Whirly-Girls International is a non-profit, educational and charitable organization dedicated to advancing women in helicopter aviation. It was founded in 1955 by Jean Ross Howard and originally consisted of 13 female helicopter pilots from France, Germany, and the United States. Any woman who has earned at least a Private certificate with a helicopter rating is welcome to become a member. Currently, there are over 1700 registered members representing 44 countries.
The Whirly-Girls organization and its sponsors provide a number of impressive scholarships every year to members. Application details can be found online atÂ http://www.whirlygirls.org/wg-scholarships. The scholarship application deadline is October 1, 2011. Please note that electronic applications are being accepted this year. If you have any questions, please contactÂ [email protected].
The current list of scholarships for 2012 is as follows:
American Eurocopter Flight Training Scholarship
Sponsored by American Eurocopter, this scholarship will give a Whirly-Girl the opportunity to attend an AS350 Turbine Transition Course at the American Eurocopter Factory School in Grand Prairie, Texas, USA. Requirements: The applicant must be a member in good standing and must have been a member for no less than one year by the time she is awarded the scholarship (February 2012).
Robinson Helicopter R22/R44 Safety Course and R44 Scholarship
This scholarship, sponsored by Robinson Helicopter, provides a Whirly-Girl currently flying Robinsons the opportunity to attend the Safety Course and build R44 time. Robinson provides this 3-1/2 day course in Torrance, CA, USA, including 5 hours of R44 flight time. The course includes 2-1/2 days of classroom instruction, awareness training, SFAR 73, in the R22 and R44 helicopter systems. One day is devoted to maintenance, pre-flight inspections, and flying with an experienced RHC pilot. The course is open to any rated helicopter pilot who has at least 3 hours in the R22 or R44 helicopter. This course is required by most insurance companies and serves as a CFI refresher. Requirements: The applicant must be a member in good standing and must have been a member for no less than one year by the time she is awarded the scholarship (February 2012).
Flight Safety International Bell 206 Initial Pilot Scholarship
Sponsored by Flight Safety International, this scholarship is awarded to a Whirly-Girl who possesses at least a Private Pilot Helicopter license and has landing currency in a helicopter. (Note: the applicant need not have landing currency in a Bell 206.) This training program includes initial type training, recurrent training, and inadvertent IMC training using the worldâ€™s first Bell 206 FAA Level 7 qualified Flight Training Device. This five-day course consists of academic training and six hours in the FTD.Â Training will be available at Flight Safetyâ€™s Helicopter Learning Center of Excellence in Lafayette, LA, USA. Course value $10,000. Requirements: The applicant must be a member in good standing and must have been a member for no less than one year by the time she is awarded the scholarship (February 2012).
Advanced Mountain Flight Training Scholarship
This scholarship is provided in memory of Keiko Minakata, WG# 1339.Â This scholarship gives a deserving Whirly Girl the skills to cope with turbulence, rugged terrain, landing zone selection, in mountainous and canyon areas, with special emphasis placed on decision making.Â It also provides the skill needed to fly all sorts of private and commercial helicopter missions that require off-airport landings anywhere in the country, regardless of altitude or terrain.Â It’s a real confidence-builder, especially if the pilot has very little experience in off-road operations. It includes Â½ day extensive ground school with 5 hours of flight time. The pilot taking this course should preferably have 500 Rotorcraft hours and be current in the MD500 series or the Schweitzer/Hughes 300 series, but this is not mandatory. The training will take place in the MD500. Training will be at Western Helicopters Inc., Rialto, CA. Requirements: The applicant must be a member in good standing and must have been a member for no less than one year by the time she is awarded the scholarship (February 2012).
Aviation Specialties Unlimited Scholarship
Sponsored by Aviation Specialties Unlimited (ASU), this Night Vision Goggle (NVG) scholarship will be awarded to a career minded Whirly-Girl who needs an initial or a recurrent Night Vision Goggle (NVG) endorsement for a flight position, such as airborne law enforcement and airborne EMS to a variety of government agencies. The NVG course will go to a Whirly-Girl that possesses the following prerequisites: Commercial Rotorcraft Rating and Instrument Rotorcraft Rating, Current Class II Medical, 500 PIC flight hours in Rotorcraft or more, Turbine transition (preferable BH-206). The selected applicant will receive 8 hours of academic training and 5 hours of turbine instruction. The value of this scholarship opportunity is $7,000. Training will be conducted at Gowen Field Airport, Boise, Idaho, USA. The scholarship will be provided to a member in good standing who has been a member for no less than one year by the time she is awarded the scholarship (February 2012).
Aircraft Ditching Course Scholarship
This scholarship is provided by Survival Systems USA and provides a deserving Whirly-Girl the knowledge and skills necessary to react to an aircraft-ditching emergency, care for herself in a sea survival situation, and to participate to the maximum extent in her rescue. The pilot taking this course should have at least a private pilot license and is required to have no physical limitations that would prevent her from participating in strenuous physical training. Training will be at Survival Systems USA in Groton, Connecticut. Requirements: The applicant must be a member in good standing and must have been a member for no less than one year by the time she is awarded the scholarship (February 2012).
Whirly-Girls Memorial Flight Training Scholarship
This new scholarship is provided by the WGSF, Inc., and now combines the Phelan International and Doris Mullen Flight Training Scholarships. This scholarship provides $6,000 and is given in memory of our founder, Jean, and her husband Jim Phelan, along with the memory of Doris Mullen who lost her life in a fixed wing accident in 1968. This scholarship provides ANY Whirly-Girl a chance to UPGRADE her current rating. (It is typically applied toward Commercial, Instrument, Instructor, ATP, Long Line or Turbine Transition Training.) Requirements: The applicant must be a member in good standing and must have been a member for no less than one year by the time she is awarded the scholarship (February 2012).
Whirly-Girls Helicopter Add-on Fight Training Scholarship
FOR FEMALE PILOTS RATED IN AIRCRAFT OTHER THAN HELICOPTERS. This scholarship, funded by the WGSF, is provided this year in memory of Bob Vetter, WG Auxiliary member and husband of Bev WG#459.Â It provides $6,000 to assist a certificated female pilot, does not currently have a helicopter rating, in earning her add-on helicopter rating. Applicant will be evaluated for evidence of intent to work in the helicopter industry.
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