RENO, Nev. (December 1, 2021) – The Reno Air Racing Association (RARA) announced today that the application window for its inaugural Flight Training Scholarship (FTS) Program will open Dec. 1, 2021. Supported in part by a grant from the Ray Foundation, Inc., the program will provide up to ten scholarships initially to students aged 16–20.

Fred Telling, CEO of RARA, stated that this is one of several initiatives in progress that are designed to add year-round depth and scope to the excitement and tradition of the annual STIHL National Championship Air Races.

“We want to become more than just a once-per-year racing event. Our Flight Training Scholarships will follow on the success we have seen in our STEM Expositions during Race Week, and we can use that success to engage young people and provide a valuable, substantial education and training resource year-round that can lead to a career in aviation. In the 1970s a person could pay for flight training with just a summer job, but in this day and age the cost can be prohibitive. We hope this scholarship program can help some deserving students overcome that challenge.”

The scholarships will provide funding for a student to achieve their Private Pilot License (PPL). The recipients will be selected by a committee comprised of members from the RARA Board of Directors, and during their year-long journey toward gaining their flight certificates they will have the support and guidance of several volunteer mentors from the RARA organization and the surrounding community.

“Awarding the scholarship is just the first step. We also want to be very present in the student’s progress to help them attain their goal,” said Telling. “Having a mentor available to fill in the blanks when they have questions outside of formal instruction is very helpful in assuring their success.”

Applications will be accepted through Jan. 31, 2022. 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 April 2022. The scholarship program was officially announced during the STIHL National Championship Air Races opening ceremonies on Sept. 16, 2021.

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.

Applicant information and documents are available 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