New foundation to offer scholarships to helicopter pilots

New foundation to offer scholarships to helicopter pilots 11 Jan, 11, Source: Doug Doty Vertical Flight Foundation

The Doug Doty Vertical Flight Foundation was founded by Jesika Doty after the death of her husband, Doug, who was killed in a tragic helicopter accident in September of 2009.  She formed the foundation in order to carry on the dreams that her husband and she had for their future in the helicopter industry.

Prior to the accident, Doug and Jesika were looking at what their options were in the industry and what their next step would be. The industry had changed drastically since Doug’s initial flight training, and they were trying to come up with a plan to fill in the gap that had been created. The gap was the number of flight hours needed, along with turbine time, in order to secure the first turbine job.

After the accident, Jesika felt that more could be done to help helicopter pilots achieve their dreams. One avenue was to form a non-profit foundation to provide scholarships to helicopter pilots with the main focus of those scholarships being for turbine transition training along with advanced flight training.

“There was a gap created in the industry when helicopter companies raised their minimum to 1500 flight hours while at the same time flight schools were releasing pilots that had 1,000 flight hours,” said Jesika. “However, it is understandable that this happened because the number of commercial helicopter pilots reached a tipping point that the industry could not support. The goal for this foundation is to provide the industry with pilots that have advanced training, while helping those pilots that are sitting in this gap.”

“I think that Doug would be proud of what I am doing. I fell in love with aviation as much as he did, and it is important to me to help pilots fulfill their dreams. He truly is the one who created this – the passion he had for flying and living his dream was shared with his students along with his support for them – I’m just trying to carry his legacy forward.”

The foundation is looking to open up its first scholarship for applications by the end of January.  More information may be found on their Web site:www.verticalflight.org.

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