5 Replies


Posted by Jorge Martinez on Feb 8, 2019 10:15 am

Hello everyone,

Student pilot here working on my PPl, part 61. I see alot of articles on loans and scholarships for young aviators trying to get into it and that's great, but i feel like i see NOTHING for older people like myself(30s). Anybody know of any great places to get loans or scholarships, or any programs that they are working on for the older generation? Unfortunately some of us started late because of other things or introduced to aviation late in life.. 

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Re: Loans

Posted by Ronald Levy on Feb 8, 2019 1:38 pm

Several professional pilot schools have arrangements with banks to loan you the money to complete the program and pay it back after you get hired by an associated regional airline.  In addition, VA has programs for veterans to fund their professional pilot training after Private Pilot.  But I don't know of any such large-scale programs for those just working on Private.

Re: Loans

Posted by Brennan Callan on Feb 8, 2019 5:50 pm

Hi everyone,
I have been researching the topic of SCHOLARSHIPS for about the last 10-years.  There are many different criteria for the types, amounts, uses, of scholarships and who might be eligible to get scholarships or loans.

For example, if you are a member of the broader gay community, then through the National Gay Pilots Association (NGPA) or the many regional flight clubs that you can find linked from NGPA, there are scholarships, but these typically are for ratings above PPL.

If you are a female, then the
They have MULTIPLE SCHOLARSHIPS and each has different rules.  Be sure to check all of those details.  The regional/state chapters of the 99s have their own local scholarships and you need to be sure to see what is offered within your state/region.
(This page does not list all of the ones that are listed on individual chapters.  The page needs updating!) (Some of these are open to both MEN and WOMEN)
might be an option for a scholarship, but you need to be a member and that at least requires someone to have gotten their STUDENT PILOT CERTIFICATE.  The 99's even tries to give scholarships to young girls less than 18-years of age.  Those are given to non-members who are working on a rating.

Alpha Eta Rho--Aviation Fraternity, they have some scholarship money, but you must be a student pilot at a college/university that offers an aviation rating. (here in Louisville, KY) has a program
Applicants must be U.S. citizens currently enrolled in a fully accredited university aviation program
(Commercial Aviation, Professional Pilot, Aviation Management, Airport Management, etc.) within the United States.


SPORTYS.COM discusses the AOPA scholarships.  Sporty's Academy works with the Eastern Cinci Academy:
for the programs they teach to college students.  To learn about scholarships, you really need to be enrolled in that college.

This is NOT meant to be a full and complete list.  Sometimes, groups go out of existence and I have had to thin out my list.  Almost no one gives scholarships to help on 1. Light Sport Pilot; 2. Recreational Pilot; 3. any of the Ground Instructor ratings; 4. Dispatcher or less common ratings.

Depending on a specialization that someone might be seeking, it is best to find existing groups and see if they offer any type of scholarship.

Jorge, on most of the scholarships, AGE is not an issue, but many of them to have a requirement that someone belongs to the organization. 

My mom is 83 and working on her REMOTE PILOT Certificate and I have not found anyone having scholarships for that rating for anyone of any age.  It is a new rating.  Even though the LIGHT SPORT PILOT CERTIFICATE WAS CREATED IN 2004, countless flight schools, training organizations, publishers, and scholarships fail to recognize that the FAA created this rating 15-years ago.

CAUTION: you would not believe that there are many groups/individuals who are charging for aviation training for the REMOTE PILOT CERTIFICATE when their "instructors" do not even have a rating for BASIC GROUND INSTRUCTOR (BGI) or ADVANCED GROUND INSTRUCTOR (AGI), and these non-qualified "" "stars" think that just because they purchased a "small Unmanned Aerial System" (sUAS), that they will keep telling you there is such a rating as "commercial drone pilot."  THERE IS NO SUCH CERTIFICATE.  Then they claim to be "DRONE INSTRUCTORS" when the FAA has no such titles.

"small Unmanned Aerial System" (sUAS) is the proper legal name and a "drone" is a military craft that has none of the limitations of the FAR Part 107. 

Too often, the uneducated media want to sound as if they know what they are talking about by saying "drone" when they should be saying "small Unmanned Aerial System" (sUAS).

Everyone needs to understand that "DRONES" can and do operate from ground level up to the international space station and on other celestial bodies, but our "small Unmanned Aerial System" (sUAS) do not have those capabilities yet.  Therefore, if you see someone claiming to charge you tuition for his "DRONE INSTRUCTION," RUN AWAY!!!  Just by someone making such a false claim and being 100% ignorant of the topic, they are telling you that they are going to be committing fraud.

The FAA had wanted to create an Instructor rating, but then at least one law suit took place on that.  It really is a mess and that is why there are these self-proclaimed "Instructors" who are becoming prevalent.  ALWAYS look up these folks who claim to run "DRONE SCHOOLS" to see if they hold ANY FAA ratings.  If they do not hold ratings, THEY ARE DANGEROUS TO ALL OF AVIATION.  Contact your local Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) because we cannot have non-aviators charging hundreds or thousands of dollars when they have no formal education and no ratings for performing instruction.

If these webpages claim to be "Drone Schools," "Drone Instructors," or if they keep using the term "drone" instead of "small Unmanned Aerial System" (sUAS), then they have no business "teaching" you anything.  THEY ARE FRAUDULENT.  Aviation requires precision and just having non-aviators conducting training is a serious danger.

WHY IS SOMEONE NOT LOOKING AFTER THESE ISSUES?   In 2018, I forward to the AOPA HANGER (discussion group) the FAA's Inspector's Report saying that even the FAA has no idea of how many Inspectors they need nationally.  Guess what, no one seems to be researching whether these self-proclaimed "drone instructors" have any ratings at all.

For several months, I have been slowly researching the number of "small Unmanned Aerial System" (sUAS) REMOTE PILOTS to see if the commercial REMOTE PILOTS sincerely have their ratings.  If anyone claims to be "in business" for doing aerial videography and they don't show up on the FAA inquiry page, then these names should be submitted to the FSDO for them to follow up on why someone is falsely claiming to be doing commercial Remote Pilot Aerial Videography/Photography businesses.

FURTHERMORE, I am researching whether these "companies" or individuals honestly show up with the Secretary of State for corporations or at county levels as sole proprietors or partnerships.  This information will be shared with the FSDO too.

Each of you considering working on REMOTE PILOTS should research anyone claiming to be an "instructor."  If someone keeps using "drone," then they are sloppy in their language and you should avoid them.

The terms of "Unmanned Aerial Vehicle" or "Unmanned Aerial Vessel" are often used instead of "sUAS" and that gets to the issues of a "system" having to include the human on the ground or whether a vessel is autonomous.  I am not getting into that debate in this note.  Many folks say UAV instead of UAS and I do not object to the site difference.

Best wishes everyone.  I hope you find the scholarships and avoid the FLY-BY-NIGHT FLIGHT SCHOOLS.
Aeronautical Scientist

Re: Loans

Posted by Jorge Martinez on Feb 12, 2019 10:59 am

Hey Ronald, Im not a VET so thats out. Went to ask my school and there advise was to check lending tree... :/

Brennan, great insight, thank you so much. Just applied for the AOPA scholarship but i know thats hard to get.. like you said alot of the others require you to be members and become a member at a certain time frame before applying.. Alot of them are also if you're in college which im not.. On the remote pilot information, so there is no training and just requires you to take a exam to become certified? 

Re: Loans

Posted by Brennan Callan on Feb 12, 2019 11:11 am

Hi Jorge, et al.,
the REMOTE PILOT information can be found on: and you really need to treat it as a self-study process.  The FAA (free) manuals are on their webpages.  Each time you read about one of their manuals, you should write that down and search out the next one.  It would be logical if the FAA had a singular manual that is timely, fresh, and updated, but I seemed to have unreasonable expectations for the FAA.  There are many smaller "updates" of manuals even though this area of the FAA's new rating is only a couple of years old.

If someone in your area is claiming to be a "drone instructor," that is a big fat lie!  There is no such title in the FAA.  Look that person up on the AIRMAN INQUIRY to see if they have any ratings at all and what they might be.  If they do not have the BASIC GROUND INSTRUCTOR (BGI) or an ADVANCED GROUND INSTRUCTOR (AGI), then under what authority do they claim to be an "instructor" if they are not also a C.F.I.?  I don't have a problem with a BGI, AGI, or CFI to be instructing on the "Aeronautical Knowledge," as depicted in the FARs.  These are the folks that should be teaching skills, but that does not mean that they know about FAR Part 107 as it is so very new.

At the moment, you (as the student) do not have to have an endorsement from anyone to contact the folks at
to take the exam.  When you contact CATS, you get a $10 (AOPA) discount.  Remember to tell them you are a member and have your card ready by the phone.

You really have to investigate anyone claiming to be an instructor.  If they do not show up on the FAA's list, AVOID THEM.

Best wishes,


Re: Loans

Posted by Joseph Baginski on Feb 18, 2019 12:56 pm

As an ATP, Com, Multi-engine, CFI/Instrument instructor, I'm also licensed under Part 107.  I'm confident that I'm credentialed sufficiently to instruct a drone pilot applicant on the required knowledge areas required on the written.  Any CFI who reviews Part 107 should have no difficulty instructing a UAS applicant.  There's no magic to it.