance. Housing allowance for full time students is usually around $1600.00 per month. If you have not used any education benefits and have at least 24 months worth left then your good.
Q: What if I am not a Florida Resident?
Update 04/01/14 Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law HB 7015 which gives ALL veterans in-state tuition rates regardless of their home of record (read more) This means you are now 100% covered even if you are not a Florida residence.
Q: Does how much I weigh Matter?
Not really as far as training goes however it matters greatly for employment opportunities. The majority of helicopter training nation wide takes place in the Robinson Helicopter which is most likely where your first job will be. In order to get a job the threshold is generally 200 lbs body weight and anything below that is a bonus for the perspective employer. During training you can get approval to train in a larger helicopter if you are over 220 lbs but again you would be lacking the experience necessary and the weight necessary in order to get employed in the smaller helicopter.
Q: How long will this take?
You should be enrolled as a full time student which means in addition to class room courses you will be flying 30 to 50 hours per semester. If you apply yourself and progress normally you can get done in 18 months.
Q: Will you give me a job when I am done?
We DO NOT PROMISE anyone a job. It is impossible to hire everyone that trains here and I would be skeptical of anyone who promises you a job. Presently our entire staff of Instructors is comprised of Veterans who have trained here and been through the program. You should consider yourself on an extended job interview from the moment you start training until the end of training. If everything went well and we had the position open our preference is always to hire someone that we trained.
Q: How often do you hire?
The flight Instructor position is usually a transient job that you do until you have the flight experience necessary to move up in your career which is usually at the 1000 hour flight time mark. A busy school like ours the instructors are getting this in as little as a year but certainly no more than two years so we are continually hiring.
Q: How much flight time will I get in training and what qualifications?
You will receive about 230 hours of flight training which will include your private, instrument, commercial, flight instructor, flight instructor instrument, Night vision goggles, long line external load, and turbine transition. You will be qualified to give instruction in both the R22 and R44 aircraft and in any other helicopter that you obtain at least 5 hours of flight time in. You can also electively add an airplane rating at the commercial level which is about 60 hours of airplane flying.
Q: Why should I choose your school?
If you are the type of person who puts in as little effort as possible and only want to reach the minimum standard then you SHOULD NOT choose this school. We demand a lot from our students and strive for maximum standards. This is why we are only the third helicopter school in the nation to receive self examining authority from the FAA. This is due to our high standards and pass rates and is difficult to achieve. We maintain and overhaul our own aircraft in our own facility with our own mechanics which allows us to address maintenance issues quickly and to the highest standards. Every course that we have is FAA 141 approved. Last and least important we are located a half mile away from the college campus that you will be attending academic classes at.
Call Toll Free