AOPA President Mark Baker presented an $8,000 check March 10 to Able Flight Executive Director Charles Stites to help the organization with its efforts to offer free flight training for the disabled. The funding for the scholarship came from the AOPA Foundation.
Able Flight partners with Purdue University’s Department of Aviation Technology to train pilots using a specially adapted light sport aircraft. Scholarship recipients spend six weeks training at Purdue, which includes all of their expenses.
“Flight training is a powerful tool to help the disabled become more self-reliant,” said Stites. “From my perspective, it is an extraordinary experience to see a life change, and I’m the luckiest guy to be able to hear their stories.”
People can help Able Flight in two ways, said Stites. “One, they can recommend someone with a disability to apply for a scholarship,” he said. “Two, they can make a donation that allows us to continue to offer flight training. We appreciate the support of people and organizations like the AOPA Foundation.” The cost for each scholarship recipient is $8,000, he added.
“Able Flight is a terrific organization that is successfully offering people with disabilities the life-changing experience of learning to fly,” said Baker. “AOPA members and their donations through the AOPA Foundation allow those who participate in Able Flight to become more involved with GA. We look forward to welcoming its next group of student pilots.”