Four recipients will be awarded a $1,500 scholarship paid directly to the seaplane school of their choice.
Due to the overwhelming positive response, the scholarship will return for 2016, according to company officials, who noted that application details will be announced later.
“When we established this scholarship, we figured we would award one scholarship and hoped we would get enough applicants to choose from,” commented Chuck Wiplinger, president and COO of Wipaire, Inc. “We ended up with 54 applications and we had so many great candidates that we couldn’t choose just one recipient. Instead, we decided to award four scholarships, and are pleased to say that we are planning on offering the scholarship again next year.”
The 2015 recipients of the Ben Wiplinger Memorial Seaplane Rating Scholarship are Sean Zottarelli of New York, Steve Huggins of Oregon, Tim Fowler of Minnesota, and Willow Hetrick of Alaska.
Sean is a young flight instructor looking for a flying career beyond flying airliners and dreams of flying seaplanes in New England or Alaska. Steve is a CFI with a special interest in backcountry and tailwheel flying who is looking forward to instruction in seaplanes as well once he receives his seaplane rating. Tim is a former aerial application pilot whose flying career was put on hold by a turn in the economy; he hopes to fly Fire Boss single-engine air tankers in the future. Willow is an Alaskan whose first floatplane experience was when her parents brought her home as a baby on an amphibious de Havilland Beaver. Willow hopes to combine her biology education and passion for aviation by becoming a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service pilot-biologist.