New Wings Over the Rockies Captain Jeppesen Foundation Formed

A new nonprofit honors Captain Elrey Jeppesen with aviation scholarships.

camera on airplane wing
Wings Over the Rockies Captain Jeppesen Foundation scholarships can be used to train for glider, LSA and/or private pilot solo flights.Captain Jeppesen Foundation/WOTR

Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum (WOTR) and the Jeppesen Aviation Foundation announced on December 17, “Wright Brothers Day,” that they have joined forces to create the Wings Over the Rockies Captain Jeppesen Foundation, a new 501(c)(3) organization. The foundation’s mission is to support Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum in being a leader in providing aerospace educational opportunities fulfilling youthful dreams in the spirit of Captain Elrey B. Jeppesen and his legacy.

The newly-created Wings Over the Rockies Captain Jeppesen Foundation’s core mission will be to focus on aiding young people interested in aviation. By partnering with the foundation, WOTR can honor Captain Jeppesen as an aviation pioneer who made lasting contributions to aeronautical navigation and the safety of flight. Captain Jeppesen’s passion for flying and his dedication to safety serve as an inspirational model for young people as they explore career paths in aviation.

“We’re very excited to be part of Wings Over the Rockies, since we share a common interest in encouraging young people to pursue aviation careers,” said Sandy Stedman, president of the Wings Over the Rockies Captain Jeppesen Foundation. “This new partnership is particularly important in the face of the growing pilot shortage. This new arrangement will allow us to expand our scholarship activities for the next generation of aerospace leaders and to collaborate to preserve Captain Jeppesen's legacy.”

The foundation is now accepting flight training scholarship applications from Colorado students ages 14 to 18. The foundation has already awarded 23 scholarships totaling nearly $100,000 and more scholarship funds are available. The scholarships will help students achieve glider solo, light sport aircraft solo and/or private pilot solo. Applications can be submitted at any time, and will be reviewed between the 1st and 7th days of every month until further notice. Interviews will be selected the last week of every month in a process that started October 2019.

The Wings Over the Rockies Captain Jeppesen Foundation will continue to raise funds and award numerous aviation scholarships and grants leading the creation of opportunities to advance aerospace education. Also, the new foundation will be the steward of the Elrey Jeppesen memorabilia on display at Denver International Airport, as did the former Jeppesen Aviation Foundation.

Captain Elrey Jeppesen had a colorful flying career even before starting the worldwide navigation products company that bears his name today. He began flying as a barnstormer with Tex Rankin’s Flying Circus in Oregon. Following the Great Depression, Jeppesen flew air mail in Boeing 4OBs in a time when no adequate navigational systems or information for pilots existed. “Jepp” realized the need for accurate navigational aids for pilots, and at the age of 23, he began developing manuals for safer navigation. The manuals and charts proved effective, and United Airlines soon bought the charts for their pilots. During World War II, “Jepp Charts” were adapted by the Navy as their standard flight manual. Today, “Jepp charts” are synonymous with flying general aviation and commercial aircraft in both VFR and IFR conditions. Any pilot who has completed IFR flight training surely has spent many hours studying Jeppesen approach plates.

“The Wings Over the Rockies Captain Jeppesen Foundation is a crucial next step in the evolution of Wings Over the Rockies and aviation education in Colorado,” explained Wings Over the Rockies president and CEO, Maj Gen John Barry, USAF (Ret). “We are excited to be joining the Jeppesen Aviation Foundation to offer unprecedented opportunities in aerospace and to help the aviation and space industries prosper for decades to come.”

For additional information on the foundation or to download an application, visit www.wingsmuseum.org/foundation or contact: Mike Pound, Foundation@WingsMuseum.org or (303) 829-2711.