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Lightspeed Aviation Foundation, Ray Scholarship Program Team Up to Benefit Young Pilots

  • Lightspeed Aviation
    Lightspeed Aviation and EAA announce a Zulu 3 headset benefit for Ray Aviation Scholarship recipients during a news conference on April 3, 2019, at the SUN 'n FUN Fly-In at Lakeland, Florida. Pictured are Rick Larsen (left), EAA Vice President of Communities and Member Programs, and Allan Schrader, Lightspeed Aviation founder and president. (EAA photo)

April 4, 2019 - The Lightspeed Aviation Foundation is recognizing the accomplishments of young aviators who are EAA Ray Aviation Scholarship recipients by awarding a Lightspeed Zulu 3 headset to each recipient on the path to successfully completing flight training.

The headset donations, announced at the SUN 'n FUN International Fly-In & Expo at Lakeland, Florida, recognize the importance of the Ray Aviation Scholarships, which award up to $10,000 to each recipient through EAA. Those scholarships allow young people to take flight training in their local regions. The Ray Foundation has provided $1 million to EAA to fund these scholarships for up to 100 young people. The program seeks to improve the flight training success rate from the current 20 percent level to 80 percent for those participating in the scholarship program.

"EAA has successfully shown its commitment to growing aviation through participation by young people in such programs as Young Eagles and now the Ray Aviation Scholarship initiative," said Allan Schrader, founder and president of Lightspeed Aviation. "The Lightspeed Aviation Foundation, through its 2019 Growth Initiative, wants to empower great programs, such as this one from EAA, to make them even more effective in expanding and promoting a vibrant pilot community."

EAA announced the first two Ray Aviation Scholarship recipients in February. The program is managed by EAA and administered through its chapter network, which identifies candidates and mentors them through flight training. More than 200 EAA chapters from all regions of the country have applied to participate in the scholarship program.

"The leadership of the Lightspeed Aviation Foundation in supporting and encouraging efforts to grow the aviation community is an excellent example of understanding the importance of focusing on new pilot growth," said Jack J. Pelton, EAA CEO and chairman of the board. "Through programs such as Ray Aviation Scholarships, our goal is twofold: To inspire and welcome more young people who want to pursue their personal dreams of flight, and to boost the success rate of those who begin flight training through consistent mentorship and recognition. An enormous thank-you goes to Lightspeed for its support."

A Lightspeed Zulu 3 headset will be awarded to each scholar upon completion of their solo flight and ground school requirements, as a step toward ultimately completing flight training. Using social media tools and benchmarks to maximize reach, their stories will exemplify the possibilities available to young people in aviation and the resources available to them in their local regions.

"Watching young people achieve their dreams of flight is our objective," Schrader said. "As tools for enhanced flight training, we're thrilled our headsets will help these scholars earn their wings and facilitate clear growth for aviation."

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