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Government halts enrollment of veterans in helicopter flight program

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The federal government, concerned about violations that have cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars, has barred new enrollment of military veterans in an Arizona flight program and is reviewing the conduct of a second, Utah-based school. The two programs cost the government at least $40 million last year, based on enrollments and average cost data. (www.latimes.com) Más...

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jdriskell
James Driskell 5
Much of the problem is driven by greed on the part of the schools. As long as Uncle Sam pays, the costs will go up. There is no excuse for someone's training to cost up to $500K unless the trainee is bending a bird a week.
bbabis
bbabis 1
Depends on what you're training for. If the goal is to make them job ready after training, then $500K could come up quite short. To be employed as a turbine helo pilot flying offshore, EMS, corporate, or some other work, companies are looking for a 1000 hrs minimum along with substantial turbine time. R22s go for 250-300/hr and turbine equipment 1000-3500/hr. You do the math.
MattHauke
Matt Hauke 3
When it costs a veteran 5 times the amount of what it costs a non veteran to get the same qualifications, then no, it does not depend on anything. The government is getting ripped off.
kmorrow
Kenneth Morrow 1
GI bill does not fund time building flight hours.
bbabis
bbabis 1
All flight hours are time building. Nevertheless, by the time a student competes their rotary wing commercial, instrument, CFI, CFII, a turbine transition course, sling, and longline operations training, once again I'll say, you add it up.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 5
You mean about the same cost as a presidential vacation? Lol
BaronG58
BaronG58 3
500K is just a down payment.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 2
Was talking the $40 mil.
joelwiley
joel wiley 4
If that is a way to uncover waste, one can hope the Times will run a story on the F-35
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 3
Yes, and wait till they see what gets written off in student loans putting people in college who don't have enough sense to run a lawn mower.
l0zerth
Grant Chesley 0
One of the major issues there is that tuition has skyrocketed mostly because of the "free" money. Loans are available, therefore colleges increase their rates to force people to take those loans. We need more emphasis on actual STEM and trades, and eliminate "liberal arts" as even being a degree. Probably throw out MBNA while we're at it.
jdriskell
James Driskell 1
Throw out Liberal Arts and you throw out much of the knowledge of the world gone by. Then you are able to make your mistakes quickly because you have no basis (experience) to temper your actions.
l0zerth
Grant Chesley 0
Apparently you don't understand what a liberal arts degree is... A bunch of esoteric, arbitrarily chosen topics taught by academics who think they know how things ought to be, but have zero real world experience, and use the classroom to preach their personal agendas. The last seventy-five years of universities producing "well rounded citizens" has been a pretty blatant failure, to be polite. Instead, we have received the last two generations of mush headed indoctrinates who spend four years learning nothing productive about the real world, and still have to be completely trained by their employers when they graduate.
Yes, we need some basic history, geography, and civics, but the level that is actually necessary to function in society is what is supposed to be taught in grade school. College is supposed to be an advanced career training, not a remedial system for lousy teacher unions and lazy students who think they will find some cause to "stick it to the man".
jdriskell
James Driskell 1
So what's your degree in?
l0zerth
Grant Chesley 0
Audio engineering through the music program, technical skill with full bachelor's degree that includes industry specific business classes by people who actually make a living in the field, actually all aspects of the field.
jdriskell
James Driskell 1
Seems to me that Music is generally considered a Fine Art and is often part of a liberal arts education. Of course, presenting music through the various mediums is more of a mechanical skill while creating good, lasting music is truly art.
l0zerth
Grant Chesley 0
Music is under the overall "liberal arts" umbrella, but there is zero requirement for music in a Liberal Arts degree, only a couple of credits in art of some kind. Have you even been to college?
jdriskell
James Driskell 2
Yes, University Puget Sound (a liberal arts school), BS in Chemistry, American University, MPA, Technology of Management, Computer Science. And a lifetime of living and reading history. I guess my problem with your initial response about liberal arts, is my view of what a good liberal arts degree provides. You are mostly correct in that many young graduates may not have all the skills necessary to set the world on fire in their first job, but they have been taught to think and a great majority of them go onto graduate school for a professional degree. At least that's what I observed after spending the last eight years of my working life back at the University. By the way, check out the Music program that the University of Puget sound offers. It's very highly rated.

Now that we are completely off the initial subject of this thread, maybe we should stop burdening everyone else with our banter.
gullygypsum
Gully Gypsum 1
Now that last sentiment by James Driskell you should observe Mr. Chesley reflects the true educational value of reciprocity and sensitivity to the wider audience. Very liberal and heART felt consideration. Semper FI
l0zerth
Grant Chesley 1
Actually, I would be best described as a personally conservative libertarian. I have not personally served in the military, but I come from a military family, have great respect for those that do, and am still considering joining.
My issue is not that what is contained within "liberal arts" is not useful, it simply has no practical value on its own. You still need actual skills, which are completely ignored, and often disdained by the liberal arts community.
l0zerth
Grant Chesley 0
Or served in the military?
jdriskell
James Driskell 1
21 years in the Marine Corps!
jdriskell
James Driskell 1
Over the years, I have found it difficult to engage in a battle of wits with someone who comes to the fray unarmed!
mfbutzin
mfbutzin 2
The government was paying private flight schools to train veterans. The schools had questionable actions, the President stopped payment and put a hold on the program to investigate those schools. To make sure the veterans and the tax payers were getting what was promised. Why should the President be ashamed?
augerin
Dave Mathes 2
....well..that article made me wanna' puke...that's about as constructive as I can get without thinking postal...
BajaFlyerDave
David Stein 1
I think the program is a good idea but greed should be kept in check,
Remember every time you fire a Cruise or Tomahawk missile you just used a over a million dollars and they fire them of like fire crackers as if the have a best used by Date! Maybe they do?
I think pilot education should continue but with a little more oversight.
BajaFlyerDave
David Stein 1
To my own point here... A Thought just crossed my mind, why cant veterans just go to the army helicopter schools and use their equipment which is already available if they wish to fly aircraft?? can thy not be reserve officers and fly for private companies as well?

What do you think?
jdriskell
James Driskell 2
The big difference is that a Vet by definition is not on active duty. The Army or any other military flying school has NO responsibility to anyone other that those active duty (or active duty for training). The liability problems of allowing Vets (civilians in fact) to use their facilities are huge!
l0zerth
Grant Chesley 1
It's a nice thought, but James is right. In a volunteer, non professional military, a veteran is a civilian, with no further qualifications or access to anything military unless they are recalled or re enroll. They only have the residual benefits, such as VA and the GI Bill.
Moviela
Ric Wernicke 0
The Federal Government is good on breaking promises. Look at what they have done to Native Americans. To deny training to veterans who have contributed to the defense over cost is reprehensible. Congress and the President should be ashamed of their antics.

Maybe the Vets could be allowed to open casinos like the Indians to make up for it.
joelwiley
joel wiley 0
to Native Americans....
- revolutionary war vets
- civil war vets
- spanish american war vets
- WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf wars.
If one were suspicious, one might see a possible pattern. just saying
kmorrow
Kenneth Morrow 0
Why does a GI Bill program require enrollment of non veterans? Stupiest damn thing ive heard today.
jdriskell
James Driskell 1
WTF!! The GI Bill is for VETERANS, not for anyone else!!!
jkudlick
Jeremy Kudlick -3
Sometimes you just need to ignore some rules. With the shortage of rotary-wing pilots, this will only make it worse. Yes, the cost is high, but that's not because the schools are inflating the price of fuel and maintenance...
linbb
linbb -1
No need to as check first to see how many just got it because some one else was paying the bill. Same happened back in the late sixtys with vets taking flying lessons knew several that just did it because the taxpayer was footing the bill and never went any further with there license.
linbb
linbb 1
Vote it down if you must but this was not taking away something from those who served but those who did and misused it. That is all and unless you know different then don't even respond.
30west
30west 4
The problem is not with the Vets, but with the schools that are sucking from the government teat fraudulently
at the expense of the taxpayers to line their pockets.

Full disclosure, I used the G.I. Bill benefits for flight training (Comm, Inst, M.E., CFI, CFII, CFI-ME and ATP) and was fortunate enough to fly for the majors after flight instructing, flying charter and flying at the regionals The flight schools did comply with the rules of the required student mix...self pay/scholarship vs. VA benefit. That ratio was established to prevent schools from gouging the government, i.e. the taxpayers.

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