The Racing Aces, Dianna Stanger, Joyce Wilson and Erin Cude, sponsored by Cirrus Aircraft, are establishing a new $5,000 Aviation Aces Scholarship for Women. The team just won the 2014 Air Race Classic and is funding the scholarship with their winnings and sponsorships to underwrite aviation education for women. The 2012 Racing Aces team also won the Air Race Classic and awarded a scholarship.
“We are racing for women’s education in aviation,” said Stanger. “Today only 6% of pilots in the United States are women. There should be so many more – it’s a great career opportunity and we believe women can contribute so much to aviation as pilots or in any capacity. This scholarship will hopefully encourage more women to pursue an education in aviation whether it’s as an air traffic controller, mechanic, or pilot.”
Stanger said there is a rich history of groundbreaking women in aviation from Amelia Earhart, through women’s efforts during wartime to recreational women’s air racing that started in 1929 with the First Women’s Air Derby. According to Stanger, women pilots raced cross-country through the ’30s and again after WWII in the “Powder Puff Derby.” After the Derby’s 30th and final flight in 1977, the Air Race Classic continued the tradition of transcontinental speed competition for women pilots. Stanger and her teammates won this year’s event and plan to defend their title in 2015.
“We thought this win was the perfect opportunity to offer other women the chance to move into the aviation field – it gives us an even greater incentive to compete,” said Stanger. “We are especially interested in applicants with a financial need because broadening the opportunities for women in aviation is our ultimate goal.”
The deadline for submission for the 2015 Aviation Aces Scholarship is Nov. 30, 2014. The recipient will be selected by The Racing Aces and Cirrus Aircraft officials. Applicants will be advised of the winner in February 2015. The formal Aviation Aces Scholarship Award will be made at the 26th Annual International Women in Aviation Conference, March 5-7, 2015, at Hilton Anatole, Dallas, Texas, and the recipient is required to attend.