Scholarship Offerings and Requirements

Whirly-Girls 2020 Scholarships

Here is the list of 2020 scholarships. Stay tuned for additional offerings and application information.

Whirly-Girls Memorial Flight Training Scholarship:
This scholarship is provided by the Whirly-Girls Scholarship Fund 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 a Whirly-Girl to be applied towards upgrading or advancing her current helicopter rating. (The scholarship is typically applied toward Commercial, Instrument, Instructor, ATP, or Turbine Transition Training.) Requirements: the applicant must be a helicopter pilot with at least a private pilot certificate/license. She 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 August 23, 2019. Scholarship training must be completed by December 31, 2020.

Whirly-Girls Helicopter Add-on Flight Training Scholarship:
FOR FEMALE PILOTS RATED IN AIRCRAFT OTHER THAN HELICOPTERS. This scholarship, funded by the Whirly-Girls Scholarship Fund, 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 associate 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 August 23, 2019. Scholarship training must be completed by December 31, 2020. If you are not currently an Associate member, you can join now.

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. at the Riverside Municipal Airport, California, USA. Value $6,500 plus. Requirements: the applicant must be a helicopter pilot with at least a private certificate/license. She 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 August 23, 2019.  Scholarship training must be completed by December 31, 2020.

Garmin GTN & G500/600 Course Scholarship:
Garmin Aviation Training is providing two scholarships to Whirly-Girls who wish to improve their knowledge in how to maximize the benefits of Garmin equipment capabilities and increase their confidence in the use and integration of Garmin equipment as part of their flight operations. This course is valued at $795. Location of the Garmin course is dependent on the course date attended by each recipient. Requirements: each applicant must be a helicopter pilot with at least a private pilot certificate/license. She must also 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 August 23, 2019. Scholarship training must be completed by December 31, 2020.

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. The CRMI course, valued at $2,000, will take place in Orlando, Florida between February 21 – 25, 2020. It 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: each applicant must be a helicopter pilot with at least a private certificate/license. She 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 August 23, 2019. Scholarship training must be completed by December 31, 2020.

Night Flight Concepts Night Vision Goggles Initial Pilot Qualification Scholarship:
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 Bell 206 turbine helicopter. Requirements: each applicant must be a helicopter pilot with at least a private certificate/license. She 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 August 23, 2019. 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. Scholarship training must be completed by December 31, 2020.

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 total hours). 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: each applicant must be a helicopter pilot with at least a private pilot certificate/license. She must also 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 August 23, 2019. Scholarship training must be completed by December 31, 2020.

Robinson Helicopter R66 Safety Course Scholarship:
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: each applicant must be a helicopter pilot with at least a private pilot certificate/license. She must also 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 August 23, 2019. Scholarship training must be completed by December 31, 2020.

Survival Systems USA Aircraft Ditching Course Scholarship:
Survival Systems USA offers this course to two deserving Whirly-Girls to learn the knowledge and skills 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. These two scholarships, each valued at $1,400, are provided by Survival Systems USA. The pilots taking this course should have at least a private pilot helicopter certificate/license 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: each applicant must be a helicopter pilot with at least a private pilot certificate/license. She 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 August 23, 2019. Scholarship training must be completed by December 31, 2020.

2020 Edward M. Thurn Memorial Scholarship
The Edward M. Thurn Memorial Scholarship provides $15,000 to any Whirly-Girl to be applied toward upgrading her current helicopter rating. It may be applied toward commercial, instrument, flight instructor, airline transport pilot (ATP), night vision goggle (NVG) or turbine transition training to advance a candidate’s career.

Edward M. Thurn, a strong advocate for advancing women in the aviation industry, joined the US Army in 1966, earning his wings in 1967 at Ft. Wolters, Texas. He held rotorcraft ATP and fixed-wing private pilot ratings with 9600 hours of flight time in 19 different models of aircraft. His aviation experiences were many: serving in Vietnam as a Huey UH-1 pilot, working as an air traffic controller in Indianapolis, flying missions for spraying, moving cargo, acting as a medevac with Evergreen Helicopters, serving as a corporate transport pilot with Paramount Aviation, flying with the National Guard, and serving as a Captain for Colgate-Palmolive Corporation. Requirements: the applicant must be a helicopter pilot with at least a private certificate/license. She 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 August 23, 2019. Scholarship training must be completed by December 31, 2020. The applicant should clearly indicate in their submission how the training is expected to assist in her helicopter aviation career.

Whirly-Girls Jean Tinsley Memorial Heli-Expo Scholarship:
This scholarship is provided by the Whirly-Girls Scholarship Fund and the Jean Tinsley estate. Jean Tinsley, WG #118, was a strong advocate of camaraderie and mentorship among female aviators. In commemoration of Jean’s love of meetings, also know as “hoverings,” one Whirly-Girl will receive a trip to join the Whirly-Girls for the Annual Awards Banquet and Whirly-Girls events at HAI HELI-EXPO in Anaheim, California, January 26 – 30, 2020. Scholarship includes an HAI HELI-EXPO show pass with access to the expo floor, one HAI HELI-EXPO Professional Education Course, training seminars, and associated events; five nights’ shared accommodations; $600 travel and meal stipend, and a Whirly-Girls Awards Banquet ticket. This scholarship is valued up to $2400. Requirements: each applicant must be a helicopter pilot with at least a private pilot certificate/license. She must be a member in good standing at time of application submission, award of scholarship, and during the HAI HELI-EXPO event in 2020, and must have joined the Whirly-Girls no later than August 23, 2019. Preference will be given to a Whirly-Girl who has not previously attended HAI HELI-EXPO.

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Whirly-Girls Scholarship Selection Factors, Eligibility & Process

In evaluating scholarship applications, the judges look for evidence that you have a set goal in mind for the scholarship training, that there is a good probability that you will succeed, that you will go on to reap benefits from your training, and that you are the type of person that will share your talents with others.

Judges look for evidence of the following:

  • Goal for the flight training specified.
  • Experience, service to others, and what others have to say about you through your letters of recommendation.
  • Achievements in life, particularly in aviation and the helicopter industry.
  • Attitude toward self and others, as shown through the entire application package.
  • Neatness, ability to follow instructions, completeness and accuracy of your application.
  • Reliability, motivation, and commitment to success as shown through prior employment, jobs and activities, and service to others.
  • Dedication to your career as shown through prior employment, especially in the helicopter industry.
  • Ability to accept responsibility and teamwork as shown through prior jobs and activities.
  • Financial need.

Be sure to proofread your answers carefully prior to submission to be sure they express your intentions accuracy and are grammatically correct. You may wish to draft the essay questions separately and copy them into the form once you are satisfied.

 

 

  • Scholarship winners must provide the scholarship committee a plan to use the scholarship prior to December 31 of the year the scholarship was awarded.

 

  • Scholarship recipients are also asked to write an article for the Collective Pitch newsletter about their scholarship experience and volunteer at least 5 hours for the Whirly-Girls.

 

  • There is a non-refundable application fee of $50 USD.

1. After applications are submitted, the Whirly-Girls scholarship committee reviews the content to make sure each applicant is qualified for the specified scholarships, and all required information is included.

2. Confidential application information is removed, and the remaining data is then compiled for review by sponsors and external judges.

3. Sponsors and independent judges rank applicants in order of qualification.

4. The Whirly-Girls scholarship committee considers each applicant’s scholarship ranking requests as well as the sponsors’ and judges’ ratings. They make the final decisions on which applicants earn a scholarship.

5. Scholarships are awarded at the Whirly-Girls annual awards banquet during the HAI HELI-EXPO convention, usually held in the first week of March, and must be used by each scholarship recipient by the end of the calendar year it was awarded. Members may apply for up an unlimited number of scholarships, but each applicant will be awarded at most one scholarship per year.