A record 44 bursaries have been awarded by the Royal Aero Club Trust this year, to enable young air sport enthusiasts to advance their existing air sport qualifications.

These bursaries represent a significant increase both in the number of applications received and awards made following a decision by the Trust to accept applications from light aircraft trainee pilots who have flown solo, and trainee balloon pilots who need help with the costs of mandatory examinations. The Trust has also widened the age range for eligibility and introduced follow-on awards to enable previous award winners to continue to make progress in their chosen air sport.

In fact, 2015 had seen a number of applications from a wider range of air sports, and included an increased number from the light aircraft, microlight and flight simulator sports. Trust Bursary Officer, David Bills, commented that the standard of applications remained high and that the Trust had not in any previous year received as many applications or made as many bursary awards.

The fact that the Trust has been able to make so many awards to young people ranging from 14 to 24 years of age, is down to its benefactors, such as the Royal Aeronautical Society, which does so much to encourage young people to develop their potential through air sports. Moreover, the Peter Cruddas Foundation awards, the Bramson bursaries, the Breitling bursaries and the MacRobert Trust bursaries have made it possible for the Royal Aero Club Trust to recognise deserving young people who have already demonstrated enthusiasm and proficiency and who wish to progress further in their chosen air sport.

The “named” bursaries were awarded to:

• President’s Scholar: Joshua Carratt, a skydiver;

• The Peter Cruddas Foundation Scholarship: Liam Vile, a glider pilot;

• The Bramson Bursary: Matthew Davis, an aero modeller;

• The Breitling Bursary: award winner subsequently received sponsorship from another trust; matter under review;

• The MacRobert Trust Bursaries: Lucy Westgarth, a skydiver, and Martin Swindle, also a skydiver.

Apart from these, Special Awards were made to Richard Smith, a fixed-wing pilot, and Theo Warden, a paraglider pilot.

A full list of the bursaries awarded can be found here

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