Dallas: Whirly-Girls International will present their 2012 scholarships to 9 women tonight at the annual Whirly-Girls Scholarship Banquet. Together, the scholarships are worth more than $50,000 of helicopter flight and ground training. Some scholarships were donated by training facilities and helicopter manufacturers, while $12,000 in cash gifts to the scholarship fund were also awarded.
The scholarships and winners are as follows:
American Eurocopter Flight Training Scholarship, awarded to Kelly Anderson, WG #1611, of Cocoa, Florida. The American Eurocopter scholarship gives a Whirly-Girl in good standing the opportunity to attend the AS350 Turbine Helicopter Transition course at the American Eurocopter factory school in Grand Prairie, Texas. Anderson will use her scholarship to add a turbine transition in the American Eurocopter AStar to her license, opening opportunities to fly in the Gulf of Mexico, where she plans to seek employment in the near future. Anderson currently works as a commercial pilot and flight instructor for Bristow Academy in Florida, and holds commercial, CFI and CFII ratings in helicopters.. She holds a Bachelors degree in physics and a Masters in engineering applied science from University of California, Davis. In her free time, she enjoys rock climbing and kayaking.
Robinson R22/R44 Safety Course and R44 Scholarship, awarded to Jessica Ward, WG #1673, of Wilmington, North Carolina. Donated by Robinson Helicopter Company, this scholarship allows a Whirly-Girl in good standing to attend the Robinson R22/R44 Safety Course and receive five hours of R44 flight time. Conducted at the Robinson factory in Torrance, California, the course is a 3 1/2 day class that includes 2 1/2 days of classroom instruction and one day devoted to maintenance, pre-flight inspections, and flying with an experienced Robinson pilot. Ward will use the scholarship to complete her R44 checkout so she can fly the aircraft unrestricted. She holds a Bachelors degree in film studies from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. In her free time, she enjoys sailing, SCUBA diving and restoring antique cars.
Flight Safety International Bell 206 Initial Pilot Scholarship, awarded to Nicole Vandelaar, WG #1584, of Honolulu, Hawaii. Sponsored by Flight Safety International and worth $10,000, this training program includes initial type training, recurrent training, and inadvertent IMC training using the worlds first Bell 206 FAA Level 7 qualified Flight Training Device in Lafayette, Louisiana. Vandelaar plans to use the scholarship to receive turbine training which will help her reach her goal to become a tour pilot in Hawaii. She holds private ratings in both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. She received a Bachelors degree from Eastern Michigan University and is pursuing her Masters at the University of North Dakota.
In her free time, Vandelaar enjoys jazz, hip-hop and ballet dancing.
Aviation Specialties Unlimited Scholarship, awarded to Maggie Beseda, WG #1387, of Platte City, Missouri. Sponsored by Aviation Specialties Unlimited (ASU) and valued at $7,000, this night vision goggle (NVG) scholarship includes eight hours of academic training and five hours of turbine instruction at Gowen Field Airport, Boise, Idaho. Beseda plans to use the scholarship to gain a competitive edge when applying for positions involving search and rescue, police work, night flying in Africa and EMS. She holds commercial, instrument and flight instructor ratings in helicopters. She received a Bachelors in international business administration from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya. In her free time, Beseda enjoys travel and photography.
Aircraft Ditching Course Scholarship, awarded to Krista Holstrom, WG #1650, of Grants Pass, Oregon, and Elizabeth Kassman, WG #1634, of Hagerstown, Maryland. Provided by Survival Systems USA, this scholarship offers each recipient the knowledge and skills necessary to react to an aircraft-ditching emergency, care for herself in a sea survival situation and participate to the maximum extent in her rescue. Training will be at Survival Systems USA in Groton, Connecticut. Holstrom, who holds a private helicopter rating, plans to use the scholarship to build confidence in her ability to survive an emergency ditching procedure. Kassman, who holds commercial and flight instructor ratings in helicopters, plans to use the scholarship to boost her confidence in flying around water on the East Coast. Holstrom enjoys rafting and snowboarding. Kassman enjoys beach volleyball and spinning.
Whirly-Girls Helicopter Flight Training Scholarship, awarded to Mary Baker of Acton, Massachusetts.
The Helicopter Flight Training Scholarship provides $6,000 for a currently licensed female pilot to obtain her helicopter add-on rating. Bakers goal is to obtain helicopter add-on ratings to her commercial, instrument, multi-engine and ATP fixed-wing ratings so she can pursue a career as an EMS helicopter pilot. Baker holds Bachelors degree in clinical exercise psychology from Boston University. She currently works as a charter airplane pilot for Boston Med Flight. In her free time, she enjoys participating in triathlons.
Whirly-Girls Memorial Flight Training Scholarship, awarded to Angie Griffin, WG #1435, of Columbus, Georgia. Funded by the Whirly-Girls, Inc, this scholarship is given in memory of our founder, Jean, and
her husband Jim Phelan, along with the memory of Doris Mullen who lost her life in a Fixed Wing accident in 1968. It provides $6,000 to a Whirly-Girl in good standing toward an advanced helicopter rating (typically toward instrument, instructor, ATP, or turbine transition training). Griffin plans to use the scholarship to receive a rotorcraft instrument rating so she can take a helicopter to her home town of Columbus and start a flight school. She holds a commercial rotorcraft certificate with a flight instructor rating in addition to and SEL fixed wing rating. In her free time, Griffin enjoys spending time with her grandson, Liam.
Advanced Mountain Flight Training Scholarship, awarded to Susie Nguyen, WG #1498, of Alexandria, Virginia, is provided in memory of Keiko Minakata, WG# 1339, who lost her life in August 2007 during a commercial flight in the mountains. This scholarship gives a deserving Whirly Girl the skills to cope with turbulence, rugged terrain, landing zone selection, in mountainous and canyon areas, with special emphasis placed on decision making with a half a day of extensive ground school and five hours of mountain flight time at Western Helicopters Inc., Rialto, California. Nguyen has no mountain flying experience and wants to use her scholarship to learn more about this challenging flying environment. Nguyen holds commercial, instrument, flight instructor and instrument instructor ratings in helicopters.
She holds a Bachelors degree in politics and history from Oxford University and a Masters degree in History from George Washington University. In her free time, Watson she enjoys fencing and elephant polo.
Whirly-Girls International is a non-profit, educational, and charitable organization dedicated to advancing women in helicopter aviation. Special projects include providing scholarships to help women helicopter pilots achieve their aviation goals. Formed in 1955 by Jean Ross Howard Phelan, today the association numbers more than 1,625 members from 44 countries. The organization is dedicated to advancing professionalism in helicopters, while providing women helicopter pilots a forum for the exchange of information and opportunities.
For information on Whirly-Girls International and the Scholarships or to donate to the scholarship fund, please contact Laura McColm, WG #1329, at [email protected]
or visit www.whirlygirls.org