Able Flight has awarded seven flight training scholarships to applicants from across the country.
Able Flight was created by pilots who believe that the life-changing experience of learning to fly is best shared, and designed the Able Flight scholarships to enable people with disabilities to pursue that experience.
The Able Flight Class of 2018 includes a woman paralyzed due to an accident, two future pilots who are deaf, a former Navy crewman who became disabled due to disease, a man who became paralyzed due to an auto accident, a man who was born with a condition affecting all four limbs, and a soldier wounded in combat.
Receiving full flight training scholarships are Emily Hupe of California, Chad Hardy of Indiana, Rob Shardy of Ohio, Julia Velasquez of California, Kory Puderbaugh of Arizona, Asher Kirschbaum of Maryland, and Staff Sgt. Robert Bartlett (retired) of Virginia.
In May, five of the aspiring new pilots will report for training at Purdue University and two will train at The Ohio State University. This is the ninth consecutive year of Able Flight’s partnership with Purdue, and its second year working with The Ohio State University.
“As with all Able Flight pilots who have come before them, this year’s class will soon discover how challenging our training course is at both universities,” said Able Flight Executive Director Charles Stites. “Both Purdue University and The Ohio State University share our goal of training pilots who graduate with a new sense of what they are capable of, and a true appreciation for what they have experienced through such an intensive and demanding program. When they receive their Able Flight pilot’s wings, they will know they have earned them.”
Graduates of the Class of 2018 will be guests of honor when they receive their Able Flight Wings on stage at EAA AirVenture on Tuesday, July 24, just weeks after becoming licensed pilots.