Whirly-Girl Scholarships

2016 Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to the 2016 Scholarship Recipients!
From left to right in the back row: Sarah Smith-Dufton, Tosha Cypher, Louise Nutter, Sarah Melick, Jessica Kanellos, Ashlyn Parker
Middle Row: Alison Martin, Adele Dobler, Marie Fanjoy, Esther Cranga, Cristina Gonzalez Odriozola, Joni Schultz, Lorraine Skalla,
Front Row: Megan Dukes (Volunteer of the Award), Sabine Buehlmann (Diamond Volunteer Award), Sherri Spagnola, Tammie Gillette, Lechelle Dippenaar, Yasmina Platt, Holley Gardel

About the Whirly-Girls Scholarship Program

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

Thomas DoyleMany 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 MayhewNick Mayhew is currently employed as Commercial Programs Manager & EASA Head of Training for Bristow Academy in Titusville, 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.

Jeff Smith

Jeffery Smith was Chairman of the Eastern Region Helicopter Council (ERHC) from 2008 until 2013 after nearly ten years of dedicated volunteer service. He currently holds the title of Vice President of Operations and Governmental Affairs and continues to serve as a Director.

Smith earned his Airman Certificate at Fort Rucker Army Base in Alabama and has over 11,000 flight hours with over 700 in Emergency Medical Service in both combat and civilian metropolitan environments. While in active duty, Smith spent ten years as an Instructor Pilot, Safety Officer, and Battalion Operations Officer serving diverse missions, including Attack, Air Cavalry, General Support and Medevac, across North and South America, Europe and the Middle East including Operation Desert Storm.

Upon exiting active duty in 1997, Smith was placed in Individual Ready Reserve as a (CW3). He then began his career in civil aviation with Liberty Helicopters. In the four years Smith spent with Liberty Helicopters in New Jersey, Smith was a Part 135 Captain and was promoted to several positions including Asst. Chief Pilot, Heliport Manager and Safety Officer.

Jeffery Smith has worked for several civil aeronautical companies, including Executive Airlines where he served as Director of Operations for a Multi-Category, Multi-Ship, IFR Part 135 Certificate. In 2002, Smith started Integrated Aviation Group and was awarded a Part 135 IFR Certificate. In 2005, Smith accepted his current position flying an S-76C+ and AW139 with ROP Aviation.

Jeff Smith holds a Bachelors of Science in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He is a FAA licensed Airline Transport Pilot, holding a Class 1 Medical Certificate.

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 an unlimited number of scholarships, but each applicant will be awarded at most one scholarship per year.

The following is the list of the available scholarships for the 2017 season:

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 at the time of application submission, award of scholarship, and during scholarship training, and must have joined the Whirly-Girls no later than September 20, 2016. The scholarship must be completed by December 31, 2017.

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 at the time of application submission, award of scholarship, and during scholarship training, and must have joined the Whirly-Girls no later than September 20, 2016. The scholarship must be completed by December 31, 2017.

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

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 at the time of application submission, award of scholarship, and during scholarship training, and must have joined the Whirly-Girls no later than September 20, 2016. The scholarship must be completed by December 31, 2017.

Embry-Riddle Commercial Helicopter Pilot Ground School Course Scholarship

This scholarship will be awarded to a Whirly-Girl who is seeking to achieve her Commercial Pilot Helicopter certificate. This 15-week advanced online instructor-facilitated course, valued at $950 and offered by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, will provide the necessary information to prepare a Whirly-Girl for the FAA Commercial Pilot - Helicopter Knowledge Exam. Requirements: the applicant must be a member in good standing at the time of application submission, award of scholarship, and during scholarship training, and must have joined the Whirly-Girls no later than September 20, 2016. The scholarship must be completed by December 31, 2017.

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 at the time of application submission, award of scholarship, and during scholarship training, and must have joined the Whirly-Girls no later than September 20, 2016. The scholarship must be completed by December 31, 2017.

Garmin GTN & G500/600 Course Scholarship

NEW THIS YEAR: This scholarship will be awarded to a Whirly-Girl who wishes to increase her knowledge in how to maximize the benefits of Garmin equipment capabilities and to be confident in operation and integration of Garmin equipment as part of their flight operations. This course, provided by Garmin Aviation Training, is valued at $795. Location of the Garmin course is dependent on the course date attended by the recipient. Requirements: the applicant must be a member in good standing at the time of application submission, award of scholarship, and during scholarship training, and must have joined the Whirly-Girls no later than September 20, 2016. The scholarship must be completed by December 31, 2017

Night Flight Concepts Night Vision Goggle Initial Pilot Qualification Scholarship

NEW THIS YEAR: Sponsored by Night Flight Concepts, this scholarship provides a Whirly-Girl an initial Night Vision Goggles (NVG) endorsement for a flight position, such as airborne law enforcement and airborne EMS to a variety of government agencies. The course, valued at $12,000, will provide 8 hours of ground instruction and approximately 6 hours of flight training in a Robinson R66 turbine helicopter. Requirements: the applicant must be a member in good standing at the time of application submission, award of scholarship, and during scholarship training, and must have joined the Whirly-Girls no later than September 20, 2016. The applicant must be a U.S. citizen or holder of a green card (permanent resident). Applicant must possess a current Commercial and Instrument Helicopter Rating and a current Class II Medical, and preferably have 50 hours of unaided night flight. The scholarship must be completed by December 31, 2017.

Oregon Aero CRM/AMRM Instructor Training Scholarship

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. This course will be held at the Sidney Pier Hotel and Spa in Sidney, Vancouver Island, Canada on January 13-17, 2017. 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, 2016. The scholarship must be completed by December 31, 2017.

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, which includes an hour of flight with a safety instructor and sponsors an additional 4 hours of either R22 or R44 flight time (5 hours total 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 Pilot’s 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 at the time of application submission, award of scholarship, and during scholarship training, and must have joined the Whirly-Girls no later than September 20, 2016. The scholarship must be completed by December 31, 2017.

Robinson Helicopter R22/R44 Safety Course Scholarship

NEW THIS YEAR:  Sponsored by Robinson Helicopter Company (RHC), this scholarship provides a Whirly-Girl currently flying Robinsons the opportunity to attend the R66 Safety Course and build R66 time. RHC provides this 3.5 day course in Torrance, CA, USA, which includes an hour of flight with a safety instructor and sponsors an additional 4 hours of R66 flight time (5 hours total R66 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, Pilot’s Operating Handbook (POH) review, R66 systems, and the Rolls Royce engine. 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 any type of Robinson helicopter model, one hour of which was flown within 30 days prior to attending the course. A Robinson safety course is required by most insurance companies and serves as a CFI refresher. Course valued at $4,500. Requirements: the applicant must be a member in good standing at the time of application submission, award of scholarship, and during scholarship training, and must have joined the Whirly-Girls no later than September 20, 2016. The scholarship must be completed by December 31, 2017.

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 applicant must be a member in good standing at the time of application submission, award of scholarship, and during scholarship training, and must have joined the Whirly-Girls no later than September 20, 2016. The scholarship must be completed by December 31, 2017.

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 or advancing 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 at the time of application submission, award of scholarship, and during scholarship training, and must have joined the Whirly-Girls no later than September 20, 2016. The scholarship must be completed by December 31, 2017.

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. Requirements: the applicant must be an auxiliary member in good standing at the time of application submission, award of scholarship, and during scholarship training, and must have joined the Whirly-Girls no later than September 20, 2016. The scholarship must be completed by December 31, 2017. The scholarship must be completed by December 31, 2017.

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.
  • All applicants must be active members in good standing. Whirly-Girl Add-On applicants must be active auxiliary members. 
  • A single payment of $50 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 $50.00 (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 2016 Whirly-Girls Scholarships Winners:

2016 Whirly-Girls Helicopter Add-On Flight Training Scholarship
Yasmina Platt

2016 Whirly-Girls Memorial Helicopter Flight Training Scholarship
Sarah Melick

2016 Advanced Mountain Flying Scholarship in memory of Keiko Minakata
Sponsored by Nancy Livingston, WG #4, and Western Helicopters

Esther Cranga

2016 Agricultural Services Flight Training Scholarship
Sponsored by Agricultural Systems Inc.

Ashlyn Parker

2016 Airbus Flight Training Scholarship
Sponsored by Airbus Helicopters

Sarah Smith-Dufton

2016 Aircraft Ditching Course Scholarship
Sponsored by Survival Systems USA

Tammie Gillette
Jessica Kanellos
Lorraine Skalla

2016 AirEvac Lifeteam B206 Factory Flight Training Scholarship
Sponsored by AirEvac Lifeteam

Louise Nutter
Cristina Gonzalez Odriozola

2016 Antipodean Aviation and Embry-Riddle Wire and Obstacle Environment Awareness Course Scholarship
Sponsored by Antipodean Aviation and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Dolores Greenlaw

2016 Aviation Specialties NVG Training Scholarship
Sponsored by Aviation Specialties

Adele Dobler

2016 Bristow Group Scholarships
Sponsored by Bristow Group

Tosha Cypher
Marie Fanjoy
Alison Martin
Joni Schultz
Sherri Spagnola

2016 Embry-Riddle Commercial Helicopter Pilot Ground School Course Scholarship
Sponsored by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Tosha Cypher

2016 Erickson Vertical Reference/External Load Flight Training Scholarship
Sponsored by Erickson

Chelsi Nelson

2016 FlightSafety International Bell 206 Initial Pilot Scholarship
Sponsored by FlightSafety International

Christine D’Arbel

2016 Guidance Aviation Helicopter Instrument Rating Scholarship
Sponsored by Guidance Aviation

Lechelle Dippenaar

2016 Oregon Aero CRM/AMRM Instructor Training Scholarship
Sponsored by Oregon Aero

Dolores Greenlaw
Becky Grimsrud
Marnie Hill

2016 Oregon Aero Crew Resource Management Training Scholarship
Sponsored by Oregon Aero

Lorraine Skalla
Sherri Spagnola

Robert and Dayle Walden Memorial Scholarship

Holley Gardel

2016 Robinson R22/R44 Safety Course Scholarship
Sponsored by Robinson Helicopter

Helen Brazier

Our Corporate Sponsors

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