Reaching New Heights: Opportunities in Aviation Scholarships

By Aaron Crawford, EAA 1235929; Vice President, Chapter 115, Plattsville, Ontario

When I was first introduced to the world of aviation, I was captivated by its sense of freedom and adventure. However, pursuing a career in aviation can often come with financial obstacles that may seem impossible. That was until I discovered this unique aviation scholarship that has helped open doors for me. Today I want to share my experience and encourage others to apply. I came across the Harrison Ford Scholarship while planning for my flight training goals. I was thrilled to learn that there are scholarships available at the age of 24. I was even more excited when I found out I was selected as a recipient for an EAA scholarship, specifically the Harrison Ford Scholarship.

My Journey

I grew up in southern Ontario, Canada. Ever since a very young age I have been captivated by the world of aviation. As a young boy I had to run to the window any time I heard an airplane flying overhead. My interest in flying was evident, something that still remains to this day. My aviation journey started at the age of nine, building and flying model airplanes at a local RC club. Then at age 16, my dad and I purchased a 1946 Taylorcraft and became members of a club at a local grassroots airfield.

A trip to northern Ontario in our Taylorcraft to visit my grandparents. Breathtaking views.

Together we learned to fly, a dream come true for us both. At our club I was able to get involved with a rebuild project of a Jodel D11, then a Zenair 601 which we now operate as a group of 12 pilots in a not-for-profit flying club.

On the ramp in St. Catharines, Ontario, after flying over Niagara Falls in our club Zenair 601. Before taking off I discovered that I was awarded the Harrison Ford Scholarship. I had to put it out of my mind temporarily so I could focus on flying home!

Later I budgeted for more flight training and went on to earn my private pilot licence. From there I completed my ultralight flight instructor rating.

First solo for my PPL after my ultralight pilot permit.

I currently work as a licensed electrician and work hard to earn more aviation ratings simultaneously. I recently finished my night rating and am currently working on the commercial license and instrument rating.

Scholarship Application Process

This year’s EAA flight training scholarship applications are open between November 1, 2023, and March 1, 2024. To apply, go to EAA’s website and complete the questionnaire and essay questions. It is important to note that one application enters you into a pool of flight training scholarships. Key aspects to include in the application are academic achievements, extracurricular involvement, a personal statement, and a letter of recommendation. To stand out, include your participation in the aviation community and how you want to make a positive impact in the world of aviation. If successful, the scholarship funds can be applied to whichever rating or licence you would like. One condition is that you must complete this rating within one year.


As an aviation enthusiast fortunate enough to have received the Harrison Ford Scholarship, I urge others to take advantage of these incredible opportunities organized by EAA. Through financial support, guidance, and a network of industry professionals, this scholarship has the potential to pave the way for your aviation career. Reach out and share your story.

My home flight simulator setup and the computer that I built for it. Currently using it to practice training.

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