May 17, 2013
By Benét J. Wilson
Wheeling, Ill.-based Ground Effect Advisors (GEA) has chosen 10 finalists for its first-ever flying club scholarship. GEA received 126 applications since the scholarship was announced on Jan. 25.
The winner, who will be announced on May 31, will receive more than $3,500 worth of products and support to start a flying club. The 10 finalists come from around the country, ranging from California’s Camarillo Airport to North Carolina’s Currituck County Regional Airport.
The finalists were chosen based on a formula created by Marc Epner, a Ground Effect Advisors partner and president of the Leading Edge Flying Club, based at Chicago Executive Airport. “To be successful, a club has to have a strong leader with a vision of what the club is to become,” said Epner. “The environment has to be supportive and conducive to growth, and required resources need to be available at the right time and place. This is about building an organization for the long haul. We see that in our 10 finalists.”
Epner has been active in helping to build the AOPA Flying Club Network, an initiative created to help grow the general aviation pilot population. He has participated on AOPA flying club webinars and advised clubs on their operations.
Ground Effect Advisors is being supported with this effort by partners who donated cash and goods, including AOPA, David Clark Co., Sporty’s Pilot Shop, Signature Flight Support, Cirrus Aircraft, Schedule Master, PilotEdge, and LiveATC.net.
AOPA eNewsletter and Social Media Editor Benét J. Wilson joined AOPA in 2011. She is working on her private pilot certificate.
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