Kyle Fleiger, a recent Versailles High School graduate has received a $10,000 scholarship for private pilot flight training thanks to EAA Chapter 1254 of Camdenton and the Ray Aviation Scholarship program administered by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) in Oshkosh, Wisc.
The scholarship is designed to support recipients through both written and practical segments of flight training that are part of successful FAA pilot certification. Fleiger will be training at Hangar Flying LLC based at Warsaw and intends to complete his training by mid-August before enrolling in the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. His ultimate goal is to pursue a professional pilot career.
The Ray Aviation Scholarship program provides $10,000 scholarships to young people who are seeking to learn to fly and has provided $1.55 million to fund the scholarship program in 2022. The program, which began in 2019, seeks to improve the flight training success rate from the current industry standards of 20 percent to 80 percent for program participants.
Local EAA chapters are responsible for identifying youth for the Ray Aviation Scholarship program and mentoring them through flight training. Chapter 1254 has had five candidates selected to participate in the program in the last four years. The Ray Foundation is furthering the legacy of James C. Ray, an EAA lifetime member who was dedicated to aviation and youth education.
Since its introduction, the EAA Ray Aviation Scholarship program has allowed more than 180 youths to complete their flight training and receiving their pilot licenses.