HAI Convention News

Whirly-Girls present scholarships to seven

 - February 20, 2010, 12:38 PM

The Whirly-Girls International presented its 2010 scholarships to seven women at its annual scholarships luncheon yesterday at Heli-Expo 2010.

Together, the scholarships are valued at more than $25,000 in helicopter flight and ground training. Most of the awards were in the form of donations by training facilities, while $12,000 in cash gifts were also added to the fund.

Kristie Ellis of Amery, Wis., received the American Eurocopter flight training scholarship to attend the AS350 turbine helicopter transition course at the Eurocopter factory school in Grand Prairie, Texas. Ellis will use the scholarship to add a turbine transition in the AStar to her license.

The recipient of the Robinson safety course scholarship was Sandra Steffensen of Cocoa, Fla. The award allows the winner to attend the three-and-a-half-day Robinson R22/R44 safety course, conducted at the Robinson factory in Torrance, Calif. Steffensen’s goal is to enhance her flight skills in the Robinson.

The FlightSafety International instrument refresher course scholarship was awarded to Stacia Reinhardt of Allentown, Pa. She will use the 12 hours of academic training and six hours of multi-engine simulator instruction to complete the hours required for her ATP certificate.

The Whirly-Girls helicopter flight training scholarship was given to Nikki Guldage of Fairbanks, Alaska. It provides $6,000 for a currently licensed female pilot to obtain her helicopter add-on rating. Her goal is to obtain add helicopter commercial and instrument add-on ratings to her fixed-wing certificate.

A Whirly-Girls flight training scholarship, given in memory of Whirly-Girl founder Jean Phelan and her husband, Jim, as well as Doris Mullen, who died in a fixed-wing accident in 1968, went to Janie Foster and provides $6,000 for advanced helicopter training. Janie plans to use the scholarship to obtain a rotorcraft ATP.

An advanced mountain flight training scholarship was awarded to Maggie West of Nairobi, Kenya, given in memory of Keiko Minakata, who died in August 2007 during a commercial flight in a mountain environment. The scholarship allows the winner to acquire the skills to cope with turbulence, rugged terrain and landing zone selection in mountainous and canyon areas. It includes a half-day of intensive ground school and five hours of mountain flight time with Western Helicopters.

The Aviation Specialties unlimited scholarship was given to Ioanna Athanasiou of Mobile, Ala., who will use it to pursue work in the EMS department of her company. The scholarship is intended to provide for initial or recurrent night-vision-goggle endorsement.