Prescott, Arizona (PRWEB) September 04, 2013
Jake Larsen began his helicopter flight training in January 2012, after serving in the U.S. Military. Utilizing the GI Bill to fund his college education and professional flight training, Larsen recently graduated from the professional helicopter degree program in 2013, earning his Certified Flight Instructor, Instrument Rating (CFI-I) at Guidance Aviation and his Associate of Applied Science, Aviation Technology Degree (AAS) at Yavapai College in a total of 19 months. Upon graduating, Larsen landed a job as a professional helicopter flight instructor at Guidance Aviation in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
“I knew I wanted to become a professional helicopter pilot the day the helicopters pulled us out of some dangerous situations while serving overseas. We would not have survived without the helicopters, their pilots, and crew members,” stated Larsen.
Like many public – private partnerships throughout the country, The Yavapai College – Guidance Aviation program is VA approved for eligible U.S. Military Veterans using their Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. This means up to 100% of an eligible veteran’s college education and professional training is covered by the GI Bill. This public – private partnership is important to Veterans as they begin their careers in the helicopter industry. The program allows Veterans to earn their collegiate, aeronautical degree while earning their professional flight certifications and building the necessary flight hours.
“It wasn’t easy. Once I realized that the helicopter flying wasn’t the hard part, I focused on acquiring all the necessary ground school knowledge and remained disciplined on completing the intense amount of studying. I wanted to understand the information to become a knowledgeable and safe pilot. The most rewarding thing about all this training, for me, occurred during flight training. Often, I would have some extra time remaining that my helicopter flight instructor would use to teach me more advanced flying techniques. This helped me improve my aeronautical skills and make me a more experienced pilot,” remarked Larsen.
Larsen is not alone in his success. Other Veterans who have attended the same program have graduated, earning both their postsecondary aeronautical degrees and professional FAA flight certificates, and have moved on to become working, professional helicopter pilots. Veterans such as Curtis Marshall, CFI-I, Army Veteran, is now a professional flight instructor and team leader; Jason Martin, CFI-I, Marine Veteran, is now a professional flight instructor; Nathan Lyon, Marine Veteran, is now flying as a professional tour pilot; and, Nic Monroe, CFI-I, US Marine Veteran, who is now teaching others how to fly.
As Jake Larsen remains focused on his helicopter flying future, you may just see this U.S. Veteran, now a professional helicopter pilot, pursue his next goal: A factory pilot for Bell Helicopters, flying and testing the aircraft.