With seven new awards, Able Flight continues to fulfill its mission of providing flight training scholarships for people with disabilities. The 2015 flight training scholarship recipients come from throughout the country and face challenges from a variety of disabilities.
This year’s class includes three veterans who were wounded or injured either during service or afterwards, a young man who is deaf, and several people who use wheelchairs due to paralysis. Six of the students will take part in Able Flight’s joint training program with Purdue University’s Department of Aviation Technology, and the seventh will earn an advanced certificate at another location.
In a first for Able Flight, scholarship recipient Randy Green of Missouri will train for his ATP certificate. Green was born without hands or feet and is already a Commercial pilot and CFI. He will train at a facility in Texas.
Receiving scholarships to train at Purdue are Scot Abrams of New York, a former Marine who was serving as a police officer and was paralyzed in an accident while on duty, Stephen Carrier of Louisiana who became paralyzed in a motor vehicle accident, James Lowman, a retired Army veteran and helicopter pilot from North Carolina who was severely injured during combat operations in Iraq, Bernard Dime of Arizona who was paralyzed in a skydiving accident, Raymart Tinio of California who is deaf, and John Robinson of North Carolina who is a Navy veteran who was paralyzed in an auto accident.
In addition to this year’s recipients, wounded veteran Sgt. Adam Kisielewski (U.S Marines-retired) of Maryland will train for his private pilot certificate. Kisielewski earned his Sport Pilot certificate through Able Flight in 2012 and was awarded a scholarship to upgrade to Private Pilot in 2014 and will complete his training this year.
Able Flight’s Charles Stites said, “Our class of 2015 will soon experience the demanding and intensive program we have designed with our partners at Purdue University. This will be our sixth year working with Purdue, and our graduates of that program will be guests of honor when they receive their Able Flight Wings on stage at EAA AirVenture just weeks after becoming licensed pilots. Our thanks go to all of our generous sponsors and donors who make this unique program possible.”