Since the spring of 2014 the Auburn Aviation has been an unmatched supporter of my aviation endeavors from my first solo through today. Like many aviators before me, I have relentlessly pursued flight. While flying of all varieties is refreshing, it was not until a year and a half ago I had the opportunity to experience what is now my passion in aviation: aerobatics. My instructor, and phenomenal mentor Don Wolfe, got me hooked on pursuing this adrenaline-filled flying. There’s no flying I enjoy more than being able to explore the full operating envelope of the aircraft and I consider myself fortunate to be among such a small group of aviators that continuously strive for excellence.
To pursue aerobatics further, I set my sights on attending the renown John D. Odegard School of Aeronautical Sciences at University of North Dakota. Through much disciplined practice, financially made possible by this organization, I developed my skills enough to earn a slot as a member of the UND Aerobatics Team giving me access to phenomenal resources and professionals in aerobatic flight. To my surprise I have been blessed with great success in my first ever competition season. By my second competition I moved up to the Sportsman level pitting the American Champion Super Decathlon up against an onslaught of Pitts pilots. Through this experience I learned just how dynamic the competition aerobatic environment is. However, the most important lesson learned so far is to believe in myself. External pressures and the desire to fly perfect sequences run high in this environment. All too often I beat myself up over even the smallest of mistakes. These moments have provided me with the opportunity to learn that resilience is the most essential trait of a pilot.
I am currently attending the IAC U.S. National Championships in Denison, Texas, where I have the honor of competing alongside world class competitors and learning more about this sport. With these opportunities in mind I extend to this organization and its members my most sincere thanks and gratitude for the investment made in my life over the past couple years without which I could not have had this opportunity. Moving forward I plan to continue learning as much as I can alongside my team, moving up in airplanes, and working with my coaches and mentors here to continue pursuing my dream of making a career in the aerobatic community. Once again, thank you all for your investment in me, I will be keeping the association up to date and attending meetings when I visit.
Pictured from left to right are 2016 President Tim Pinkney, scholarship winners Robert Hewett, Isabel Sacksteder, Justin Holtz, and Scholarship Committee Chairman Walt Wilson.
The Auburn Aviation Association has selected three winners of $2500.00 flight scholarships.
They are Justin Holtz of Grass Valley, attending Sierra College, Robert Hewett of Citrus Heights, attending Valley Christian Academy, and Isabel Sacksteder of Penn Valley, attending Forest Charter School. Congratulations and thank you to all who applied. Keep pursuing your dream!
AAA estimates that we have given scholarships for flight training over 29 years amounting to approximately $250,000.00. Join AAA as a student by clicking here.