Able Flight Awards First Career Training Scholarship

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Able Flight, which helps people with disabilities learn to fly, awarded its first-ever career-training scholarship on Tuesday at Sun 'n Fun. The scholarship will provide funding for Paul Lampasso, a former New York City firefighter, to attend a three-week course that leads to an FAA repairman certificate for light sport aircraft. Lampasso's first career goal was to be a professional pilot, and he was enrolled at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and had completed his private pilot training when he was diagnosed with cancer and had to drop out. After regaining his health, he joined the NYC fire department, where he served for 11 years until a knee injury forced him to retire.

Lampasso worked as a first responder during 9/11 and the aftermath, Able Flight officials said, although he was supposed to be on reduced duty at the time due to his injury. He received his award from Cessna CEO Jack Pelton at the company's exhibit space at Sun 'n Fun. Cessna also presented Able Flight with a donation of $6,500. Lampasso, who lives in Florida, will attend training in California next month.