A flying school located at the Santa Monica International airport in Los Angeles, Kelar Aviation, has been using a Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer for a few years. Now they have partnered in an interesting program to get young women interested in aviation.

The Fly SMO Flying scholarship for Girls at Santa Monica Airport was established by small group of volunteers, who got together to create a scholarship for public high school students interested in learning to fly.
The principal driving force behind the Fly SMO scholarship is the belief that providing unique educational opportunities for the next generation (and thus helping them to achieve their hopes and dreams) will lead to a better future for society.

The scholarship was announced last November and candidates submitted their applications online. After review by a panel of judges and reviewers, five finalists were selected. The finalists underwent personal interviews at the Museum of Flying by a panel of judges. The winner of the scholarship receives 30 hours of airplane and instruction time. The airplane time to be flown in a green Pipistrel Alpha Trainer was a donation from Kelar Aviation.

This year’s award – the “Samirah Zaina” Award – included complete pilot flight training for a girl age 15+ at Santa Monica Airport.

Finalists and their teachers 

The scholarship and selection has attracted both local and international attention and is supported by Los Angeles World Airports Executive Director as well as a number of other important businesses in the region. Pipistrel gained some valuable public exposure in the media and the ALPHA Trainer aircraft was introduced as a very suitable training aircraft, especially due to its low noise. Santa Monica airport is a very highly sensitive area for aircraft noise, so it is important to have an aircraft which can do circuits continuously without being heard from the ground above the normal ambient noise.

More information at http://www.flysmo.com/