Dual-Scholarship Opportunity Aims to ‘Diversify the Skies’

I Hart Flying Foundation and Girls Love to Fly are offering more than $18,000 in scholarships for flight training.

IHFF and GLTF have partnered to provide women in flight with dual-scholarship opportunities, as well as support mentorship, career advisement, and community building. [Credit: iStock]

There are so few female airline transport pilots (ATPs), you can fit them all on an Airbus A380. That’s a sobering statistical visualization from a release put out by I Hart Flying Foundation (IHFF) and Girls Love to Fly (GLTF), announcing their scholarship partnership dedicated to providing support for women and girls interested in flight training and aviation careers. 

As the aviation industry grows and diversifies, more opportunities are becoming available for women and girls who aspire to fly. However, barriers such as high training costs and gender biases persist, and women still represent less than 5 percent of all current ATP certificate holders, according to 2022 statistics released by the FAA

To help address these challenges, IHFF and GLTF, both non-profit organizations, have joined forces to launch the “All Hands on Deck” scholarship opportunity to support female flight training. The initiative presages IHFF’s multi-year program, the Hart Aviation Nation Delivers Campaign, announced in 2022, which aims to help bridge the gender gap in aviation.

The total funds available from both organizations exceed $18,000 in flight training scholarships and flight training swag. Each organization is hosting an independent online scholarship application with its own set of scholarship requirements. The scholarships are expected to range between $2,500 to $5,000 per award. IHFF is offering perks like King Schools training packages, gift certificates, and pilot attire; GLTF is including ground school funding with Flight Apprentice and a branded “‘pilot’ swag pack.” 

Since 2017, the two organizations have awarded more than $300,000 combined in scholarship funding, flight simulation, supplies, and ground school training to more than 50 female pilots. 

“With aviation as my true love, it’s important to have community in this industry, it can be challenging to soar on your own,” said Jamie Lou Waterhouse, founder of Girls Love to Fly, in the release. “The need for aviation community and mentorship is the ‘why’ I established Girls Love to Fly and discover strategic ways to collaborate for the common good.”

Applicants can visit the IHFF and GLTF websites to get the respective rules and apply. Each organization has a scholarship selection committee that will review applications. 

The application deadline is April 28, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. PST. Winners will be announced on “Flying Friday,” May 12. 

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.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get the latest FLYING stories delivered directly to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter