Finalists for flying club scholarship named

With just over two weeks to go before a winner is selected, Ground Effect Advisors (GEA) has revealed the 10 finalists for its flying club scholarship.

These 10 prospective clubs were selected from 126 applications received since the scholarship was announced Jan. 25. The winning applicant, to be announced on May 31, will receive more than $3,500 worth of products and support, all of which is geared towards getting a flying club off the ground.

“When we announced the scholarship, we knew we were breaking new ground,” said Louis Bowers, a GEA partner. “Instead of focusing on the individual, as most aviation scholarships do, our intent was to provide a broader foundation for the growth of general aviation. We were absolutely blown away with the response. We expected somewhere in the range of 25 to 40 applications. To receive 126 from 33 different states is astonishing, yet also speaks to the tremendous potential of flying clubs.”

To narrow the field, GEA relied on their own recipe for success as articulated by Marc Epner, another partner within GEA.

“To be successful, a club has to have a strong leader with a vision of what the club is to become,” he explained. “The environment has to be supportive and conducive to growth, and required resources need to be available at the right time and place. This is about building an organization for the long haul. We see that in our 10 finalists.”

The 10 finalists are:

  • Kenneth A. from Henderson Executive Airport; Las Vegas, Nevada (HND)Bill F. from Terre Haute International Airport-Hulman Field; Terre Haute, Indiana (HUF)
  • Drew A. from Trenton Mercer Airport; Trenton, New Jersey (TTN)
  • Bryan L. from Sundance Airpark; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (HSD)
  • Gary L. from Camarillo Airport; Camarillo, California (CMA)
  • Tom G. from Currituck County Regional Airport; Currituck, N.C. (ONX)
  • Scott C. from Iowa City Municipal Airport; Iowa City, Iowa (IOW)
  • Jay H. and Jeff N. from Jefferson City Memorial Airport; Jefferson City, Missouri (JEF)
  • Zachary P. from Wilmington International Airport; Wilmington, N.C. (KILM)
  • Eric T. from Bemidji Regional Airport; Bemidji, Minnesota (BJI)

View a map of airports represented by the 126 applications and 10 finalists (pictured above).

“We knew we had something special from the start,” Epner said. “The enthusiastic participation of recognizable partners, including the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), David Clark, Sporty’s Pilot Shop, Signature Flight Support, Cirrus Aircraft, Schedule Master, PilotEdge and LiveATC.net was our first indication that this was going to be well received. The overwhelming response from the aviation community sends a strong message that general aviation is alive and well and committed to working together to achieve our common dream. We’re excited to be part of that team.”

Ground Effect Advisors is a newly established organization focused on making an impact in the growth of general aviation by exploiting the vast potential of flying clubs. The executive team at GEA consists of pilots with diverse backgrounds in aviation, including a corporate pilot and CFI, a flying club founder and president, and general aviation bloggers.

For more information: StartAFlyingClub.com

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