Winners of the 14 scholarship awards for 2015 are:
Katherine Garrison, a 2,500-hour pilot for Air Evac Lifeteam in Bexley, OH, won the Whirly-Girls Memorial Flight Training Scholarship, which provides funds to be used to upgrade her current rating.
Sabine Buehlmann, a commercial helicopter pilot for LifeFlight GmbH & Co. KG, Koln in Cologne, Germany, won the Airbus Flight Training Scholarship, which allows the winner to attend an AS350 Turbine Transition Course at the Airbus Factory School in Grand Prairie, TX.
Venida Hayes, a flight instructor for Helios Aviation/Cactus Aviation in Las Vegas, NV, won the Robinson Helicopter R44 Safety Course Scholarship, which gives the winner the opportunity to attend Robinson’s 3-1/2 day course Safety Course in Torrance, CA and build R44 time.
Rebecca Joseph, a flight instructor in San Francisco, CA, won the Flight Safety International Bell 206 Initial Pilot Scholarship, which includes initial type training, recurrent training, and inadvertent IMC training using the world’s first Bell 206 FAA Level 7 qualified Flight Training Device.
Banumathi Cole, Study Director for HemoShear in Earlysville, VA, and Savannah Christy, one of the line service personnel for Sunriver Resort in Oregon, each won one of two Air Evac Lifeteam 206 Bell Flight Training scholarships, which allows both to take a Bell 206 transition course.
Katrina Hallgren, helicopter flight instructor for Classic Helicopters in Seattle, WA, won the Advanced Mountain Flight Training Scholarship provided by Nancy Livingston Stratford, in memory of Keiko Minakata. The award includes an extensive ground school and five hours of flight time, with emphasis placed on decision making for helicopter missions that require off-airport landings.
Megan McCall, a pilot from Huntington Beach, CA and Alexandra Thorsen, a student at Bristow Academy in Titusville, FL, were each awarded Survival Systems USA Aircraft Ditching Course Scholarships, which provide the training necessary to react to an aircraft-ditching emergency.
Cristina Gonazalez Ordriozola, a pilot/instructor for Benitez Aviation in Caguas, Puerto Rico, was awarded the Aviation Specialties Unlimited Night Vision Goggle (NVG) Flight Training Scholarship to provide an initial or recurrent NVG endorsement for a flight position, such as airborne law enforcement or EMS.
Tracy Zedeck, a pilot in the island country of the Maldives, won the Robinson Helicopter Maintenance Course Scholarship, which provides the opportunity to attend a Factory Course for maintaining the airframe portion of R22, R44, and R66 helicopters.
Margot Taylor, a helicopter tour pilot for Novictor Aviation in Waimea, HI was awarded the Erickson Vertical Reference/External Load Flight Training Scholarship to earn her vertical reference/external load endorsement for a flight position.
Jessica Martin, a student at Bristow Academy in Titusville, FL, was awarded the Agricultural Air Services Flight Training Scholarship, donated in memory of Karen Johnson. The scholarship provides an introduction to the skills required for low-level flying plus 10 hours of turbine flight time.
Nicole Cabana, a King Air pilot for NOAA in Silver Spring, MD won the Whirly-Girls Helicopter Add-on Flight Training Scholarship, which provides funds to assist a certificated female pilot who does not currently have a helicopter rating in earning her add-on helicopter rating.
Chen also announced a significant new scholarship commitment for the 2016 Scholarship Program. Guidance Aviation has agreed to offer a Helicopter Instrument Rating Scholarship that includes 30 hours flight training in a Robinson R44 helicopter and 45 hours in the X-Copter helicopter Aviation Training Device, plus fees, ground instruction and online training and all college course tuition fees.
As a follow-up to the announcement of the scholarship from Guidance Aviation, Joni Schultz, Whirly-Girl Vice President of Operations, asked for a continuing commitment through a show of hands from those sponsors in the audience who offered scholarships in 2015. All of the 2015 sponsors agreed to continue their scholarships.
Established in 1974, the Whirly-Girls Scholarship Fund is a 501(c)(3) public charity that administers scholarships valued at more than $90,000. The Scholarship Fund is replenished annually through the efforts of the Whirly-Girls Auxiliary, charitable contributions and also through merchandise sales at their trade show booth.
Whirly-Girls International is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. For more information about Whirly-Girls scholarships, visit: www.whirlygirls.org.