Helicopters Magazine

HFI awards professional training scholarships

March 3, 2017  By Helicopter Foundation International

The Helicopter Foundation International (HFI) has announced the 19 recipients of scholarships for 2017. Provided to aviation students around the world, these scholarships support HFI’s long-standing mission to educate the next generation of helicopter professionals.

This year’s awards include six scholarships for students in helicopter maintenance technician programs, four scholarships to pilots working towards earning their commercial helicopter ratings, one for safety professionals and the remainder going towards established maintenance professionals seeking training for specific helicopters or components.

“We congratulate the recipients of this year’s scholarships,” said Allison McKay, vice president of HFI. “These students are dedicated to pursuing a career in the helicopter industry, and with the generous donations to HFI we are able to help offset some of the financial burden.”

Each year, HFI funds and awards up to six $2,500 scholarships for students in maintenance technician programs. This year, HFI awarded the scholarships to: Taylor Powell of Fort Madison, Iowa; David Betts of Cotton Tree, Queensland, Australia; Mykhailo Matiukh of West Springfield, Massachusetts; Paul Pelletier of Columbia, Connecticut; Alexander Izucar-Ramires of Idaho Falls, Idaho; and Chanda Kuy of Kissimmee, Florida.

Additionally, HFI presents four $5,000 scholarships to pilots working towards earning their commercial helicopter rating so that they pursue employment as a helicopter pilot. This year’s recipients are: Bendikt Grasl of Hillsboro, Oregon; Patrick Yeager of Champlin, Minnesota; Joshua Peterson of Big Piney, Wyoming; and John Kendall of Beaverton, Oregon.


HFI also proudly offers the Michelle North Scholarship for Safety. Ms. North was a past chairman of Helicopter Association International’s (HAI) Safety Committee, an educator, and an industry-recognized helicopter safety expert and advocate. This scholarship, presented in her honor, provides the recipient full tuition to the HFI Safety Management program at HELI-EXPO. This year’s winner is Bryan Jeffers of Beaverton, Oregon.

HFI also oversees the Bill Sanderson Aviation Maintenance Scholarships, administering the program on behalf of HAI’s Technical Committee. Offered in conjunction with airframe, engine, and avionics manufacturers, recipients use the scholarships to attend airframe- or equipment-specific training courses and stipends of up to $1,600. Manufacturers participating in the program for 2017 include Airbus, Bell Helicopter, Honeywell, Leonardo, MD Helicopters, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce and Safran Turbomeca. Recipients of the scholarships and stipends this year include: Zachary Reese, Airbus; Nathaniel Esko, Bell Helicopter; Jason Morely, Rolls-Royce; Michelle Zeigler, Leonardo (Agusta Westland) ; Breannan Winder, Pratt & Whitney; Anika Schingnitz, MD Helicopters; Brett Worden, Safran Turbomeca; and Lynsey Justice, Honeywell.

“We encourage students around the world to pursue their dreams of flying and maintaining helicopters,” added McKay. “The application process for the 2018 scholarships begins on September 1st, and interested students can find more information at our website: www.helicopterfoundation.org.”


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