Scholarship Recipients Updates

Scholarship Students Taking Off!

How the SWPC Has Shaped Me: An Update from Lewis University

By Cody Marks

My final year at Lewis University has been both challenging and bitter-sweet. As I see my young flying careerstarting to take off, I can’t help but thank the people who made it possible, like the members of the SWPC.

This past year I can proudly say I was able to earn both a Commercial Pilots Certificate as well as an Airframe & Power Plant Mechanics Certificate. Although the thousands of hours of preparation were taxing, I am very excited to be able to exercise the privileges of being an airman as a pilot and mechanic. In the preceding years,I earned an instrument rating, as well as recently receiving a tail wheel endorsement.

While college is supposed to be a time for academics, I also enjoyed competing for Lewis’s Flight Team. Flight Team, in short, is a way for pilots of different schools to compete with one another in both flying events and flying based knowledge exams. The top scoring schools in each region of the country are then able to compete at the national level for the flying championship. Having recently returned from a week at the regional competition, at Southern Illinois University, I can happily relay that Lewis placed 2nd overall and will be competing again at Nationals at Ohio State University.

I had the most fun competing in one of the most prized events: Precision Landings. Although I wasn’t the one who put the main landing gear closest to the painted line, I did place 10th in the power off landing event. My navigator and I placed 3rd in the region for the navigation event as well. The navigating event requires the pilot to plan a given cross country route in 30 minutes, and proceed to fly the aircraft to each checkpoint on the ground within seconds of their planned enroute time, and within tenths of a gallon of planned fuel burn. Each check point passage is monitored with a GPS unit in the aircraft, and fuel burn is scored at the end. So, precision is extremely important.

It has been such a blessing to be apart of the Flight Team the past four years and I can’t believe this is my last season!

If it hadn’t been for the contributions of the SWP Education Foundation, my sponsor Adolph Svec, and you, the members of the SWPC, I would not have been able to have such great opportunities in the field of aviation. This coming spring, after graduation, I will jump right into my first flying job as the world’s newest agricultural pilot. Having worked the past few summers and winters as an AG airplane mechanic, the company I am with offered me a flying position. I’m sure to be one of the youngest pilots blessed to sit behind a Pratt & Whitney 985 radial engine on a daily basis. I’m sure all of the farmers will know I’m close by when they hear that old familiar rumble in the field. Although it’s not a Short Wing Piper, I am sure the Weatherly 620B will take good care of me.

I couldn’t be more proud to join you all in such a rewarding and exhilarating path of life. I hope I can continue to share my excitements as well as hear some of yours. Thank you for continuing to welcome me as a member and most importantly, thank you for your generosity.


Justin Holt, Scholarship Recipient for 2014-15, Will Graduate this Spring

Dear Fellow Aviators,

It has been a great honor to have been selected to receive the Short Wing Piper Education Foundation scholarship. I am a student athlete at Delta State University. On a side note, our football team just claimed the Gulf South Conference title and is currently seeking a National title.

In addition to football, I have a two hour flight slot every odd day of the month. I am currently a few lessons away from taking my Instrument check ride. Once I complete my instrument, I plan to start working towards my Multi-Engine rating for the remaining time in this semester. When I return for the spring semester, I plan on finishing my Multi-Engine rating and starting my Commercial rating and finishing my Commercial before the semester is over.

Without the donations that the Short Wing Piper Education Foundation has received from its members, my goals would not be possible to achieve. There is nothing in this world that I can do to show how much I appreciate what my Short Wing Piper Club family has done for me. All that I know to do is to try and become the best aviator I can be, and represent my new family to the best of my ability.

Flying has been a dream of mine since I was a young boy when I first boarded an airplane. The pilots gave me a tour of the cockpit, and I thought it looked like a space ship. It was in that moment that I knew that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I hope one day I can give a young boy or girl the same opportunity like that pilot did for me.

Thank you Short Wing Piper Club for helping me pursue my dream. I would not have been able to do it without everyone’s support and encouragement.

Fly Safe,
Justin Holt

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