The Maryville Experimental Aircraft Association chapter, the Hawk Road Flyers, is giving scholarships to individuals interested in becoming pilots.

About 50 percent of aviation students who begin private pilot’s license training complete the course.  One challenge potential pilots face is paying for the training. The local organization wants to assist aviation students in hopes of increasing the number of local pilots.

The group will grant 10 to 15 scholarships of $500 on a first-come-first-served basis. Applicants must be Nodaway County residents and working toward their private pilot’s license. Individuals should show they are committed to finishing the program and must have reached the solo flying stage.

Students may begin the solo flying stage of training at age 16 and can get their license at age 17.

“We want to help student pilots who are on their way to get their licences,” Mike Rogers, Hawk Road Flyer member and 15-year veteran pilot, said. “We want to motivate them and help them cross the finish line.”

Anyone interested in piloting or who would like to join the chapter may contact Doug Medsker, chapter president, at 816.261.6261 or Rogers at 309.825.6454. Although there are no local dues, national dues are $40 per year. The group typically meets once a month at the Northwest Missouri Regional Airport. Meeting times and locations are posted on the chapter’s Facebook page, “hawkroadflyers.”

“It is a magnificent activity to participate in. Once you acquire the skill, you can always use it. It is a practical way to travel,” Rogers said. “If anyone is interested in trying it, please contact me.”