Scholarship Offerings and Requirements

Whirly-Girls 2023 Scholarships

The list below includes scholarships for the Whirly-Girls 2023 scholarship season. The deadline for scholarships is Sunday, October 2. Recipients will be notified in December. Stay tuned for application information.

Please join us at HAI HELI-EXPO 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia where we will announce the scholarship recipients and celebrate their achievements.


Lora Trout Memorial Flight Training Scholarship:
This scholarship is provided by the Whirly-Girls Scholarship Fund and generous donations in honor of Lora Trout, WG#2101 with a total value of $8,000. This scholarship may be applied towards a Whirly-Girl upgrading or advancing her current helicopter rating.

Lora worked tirelessly as the Director of Media for the Whirly-Girls from 2019 to 2022. She had a 12-year career in wildland firefighting prior to pursuing her helicopter ratings between fire seasons, and flew tours last summer before accepting a CFI and tour pilot position. Her ultimate career goal and dream was to become a short-haul fire pilot. She shared her passion for helicopters by encouraging women to pursue aviation and advance their careers, providing them with the advice and tools they needed to be successful. We are honored and proud to name the scholarship in Lora’s honor this year.
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 September 30, 2022. Scholarship training must be completed by December 31, 2023.

Whirly-Girls Initial or Add-On Helicopter Flight Training Scholarship:
FOR FEMALE STUDENT PILOTS OR FEMALE PILOTS RATED IN AIRCRAFT OTHER THAN HELICOPTERS. This scholarship, funded by the Whirly-Girls Scholarship Fund, is awarded to a female student pilot or certificated female pilot who does not currently have a helicopter rating and provides $8,000 to be awarded upon completion of her initial or 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 September 30, 2022. Scholarship training must be completed by December 31, 2023. If you are not currently an Associate member, you can join now.

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 known 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 Atlanta, Georgia, March 5–9, 2023. The scholarship includes a HAI HELI-EXPO show pass with access to the expo floor, 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 2023, and must have joined the Whirly-Girls no later than September 30, 2022. Preference will be given to a Whirly-Girl who has not previously attended HAI HELI-EXPO.

RETURNING THIS YEAR! Advanced Mountain Flight Training Scholarship
This scholarship, graciously donated by Nancy Livingston Stratford, WG#4, and Colorado Highland Helicopters, 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 skills needed to fly a variety 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-airport operations. The course includes ground school and 10 hours of flight training. Applicants should have at least 250 rotorcraft flight hours and need not be qualified or current in the MD500 series Training will be conducted at Colorado Highland Helicopters in Durango, Colorado. This course is valued at $8,000.
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 September 30, 2022. Scholarship training must be completed by December 31, 2023.

Airbus Inadvertent Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IIMC) Training Scholarship:
Sponsored by Airbus, this scholarship will give a deserving Whirly-Girl the opportunity to attend the Inadvertent Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IIMC) Course at the Airbus Helicopters North American Regional Training Center in Grand Prairie, Texas, USA. This is a two-day course that provides comprehensive IIMC and Unusual Attitude Recovery ground and flight training using Helisim LLC’s AS350 Full Flight Simulator (FFS). More information about this course is available here: https://www.airbus.com/content/dam/channel-specific/website-/us/training/pilot-courses/as350-h125/AS350-IIMC-course-POI.pdf Course value is approximately $4,900.
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 September 30, 2022. Scholarship training must be completed by December 31, 2023.

Bristow Group Initial Helicopter Flight Training Scholarship:
FOR FEMALE STUDENT PILOTS CURRENTLY SEEKING AN INITIAL HELICOPTER CERTIFICATE. This scholarship, sponsored by Bristow Group, is awarded to a female student pilot who does not currently have a helicopter rating and provides $5,000 to be awarded upon completion of her initial certificate. 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 September 30, 2021. Scholarship training must be completed by December 31, 2023.
If you are not currently an Associate member, you can join now.

Edward M. Thurn Memorial Scholarship
In its seventh year, 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: each applicant must be a helicopter pilot with at least a private pilot certificate/license. The applicant should clearly indicate in their submission how the training is expected to assist her in her helicopter aviation career. 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 September 30, 2022. Scholarship training must be completed by December 31, 2023.

Erickson & Volo Mission Vertical Reference/External Load Scholarship:
This scholarship is sponsored by Erickson and Volo Mission to provide a career-minded Whirly-Girl who needs vertical reference/external load training for a flight position. This course includes 18 hours of flight time in the R44, 10 hours of classroom/ground instruction, and 3 hours of field operations instruction. She need not be turbine qualified. Training must be completed at Volo Mission in Campbell, Texas, and accommodation is included. This course is valued at $19,095.
Requirements: the applicant must be a helicopter pilot with at least a commercial pilot certificate/license with at least 1000 hrs total time. 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 September 30, 2022. Scholarship training must be completed by December 31, 2023.

FlightSafety International Bell 206/Bell 407 Scholarship (PENDING):
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 in the Bell 206 or Bell 407 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 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 September 30, 2022. Scholarship training must be completed by December 31, 2023.

Garmin GTN & Flight Display Pilot Training Class Scholarship:
Garmin Aviation Training is providing THREE 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 $700. Training will occur at Garmin’s headquarters in Olathe, Kansas. To learn more about this course, please visit https://www.garmin.com/en-US/p/580290/pn/AVPL-E22080-A1.
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 September 30, 2022. Scholarship training must be completed by December 31, 2023.

Garmin Aviation Online Training Course Scholarship:
Garmin Aviation Training is providing TWO scholarships of the recipient’s choice for the GTN Essentials 2.0 eLearning course, the G1000H NXi Fundamentals eLearning course, OR the G1000H NXi Advanced-IFR eLearning course. These courses provide comprehensive training on Garmin’s aviation systems and devices for a variety of pilot usages and scenarios. Visit https://fly.garmin.com/fly-garmin/training/ to learn more about the value and applicability of each of these courses to your training and career.
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 September 30, 2022. Scholarship training must be completed by December 31, 2023.

Leading Edge Flight Academy and Central Oregon Community College Helicopter Instrument Rating Scholarship:
Sponsored by Leading Edge Flight Academy & Central Oregon Community College, this scholarship provides the opportunity to receive helicopter instrument rating training. Leading Edge Flight Academy provides 21 hours of flight training in the Robinson R44 and 30 hours of ground instruction. 14 hours of flight training in an Advanced Aviation Training Device (simulator) will be provided by Central Oregon Community College. Training will take place in Bend, Oregon, USA. Course value is approximately: $18,285
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 September 30, 2022. Scholarship training must be completed by December 31, 2023.

NEW THIS YEAR!!! MD Helicopters MD500 Flight Training Scholarship
Sponsored by MD Helicopters, this scholarship is awarded to a Whirly-Girl who possesses at least a private pilot helicopter certificate/license and has landing currency in helicopters. This training program includes initial type training, recurrent training, and inadvertent IMC training in the MD500. This five-day course consists of academic training and 5 hours of flight time. Training will be available at MD Helicopter Headquarters in Mesa, Arizona, USA. Course value: $10,000.
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 September 30, 2022. Scholarship training must be completed by December 31, 2023.

RETURNING THIS YEAR! Oregon Aero CRM/AMRM Instructor Training Scholarship
This remote learning, self-paced Crew Resource Management Instructor (CRMI) course, sponsored by Oregon Aero’s Randy Mains, will be awarded to THREE deserving Whirly-Girls. Recipients will be provided with a 300-page, color, CRMI manual along with a flash drive with over 5 GB of information, to include 14 digital PowerPoint instruction modules that follow the course manual, video clips, pictures, slides, and over 20 printable PDF files applicable to CRM subjects to facilitate the individuals’ self-study and future instruction when giving the course. Once the recipient has thoroughly studied all the material found in the manual fully, the course will culminate with 4 hours of instruction and to answer any questions via Zoom with Randy. The manual comes with a signed course certificate of completion. Preference will be given to applicants with a CFI certificate who have had some exposure to CRM course training.
Requirements: each 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 30, 2022. Scholarship training must be completed by December 31, 2023.

NEW THIS YEAR!!! PHI Aviation Bell 407 Scholarship
Sponsored by PHI Aviation, this scholarship provides TWO Whirly-Girls the opportunity to attend a Bell 407 Flight Training Course valued at $10,000. This five-day course includes 20 hours of ground school and 6 hours of flight training completed at FlightSafety International in Lafayette, Louisiana, and a tour of the PHI headquarters facility. This comprehensive, simulation-based course is designed to meet the professional training needs of all Bell 407 operators and provides instruction in the following subject areas: aircraft systems, hydraulics/flight controls, avionics, flight planning, performance, and much more.
Requirements: the applicant must be a commercial helicopter pilot with instrument rating and a class I or II medical certificate. Preference will be given to those applicants who have at least 1200 flight hours in helicopters and are interested in working in the offshore oil industry. Each 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 30, 2022. Scholarship training must be completed by December 31, 2023.

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 scholarship is open to any rated helicopter pilot who has at least 5 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. Course valued at $3,750.
Requirements: each applicant must be a helicopter pilot with at least a private pilot certificate/license, preferably with an instrument rating, and is working towards their flight instructor certificate. The applicant must have at least 5 hours of model specific (R22/R44) Robinson Helicopter time. 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 September 30, 2022. Scholarship training must be completed by December 31, 2023.

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 the Robinson R66 helicopter. A Robinson safety course is required by most insurance companies. Course valued at $5,270.
Requirements: each applicant must be a helicopter pilot with at least a commercial pilot certificate/license, preferably with an instrument rating, and is working towards their flight instructor certificate. The applicant must have at least 3 hours of model specific (R66) Robinson Helicopter time. 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 September 30, 2022. Scholarship training must be completed by December 31, 2023.

NEW THIS YEAR!!! Southern Utah University (SUU) Career Flight Training Scholarship
Southern Utah University (SUU) is providing a scholarship to a woman interested in attending the university’s aviation program. This is an initial flight training scholarship that will provide a female student with a total of $20,000 to be used for flight training while attending SUU.
The recipient will begin flight training during the 2023-2024 school year at SUU and must complete her first solo in helicopters during her first semester. After successful completion of her first semester, the recipient will receive $10,000 to be applied to her second semester, during which she will complete her private pilot certification. During her third semester, the recipient will complete her instrument rating and then receive the second $10,000 to apply to her fourth semester, where she will complete her commercial rating.
Requirements: each applicant must be a United States Citizen and must have NO prior helicopter ratings. Applicants must have the intention of completing all helicopter ratings and the college degree program at SUU. She 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 as an Associate no later than September 30, 2022. She will be required to enroll at Southern Utah University no later than June 2023, to begin flight training during the 2023-2024 school year.
If you are not currently an Associate member, you can join now.

Survival Systems USA Aviation Survival & Egress Training:
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. This scholarship, valued at $1,400, is provided by Survival Systems USA. Each pilot taking this course should have at least a private pilot helicopter certificate/license and is required to have no physical limitations that would prevent her from participating in strenuous physical training. Training will take place at Survival Systems USA in Groton, Connecticut, USA.
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 September 30, 2022. Scholarship training must be completed by December 31, 2023.

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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 $55 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.