RENO, Nev. (September 16, 2021) – The Reno Air Racing Association (RARA) is pleased to announce its inaugural Flight Training Scholarship (FTS) Program in conjunction with this year’s 57th STIHL National Championship Air Races and Airshow. Supported by a grant from the Ray Foundation, Inc., the program will provide up to ten scholarships initially to students.

In addition to legendary racing, RARA is proud to be home to one of the largest STEM Education Discovery Zones in the country to inspire youth. In 2019, more than 7,200 school-aged children were introduced to the wonder of aviation through the exhibit’s STEM-based learning projects. Sponsored by The Global Robot and Drone Deployment (GRADD) and the Nevada Business Aviation Association (NVBAA), this very successful program begun in 2015 returns to the 2021 STIHL National Championship Air Races.  

This year, RARA will extend the scope of its education programming by offering full private pilot flight training scholarships to students ages 15-19. Supported by a grant from the Ray Foundation, Inc., the program will provide up to ten scholarships initially to students who qualify through a thorough application process. The scholarship will be awarded in two parts; the first phase will fund the student up through their first solo flight, and the balance will be awarded once the solo and FAA written exam have been successfully completed. The student can then complete the requirements and final FAA check-ride to achieve their private pilot’s license.

“We’ve had great feedback and engagement from our local community regarding our STEM Education initiatives,” said Fred Telling, CEO of RARA. “Adding flight training scholarships to our offering moves us beyond just inspiration at the annual STIHL National Championship Air Races and into providing substantial education resources to young people year-round.”

The application window is expected to begin Nov. 1, 2021, and run through Jan. 15, 2022, during which each application received will be screened for completion, accuracy and qualification. Qualified applicants will then be interviewed, and the final awards will be announced in March 2022. The scholarship program was officially announced during the STIHL National Championship Air Races opening ceremonies on Sept. 16, 2021.

“We intend this to be the first of an annual scholarship offering, and plan to expand the program as our experience and participation grow,” said Telling.

More information on the scholarship will be available soon at


About the STIHL National Championship Air Races
The STIHL National Championship Air Races are held every September just north of Reno by the Reno Air Racing Association, a 501(c)(3). The event has become an institution for Northern Nevada and aviation enthusiasts from around the world with seven racing classes, a large display of static aircraft and several military and civilian flight demonstrations. Independent economic impact studies show that the event generates as much as $100 million annually for the local economy. For more information on the National Championship Air Races, visit