EAA Scholarship Program Has Launched 500 Private Pilots

Ray Foundation has made $1.8 million available to the organization for deserving youth.

Ray Scholars at EAA AirVenture 2023. [Courtesy: EAA]

The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) announced Thursday that its Ray Aviation Scholarship program has now seen 500 recipients complete flight training and earn their private pilot certificates.

Founded by James and Joan Ray, the Ray Foundation enables EAA and its chapter network to provide up to $11,000 for deserving youth to help cover flight training expenses. The foundation has made $1.8 million available to the EAA this year.

“Many aspiring pilots fall short of their goal due to the cost of flight training, so EAA, working with the Ray Foundation, helps relieve some of the financial pressure and make the goal of becoming a pilot even more accessible for future generations,” said Rick Larsen, EAA vice president of communities and member programming. “The high completion rate of our scholars demonstrates the impact of a supportive environment provided by EAA chapters.”

In addition to the Ray Aviation Scholarships, the Lightspeed Aviation Foundation partners with EAA to award a Zulu 3 headset to each fight student upon completing their first solo. If the student had already soloed before starting in the Ray Aviation Scholarship program, the headset goes to them when they pass their written exam.

“This recognizes the scholar as they progress and ultimately complete flight training,” according to EAA.

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on AVweb.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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