Commercial Pilot Gateway

Airline careers for any Veteran, no flight experience required.

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Combine your VA Benefits with student loan funding and career placement mentorship.

Flex Air's SkillBridge Commercial Pilot Gateway trains you to become an airline pilot. Any rank, rating, or MOS is eligible for pilot training, no prior flight hours or college degree required. Any retired or separated Veteran with a valid DD-214 and any discharge other than dishonorable is eligible. Experienced military pilots can use SkillBridge to pursue advanced ratings and build flight time at Flex Air.

  • 12-month training program starts with 6 months of basic flight training in California or Kansas. Then attend 6 months of advanced flight training in Kansas.
  • Instructor internships available for military fixed-wing pilots.
  • Rotary Transition Program (RTP) available for military helicopter pilots.
  • Includes job placement, career planning, and mentorship by veterans for veterans.
  • Funding options include GI Bill, VR&E, scholarships, and loans.

Our award-winning mentorship team has launched over 100 airline careers for veterans since 2018.

Distinguished Flight School-1

Whether you plan to participate in one of Flex Air’s programs or not, I highly recommend every transitioning military veteran allocate an hour of their time to speak with Paul about their life plans. I guarantee you will not be disappointed in what he has to say. He is a phenomenal advisor that gets “it” because he has been in our shoes.

Brandon McRay Lt Col, US Air Force Reserve

Brandon McRay

A military transition is a big step with high stakes. Flex Air has a 100% career placement record for every student since 2018.

We offer a safe harbor for value discovery, goal setting, and learning soft skills.

Our SkillBridge flight programming includes a career coaching track. These coaching, mentorship, and career placement services are and always will be donated to Veterans at no cost during SkillBridge. Follow-on coaching and pilot career placement services are also available to all Flex Air SkillBridge alumni.
This is the most important part of our programming. We offer a safe harbor and decision space for guided career planning with connections to our airline recruiter network. Your work / family / life balance has likely taken a back seat while on active duty.  Flex Air SkillBridge is meant to help you recalibrate for personal fulfillment and professional success. We've helped transition over 100 veterans to civilian aviation careers since our founding.

Frequently asked questions:

Who is eligible for Flex Air SkillBridge?
Any Veteran already discharged or retired from active duty and their spouses are eligible. Any DD-214 discharge code other than dishonorable is eligible.
How does the whole process work?
You'll attend flight training for 6 months in either California or Kansas. After that, you'll continue training for 6 additional months in Kansas. Then you'll work as a paid flight instructor for 12-18 months. After that, you'll be hired as a corporate pilot or regional airline pilot.
How do I apply?
Click on the Request Information button above and we'll send you further instructions.
How long is the program?
The SkillBridge career pilot training program is 12 months long.
When can I start training?

New SkillBridge trainees report on the first Monday in March, June, September, and December.

Where will I train?

Our bases are at MYF in San Diego, CA and MHK in Manhattan, KS. Advanced training, GI Bill, and VR&E programs are offered in Kansas only. Trainees who start in San Diego will move to Kansas for 6 months to finish training, then relocate to a base of their choice for their first job as a pilot. Student housing is available at our Kansas location.

Are there out of pocket costs?

Yes. Your first step in flight training is the Private Pilot License (PPL), which is not covered by the GI Bill or VR&E. For details on our full program costs, click the Request Information button above.

How much does the program cost?

Click on the Information Request button above and we'll send you information on program costs.

Can I use my GI Bill or VR&E benefits?

Yes. Click on the Information Request button above to learn more about how to best combine SkillBridge with your VA benefits for flight training.

What other funding options are available?

GI Bill and VR&E benefits pay for some, but not all flight training costs. We offer loans and payment programs to cover the remaining out-of-pocket costs. You won't see any out-of-pocket loan costs until after you've been hired as a pilot. Scholarships are also available.

How do I get my first job as a pilot after SkillBridge?

You will be eligible for hire at Flex Air or one of our partner flight schools. Your first job after training will be as a Certificated Flight Instructor, building flight hours for 12-18 months. After that, you'll be eligible for jobs as a corporate or regional airline pilot. We offer career placement services to every SkillBridge trainee for 4 years after graduation.

Have more questions? Our team hosts a regular Q&A sessions. 

Register for our monthly SkillBridge Briefing Webinar

More resources for transitioning servicemembers:

Veteran resources

Resources for all Veterans

Readings and exercises can help you discover your personal career goals and values while developing the soft skills you'll need for success.


Rotor Transition Program

Rotor Transition Program (RTP)

Military helicopter pilots can transition directly into airline careers. Flex Air's RTP training is a complement to SkillBridge for rotary wing pilots.

VA Benefits for Flight Training

VA Benefits for Flight Training

SkillBridge is your best first step. Learn how to unlock your VA benefits for advanced flight training.