Local News

Lake Placid student chosen for flight training scholarship

SEBRING-The Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 1240 chose Lake Placid High School student Billy Powers for an $8,000 flight training scholarship Thursday.

Billy is enrolled in the Lake Placid High School Aerospace classes and is an active member of the group.

It all started with his first Young Eagle flight a few years ago.

"The EAA chapter 1240 has two donated aircraft for youth projects, where the youth work on restoring classic aircraft and learning aircraft maintenance and teamwork skills. Billy will be beginning his flight training in Sebring and has a goal of 'soloing' within 6 months, and finishing with his pilot license within 18 months. Billy is an outstanding student and has a great passion for aviation," a news release states.

"EAA chapter congratulates Billy Powers on his scholarship and is looking forward to see his dreams taking flight," they add.

The group has made it a priority to provide programs to help the youth become involved with and explore opportunities in aviation, group representatives add.

Through programs such as EAA Young Eagles where those from ages 8 to 17 can take a free flight in an aircraft with an EAA pilot; earning a certificate; online membership in the national chapter of EAA until age 19; and the ability to complete FAA ground school training online through Embry -Riddle Aeronautical University and Sporty's Pilot shop, a Young Eagles flight is for many the first step in moving on to their pilot's license, the news release adds.

The group's fundraising efforts support the scholarship and youth aviation projects .

On the second Saturday of every month, the chapter holds a pancake breakfast at the EAA Chapter 1240 Aviation Development Center at the Sebring Regional Airport.

An annual fundraising dinner also is held during the Sport Aviation Expo each January.

Featured speakers have included Patty Wagstaff, three-time national aerobatic champion; and Lt. Col. Leo Gray, USAF Ret., one of the original Tuskegee Airmen, known as the "Red Tails."

Next year's speaker is Col. Richard Graham, USAF Ret. Graham was a SR-71 pilot and wing commander. Known as the "Blackbird," the SR-71 was the fastest reconnaissance ever built and flew many critical missions during the Cold War.

"The day it was 'retired,' it set a new speed record flying from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. in 64 minutes," the news release adds.

For more information, contact John Rousch at jhr@strato.net