A Message from The Sporty’s Foundation
After a few years of growth in the aviation industry and a bright outlook for general aviation, the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in early 2020 and devastated the economy. General aviation was hit especially hard, with flight schools forced to shut down for months. It also became apparent that large in-person gatherings would be difficult to safely conduct during the pandemic. This led to the postponement or cancellation of national airshows and fly-ins, including Sun ’n Fun, EAA AirVenture, and countless smaller aviation events around the country.
General aviation enjoyed a better second half of the year as pilots who may have had plans to travel via airlines instead chose to either rent an aircraft or fly their own aircraft for business trips or vacations. After the initial shock of the pandemic, and its impact on the economy, the general consensus was that, while the opportunities for pilots and technicians short-term are diminished, the long-term need for these positions remains strong. This is why it remains a focus of the Sporty’s Foundation to continue supporting young people in pursuit of their aviation dreams, especially in these difficult times.
The Foundation continued to build and develop partnerships with families who share the vision to help encourage young people with an interest in aviation. For the second straight year, the Foundation partnered with the family of Richard Collins to co-sponsor the Richard Collins Writing Prize for Young Pilots. Family of the late pilot examiner and CFI, Dave Stahl, chose the foundation as a recipient of gifts in his memory. The Dave Stahl Checkride Scholarship was created and the first awards will be announced in early 2021.
We wish to thank all of our donors and supporters, whose contributions help to support the Foundation’s work to support young people as they pursue their aviation pathway.
The Next Generation needs a support team
We talk about the general aviation community, and that’s what it is – not just pilots and aircraft owners, but all the skilled technicians that support them. With glass cockpits, composite technology, and new powerplants, maintenance and support are all the more necessary.
It’s all about the young people
The Sporty’s Foundation strives to reach young people at the earliest possible age. Since its inception, EAA’s Next Step has been the primary recipient of Foundation funds. This program ensures that every EAA Young Eagle has a place to go next after the initial spark from their Young Eagle ride.
If you are interested in funding an Aviation Exploring scholarship or creating a named scholarship in memory of a loved one, please contact me directly at [email protected] or 513.735.9100 ext 209.