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Letter From a Very Grateful Ray Scholar
December 17, 2021 – EAA Ray Scholar Henry Marshall recently soloed, and decided to share his gratitude for the opportunity to learn to fly.
EAA Scholarship Coordinators and Members,
I am writing to thank you for your extremely generous support on my journey to becoming a private pilot. It was with great pride and joy back in the month of July that I learned of being selected as a recipient of the Ray Aviation Scholarship. The award was presented by our president Bruce Brock in front of Chapter 282 at our July Young Eagles event. This was very special to me as I took my first flight in a small aircraft while attending a Young Eagles rally.
There have been so many memories made during these past few months of training while at my flight school (Clearwater Aviation) and while taking part in various chapter events. My flight training has been carried out in a low-wing Tampico 9 aircraft manufactured by Socata. Clearwater Aviation has been very accommodating in clearing aircraft availability and in support of the Ray Aviation Scholarship. Unfortunately, the Florida weather has not been so accommodating and I have had to reschedule or cancel quite a few lessons due to the effect it had on my training flights. Alex, my instructor, has been very flexible in scheduling to make the solo possible within 90 days. Bruce Brock, who I was afforded the opportunity to fly with, also has a low-wing aircraft which happens to be an experimental RV-7A. We spent a couple of days around his hangar recapping moments of his long flight experience in the military and airlines. Vice President Dave was very instrumental in being a mentor providing flight time and piloting tips both before the Ray Aviation Scholarship and during the training start. He and I too shared some memorable times in the air. Apart from the monthly chapter meeting (which has been held on Zoom) I was present at our Chapter 282 October Young Eagles rally at which I assisted with the operations, marshaling aircraft and greeting Young Eagles before and after their flight. Seeing their sheer joy and elation only fuels my flying bug even more!
The excitement has been incredible, but as I come upon my next stage of training after my solo (which was an absolutely breathtaking experience) I wish to make sure that those who helped me reach this point are recognized. By awarding me the Ray Aviation Scholarship, you have lightened the financial burden, which allowed me to focus more on the most important aspect of flight training: flying. EAA’s generosity, as well as that of the Ray Aviation Foundation, EAA Chapter 282, Bruce Brock, Dave Harvey, David Boyle, Clearwater Aviation, and of course my awesome instructor Alex 'Stash' Castacio for the continued mentorship, will not be forgotten!
I apologize for the delay but hope this finds you well.
Ray Aviation Scholar