Sources: Kurt Barnhart, 785-826-2972, kurtb@k-state.edu;
and Jan Burton, 214-632-6289, janburton@me.com
Website: http://burtonaviationfoundation.org
Hometown connection: Atchison, Cheney, Derby, Emporia, Hutchinson, Manhattan, Miltonvale, Olathe, Overland Park, Palco, Topeka, Wakeeney, Wamego and Wichita, Kan.; Aurora and Highlands Ranch, Colo.; Washington, D.C.; Derwood, Md.; Independence, Mo.; and Las Cruces, N.M.
News release prepared by: Natalie Blair, 785-826-2642, nblair@k-state.edu

Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy landings: Nearly 30 aviation students receive $84,000 in scholarships

SALINA -- The Connor Burton Aviation Foundation is providing 27 Kansas State University Salina aviation students with $84,000 in flying scholarships to help with the cost of flight fees over the summer.

The purpose of the Summer Aviation Program is to help students achieve additional flight ratings as quickly as possible and to move them toward the goal of becoming certified flight instructors. This year's goals for the program are for 5-10 students to earn flight instructor ratings, and another 10-15 students to reach other certificates and ratings.

The students will fly Cessna 172 Skyhawks, Beechcraft Barons and Beechcraft Bonanzas, depending on where they are in their training. They will work to earn flight ratings ranging from private pilot to certified flight instructor instrument.

"My goal is to be an airport manager, so it's important that I am familiar with all aspects of aviation," said Tyler Lewis, junior in airport management from Aurora, Colo., and one of the scholarship recipients. "The Summer Aviation Program lets me focus on flying during the summer so that I don't have to worry about it as much during the rest of the year when I'm focused more on my management classes."

"These scholarships keep students flying and working on ratings all summer instead of taking a break that might put them behind," said Kurt Barnhart, head of K-State Salina's aviation department. "Some students are able to work on ratings that they otherwise wouldn't be able to reach, such as certified flight instructor instrument, either because of time or the financial burden."

"The purpose of the Connor Burton Aviation Foundation is to help students achieve their dream of becoming a pilot," said Jan Burton, the foundation's chief advocate. "It's very expensive to become a professional pilot, and we're trying to help alleviate the need for costly student loans and expedite their flight training. In addition, this program will help with the looming pilot shortage by helping more students become flight instructors to teach more students."

This is the second summer for the program; 24 K-State Salina students received scholarships totaling more than $70,000 in 2011. The foundation intends to continue developing the program to benefit more students in the future by involving the aviation industry and more interested individuals.

In addition to subsidizing student flying time, the Burton Foundation sponsors attendance at flying competitions and air races, sponsors a speaker series and supports other flying activities intended to upgrade students' experience and improve their pilot capabilities. More than $250,000 has been donated to Kansas State University's aviation program since 2008 to support these initiatives. More information about the foundation is available at http://burtonaviationfoundation.org.

Students receiving scholarships are:

Brycen Scholz, senior in professional pilot, Atchison, $5,000; Blake Miller, senior in professional pilot, Cheney, $1,500; Ben Taylor, sophomore in professional pilot, Derby, $3,000; Ryan Dorsey, senior in professional pilot, $5,000, and John "Jack" Henry, senior in professional pilot, $3,000, both from Emporia.

From Greater Kansas City: Teddy Mwachia, senior in professional pilot, Olathe, $5,000; and Tefera Getahun, senior in professional pilot, $3,000, and Russell Simons, senior, professional pilot, $1,500, both from Overland Park.

Wayne Adams, freshman in professional pilot, Hutchinson, $3,000; John Snyder, junior in professional pilot, Manhattan, $1,500; Brianna Patterson, freshman in professional pilot, Miltonvale, $5,000; Justin Kaufman, senior in professional pilot, Moundridge, $1,500; Travis Balthazor, senior in professional pilot, Palco, $1,500; Kevin McCurdy, senior in professional pilot, Salina, $2,500; Brian Cornell, senior in professional pilot, $3,000, and Rusty Weckwerth, junior in professional pilot, $5,000, both from Topeka; James Schreiner, junior in professional pilot, Wakeeney, $3,000; Mark Wilson, senior in professional pilot, Wamego, $1,500; and Lee Anderson, sophomore in professional pilot, $1,500, and Dash Tsao, senior in professional pilot, $3,000, both from Wichita.

From out of state:

Tyler Lewis, junior in airport management, Aurora, Colo., $5,000; Michael Potts, senior in professional pilot, Highlands Ranch, Colo., $3,000; Mar'Quis Hubert, sophomore in professional pilot, Washington, D.C., $5,000; Felix Tse, senior in professional pilot, Derwood, Md., $1,500; David Brayer, senior in professional pilot, Independence, Mo., $3,000; and Kelly Brenner, sophomore in professional pilot, Las Cruces, N.M., $3,000.

From out of country: Takahiro Suzuki, senior in professional pilot, Utsunomiya, Japan, $5,000.