EAA Chapter 186 has been selected again to grant a $10,000 Ray Aviation Scholarship to a highly motivated chapter member (age 16 to 19) who is eager to earn his/her Private Pilot License. This rigorous program requires monthly progress checks, EAA chapter participation and a commitment to future chapter participation. This program requires the selected scholar to be dedicated to finishing this endeavor in one year. Our chapter’s ability to grant another scholarship next year will directly hinge on the success of this year’s scholar.

Chapter 186 would like to hear from you if you would like to be considered for this opportunity. Good flying weather is coming! Do you want to spend your summer at the boring pool and beach or playing video games? Wouldn’t you rather study aviation weather, navigation and airplane systems and take flying lessons? We are looking for candidates that will commit to spending their free time to learning to fly. The EAA recommends 3 to 4 flight lessons per week. One flying lesson per week makes progressing through the lessons difficult. Accomplishment of the majority of training before summer ends will make Private Pilot License training completion during the school year easier.


The scholar and parents will choose the flight school or CFI. Families should be prepared for the cost of training for the Private Pilot License to exceed $10,000, possibly by $2,000 to $4,000. The terms of the scholarship agreement require our chapter contact to conduct monthly progress checks with the instructor and scholar. Required milestones of progress are:

–Begin flight training within 60 days of award,
–Solo within 3 months of the first scholarship installment,
–Pass the FAA Private Pilot Knowledge exam within 6 months of the first scholarship installment,
–Pass the Private Pilot check-ride within 12 months of the first scholarship installment.

Funding will be from EAA headquarters to our chapter account. The initial installment will be $4,000. After the first solo flight, another $4,000 will be available. After the FAA knowledge exam is passed, the final $2,000 will be available. We will distribute funds directly to the flight school. Direct flight training costs are covered, including aircraft rent, instructor fees, fuel, flying club dues, flight school insurance (if required) and examiner fees. If the scholar has obtained the license using less than $10,000, there are provisions for using some of the unused money toward additional flying by the scholar. This is not a reimbursement program, therefore if you have already soloed or passed the written, this scholarship cannot pay for those milestones already reached. You may still be considered, but the scholarship will pay less than $10,000.


A current FAA aviation medical certificate is required for consideration for this scholarship. The scholarship hopefuls will be between the ages of 16 to 19, commit to two hours per month of chapter volunteer service, submit required progress reports during training, begin training within 60 days of award and complete training in 12 months.

Interested candidates are invited to send an email to rsp10000@aol.com with answers to the following questions:

1. Name and date of birth,
2. What is the date on your FAA Aviation Medical Certificate?
3. How many Young Eagle flights have you taken?
4. Have you completed the Sporty’s Learn-to-Fly course? If not, what volume have you completed?
5. Have you attended the EAA Air Academy? What dates?
6. Have you passed the FAA Private Pilot Knowledge exam (“the written”)?
7. Describe any formal flight training you have received,
8. Have you soloed? If yes, on what date?
9. In 100 words or less, discuss your commitment to flight training during the summer. How much time each week will you commit toward flying lessons? Will you also be employed? Will you participate in sports or other school activities during the summer?
10. In 100 words or less, discuss your commitment to flight training during the school year. How much time each week will you commit toward flying lessons? What other school activities will you have to manage?

Please submit your information by March 31. Once we select our scholarship recipient, he/she will be instructed to complete an on-line EAA application. That application will include questions and a 250-word essay regarding how they will fund the costs in excess of the award, why they want this experience, how often they can fly and how they will support the local chapter.

Bob Prange
EAA Chapter 186
Ray Aviation Scholarship Coordinator