About the Blake Chapman Flight Scholarship
The Blake Chapman Flight Scholarship was created by a group of individuals who wanted to give students in Teton County, ID the opportunity to learn how to fly. This scholarship provides up to $10,000 towards the cost of a Private Pilot Certificate – including instruction, flight time, and books. Recipients will incur some fees, as the total cost of obtaining a license is approximately $13,000.
Applicants must be at least 17 years of age by June 1st of the year in which they apply. Students must demonstrate good academic standing, community service/involvement, financial need, and a commitment to becoming a pilot. Participants will need to be available June through the end of August, 4-5 days a week for training.
The 2024 Blake Chapman Flight Scholarship application period opens Friday, January 5, 2024.
The application period is now closed. Please check back in January 2025.
Earn your wings.
Email questions to Brian Thysell at [email protected].
Scholarship Winner Earns His Wings
By: Julia Tellman
This article was originally published in the November 10, 2016 issue of the Teton Valley News and is published here with permission. The Blake Chapman Flight Scholarship Fund and the scholarship application process are managed by the Community Foundation of Teton Valley.
Teton Valley’s newest private pilot is only four months out of high school.
Ethan Marcum earned his license on Oct. 16. He was this year’s recipient of the Blake Chapman Memorial Scholarship, which provides students with the full cost of instruction and materials, around $8,500.
The scholarship is provided by the local chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and is enabled with funds from the Tin Cup Challenge and Old Bill’s Fun Run.
The EAA collects applications from both Teton Valley and Jackson students and begins the interview process in early spring. The selection committee emphasizes that flight training is a very demanding activity.
EAA chapter secretary Jim Jackson said they ask applicants, “Do you really want to do this? Here’s what’s involved…It’s not like getting your license for a truck or bus.”
A future pilot needs to commit at least an hour a day over four months to flight school, so it’s hard for students to hold a job or go on vacation during training.
Marcum spent significant time in ground school learning about the mechanics of flight, required equipment, meteorology, and navigation. He had to be completely healthy to fly; he received a medical examination by a certified surgeon. At the end of ground school, Marcum took the challenging Federal Aviation Administration ground test.
Marcum also received flight instruction from Teton Aviation Center pilot Colleen Schooley. He learned about thorough pre-flight inspections, weather conditions, aircraft functions, safe takeoffs and landings, and situational awareness. Pilots often need 60 hours of training but Marcum did it in 40.
“He was really on the ball,” said Jackson.
Marcum just left for his LDS mission to Peru. When he returns in two years he plans to enroll in the aviation program at Idaho State University.
“We like to see this,” said Jackson. “Instead of a hobby, turn it into a profession.”
Every field of professional flight has its own extensive training.
“You don’t just come out of college and become a 747 pilot,” said Jackson, speaking with 30 years of pilot experience.
Jackson is a former high school shop teacher who taught students how to build airplanes. He has built over 10 airplanes by hand and hopes to start an aviation program at the local high school. He is on the Driggs-Reed Memorial Airport board and sees in the airport great potential and room for growth.
Marcum earned his pilot license because he had access to a great community resource like the airport, a generous scholarship made available by a local nonprofit, and through his own hard work.
In Ethan’s words: