Monthly Archives: May 2013

Winner of First Ever Flying Club Scholarship Announced

scholarshipwinner_2After four months of receiving and evaluating 126 applications for the first ever Flying Club scholarship, Ground Effect Advisors (GEA) has announced their winning applicant. Zachary (Zach) Piech, of Wilmington, North Carolina and his prospective flying club, Cape Fear Flyers, will receive over $3,500 worth of products, services, and support from recognizable partners, including the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), David Clark, Sporty’s Pilot Shop, Signature Flight Support, Cirrus Aircraft, Schedule Master, PilotEdge and, all of which is geared towards getting the next great Flying Club off the ground.

“This has been an inspirational process, throughout”, said Al Waterloo, a GEA partner. “We received so many incredible applications, and Zach’s really jumped off of the page at us. Upon performing further due diligence on our previously announced finalists, we found him to embody everything we were seeking: passion; vision; drive; and of course, potential for sustained success. Zach has been working towards this day for over a year with little progress. As with most prospective Flying Clubs, navigating the complex landscape is difficult, with many bumps along the way. We are ecstatic to have the opportunity to work with Zach and the prospect of making a lasting impact on the general aviation community in the Wilmington area”.

In a surprise move, GEA also awarded a runner-up scholarship to Chip Gentry, Jay Hahn, and Jeffrey Naught, who collectively submitted an application for a prospective Flying Club in Jefferson City, Missouri. The team from Jefferson City will receive $1,000 from AOPA and additional support from GEA to augment their efforts to establish a Flying Club.

“The quality and potential value to general aviation we saw in a Jefferson City Flying Club forced us to pivot from our original objective of awarding a single scholarship”, stated Todd McClamroch, a GEA partner. “With incredible support from AOPA, we are quite excited to extend this program to another applicant with qualities too good to pass up.”

Beyond working with the applicants from Wilmington, North Carolina and Jefferson City, Missouri, GEA and AOPA will be jointly developing various tools intended to assist the remaining pool of scholarship applicants in launching a Flying Club. Additional details to follow.

By |May 30th, 2013|News|0 Comments

Ground Effect Advisors Announces 10 Finalists For Flying Club Scholarship

finalists1With just over two weeks to go before a winner is selected, Ground Effect Advisors (GEA) has announced 10 Finalists for their Flying Club Scholarship. These 10 prospective clubs were selected from 126 applications received since the scholarship was announced on January 25th of this year. The winning applicant, to be announced on May 31st, will receive over $3,500 worth of products and support, all of which is geared towards getting the next great Flying Club off the ground.

“When we announced the scholarship, we knew we were breaking new ground”, said Louis Bowers, a GEA partner. “Instead of focusing on the individual, as most aviation scholarships do, our intent was to provide a broader foundation for the growth of General Aviation. We were absolutely blown away with the response. We expected somewhere in the range of 25 to 40 applications. To receive 126 from 33 different states is astonishing, yet also speaks to the tremendous potential of Flying Clubs.”

To narrow the field, GEA relied on their own recipe for success as articulated by Marc Epner, another partner within GEA. “To be successful, a club has to have a strong leader with a vision of what the club is to become. The environment has to be supportive and conducive to growth, and required resources need to be available at the right time and place. This is about building an organization for the long haul. We see that in our 10 finalists.”

The ten finalists are:
• Kenneth A. from Henderson Executive Airport; Las Vegas, Nevada (KHND)
• Bill F. from Terre Haute International Airport-Hulman Field; Terre Haute, Indiana (KHUF)
• Drew A. from Trenton Mercer Airport; Trenton, New Jersey (KTTN)
• Bryan L. from Sundance Airpark; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (KHSD)
• Gary L. from Camarillo Airport; Camarillo, California (KCMA)
• Tom G from Currituck County Regional Airport; Currituck, North Carolina (KONX)
• Scott C. from Iowa City Municipal Airport; Iowa City, Iowa (KIOW)
• Jay H. and Jeff N. from Jefferson City Memorial Airport; Jefferson City, Missouri (KJEF)
• Zachary P. from Wilmington International Airport; Wilmington, North Carolina (KILM)
• Eric T. from Bemidji Regional Airport; Bemidji, Minnesota (KBJI)
View our map of airports represented by the 126 applications and 10 finalists:

Epner further noted that, “We knew we had something special from the start. The enthusiastic participation of recognizable partners, including the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), David Clark, Sporty’s Pilot Shop, Signature Flight Support, Cirrus Aircraft, Schedule Master, PilotEdge and was our first indication that this was going to be well received. The overwhelming response from the aviation community sends a strong message that general aviation is alive and well and committed to working together to achieve our common dream. We’re excited to be part of that team.”

Ground Effect Advisors Received 126 Applications for Flying Club Scholarship

infographic-thumb300When Ground Effect Advisors (GEA) announced a scholarship focused exclusively on Flying Clubs on February 15th, the expectation was that approximately 40 – 50 people would submit applications seeking assistance in starting a flying club. One hundred twenty six scholarship applications from 37 states were received, showing an impressive level of interest and need for support in forming flying clubs in the United States. On May 15th, Ground Effect Advisors will announce ten finalists for the scholarship which provides the winning applicant with over $3,500 worth of products, services, and support, all of which is geared towards getting the next great Flying Club off the ground. The winner will be announced on June 1, 2013.

“We are inspired by the quality and volume of applications we received for this scholarship”, comments Todd McClamroch, a GEA Executive. “The overwhelming response sends a strong message of the common thread that runs through the pilot community. Our scholarship will help one of these applicants get a flying club off the ground, but we don’t plan to stop there. We see great potential at airports across the country and we are dedicated to working with our partners to help as many of these applicants as possible.”

Ground Effect Advisors has released an InfoGraphic that communicates some of the interesting statistics that came through the application process. View the full size infographic.

The Flying Club Scholarship, the first of its kind, is meant to assist in starting America’s next great flying club and benefit a community of pilots in the process. Because Flying Clubs have proven to be an effective method to foster general aviation growth, several aviation organizations, including the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) have thrown their support behind the effort to leverage the Flying Club community. AOPA has donated $1,000 in seed funding for the scholarship winner. Adam Smith, Senior Vice President of AOPA’s Center to Advance the Pilot Community stated, “the stakeholders of general aviation are finally beginning to realize the vast potential offered by flying clubs. The opportunity offered by GEA is very promising and certainly will garner the industry’s attention and enhance momentum. I love the idea of scholarships to help start flying clubs. Like a scholarship to help someone learn to fly, but a gift that keeps on giving back to aviation for many years to come.”

Ground Effect Advisors would like to thank their partners who have contributed funds and goods to support the formation of the next great flying club. Our partners include: Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association (AOPA), David Clark, Sporty’s Pilot Shop, Signature Flight Support, Cirrus Aircraft, Schedule Master, PilotEdge,, Heading 370 & Simple Flight Radio.

By |May 2nd, 2013|News|0 Comments