Congratulations to the 2015 Scholarship Recipients!
Initiated in 1968 in memory of Doris Mullen (WG #84), a dedicated and professional pilot who lost her life in a fixed-wing aircraft accident, the scholarship program has grown from a single $500 scholarship to a collective different scholarships valued in excess of $90,000.
The Whirly-Girls Scholarship Fund, Inc ("WGSF") was incorporated in 1974 to oversee and administer the scholarship funds raised by the Whirly-Girls and their Auxiliaries, and is a federally tax exempt 501(c)(3) public charity.
The Scholarship Fund is replenished through the efforts of the Whirly-Girls Auxiliary and the HELI-EXPO merchandise booth. In the past several years, many helicopter manufacturers and commercial operators have also made significant contributions to the Scholarship Fund.
About our Judges
Many of our Scholarships are awarded based on the independent and objective judging of Tom Doyle. He judged each application for each scholarship based on the strict criteria set by the sponsors and the Whirly-Girls Scholarship Board.
Thomas Doyle is a Commercial pilot with single, multi-engine land and instrument ratings. He started flying in 1965 and has several thousand hours -- for pleasure, business, sky watch, research and air taxi. He has flown a variety of aircraft, taught aviation and given check rides. He retired from the Federal Aviation Administration after 30 years as an Air Traffic Controller, Data Systems Specialist, Supervisor, Manager, Program Manager, and Staff Specialist. Subsequent to that, Tom worked for 10 years for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration as an Air Traffic Consultant, Research Engineer, and pilot providing flight operations expertise for flight research experiments.
Tom received a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Science, a Master of Public Administration, and a Master of Arts in Human Resource Management. He is a staunch believer in continuing education and has taken courses at over 20 different colleges and universities. He continues his education today by taking on-line course in a variety of subjects.
Tom is and has been a member of the following professional organizations: Air Traffic Control Association, Marine Air Traffic Control Association, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Society of Airway Pioneers, and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society. Further, he is on the Board of Directors for Peak Aero LLC, and the Advisory Council for the Indigenous Institute of the Americas. Tom is an enrolled member of the Crow Tribe of Indians in Montana and spends time on the reservation each year. He is also an active member of the Schools Committee for the Harvard Club of Dallas and interviews potential students each year.
Nick Mayhew is currently employed as General Manager of Bristow Academy’s Titusville Campus in Florida.
He attained his Airplane Private Pilot's License at the age of 17 and joined the Royal Navy as an officer in 1977. After completing his fixed and rotary wing training he was awarded his Wings in 1979 and converted to the Sea King operating in the Anti Submarine role from operational ships both around the United Kingdom and abroad.
He completed his Qualified Helicopter Instructor Course in 1984 and served as a flight instructor on various squadrons throughout his naval career. Nick spent some time away from the cockpit to qualify as a seaman officer and served in the Fishery Protection Squadron and as a Training Officer in the Dartmouth Training Squadron before commanding his own patrol vessel and leading the University Royal Naval Unit at Glasgow University in Scotland.
Returning back to aviation he “drove” a few desks and managed the Royal Navy’s flight training pipeline, spending some time in procurement and project management on the Joint Strike Fighter Training IPT and as the first Requirements Manager for the both the RN and RAF version of the Merlin (EH101) helicopter.
A veteran of both Gulf Wars, serving in HMS ARK ROYAL, he ended up flying the Sea King in an operational and training Search and Rescue role until he departed the Service after 28 years in 2005.
He moved to the USA and joined Helicopter Adventures Inc as the JAA Chief Flying Instructor in Titusville Florida in Mar 2005, which he enjoyed for 2 years before stepping up into the prestigious role of General Manager when Bristow Group purchased Bristow Academy in 2007. Nick remains current as a pilot in the Bell 206 and Sikorsky 300 CBi, is an EASA Flight Examiner, and holds both EASA and FAA Commercial and Instructor rotorcraft qualifications. He also Chairs the US Helicopter Safety Team Training Working Group, is a member of the ICAO IPTC work-stream and is Past President of the Titusville Rotary Club.
He is married to Kathy, has 2 daughters and lives in Cocoa, Florida.
The Awarding Process
Once the sponsors and judge have rated the applicant, the Whirly-Girls Scholarship Board again reviews each application. They take into consideration the applicant’s scholarship request, the sponsor’s and judge’s ratings, and make the final decision on which applicants to award each scholarship.
Scholarships are awarded at an annual banquet during the Helicopter Association International HELI-EXPO convention and must be used by the recipient in the year awarded. Members may apply for up to five scholarships, but each applicant will be awarded at most one scholarship per year.
The following are the list of 2015 scholarships:
Aviation Specialties Unlimited NVG Scholarship
Sponsored by Aviation Specialties Unlimited (ASU), this Night Vision Goggle (NVG) scholarship will be awarded to a career-minded Whirly-Girl who needs an initial or a recurrent Night Vision Goggle (NVG) endorsement for a flight position, such as airborne law enforcement and airborne EMS to a variety of government agencies. The NVG course will go to a Whirly-Girl that possesses the following prerequisites: Commercial Rotorcraft Rating and Instrument Rotorcraft Rating, Current Class II Medical, 500 PIC flight hours in Rotorcraft or more, turbine transition (preferable BH-206). The selected applicant will receive four days of training that include NVG logbook endorsement, 8 hours of academic training and 5 hours of NVG Flight Instruction to be conducted at Boise Air Terminal in Boise, ID, USA. The course is valued at $8,970. The scholarship will be provided to a member in good standing who has been a member for no less than one year by the time she is awarded the scholarship (March 2015).
This scholarship is provided in memory of Keiko Minakata, WG #1339. The scholarship gives a deserving Whirly-Girl the skills to cope with turbulence, rugged terrain, and landing zone selection in mountainous and canyon areas, with special emphasis placed on decision making. It also provides the skill needed to fly all sorts of private and commercial helicopter missions that require off-airport landings anywhere in the country, regardless of altitude or terrain. It’s a real confidence-builder, especially if the pilot has very little experience in off-road operations. It includes a ½ day extensive ground school with 5 hours of flight time. The pilot taking this course should have 250 rotorcraft hours and need not be qualified or current in the MD500 series or the Schweizer/Hughes 300 series. Training will be at Western Helicopters Inc., Rialto, California, USA. Value $5,000 plus. Requirements: This scholarship will be provided to a member in good standing who has been a member for almost one year (or by the end of March 2015) when she will be awarded the scholarship.
Agricultural Air Services Flight Training Scholarship
Sponsored by Agricultural Air Services in memory of Karen Johnson, WG#1520 who died on 2 January 2013 while frost flying. This scholarship will give a deserving Whirly-Girl an introduction to the skills required for low-level flying and an understanding of the application of spray chemicals and frost flying techniques. Applicants must be 21 years or older and hold current licenses and medical certificates as endorsed by the FAA or other recognized aviation administration. To be successful, each applicant must have a minimum of 200 hours rotary flight time and hold a commercial helicopter license. Some turbine experience is an advantage. In return, Agricultural Air Services will provide 10 hours of turbine flight in and/or access to one or more of the rotorcraft operated for commercial purposes of the application of agricultural pesticides, including a B206B, a B206L, and/or MD500D, equipped with Simplex spray systems. Education and access to associated training materials in the areas of aerial, row crop, forestry pesticide application and the importance of emergency procedures will be provided, in addition to an introduction to spray systems and chemical loading requirements for ground transportation. Applicants will be taught turnkey responsibilities and how to use specialist Mapstar and Batham GPS guidance systems. Accommodation for the required training period will be provided for up to 2 weeks, as required. Training will take place in Lorida, Okeechobee County, FL. Requirements: This scholarship will be provided to a member in good standing who has been a member for almost one year (or by the end of March 2015) when she will be awarded the scholarship.
Airbus Flight Training Scholarship
Sponsored by Airbus, this scholarship will give a Whirly-Girl the opportunity to attend an AS350 Turbine Transition Course at the Airbus Factory School in Grand Prairie, Texas, USA. Requirements: This scholarship will be provided to a member in good standing who has been a member for almost one year (or by the end of March 2015) when she will be awarded the scholarship.
Air Evac Lifeteam Bell 206 Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded to two Whirly-Girls who possess at least Private Pilot Helicopter certificate and consist of a Bell 206 turbine transition at the Bell factory. Requirements: This scholarship will be provided to two members in good standing who have been a member for almost one year (or by the end of March 2015) when she will be awarded the scholarship. The scholarships must be completed by the end of December, 2015.
Erickson Vertical Reference/External Load Flight Training Scholarship
This scholarship is sponsored by Erickson and will be awarded to a career-minded Whirly-Girl who needs a vertical reference/external load endorsement for a flight position. This course will be awarded to a Whirly-Girl who has 200 hours of PIC time, and she need not be turbine qualified. The training is to be completed at Western Helicopters in Rialto, CA. The 5-hour course is usually completed in two full days and includes ground instruction with up to 6.5 hours of vertical reference/external load training in an MD500 series helicopter. The value of this scholarship opportunity is $6,000. Requirements: This scholarship will be provided to a member in good standing who has been a member for almost one year (or by the end of March 2015) when she will be awarded the scholarship.
Sponsored by FlightSafety International, this scholarship is awarded to a Whirly-Girl who possesses at least a Private Pilot Helicopter certificate and has landing currency in helicopters. This training program includes initial type training, recurrent training, and inadvertent IMC training using the world’s first Bell 206 FAA Level 7 qualified Flight Training Device. This five-day course consists of academic training and six hours in the FTD. Training will be available at FlightSafety’s Helicopter Learning Center of Excellence in Lafayette, Louisiana, USA. Course value $10,000. Requirements: This scholarship will be provided to a Whirly-Girl in good standing who has been a member for almost one year (or by the end of March 2015) when she will be awarded the scholarship.
Sponsored by Robinson Helicopter, this scholarship provides a Whirly-Girl currently flying Robinsons the opportunity to attend the R22/R44 Safety Course and build R44 time. Robinson provides this 3-1/2 day course in Torrance, CA, USA, including 5 hours of R44 flight time. The course includes 2-1/2 days of classroom instruction, awareness training, SFAR 73, in the R22 and R44 helicopter systems. One day is devoted to maintenance, pre-flight inspections, and flying with an experienced RHC pilot. The course is open to any rated helicopter pilot who has at least 3 hours in the R22 or R44 helicopter. This course is required by most insurance companies and serves as a CFI refresher. Course valued at $3,000. Requirements: This scholarship will be provided to a member in good standing who has been a member for almost one year (or by the end of March 2015) when she will be awarded the scholarship.
Sponsored by Robinson Helicopter Company, this scholarship provides a Whirly-Girl currently flying Robinsons the opportunity to attend the Maintenance Course. It is a basic "hands-on" course for maintaining the airframe portion of R22, R44, and R66 helicopters. A thorough review and explanation of the Maintenance Manuals is provided. The course duration is 8 full days, Monday-Friday and the following Monday-Wednesday. No classes will be held on Saturday and Sunday. The value is $980. The course is conducted at the Robinson Helicopter Company factory in Torrance, California. Courses are taught in English only. Course attendance alone does not guarantee passing. Students will fail if they do not pass each exam and, if in the opinion of the course instructor, they cannot safely inspect and maintain a Robinson helicopter. Requirements: The applicant must be a member in good standing and must have been a member for no less than one year by the time she is awarded the scholarship (March 2015). She must also be a government-licensed airframe mechanic.
Survival Systems USA Aircraft Ditching Course Scholarship
2014 UPDATE: Survival System USA is offering their two-day course to Whirly-Girl recipients. These two scholarships are provided by Survival Systems USA and will provide two deserving Whirly-Girls the knowledge and skills necessary to react in an aircraft-ditching emergency, care for themselves in a sea survival situation, and to participate to the maximum extent in their rescue. The pilots taking this course should have at least a Private pilot certificate and are required to have no physical limitations that would prevent them from participating in strenuous physical training. Training will take place at Survival Systems USA in Groton, Connecticut, USA. Requirements: This scholarship will be provided to a member in good standing who has been a member for almost one year (or by the end of March 2015) when she will be awarded the scholarship.
Whirly-Girls Memorial Flight Training Scholarship
This scholarship is provided by the WGSF, Inc., and combines the Phelan International and Doris Mullen Flight Training Scholarships. This scholarship provides $8,000 and is given in memory of our founder, Jean and her husband Jim Phelan, along with the memory of Doris Mullen who lost her life in a Fixed Wing accident in 1968. This scholarship provides ANY Whirly-Girl a chance to UPGRADE her current rating. (It is typically applied toward Commercial, Instrument, Instructor, ATP, or Turbine Transition Training.) Requirements: This scholarship will be provided to a member in good standing who has been a member for almost one year (or by the end of March 2015) when she will be awarded the scholarship.
Whirly-Girls Helicopter Add-on Flight Training Scholarship
FOR FEMALE PILOTS RATED IN AIRCRAFT OTHER THAN HELICOPTERS. This scholarship, funded by the WGSF, provides $8,000 to assist a certificated female pilot who does not currently have a helicopter rating in earning her add-on helicopter rating. The applicant will be evaluated for evidence of intent to work in the helicopter industry.
Scholarships Application Rules:
Applications must include all of the following:
Congratulations to the 2015 Whirly-Girls Scholarships Winners:
2015 Whirly-Girls Helicopter Add-On Flight Training Scholarship
2015 Whirly-Girls Memorial Helicopter Flight Training Scholarship
2015 Aviation Specialties NVG Training Scholarship
2015 Erickson Vertical Reference/External Load Flight Training Scholarship
2015 Airbus Flight Training Scholarship
2015 Robinson R22/R44 Safety Course Scholarship
2015 Robinson Maintenance Scholarship
2015 Advanced Mountain Flying Scholarship in memory of Keiko Minakata
2015 FlightSafety International Bell 206 Initial Pilot Scholarship
2015 Aircraft Ditching Course Scholarship
2015 Agricultural Services Flight Training Scholarship
2015 B206 Factory Flight Training Scholarship