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Megan Lokstet, Ray Scholarship Winner for Lyncrest Chapter 63

By Raquel Lincoln, EAA 1306824, Treasurer, EAA Chapter 63; Board Member, EAA Canada Council

August 2021 – Based out of Lyncrest (CJL5) airport, just outside of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, EAA Chapter 63, has very actively, for the past several years, set a goal to engage youth in aviation. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chapter 63 held a spring and fall Young Eagles rally every year. The chapter has continued to grow, acquiring its own hangar and initiating IMC/VMC events a couple of years ago. Young Eagles day camps and Flying Start days are planned once local COVID restrictions are lifted. With the level of energy and enthusiasm building momentum, the chapter felt it would be a good time to apply for a Ray Scholarship.

In the early spring of 2021, EAA Chapter 63 received exceptional news that it would be given the honour to select a Ray Scholar! A diverse scholarship evaluation committee was formed. The committee developed an application that was promoted within Chapter 63, Springfield Flying Cub, and a number of other aviation groups in Manitoba. Many very impressive applications were received and evaluated. The top three candidates were invited to virtual interviews, resulting in a very qualified applicant being selected: Megan Lokstet.

Megan Lokstet (L) with Tom Stoyka and Raquel Lincoln and that cheque
Megan Lokstet (centre) with Tom Stoyka and Raquel Lincoln and that cheque

At the age of 18, Megan is already a very accomplished young adult. Megan currently attends the University of Manitoba, works part time, and continues to demonstrate her leadership skills as Warrant Officer First Class at her Air Cadet squadron. She is a glider pilot, spending numerous weekends volunteering at the gliding center. Megan's hard work had paid off in that she was selected to attend Power Pilot Training through the Air Cadet Program, until COVID-19 hit. Just when it seemed that Megan would age-out of the cadet program, and her dream of becoming a pilot would evaporate, the EAA Ray Scholarship has kept that dream alive!

Megan and her latest friend
Megan and her latest friend

Megan is well on her way, having already acquired her radio operator's certificate and the P-Star. Megan chose Harv's Air in Steinbach for her flight training, with her first flight on June 30. Megan introduced herself at the chapter's virtual May meeting, attributing her first introduction and love for aviation to a Young Eagles flight she took with a Chapter 63 pilot. That Young Eagles pilot, Mr. Leray, seven years later, forwarded the Ray Scholarship advertisement to Megan. This shows the true value of the Young Eagles program and the volunteers that make it happen.

In communicating about this award Megan wrote, “Hello, I’m Megan Lokstet! This has been the first full week of flying and in that time I have gone from practicing turns, to doing my first few circuits today, and hopefully landing on my own very soon. Thankfully the weather has been kind enough to not melt me into the cockpit! I am looking forward to even more flying and new experiences! I am extremely grateful for such an amazing opportunity to fly!

“As for my progress, I had two flights Monday, got up to stalls, dives, and spirals. Yesterday, ceilings weren’t high enough to fly but today we worked a little bit on stalls and spirals again, and really hunkered down on the circuit and landing. I’ve been doing takeoff already, so once I figure out the circuit and landing I think my first solo will not be too far away.”

Chapter 63 is confident that Megan will be a successful Ray Scholar in no time. In addition to the whole chapter cheering her on, one member, Breanne Harris (first officer with Perimeter Aviation), has committed to mentoring Megan to ensure her success.

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