Able Flight, a non-profit organization that awards scholarships for flight training for people with disabilities, reports a year of milestones in 2019, including awarding the most ever scholarships in one year, as well as reaching 100 scholarships awards since its founding.
This year’s Able Flight scholarship recipients include an Army Lt. Colonel wounded in combat, four other veterans disabled due to accidents, and two women. One of the veterans is a former Army helicopter pilot who is now paralyzed and will be returning to flying as a fixed-wing pilot with his Able Flight scholarship.
Receiving scholarships are Lt. Colonel Daniel Gade (US Army-retired) of Virginia, Leslie Irby and Ignacio Montoya of Georgia, Will Bucher of North Carolina, Samuel Mahoney and Steven Martinez (U.S. Marines-retired) of Wisconsin, T’angelo Magee of New Jersey (U.S. Army-retired), Anthony Radetic of Alabama (U.S Army-retired), Joseph Moncalieri of Massachusetts (U.S. Coast Guard), and Emily Hupe of California, who is returning to train this year after illness forced a delay in 2018.
“2019 is a year of milestones for our program with the largest number of scholarships and veterans in a single year, and we are excited to have awarded more than 100 total scholarships since the program was founded,” said Able Flight’s Charles Stites. “This has only been possible due to the continuous support we have received from sponsors in the aviation community, and from donors both inside and outside of aviation.”
2019 also marks the 10th consecutive year of Able Flight’s partnership with Purdue University, and the third year of its partnership with The Ohio State University. With flight school beginning in mid-May, the students have already begun their studies with online courses donated by Sporty’s Pilot Shop.
Graduates of the “Class of 2019” will be guests of honor when they receive their Able Flight Wings on stage at EAA AirVenture in July, just weeks after becoming licensed pilots.