WHAT IS IT?
The aim of a scholarship is to both challenge and inspire; building up confidence, self-esteem and future aspirations. It is truly a life changing experience that helps people achieve their potential no matter what disadvantages they may face in their lives.
There is no specified target or standard of achievement; what is accomplished will depend on an individual’s flying ability and any limitations arising from a particular disability, whether physical, mental or fatigue related.
The number of scholarships, and their type, will vary each year, as they are dependent on the generosity of our sponsors and donors.
The costs of flying training, ground school, accommodation and food are all covered, however scholars are responsible for their own travel costs and it is essential that they have their own vehicle to get to and from the flying school.
Scholarships commence with a scholar’s seminar near the end of April, during which scholars are introduced to their instructors and scholar training partner(s).
Flying training is undertaken at flying schools in the UK between May and October. They will be of three or four-weeks duration and will include a maximum of 16 or 20 hours flying tuition and associated ground school in either a PA-28 or a Microlight aircraft. To find out more about a typical day at a flying school on a FSDP scholarship click here.
FSDP scholars currently undertake their flying training in the UK at Gryphon Aero Club at Cotswold Airport, Kemble, Bristol Aero Club at Gloucestershire Airport,Turweston Flying Club at Turweston Aerodrome or Shadow Aviation at Old Sarum. In all cases accommodation is provided near to the Flying School.
Scholars usually go in groups of two or three, so it is important to emphasise that the ability and willingness to interact with people who they may have only met briefly during the selection process is vital.
Scholars are presented with a scholarship certificate at a special ceremony at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) in the July of the year they are awarded their scholarship, and will be invited back to RIAT the following year to be awarded their ‘pilot’s wings’. Both of these events form part of the scholarship and attendance is compulsory.
The scholarship does not end with learning to fly. Scholars will become part of the FSDP family and will be invited to our family events including the annual Presentation Ceremony. We have an active Facebook community and scholars are encouraged to become part of it.
WHAT IS IT?
You can apply for a FSDP scholarship if you are:
- At least 18 years of age
- Weigh 115 kgs or below (230 lbs)
- Registered disabled
- Resident in the UK
- Allowed to drive by the DVLA
Our selection process is designed to ensure that we offer scholarships to those disabled people who will have the greatest life changing experience.
THERE ARE 4 STAGES TO OUR SELECTION PROCESS:
Applications from prospective candidates are invited up until
31st January, for a scholarship later in the same year. Applicants are required to explain how they would benefit from a scholarship.
Applications are assessed at our pre-selection meeting in February, by our experienced team, consisting of FSDP Trustees, our medical team and our flying instructors. This determines which applicants are invited as candidates to the next stage at RAF Cranwell in March.
Over three days, candidates will participate in two interviews, undergo a medical to ensure they will be fit enough to fly, have a chance to climb in and out of an aircraft similar to that they might get to fly in, and also get to meet our flying instructors. Candidates are encouraged to ask questions at every stage, and our scholar mentors are there to help them along the way. The selection centre is held at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire.
Shortly after Cranwell selection, successful candidates are advised if they have been awarded a scholarship by the Selection Board. Successful candidates will also be advised of their training partner and nominated flying school.
We’ve found that whether a candidate is successful or not in being awarded a scholarship they gain an awful lot through the process, and continue to stay in contact with FSDP and new friends made through Cranwell. This is something we actively encourage through our regular family days throughout the year, as well as staying in contact through our Facebook page.