Sporty’s Flight Scholarship Awarded

Pennsylvania man plans to earn tailwheel rating.

Christopher Barns plans to be a private pilot, get a tailwheel endorsement, and tow gliders. [Courtesy: Sporty’s]

2024 will begin with pilot training and a scholarship for Christopher Barns, thanks to Sporty's Pilot Shop. Barns, a resident of Mount Joy, Pennsylvania, is the winner of Sporty's $2,500 Pilot Training+ Scholarship. Barns is utilizing Sporty’s online “Learn to Fly” course to complete his ground training and FAA knowledge test so he can focus his efforts on his flight training.

Barns has known he wanted a career in aviation since high school and considered attending a college-based aviation program, but instead joined the U.S. Marine Corps. Following his service, he attended Millersville University, where pursued an aspect of his interest in aviation by earning a bachelor's degree in meteorology.

Barns will be using the Sporty's $2,500 Pilot Training+ Scholarship to earn his private pilot certificate at Reigle Field (58N) in Palmyra, Pennsylvania. The airport, located near Hershey, was established in 1942 by Chas and Ada Reigle and still has that vintage aviation vibe with a flight school that offers training in a J-3 Cub and 1943 Fairchild PT-23 as well as a Cessna 172.

“The $2,500 award would be enough for me to pay for a tailwheel endorsement at my training airport and join the local gliding club,” said Barns. “I would then have the opportunity to earn glider ratings and build time toward my commercial certificate as a tow pilot."

Barns noted that the local glider club always needs tow pilots, and he looks forward to building his hours through towing and gliding.

About Sporty's Pilot Training+

Sporty’s Pilot Training+ is an all-inclusive membership that unlocks Sporty’s complete library of video-based courses for one annual fee. Membership also includes the opportunity to apply for three $2,500 scholarships, which are awarded annually.

To enroll as a Sporty’s Pilot Training+ member, visit

Meg Godlewski has been an aviation journalist for more than 24 years and a CFI for more than 20 years. If she is not flying or teaching aviation, she is writing about it. Meg is a founding member of the Pilot Proficiency Center at EAA AirVenture and excels at the application of simulation technology to flatten the learning curve. Follow Meg on Twitter @2Lewski.

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