Ten people from throughout the country have been selected as recipients of an Able Flight scholarship for 2020.
Eight will train at Able Flight’s program at Purdue University beginning in May, one will earn a CFI certificate with his Career Training Scholarship, and one will become Able Flight’s first student to attend training at the Aerospace Center For Excellence in Lakeland, Florida, in October 2020.
Of the 10 scholarship recipients, six use wheelchairs due to paralysis, one is deaf, one has a paralyzed arm, and two are amputees. Four are veterans, with one being wounded in combat and three becoming disabled due to injuries.
The members of the Able Flight “Class of 2020” are:
Joshua Martin of Texas. Joshua is a graduate of West Point who trained and served as a Special Operations helicopter pilot before losing his lower left leg due to a motor vehicle accident in 2018. With his scholarship, Joshua will return to flying by earning his fixed-wing pilot certificate.
Chris Murad of Georgia. Chris recently graduated from Georgia Tech with an aerospace degree. He became paralyzed in 2016 when shot during a robbery as he was leaving work.
Peyton Wolter of Wisconsin. Peyton grew up active in a variety of outdoor sports and became paralyzed in late 2017 as a result of an injury sustained in a boating accident.
Michael Price of North Dakota. Michael is a graduate of Penn Foster University in Fargo, and had his first flight as part of an introductory program in 1997. That same day he became paralyzed due to injuries from a car accident.
Jason Daugherty of Georgia. Jason was first exposed to flying in the fifth grade through a course taught by a teacher who was a licensed pilot. His plans to become a pilot were halted in 2003 when he became paralyzed due to a car accident.
Austin “Chance” Field of Texas. Chance Field spent several summers working around planes at an FBO operated by his aunt and uncle before serving in the Navy. In 2006 he was paralyzed due to injuries from a motor vehicle accident.
Sheila Zhi Xu of Nevada. Sheila is a graduate of MIT and has been both a participant in the Fulbright Scholarship Program and an intern at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Shelia was born with profound hearing loss in both ears.
T’angelo Magee of New Jersey. T’angelo is a veteran of the U.S. Army with multiple combat deployments who became paralyzed due to injuries from a motorcycle accident. In 2019, he participated in the Able Flight program at Purdue where he both soloed and passed his written exam before an illness forced him to cut short his training.
David Snypes, Jr. of New York. David is a veteran of the U.S. Army having served from 2009 to 2016, including tours in Afghanistan. In 2016, he lost the use of his left arm due to injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.
Steven Curry of Virginia. Steven served in the U.S. Army in both Afghanistan and Iraq. His plans to secure a Warrant Officer training slot to become a helicopter pilot ended when injuries from an IED required the amputation of his left leg below the knee.
Able Flight is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that has awarded more than 110 scholarships to people with a broad range of physical disabilities.