EAA Ray Aviation Scholarship Marks 300 Pilots


The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) has reached a new milestone with more than 300 young people having earned their pilot certificates with the help of the organization’s Ray Aviation Scholarship program. Administered through the EAA Chapter network, the program provides scholarship recipients with up to $11,000 toward flight training expenses. Ray Scholarships are available to student pilots ages 15 to 19 who have received a nomination from an EAA chapter.

“The cost of flight training can be a barrier for many aspiring pilots, so EAA working with the Ray Foundation helps break down the barrier and make the goal of becoming a pilot even more attainable for future generations,” said Rick Larsen, EAA vice president of communities and member programming. “We’ve found that more than 80 percent of Ray Aviation Scholars are completing their pilot training, which is the complete opposite ratio of those who would start flight training on their own, so this program’s outcomes are having a direct, significant effect on the pilot population.”

Launched in 2018, the Ray Aviation Scholarship program is funded by the Ray Foundation and managed by EAA. In addition to scholarship funds, recipients receive a Lightspeed Zulu 3 headset from the Lightspeed Aviation Foundation after completing their first solo flight. For 2023, EAA is slated to receive $1.8 million from the Ray Foundation for the program.

More information about the Ray Aviation Scholarship program is available at EAA.org/RayScholarship.

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Other AVwebflash Articles


  1. Thank you to the Ray family! Our chapter has had one Ray Scholar so far. He soloed on his 16th birthday in 2020 and passed his Private Pilot practical exam on his 17th birthday. He recently passed his instrument check ride, and is now working on his Commercial Certificate. Yes, he is passionate about aviation, and the Ray Scholarship was instrumental in helping him achieve his dreams. Thanks, too, to Lightspeed for the great headset!