By Victoria Martinez

Students interested in learning to fly are urged to obtain an application now for the Airport Day 2018 Flight Scholarship, which will pay for aircraft rental and a flight instructor for the first several hours of flight instruction needed for earning a private pilot’s license for a powered airplane or glider.

The scholarships are available for all Santa Barbara County students age 14-17, and at least two will be awarded at the fifth annual Airport Day on May 19 at Santa Ynez Valley Airport.

Airport Day planner Robert “Captain Bob” Perry, who has been flying for almost 40 years, explained that the scholarship is a great starting point for youth interested in aviation.

“Learning to fly gives them the knowledge to learn how to do something they didn’t know how to do,” he said. “The scholarship gives them that start.”

Local high school graduate Amy Moore earned an Airport Day scholarship and then became an Air Force pilot. “I thought it would be great to have a desk with a view,” she says.

Maj. Amy Moore, an Air Force reservist and graduate of Santa Ynez Valley High School, knows first hand the impact of learning to fly at a young age. In 2003, she applied for a local youth aviation scholarship after hearing about it from a friend.

“I just knew a desk job wasn’t for me, but I didn’t know what was,” Moore explained.

The scholarship allowed her to get her private pilot license in 2004, completing most of her training in the Santa Ynez Valley.

“I didn’t know if I’d like it or even be good at flying,” Moore said. “I was able to find out I was, and learn to fly at some level. It helped me figure out I could do this for my career.”

Moore went on to attend the Air Force Academy from 2004-2008 and completed her Air Force pilot training in 2009.

“I chose a career based on flying, so it helped to have some basic knowledge before entering the Air Force,” she added.

Moore left active duty in 2014 and has been a reservist ever since, completing Air Force missions every six weeks or so. The job has taken her to about 30 different countries all over the word.

“I thought it would be great to have a desk with a view every day, and it turns out it is,” Moore said.

The Airport Day 2018 Flight Scholarship is funded by grants from the Santa Ynez Valley Airport Authority and the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Foundation. Over the past several years five local students have received flight training at Santa Ynez Valley Airport with the most recent student, Colin Jamison, achieving a solo endorsement for flight in a Cessna 172.

Airport day will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 19, with registration for the Young Eagles youth flying event starting at 9 a.m. A free hotdog and hamburger barbecue will be served by Santa Ynez Valley Rotary Club volunteers.

Applications for the Airport Day 2018 Flight Scholarship are available in the airport office at Santa Ynez Valley Airport or online at Deadline for applications is 5 p.m. Friday, May 4.

For more information, email Perry at