Graham Bendall was the first winner of an Air League/Bristow scholarship and the first recipient of the Airbus Helicopter Trophy.
It has been a while since my last email but during the last year I have been employed by Bristow at their academy out in Titusville, Florida whilst waiting for the rotorcraft industry to recover from the falling prices. It has been an exceptionally busy year and I gained over 750 rotorcraft flight hours in 1 year and have had 15 students who I have flown with. I was able to instruct them and get them ready for various check-rides and all 15 now have FAA licences which meant I was able to apply for a gold seal instructor certificate due to the high pass rate and because I opted to take an optional extra written exam for ground instruction. It has been a great opportunity for me to be able to teach people to fly and I am grateful that Bristow found a way to delay our further training for one year instead of cutting us and in turn they allowed us to gain our instructor certificates in the USA. I am also incredibly grateful for the Air League for the opportunity at the scholarship in the first place! Now though, that stage is over now and I am looking at returning to the UK to continue my training with Bristow/Castle Air in Gloucester with the long term view of starting in Aberdeen on the fleet in September. It should be an exciting few months and I promise I will try and keep the updates a little more regular! I spoke to Claire Stoll when she came to visit the academy for possible training and told her the good work that the Air League do and it was to my delight that she returned 10 months later after gaining some experience with a flying scholarship through the Air League so I know the League is still doing a good job with getting people into aviation.