The seven members of Able Flight’s “Class of 2023” were pinned with their pilot’s wings at a ceremony on July 25th at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. They were honored after months of study that concluded in them passing their check rides after training both online and then in-person for six weeks at Purdue University.
Receiving their pilot wings were Tyler Cernik of Michigan, Bobby Dove of Alabama, Melvin Du of Colorado, Leslie Irby of Georgia, Andrew Kurka of Alaska, Dijon McCorkle of Mississippi and William Scheremet of Minnesota.
Also honored at the ceremony were Volunteer of the Year Amalia Yoandies and Flight Instructor of the Year Cameron Sansone. Presenting those awards were Able Flight supporters Bob Seidel and Aviation Hall of Fame member, Patty Wagstaff.
In a special announcement this year it was revealed that Cirrus Aircraft has now signed on to sponsor a scholarship for an Able Flight pilot for the next three years.
The scholarships for each of the 2023 pilots were supported by generous contributions by leading aviation companies and through grants provided by donors. The following pilots were designated as the recipients of scholarships named for supporters:
Andrew Kurka is the 2023 recipient of the Tempest Aero Group Scholarship and was pinned by John Herman and Mike Allen of Tempest.
Tyler Cernik is the 2023 recipient of the ForeFlight Scholarship and was pinned by Corbin Fanning of ForeFlight.
Leslie Irby is the 2023 recipient of the Blue 7 Scholarship and was pinned by donor Zack Reising.
William Scheremet is the 2023 recipient of the Muncie Aviation Scholarship and was pinned by Martin Ingram of Muncie.
Bobby Dove is the recipient of the 2023 Adam Kisielewski Scholarship and was pinned by Veterans Airlift Command founder Walt Fricke.
Dijon McCorkle is the recipient of the 2023 Mark Hogan Memorial Scholarship and was pinned by his son Sebastian McCorkle and Able Flight founder Charles Stites.
Melvin Du was honored as the first recipient of the new Cirrus Aircraft Scholarship and was pinned by Patrick Sniffen of Cirrus.