Ryan Casey solo flight

Santa Ynez Valley Airport Day scholarship recipient and student pilot Ryan Casey turns downwind over the Santa Ynez Valley during his solo flight in a Cessna 172.

Flight training scholarship applications are now available for Santa Barbara County students ages 14 to 17 through the Santa Ynez Valley Airport Day program.

Scholarships will be awarded during the Airport Day celebration Saturday, May 18, at Santa Ynez Valley Airport, said Robert "Captain Bob" Perry, a member of the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association and an Airport Support Network volunteer.

For the past six years, local students have received scholarships that allowed them to experience the first several hours of flight training with a certified flight instructor at Santa Ynez Valley Airport.

Funds for a flight instructor and aircraft rental are provided by the scholarship, which is made possible by contributions and grants from the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, the Santa Ynez Valley Airport Authority and the Rotary Club, Perry said.

The scholarship is administered by local Chapter 491 of the Experimental Aircraft Association through the nonprofit educational mission of the Santa Ynez Valley Airport Authority.

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Ryan Casey, one of three students awarded a flight training scholarship at the 2018 Airport Day, recently soloed in a Cessna 172.

Perry said an account of Casey’s accomplishment was seen by more than a quarter-million pilots and aircraft owners through the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association’s nationally distributed e-brief newsletter.

Applications and instructions can be picked up at the Santa Ynez Valley Airport office and are available online at www.eaa491.org/scholarship and www.santaynezairport.com/scholarship.

For more information, contact Perry at captainbobsplanetalk@gmail.com.

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This report was compiled by Mike Hodgson, associate editor for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. He can be reached at mhodgson@leecentralcoastnews.com.