Getting a pilot’s license is usually reserved for those with plenty of extra cash, not for wheelers trying to break even each month. That is why Able Flight out of Chapel Hill, N.C., is an organization after my own heart. This group passes out aviation scholarships to a handful of lucky wheelers each year.
Recipients come to Purdue University for six weeks between May and June to learn how to fly, which usually costs $9,000 or more. But Able Flight pays for it all, from ground lessons to flight lessons.
A scholarship to help wheelers earn their pilot’s license is such a great thing. To get one’s license is a lot of work. The five Able Flight graduates in 2013, for example, logged 260 flight hours with an instructor, 20 hours of ground training, attended a formal ground school class and flew two hours every day while there.
Most scholarship recipients have some upper-body movement, but full upper-body movement isn’t a requirement — meaning lower quads can definitely apply. Anyone with a disability, including vets, are encouraged to apply. Since this awesome program’s inception, 28 students have received their pilot’s license.
Flying is one of those activities that seem to be made for us, offering us the chance to break from the confines of our physical disability. Bravo to Able Flight for bringing this opportunity to those who truly need it, are willing to work for it, and without question will appreciate it.
To apply for a scholarship with Able Flight, check out the link below. A proof of disability is required and you can apply at anytime. Scholarship recipients however are typically announced usually in early April, and a flexible schedule is required. Good luck earning your wings!