Sponsors

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Agricultural Air Services

Air Evac Lifeteam

Antipodean Aviation

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Erickson Incorporated

FlightSafety International Inc.

Oregon Aero, Inc.

Thank you for your continued support!

About Some of our Sponsors

Guidance Aviation

It’s Time for More Women in Helicopter Aviation, edited by the Whirly-Girls editing teamGuidance Aviation has been named a 2015 level one sponsor of Whirly-Girls International, in addition to providing the Guidance Aviation Instrument Rating Scholarship for 2016.

“Over the past 16 years, I have watched drastic fluctuations in female student pilot and flight instructor populations,” remarks John Stonecipher, President and CEO of Guidance Aviation. “These fluctuations indicate the industry needs support in improving these populations and striking a healthier balance. I am hopeful that this partnership is the next step to building a strong foundation for a well-established development track for female helicopter pilots. Whirly-Girls has always provided valuable guidance, resources, and mentorship to their constituents. It’s time.”

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Guidance Aviation has committed a total of $18,000 in cash donations to be evenly distributed over the next three years to support the Whirly-Girls’ plans to revamp its website and enhance its reach to future female helicopter pilots. And they are donating 20 hours of a marketing agency’s time. This three-year commitment by Guidane Aviation represents an approximate value of more than $30,000.

The 2016 Guidance Aviation Instrument Rating Scholarship includes:

  • 30 hours flight training in a Robinson R44 helicopter with fuel and flight instructor (CFI-I)
  • 45 hours in the X-Copter helicopter aviation training device with CFII
  • 15 hours one-on-one ground instruction with CFII
  • 40 hours per week of free tutoring
  • Unlimited practice time in X-Copter simulator
  • FAA designated examiner fees for up to two checkrides
  • FAA written testing fees for up to two written tests
  • Online instructional videos for instrument helicopter aeronautical knowledge
  • Computer-based training for instrument helicopter aeronautical knowledge
  • Online instructional videos for instrument helicopter flight maneuvers
  • Includes all collegiate tuition and fees

Prospective female applicants are encouraged to go to the guidance.aero/2016-guidance-aviation-instrument-scholarship to find out more about the Guidance Aviation instrument scholarship. Or email Whirly-Girl#694 Colleen Chen at scholarship@whirlygirls.org.Guidance Aviation is an FAA-approved Part 141 helicopter flight training institution with flight operations in Prescott, Arizona. and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Through their collegiate partner programs, graduates earn both their associate of applied science degree, aviation technology in helicopters, and the necessary FAA certificates and ratings (CFII) to become professional helicopter pilots. Guidance Aviation is a military friendly organization and the majority its employees and students are U.S. military veterans.

First the scholarship sponsors and judges rate/rank the applicants in order of qualification, then Whirly-Girls scholarship committee reviews each application. They consider each applicant’s scholarship request, the sponsor’s and judge’s ratings, and make the final decisions on which applicants earns a scholarship.

Scholarships are awarded at the Whirly-Girls annual banquet during the HAI’s HELI-EXPO convention, usually held in the first few days of March, and must be used by the 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.


Many of our scholarship awards are based on the independent and objective judging of Tom Doyle. He judges each application for each scholarship based on the strict criteria set by the sponsors and the Whirly-Girls scholarship committee.

Thomas Doyle is a commercial pilot with single- and multi-engine land and instrument ratings. He started flying in 1965 and has several thousand hours, flying for pleasure, business, sky watch, research and air taxi.

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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, having also worked there as a data systems specialist in several roles including: 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 colleges and universities. He continues his education today by taking online 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 Senior Program Manager at L3 Link Simulation and Training  in Texas. He is the 2017 recipient of the Helicopter Association International W.A. “Dub” Blessing Flight Instructor of the Year Award.

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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 March 2005, which he enjoyed for two years before stepping up into the prestigious role of General Manager when Bristow Group purchased Bristow Academy in 2007. Later, as Commercial Programs Manager and EASA Head of Training, Nick remained current as a pilot in the Bell 206 and Sikorsky 300 CBi, and was an EASA Flight Examiner with 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 Mansfield, Texas.

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.

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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 bachelor of science in professional aeronautics from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. He is a FAA licensed airline transport pilot, holding a Class 1 medical certificate.