Study Released By HAI And University Of North Dakota

The results of a study forecasting the U.S. supply of rotorcraft pilots and mechanics over the next 18 years has been released, confirming what many in our industry suspected. Unless there are some fundamental changes in policy, outreach, scholarships, and access to financing, the helicopter industry faces large-scale deficits in the amount of available and qualified licensed and certificated pilots and mechanics.

The study projects a shortage of 7,469 helicopter pilots in the United States between 2018 and 2036. For maintenance technicians, the numbers are even more concerning. Our industry is projected to be short 40,613 certificated aviation mechanics in the United States between 2018 and 2036.

The study results, commissioned by Helicopter Foundation International (HFI) and conducted by the University of North Dakota (UND), were released today, Feb. 28, at a press conference at HAI HELI-EXPO 2018 in Las Vegas. Allison McKay, HFI vice president, introduced the study, and two UND researchers, Dr. Elizabeth Bjerke and Kent W. Lovelace, reported the results. Recognizing the importance of this information, HFI is making available both the study results and an executive summary.

In addition to documenting the projected shortage, the study gathered information on how it is already changing operations. For example, more than 50 percent of surveyed operators said that the shortage of pilots and mechanics would definitely or probably interfere with their operation’s ability to grow over the next five years. Regional airlines are actively recruiting helicopter pilots — more than 500 transferred to fixed-wing operations in 2017 alone.

This shortage is an industry-wide problem, and fixing it will require efforts from many sectors, including government, industry, military, finance, insurance, and education. In the coming months, HFI and Helicopter Association International (HAI) will be recruiting stakeholders to collaboratively work on defining concrete next steps to combat the problem. If you would be interested in participating in this effort, please contact Allison McKay.

“Our industry needs to take a hard look at how we do things,” says Matt Zuccaro, HAI president and CEO. “We really don’t have a choice. These numbers show a future where the growth of our industry will be curtailed because operators won’t have the workforce they need. But we have the option to change that future by acting proactively now to recruit the next generation of pilots and maintainers.”

HFI Vice President McKay agrees. “The study results are certainly bad news for our industry. But the good news is that now we know the numbers — and now we can take steps to ensure the sustainability of our industry.”

WAI

WAI will award more than 110 scholarships to members at every stage of life valued at nearly $633,000. Applications for 2018 scholarships are due November 13, 2017.

Scholarship awards are a major benefit of membership in Women in Aviation International. In the past 20 years, WAI has disbursed more than $10 million to its members to help them reach their goals and advance into the aviation and aerospace careers they have always dreamed about. Read the success stories of past scholarship winners in the special 20th anniversary publication WAI Scholarships Change Lives.

Thanks to our generous sponsors, there is truly something for every interest.

The 2018 scholarship program will begin in July and run through November 13, 2017. Applicants must be a member of Women in Aviation International by November 1, 2017, and may apply for no more than three scholarships. Internships are not included in the three per member scholarship limit.

2018 WAI Scholarship Application

Contact Scholarship Coordinator Donna Wallace with any additional questions.

Whirly-Girls 2018 Helicopter Scholarships Deadline Extended to October 15th

The deadline for applications for the multitude of excellent opportunities has been extended to October 15, 2017. Awards are available for both experienced and new pilots See all the details here and get your application in now! Select from one or more of the following available scholarships which are to be formally awarded at the annual Whirly-Girls Awards Banquet at Heli-Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada.

  • Whirly-Girls Memorial Flight Training Scholarship
  • Whirly-Girls Helicopter Add-on Flight Training Scholarship
  • Advanced Mountain Flight Training Scholarship
  • Airbus Flight Training Scholarship
  • Antipodean Aviation and Embry-Riddle Wire and Obstacle Environment Awareness Course Scholarship
  • Embry-Riddle Commercial Helicopter Pilot Ground School Course Scholarship
  • Erickson Vertical Reference/External Load Scholarship
  • FlightSafety International Bell 206 Scholarship
  • ForeFlight Pro Plus
  • Garmin GTN & G500/600 Course Scholarship
  • Night Flight Concepts Night Vision Goggles Initial Pilot Qualification Scholarship
  • Oregon Aero CRM/AMRM Instructor Training Scholarship
  • Robinson Helicopter R22/R44 Safety Course Scholarship
  • Robinson Helicopter R66 Safety Course Scholarship
  • Survival Systems USA Aircraft Ditching Course Scholarship
  • The Thurn-Herr Annual Advanced Training Scholarship

Selection Factors

In evaluating scholarship applications, the judges look for evidence that you have a set goal in mind for the scholarship training, that there is a good probability that you will succeed, that you will go on to reap benefits from your training, and that you are the type of person that will share your talents with others.

Judges look for evidence of the following:

  • Goal for the flight training specified.
  • Experience, service to others, and what others have to say about you through your letters of recommendation.
  • Achievements in life, particularly in aviation and the helicopter industry.
  • Attitude toward self and others, as shown through the entire application package.
  • Neatness, ability to follow instructions, completeness and accuracy of your application.
  • Reliability, motivation, and commitment to success as shown through prior employment, jobs and activities, and service to others.
  • Dedication to your career as shown through prior employment, especially in the helicopter industry.
  • Ability to accept responsibility and teamwork as shown through prior jobs and activities.
  • Financial need.

 

CGS TV’s Explore Series visits ROTOR FX to look into the workings of rotorcraft with host Anna Cicone of the CG Society. This is the beginning of their new series “where we’ll be venturing out and learning how real-world, practical places can influence our creativity and designs – and we’re taking you with us!”

A great way to enrich your child’s life. Besides the adventure and excitement of flight that we all know, studies show students involved in flight training achieve significantly higher grades in education. This is  especially true in math, physics, science and geography. It also breeds a maturity and responsibility that few other activities can offer. Your child and their teachers will thank you.