AOPA Launches Flight Training Scholarship Program

June 17, 2011

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association on Friday, June 17, announced the creation of two new $5,000 scholarships, the AOPA Flight Training Scholarship and the Erral Lea Plymate Memorial Scholarship, which will help two student pilots pursue an FAA Sport, Recreational, or Private Pilot certificate. Applications for the scholarships are now being accepted online. The deadline for application is August 19, 2011. The scholarship winners will be announced at the AOPA Aviation Summit in Hartford, Conn., Sept. 22-24, 2011.

"The decision to create the AOPA scholarships is a direct result of the study we commissioned for our Flight Training Student Retention Initiative," said AOPA President and CEO Craig L. Fuller. "Although student pilots told us they are more concerned about receiving good value for their training dollar than they are about the cost of training per se, the fact remains that learning to fly requires a substantial financial commitment."

"Even though we’re unable to fund everyone’s flight training, it’s undoubtedly worthwhile to help two dedicated student pilots succeed," added Jennifer Storm, AOPA’s director of flight training initiatives. "Both the AOPA Flight Training Scholarship and the Erral Lee Plymate Memorial Scholarship will certainly ease financial concerns for the two recipients."

The scholarships are available to any AOPA member who is a U.S. citizen, is at least 16 years old, and holds a student pilot certificate but has not yet passed the FAA practical test. Complete eligibility requirements are available online.

Scholarship recipients will be chosen on merit, including previous accomplishments, ability to set goals, and demonstrated commitment to flight training.

All applications must be filled out and submitted online. Applicants only need to fill out the form once to be considered for both scholarships. In addition, applicants must obtain two recommendations which must also be submitted online using a simple form.

"Earning a pilot’s certificate is a tremendously rewarding experience and we are committed to helping more people achieve that goal," concluded Storm.

The Erral Lea Plymate Memorial Scholarship is a living memorial to the wife and flying partner of AOPA member Glenn Plymate. The Plymate family is also a generous supporter of the AOPA Foundation’s Air Safety Institute.

With more than 400,000 members, AOPA is the world’s largest civil aviation association, dedicated to expanding the pilot population and protecting the interests of general aviation.