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11/15/06 - ABLE FLIGHT TO ANNOUNCE FIRST SCHOLARSHIPS
Able Flight, an organization announced at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh last summer, was created to provide disabled people with flight-training scholarships toward learning to fly via the sport pilot rule. Next month, Able Flight will announce the recipients of its first two scholarships, who will participate in a three-week intensive training course in culminating in a sport pilot certificate.
“Able Flight was created to change lives through aviation,” said Charles Stites, EAA member from Chapel Hill, North Carolina who serves as executive director. “Taking on the challenge of learning to fly is a wonderful way to build self-reliance, and is a personal test that enables students to prove to themselves that anything is possible, and to reach for even higher goals in life.”
While Able Flight was made possible because of sport pilot, Stites said the generous response of the aviation community allowed the organization to move forward. “From the beginning, the acceptance and support of this program by the aviation community has been extraordinary,” he explained. “People immediately see the value of the scholarship program, and they want to help.”
EAA President Tom Poberezny applauds the program. “I’m pleased that the extensive investment made by EAA in the development of the sport pilot/light sport aircraft regulations is paying dividends as is evidenced by the outstanding program developed by Able Flight,” he said. “They will utilize these new regulations to provide a highly cost effective flight-training experience.”
Up to 35 percent of awarded scholarships will be provided to veterans with disabilities, allowing Able Flight to reach out to those who have sacrificed for their country.
The first two scholarship winners will receive training in a specially equipped Sky Arrow 600 provided by the Hansen Air Group at the Cobb County McCollum Airport in Kennesaw, Georgia. The aircraft is available with factory-equipped hand controls that can be removed in seconds as needed, offering great flexibility in training students with varying disabilities.
Able Flight scholarships are made possible by donations from individuals and aviation companies such as Jet Aviation, Perrone Fine Aviation Leather, Gulf Coast Avionics, Oregon Aero, and Electronics International.
To learn more about Able Flight, a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt organization, visit, www.ableflight.org.