Colorado Students Soar with WINGS Over the Rockies Flight Training Scholarships

WINGS Over the Rockies announces 2023 flight training scholarship recipients. Twenty-two Colorado learner pilots have been selected for awards worth up to $12,000 to enable them to pursue private pilot certification.

[Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum]

Wings Over the Rockies (WINGS), a Colorado-based nonprofit organization centered on the state’s air and space museum and dedicated to aviation education, has selected recipients for its 2023 scholarship cycle. 

A total of 22 Colorado students have been selected to receive 2023 WINGS’ flight training scholarships valued at either $8,000 or $12,000, based on their flight training experience, to pursue private pilot certification for single-engine airplanes.

The James C. Ray Foundation, a committed advocate for aviation education in Naples, Florida, provides the funding for these flight training scholarships, which WINGS disburses annually across Colorado. Over the past four years, WINGS has awarded 125 scholarships, amounting to $236,000, to aspiring pilots ages 15 to 18 who are eager to attain private pilot certification in gliders or single-engine airplanes. 

"Cultivating the next generation of private pilots is vital for the aviation industry's continued success," said John L. Barry, a retired Air Force major general who serves as president and CEO of WINGS. "We are honored to play a role in helping these dedicated and passionate students fulfill their aspirations. Our heartfelt gratitude goes to the James C. Ray Foundation for enabling this scholarship program to benefit Colorado's future aviators."

The selection process for the WINGS flight training scholarship was rigorous, with more than 80 applications received. Each applicant underwent meticulous evaluation and interviews conducted by representatives from WINGS and its Captain Jeppesen Foundation. Upon selection, each scholarship recipient is assigned a mentor to provide guidance throughout their training journey, encompassing both flight hours and a comprehensive study regimen to facilitate their pilot certification.

To be eligible for the scholarships, applicants must be Colorado residents and undertake their training through a state-based aviation business.

Editor's Note: This story appeared originally on

Amy Wilder is managing editor for Plane & Pilot magazine. She fell in love with airplanes at age 8 when her brother-in-law took her up in a Cessna 172. Pretty soon, Amy's bedroom walls were covered with images of vintage airplanes and she was convinced she'd be a bush pilot in Alaska one day. She became a journalist instead, which is also somewhat impractical—but with fewer bears. Now she's working on her private pilot certificate and ready to be a lifelong student of the art of flying.

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