Whirly-Girl Scholarships

2015 Scholarship Winners 
 

Congratulations to the 2015 Scholarship Recipients!
From left to right: Rebecca Joseph, Katrina Hallgren, Savannah Christy, Banumathi Cole, Tracy Zedeck, Katherine Garrison, Alexandra Thorsen, Nicole Cabana, Venida Hayes, Megan McCall, and Sabine Buehlmann. Not pictured: Cristina Gonzalez-Odriozola

The applications for the 2016 scholarships are here! THE SCHOLARSHIP DEADLINE IS OCTOBER 1, 2015.
NOTE: applications were updated 28 August 2015 to reflect new additions -- take a look below.

The Whirly-Girls are again accepting electronic applications this year. Please download the wg-app-2016-info.doc file below for detailed instructions.

If you are unable to submit the files electronically, you can still mail them in. See the address listed in the Scholarship application instructions and the Scholarship application general information documents below.

Scholarship application instructions: wg-app-2016-info.doc

Once you have read the instructions, please complete the general information file below:

Scholarship application general information: wg-app-2016-part1.doc

The essay files for the specific scholarships are below. Download and complete the essays for the scholarships you are interested in. All are in Microsoft Word format as doc files:

Advanced Mountain Flight Training Scholarship
Agricultural Air Services Flight Training Scholarship
Airbus Flight Training Scholarship
Air Evac Lifeteam Bell 206 Transition Flight Training Scholarship
Antipodean and Embry-Riddle Wire and Obstacle Environment Awareness Course Scholarship
Aviation Specialties Unlimited Night Vision Goggle Scholarship
Bristow Group Scholarship
Embry-Riddle Commercial Helicopter Pilot Ground School Course Scholarship
FlightSafety International Bell 206 Scholarship
Guidance Aviation Helicopter Instrument Rating Scholarship
Oregon Aero Crew Resource Management Training Scholarship
Oregon Aero CRM/AMRM Instructor Training Scholarship
Robert and Dayle Walden Memorial Scholarship
Robinson Helicopter R22/R44 Safety Course Scholarship
Robinson Helicopter Maintenance Course Scholarship
Survival Systems USA Aircraft Ditching Course Scholarship
Whirly-Girls Memorial Flight Training Scholarship
Whirly-Girls Add-On Flight Training Scholarship

Scholarship application fee link:

You can pay the scholarship application fee online, and renew your dues if you are not current, on our Donations and Dues page.

History

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 $150,000.

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

altMany 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.

altNick 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 is the list of 2016 scholarships:

Advanced Mountain Flight Training Scholarship

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: the applicant must be a member in good standing and must have joined the Whirly-Girls no later than September 20, 2015. The scholarship must be completed by December 31, 2016.

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 Rating. 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 Florida, Okeechobee County, FL, USA. Requirements: the applicant must be a member in good standing and must have joined the Whirly-Girls no later than September 20, 2015. The scholarship must be completed by December 31, 2016.

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. This is a 5-day course that provides both ground school and flight training for the AS350. Course value is approximately $14,000. Requirements: the applicant must be a member in good standing and must have joined the Whirly-Girls no later than September 20, 2015. The scholarship must be completed by December 31, 2016.

Air Evac Lifeteam Bell 206 Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to two Whirly-Girls who possess at least a Private Pilot Helicopter certificate and consists of a Bell 206 turbine transition at the Bell Training Academy located in Fort Worth, TX, USA. The transition course, valued at $12,900, entails 20 hours of ground school, 1 hour flight training device instruction, and 3-5 hours in the Bell 206 Long Ranger. Requirements: the applicants must be members in good standing and must have joined the Whirly-Girls no later than September 20, 2015. The scholarships must be completed by December 31, 2016.

Antipodean and Embry-Riddle Wire and Obstacle Environment Awareness Course Scholarship

NEW THIS YEAR: This scholarship will be awarded to a Whirly-Girl who wishes to increase her knowledge in how to conduct safe operations in the low-level environment. This course, provided by Antipodean Aviation and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, is valued at $220 and is a self-guided online course. The course is relevant to all operating areas around the world, but discusses specifically FAA, CASA, and EASA/JAA regulatory requirements in relation to low-level flight operations. Requirements: the applicant must be a member in good standing and must have joined the Whirly-Girls no later than September 20th, 2015. The scholarship must be completed by December 31, 2016.

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 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 Helicopter 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. Requirements: the applicant must be a member in good standing and must have joined the Whirly-Girls no later than September 20, 2015. The scholarship must be completed by December 31, 2016.

Bristow Group Scholarships

NEW THIS YEAR: These scholarships will be awarded to five deserving Whirly-Girls who have completed approximately 75% of their Commercial Pilot Helicopter training to financially aid in completion of this certificate. Each scholarship provides $5,000 and is awarded by the Bristow Group. These scholarships can be fulfilled at any flight school as long as they are not associated with companies that compete with the Bristow Group in the oil and gas space. Requirements: the applicants must be members in good standing and must have joined the Whirly-Girls no later than September 20, 2015. The scholarships must be completed by December 31, 2016.

Embry-Riddle Commercial Helicopter Pilot Ground School Course Scholarship

NEW THIS YEAR: This scholarship will be awarded to a Whirly-Girl who possesses at least a Private Pilot Helicopter certificate and is seeking to achieve her Commercial Pilot Helicopter certificate. This 15 week advanced online instructor-facilitated course provided by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University will provide the necessary information to prepare a Whirly-Girl for the FAA Commercial Pilot – Helicopter Knowledge Exam. Course topics include: FAA Regulations (FARs), Basic and Advanced Helicopter Aerodynamics, Aircraft Systems and Performance, Aircraft Weight and Balance Calculations, VFR and IFR Cross Country Flight Planning and Navigation, Weather Theory, Weather Charts, Weather Services, Human Factors, and Aeronautical Decision Making (ADM). Requirements: the applicant must be a member in good standing and must have joined the Whirly-Girls no later than September 20, 2015. The scholarship must be completed by December 31, 2016.

FlightSafety International Bell 206 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 6 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: the applicant must be a member in good standing and must have joined the Whirly-Girls no later than September 20, 2015. The scholarship must be completed by December 31, 2016.

Guidance Aviation Helicopter Instrument Rating Scholarship

NEW THIS YEAR: Sponsored by Guidance Aviation, this scholarship provides a Whirly-Girl who possesses at least a Private Pilot Helicopter certificate the opportunity to receive her Instrument Helicopter rating. Flight training will take place in the Robinson R44 helicopter and the student must be enrolled for one semester in one of Guidance Aviation’s collegiate aviation degree programs located at Yavapai College in Prescott, AX, USA or Baton Rouge Community College in Baton Rouge, LA, USA. The scholarship provides: 30 hours of flight training, 45 hours in the “X-Copter” Aviation Training Device with unlimited practice, 15 hours of ground instruction, 40 hours free tutoring, coverage of FAA Designated Examiner fees (up to two check rides), coverage for FAA written test fees (up to two tests), and online instructional videos and computer based-training. Requirements: the applicant must be a member in good standing and must have joined the Whirly-Girls no later than September 20, 2015. The scholarship recipient has two years to complete this scholarship and must be completed by December 31, 2017.

Oregon Aero Crew Resource Management Training Scholarship

NEW THIS YEAR: This 4.5 hour online Crew Resource Management (CRM) course, sponsored by Oregon Aero’s Randy Mains, Chief CRM/AMRM Safety Instructor, will be provided to a deserving Whirly-Girl.  The CRM course, valued at $500, is an online interactive video conferencing session personally led by Randy Mains, tailored to the candidate containing the elements specified by the FAA for Crew Resource Management Training or Air Medical Resource Management.  Requirements: the applicant must be a member in good standing and must have joined the Whirly-Girls no later than September 20, 2015.  The scholarship must be completed by December 31, 2016.

Oregon Aero CRM/AMRM Instructor Training Scholarship

NEW THIS YEAR: This 5-day, 40-hour Crew Resource Management Instructor (CRMI) course, sponsored by Oregon Aero’s Randy Mains, Chief CRM/AMRM Safety Instructor, will be provided to a deserving Whirly-Girl. The CRMI course will be held at the Pier Hotel and Spa in Sidney, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada ten minutes from Victoria Airport (YYJ) from January 8-12, 2016. The CRMI course, valued at $2,000, follows the recommendations of the FAA, Transport Canada, EU-OPS, JAR ICAO, EASA UK CAA, and CAMTS and will assist the recipient in becoming a CRM Instructor within her organization. Preferred applicants will have a CFI and have had some exposure to CRM that is, have taken a class. Requirements: the applicant must be a member in good standing and must have joined the Whirly-Girls no later than September 20, 2015. The scholarship must be completed by December 31, 2016.

Robert and Dayle Walden Memorial Scholarship

NEW THIS YEAR: This scholarship is provided by Leigh Harris, Whirly-Girl #746, and is given in memory of her parents, Robert and Dayle Walden. This scholarship provides $6,000 to ANY Whirly-Girl to be applied towards UPGRADING her current helicopter rating. (It can be applied towards Commercial, Instrument, Instructor, ATP, or Turbine Transition Training.) Requirements: the applicant must be a member in good standing and must have joined the Whirly-Girls no later than September 20, 2015. The scholarship must be completed by December 31, 2016.

Robinson Helicopter R22/R44 Safety Course Scholarship

Sponsored by Robinson Helicopter Company (RHC), this scholarship provides a Whirly-Girl currently flying Robinsons the opportunity to attend the R22/R44 Safety Course and build either R22 or R44 time. RHC provides this 3.5 day course in Torrance, CA, USA, and sponsors an additional 5 hours of either R22 or R44 flight time. The course includes 3.5 days of classroom instruction in the following subject areas: accident review, causes of fatal accidents, awareness training, SFAR 73, and Pilots Operating Handbook (POH) review. One day is devoted to maintenance, pre-flight inspections, and flying with an experienced RHC safety pilot. A tour of the Robinson Factory is also included. The course is open to any rated helicopter pilot who has at least 3 hours in the R22 or R44 helicopter, one hour of which was flown within 30 days prior to attending the course. This course is required by most insurance companies and serves as a CFI refresher. Course valued at $3,000. Requirements: the applicant must be a member in good standing and must have joined the Whirly-Girls no later than September 20, 2015. The scholarship must be completed by December 31, 2016.

Robinson Helicopter Maintenance Course Scholarship

Sponsored by Robinson Helicopter Company (RHC), this scholarship provides a Whirly-Girl currently flying Robinsons the opportunity to attend the Robinson Helicopter Maintenance Course. It is a "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 RHC 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 joined the Whirly-Girls no later than September 20, 2015. She must also be a government-licensed airframe mechanic. The scholarship must be completed by December 31, 2016.

Survival Systems USA Aircraft Ditching Course Scholarship

Survival System USA is offering their two-day course to two Whirly-Girl recipients. These two scholarships, each valued at $1,400, 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 Helicopter 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:the applicants must be members in good standing and must have joined the Whirly-Girls no later than September 20, 2015. The scholarships must be completed by December 31, 2016.

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 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 $8,000 to ANY Whirly-Girl to be applied towards UPGRADING her current helicopter rating. (It is typically applied toward Commercial, Instrument, Instructor, ATP, or Turbine Transition Training.) Requirements: the applicant must be a member in good standing and must have joined the Whirly-Girls no later than September 20, 2015. The scholarship must be completed by December 31, 2016.

Whirly-Girls Helicopter Add-on Flight Training Scholarship

FOR FEMALE PILOTS RATED IN AIRCRAFT OTHER THAN HELICOPTERS. This scholarship, funded by the WGSF, Inc., is awarded to a certificated female pilot who does not currently have a helicopter rating and provides $8,000 to be applied towards earning her add-on helicopter rating. The applicant will be evaluated for evidence of intent to work in the helicopter industry. The scholarship must be completed by December 31, 2016.

Scholarships Application Rules:

  • We are accepting electronic submissions this year. Please download the application by clicking on the links at the top of this page. All the questions in the application files must be answered.
  • For all scholarships except the Whirly-Girls Add-On Scholarship, applicants must be a Whirly-Girl in good standing for one year prior to receiving the award in March 2016.
  • A single payment of $45 allows you to apply for up to any number of scholarships.
  • The deadline for submission is OCTOBER 1.
  • Winners must agree to abide by all Scholarship rules.
  • Scholarships must be used within one year of receipt of scholarship, in accordance with the terms under which they were awarded.

Applications must include all of the following:

  • A scanned copy of your Pilot Certificate and/or Instructor Certificate.
  • A scanned copy of your CURRENT MEDICAL.
  • Fully completed application forms above.
  • A single non-refundable application fee of US $45.00 (check, money order, Visa, MasterCard). You can make the scholarship fee online using our PayPal/Credit Card link.
  • THREE CURRENT LETTERS of recommendation from individuals such as employers, friends, flight instructors, or Whirly-Girls that can attest to your experience, qualifications, work history, work ethic, and/or financial need.
Congratulations to the 2015 Whirly-Girls Scholarships Winners:

2015 Whirly-Girls Helicopter Add-On Flight Training Scholarship
Nicole Cabana

2015 Whirly-Girls Memorial Helicopter Flight Training Scholarship
Katherine Garrison

2015 Aviation Specialties NVG Training Scholarship
Sponsored by Aviation Specialties

Cristina Gonzalez-Odriozola

2015 Erickson Vertical Reference/External Load Flight Training Scholarship
Sponsored by Erickson

Margot Taylor

2015 Airbus Flight Training Scholarship
Sponsored by Airbus Helicopters

Sabine Buehlmann

2015 Robinson R22/R44 Safety Course Scholarship
Sponsored by Robinson Helicopter

Venida Hayes

2015 Robinson Maintenance Scholarship
Sponsored by Robinson Helicopter
Tracy Zedeck

2015 Advanced Mountain Flying Scholarship in memory of Keiko Minakata
Sponsored by Nancy Livingston, WG #4, and Western Helicopters

Katrina Hallgren

2015 FlightSafety International Bell 206 Initial Pilot Scholarship
Sponsored by FlightSafety International

Rebecca Joseph

2015 Aircraft Ditching Course Scholarship
Sponsored by Survival Systems USA

Megan McCall
Alexandra Thorsen

2015 Agricultural Services Flight Training Scholarship
Sponsored by Agricultural Systems Inc.

Jessica Martin

2015 B206 Factory Flight Training Scholarship
Sponsored by AirEvac Lifeteam

Banumathi Cole
Savannah Christy

Our Corporate Sponsors

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