Greater Flint Pilots Association Creates Scholarship Program

Posted on Posted in Local Flying News

What young man or young woman has not dreamed of the ability to spread wings and fly. To escape the effects of gravity and soar into the sky is an aspiration that has inspired mankind for eons. Only in the last century has that vision the Wright Brothers achieved become a common reality. The Greater Flint Pilots Association is committed to keeping that dream alive for the next generation of general aviators. The flying club that operates out of Bishop International Airport is investing in young people with the aptitude and desire to become a licensed pilot.

Michigan Takes Flight
Michigan Takes Flight

The appropriately named “Michigan Takes Flight” is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity. Michigan Takes Flight (MTF) will promote the expansion of, interest in, and understanding of private flying and aviation. This is accomplished by providing grants and gifts for scholarships, education, and instruction. Along with other charitable purposes relating to general aviation in the State of Michigan.

Scholarship Director Harry Hammond explains. “General aviation has taken a hit from the economy in recent years. The number of pilots is dwindling and we don’t want to see this trend continue. Aviation is a wonderful hobby and is a lucrative career path for young people. Pilots are in demand. We hope to provide qualified candidates the opportunity to begin training locally with financial assistance. Then launch them into an accredited flight academy that will complete their training.”

Anyone with an interest in supporting the future of general aviation is invited to donate. Initially, tax deductible charitable donations will fund flight instruction scholarships for qualifying students. Like any charitable endeavor, the Michigan Takes Flight scholarship fund will be dependent upon the generosity of its benefactors for support. Donations are expected from aviation-related businesses, local school systems, colleges & universities, aviation enthusiasts and the general public. Donors should contact info@gfpa.org for additional details.

Perspective Pilots Scholarships

Scholarship candidates can contact Harry Hammond at hhammond@gfpa.org to receive an application to apply. Scholarship applicants must meet all of the following criteria.

1. Be a U.S. citizen
2. Be at least 16 years of age at the time of application – no upper age limit
3. Have parental approval if under the age of 18
4. If in high school, carry at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) and provide contact information for two references including at least one school official
5. Be eligible for an FAA student pilot certificate and an FAA medical certificate
6. Be approved for membership in the Greater Flint Pilots Association
7. Purchase and maintain, for duration of instruction, a $10,000 aircraft renter’s insurance policy upon being awarded scholarship

Hammond suggests the ideal time for a candidate to apply is at the end of their Junior year of high school. Rather than waiting until they graduate. The charity’s seven-member board of directors reviews all applications. They also serve as directors of the Greater Flint Pilots Association.

Memorial Scholarship

A Michigan Takes Flight scholarship endowed in the name of David S. Jones is currently established by his wife Carol. David and Carol Jones owned Paragon Corvette Reproductions in Swartz Creek. They are also the parents of NASCAR Driver Erik Jones. David was a member of the Greater Flint Pilots Association. He and Carol were learning to fly to enable them to better follow their son’s career. David’s passing at the untimely age of 53 prompted Carol to start the MTF Memorial Scholarship in his name.

For more information on the Greater Flint Pilots Association visit their website at www.gfpa.org or their Facebook page. For more on MTF visit their website www.michigantakesflight.org.