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New aviation scholarship available to students in the Midwest

A longtime flight instructor and avid supporter of general aviation is being remembered through a scholarship, keeping his name and legacy alive for future generations of aviation students.

Ed Shafer (left) with Paul Guse (right) and Guse’s former aircraft co-owner, Cindy Heilig. Photo courtesy of Paul Guse.

The Edward B. Shafer Future of Flight Scholarship Endowment Fund was established through a generous gift to the AOPA Foundation by member Paul Guse. The endowment will provide a $5,000 annual scholarship to be awarded to an individual pursuing a career in aviation, including aerospace engineering; flying professionally as an airline pilot, corporate pilot, etc.; flight instruction; aircraft maintenance; and airport management.

Shafer was renowned in the St. Louis-area GA community, serving as a flight instructor for more than six decades. A U.S. Air Force veteran, his enduring commitment to aviation safety was recognized in 2019 with the FAA’s Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award. As owner and operator of St. Louis Metro-East Airport/Shafer Field, he positively influenced hundreds of new and experienced aviators, generously sharing his knowledge and experience with kindness, patience, and humor.

Shafer died in September 2020 at the age of 89.

“Ed was a rock of aviation in the St. Louis region,” said Guse. “He was my dad’s CFI, I grew up around him and he helped foster my passion for flying. His legacy is more than worthy of this scholarship program.

“Every hour I spent with Ed, whether in the cockpit or just sitting in the hangar, was an amazing hour. While he was passionate about safety, he knew flying had to be fun—he had an amazing gift to combine the two.”

To be eligible for the scholarship, each applicant must be:

  • A current AOPA member at the time of application and award.
  • A U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident.
  • Currently enrolled at an accredited university or college and pursuing a career in aviation.

Applications for the 2022 cycle will be accepted until February 11. Learn more about the AOPA Foundation Flight Training Scholarship program and how to apply.

Alyssa J. Miller

Eric Blinderman

Senior Director of Communications
Eric Blinderman is AOPA’s Senior Director of Communications. Eric joined AOPA in 2020 after several years at leading marketing/communications agencies in New York and is looking forward to putting his newly minted private pilot certificate to work.
Topics: Scholarship, Financial

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