Aviation FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Aviation plane check picBelow are some common questions we are asked along with some answers. If you have questions not listed below, please contact us.

What is your Curriculum?
Click to see a list of the curriculum for obtaining the AAS degree in Aviation – Airplane.

Click to see a list of curriculum for obtaining the AAS degree in Aviation - Helicopter.

What certificates and ratings do you offer?
We offer all the certificates and ratings you need to become a professional pilot: Private Pilot certificate, Instrument rating, Commercial Pilot certificate, Multiengine rating (airplane), and the Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) certificate. The Certified Flight Instructor Instrument (CFII) and Multiengine Instructor (MEI) rating are optional.

We offer the following helicopter ratings/certificates: Private Pilot certificate, Instrument rating, Commercial Pilot certificate, and the Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) certificate.

What are the estimated costs for this program?
This is an expensive program compared to other community college programs. Estimated costs of this program are included in the New Student Checklist link.

Why does your program appear to be more expensive that other programs?
We have attempted to provide students with a realistic cost for the entire program and for enough flight hours to get all of the certificates and ratings required for all of the certificates/ratings needed to get a job.

We could price the program using the minimum number of hours required by the FAA for each certificate; however, experience has shown that those numbers are not realistic for the average student. For instance, the minimum hours required for our private pilot student is 35 hours, but we have not had one student complete their training and pass their practical flight evaluation with just 35 hours.  We have chosen to show 55 hours of combined flight and simulator time for the private, which is a more realistic number. 

Another example, we could have priced the commercial certificate using 35 hours for the private certificate, 35 hours for the instrument rating, and 120 hours for the commercial certificate. However, experience has shown the most of our students are closer to 250 hours of combined flight and simulator time when they are proficient enough to pass the commercial practical flight evaluation. 

We do not want to show a price that will likely result in students needing to come up with substantially more money in the middle of their training in order to continue flying until they are proficient. We have, therefore, chosen to show the higher, but more realistic, cost estimates.

Contact us if you have any questions about our cost estimates.

Can I use my Veteran’s Benefits in the Program?

Yes, our degree program is fully qualified for use of your veteran’s benefits.

Can I use my New GI Bill™ (Chapter 33) Benefits in the Program?
Yes, our degree and flight program is fully qualified for the Chapter 33 GI Bill™ benefits.  The college will be paid by the VA for the cost of Tuition and Fees, including Flight Fees, and the college will then pay the flight provider for the flight time. The student will receive $1,000 per year for books and materials, and will receive a housing allowance equivalent to an E-5 with dependents. See the VA website or contact VetsEd@cocc.edu , 541-383-7264, for more information.

Can I chose fly either the airplane or the helicopter?
Yes, our students have a choice of training in an airplane or a helicopter. Both programs are designed for a student to earn an associate degree and flight instructor ratings in their choice of aircraft.

Other than Financial Aid, are there any other sources of financing?
For Alternative educational loans:  You will find links to private lending institutions that offer loans to students who are enrolled in the aviation program and need more money than is available through normal financial aid.  Contact the COCC Financial Aid Office at 541-383-7260 for financial aid counseling and if you have questions about alternative educational loans.  www.cocc.edu/financial-aid/

Is a Flight Career for Me?

That is the most important question and only you can answer it. Is a flight career your dream? Aviation is a demanding, exciting field that will require your complete commitment. You must be in good physical health and able to pass a Second Class FAA flight physical. You must be able to communicate and work well with others in a team environment. You’ll be required to demonstrate good judgment as pilot-in-command of your aircraft on every flight you take. In order to enter professional aviation, you must have the determination and work ethic required to complete a bachelor’s degree.

What Does the Program Offer?
Our program is a demanding college degree program designed to prepare you to enter the aviation industry or to continue your education to complete a bachelor’s degree at a college or university. Our courses and flight training offer an education that is above and beyond the minimum FAA requirements for pilot certification. Our instructors bring years of military, airline and commercial aviation experience to their flight and classroom instruction. You’ll receive your flight certificates and ratings from Private Pilot through Certified Flight Instructor with either Airplane or Helicopter ratings (or both), plus your Associate of Applied Science transfer degree.

Will My Credits Transfer into a Bachelor's Degree Program?
Yes. We have an outstanding transfer agreement with Oregon Institute of Technology, through whom you can earn a B.S. in Operations Management using your credits from our program to fill over half of the degree requirements. Your degree will also allow you to transfer directly to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University or another college of your choice.  

What if I already have a bachelors degree? Or another associate degree?
We have several students in the program who have already earned a bachelors degree.  Those students will send a transcript of their previous college credits and those will usually fill the general education requirements for either the A.S. or the A.A.S. degree, leaving only the aviation courses as required to earn the associate degree.  COCC requires a minimum of 24 credit hours to be completed at COCC in order to earn an associate degree, and a minimum of 24 credit hours in a major field are required for an A.S. degree.

Will I still have to spend two years in the program if I already have a bachelors degree or another associate degree?
Since the number of credit hours that can be transferred from another institution of higher learning will usually fill the general education requirements, the overall time in the program will depend upon how long it takes to complete the flight training.  Experience has shown that most students will need between 12 and 18 months to complete all of the flight ratings.

Can I Learn to Fly or Get a Rating Without Entering the Program?
Yes, any member of the community may take any course we offer without entering our degree program. You can learn to fly, earn a new certificate or rating, or take our Aviation classes without being a program student.

What is the Future of Commercial Aviation?
Commercial Aviation is a growth industry, and is predicted to continue growing strongly through this century. Industry analysts predict that there could be a shortage of pilots trained and ready to meet the demands of aviation industry. In particular, corporate and business aviation have increased dramatically in the last several years since the terrorist attacks of 9/11. It’s become increasingly common for businesses to lease a portion of a corporate jet and employ their own pilots. General aviation business is also predicted to remain strong into the future.

Do I have to be an Aviation program student to take aviation classes?
No. Most of these classes are open to the public or to students from other departments. If you just want to learn to fly, then you can take just the Private Pilot course. If you already have your Private Pilot certificate and want to add an Instrument rating, you can take the Instrument course. If you have some of your ratings and would like to enter the program with advance standing, talk to us about challenging the courses in which you have already demonstrated your knowledge.  

If you have another major and would like to know more about one of our subjects (Meteorology, for instance) you may enroll in that course. Consult your advisor to see if you can apply the course to your program.

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