Alaska Airmen Association Scholarships

2022 Scholarship Season


Our members are proud to support the growth of aviation as an industry and lifestyle. We partner with aviation legends to award multiple scholarships each year, designed with the next generation of aviation professionals and enthusiasts in mind. We know how expensive the aviation industry is, which is why we are so excited to award over $102,500 worth of scholarships!


The 2022 Scholarship Season has closed. We'd like to deeply thank our donors and applicants for another record-breaking season! Alaskans have spoken up, and our community clearly places immense value on local aviation. This upcoming generation of aviation professionals and enthusiasts is eager to establish a foothold in the industry, and funds are flowing in from all corners of the state to support them. As your local GA non-profit, we are thrilled to thank you for playing your part in preserving our aerial way of life!

How to Apply

Applications will re-open in January of 2023. Keep an eye out for events and information throughout the fall to prepare for next year. We'll teach you how to hone your application package to maximize your chances of receiving a scholarship.

Our scholarship donors fund:


Aircraft mechanics and technicians

Air traffic controllers

Airport managers

Drone pilots

Aerospace engineers

and more!

Scholarship Categories

Our scholarships are broken down into the following categories:


Aircraft Maintenance & Fabrication

Airport Operations, Management, & Air Traffic Control

Piloting: from zero-time through ATP and beyond! New Aviation Discovery Scholarships: $500 to see whether flying is for you.

Other Aviation Pursuits (drone piloting, aerospace engineering, astronaut, etc.)

Annually Recurring Scholarships

These scholarships recur year after year thanks to incredibly generous donations from their benefactors.



Christian was a successful, young flight instructor who always looked to share his passion for aviation in Alaska's community. Christian was a natural teacher with a constant focus on 'safety first". Christian passed away in 2016, at age 20, when the aircraft he was a passenger in was brought down by a bird strike. Christian's dream to become a professional pilot will live on through the Alaska Airmen's Association's $2,500 scholarship in his honor, aiding fellow Alaska residents in pursuing their piloting careers.

This scholarship awards an applicant $2500 toward the pursuit of a professional piloting career.



The original “Glacier Pilot”, Bob Reeve is an undisputed legend in Alaska for the creation and management of his Airline, Reeve Aleutian Airways. A company that served wild Alaskan villages and remote islands for over 70 years. He knew better than anyone the skill, patience and effort required to manage pilots. The Alaska Airmen award $3,000 every year in his honor to an individual seeking a career in Aviation Management, Dispatch or ATC.


This scholarship awards an applicant $3000 toward a career in aviation management (to include areas of operations, safety, & education), dispatch, or a career in the ATC field.


To his friends at the Alaska Airmen’s Association John Culhane was known simply as “Jack”. We are honored to be awarding $2,500 dollars to a deserving aviator, in the memory of one of our own.  Jack contributed much of his time to the industry of aviation in Alaska, through his position as Director for the Alaska Airmen Association.  We are proud to carry on his legacy, by helping the Professional Piloting industry grow stronger every year with a scholarship for a career seeking pilot.


This scholarship awards an applicant $2500 toward the pursuit of a professional piloting career.



A war hero and pioneer aviator, Bob Ellis’s passion for aviation was equaled only by his commitment to Southeast Alaska. From making history in amphibious airplanes, to creating an airline that ultimately became what we know as Alaska Airlines, to becoming Ketchikan’s town mayor and two term Territorial Legislature Senator.  Bob’s enthusiasm for aviation in the Southeast is carried on by the Alaska Airmen by awarding a $500.00 scholarship to a Southeastern Alaska Resident.


This $500.00 scholarship is open to residents of Southeast Alaska who intend to pursue a career in the aviation industry.


Atlee Dodge is a well know name to every Alaskan Aviator. His knowledge of the inner workings of Alaskan Bush planes is unsurpassed and his improvements for all things Super Cub are felt and appreciated to this day. The Alaska Airmen are proud to continue on his journey of airplane advancements by providing $2,500 for a student looking toward Aircraft Maintenance as a career.


This scholarship awards an applicant $2500 toward the pursuit of a professional career in aircraft maintenance.



For would-be pilots looking towards aviation as a life goal and not necessarily a career, the Alaska Airmen partner with Joe Stancil Jr. to award a $3,000 private pilot scholarship. This scholarship is open to all Alaska residents who are in pursuit of their private pilot license and are planning to fly in Alaska.  This includes building hours in the cockpit toward their private pilot license. Proof of ground school participation via letter from instructor or course transcripts and CFI letters of recommendation will be required.


This scholarship awards an applicant $3000 toward a Private Pilot Certificate



Don and Carol Bedford were a team. Don had earned his Airframe and Power License and was well on the way to a degree in aeronautical engineering when he felt impelled to join the workforce at Lockheed Aircraft at the outbreak of WW II. Don later joined the Army Air Corps where he eventually joined the Aviation Cadet program. He was transitioning to fighters when the war ended. He returned to Lockheed where he rubbed shoulders with the likes of Tony LeVere Howard Hughes and worked on the P-80 program. in 1947 Don took a job with Alaska Coastal Airlines in Juneau where he stayed through a series of mergers to retired from Alaska Airlines i n 1993. Carols was from the Chicago area where she attended business school. She traveled to Alaska on a whim took a job at Alaska Airlines where the two met. Don was one of the first authorized inspectors in Southeast Alaska, an area where he remained active throughout the rest of his life. He also flew and restored small aircraft. Carol supported Don in all his endeavors, kept up with the billing and paperwork and "tended the home fires."


Two $2500 scholarships will be awarded to two different applicants.

One scholarship will be awarded to an applicant pursuing a career in aviation mechanics while the other will be awarded to a female applicant pursuing a career in the aviation field.



Major Bill J. Head (Ret.) flew both fixed wing and rotary wing during his twenty year career in the U.S. Army. After his retirement from the Army he continued his flying for both fun and, on and off, as a commercial pilot. He passed on a great love of aviation to his two sons, both of whom have pilot certificates. Bill was continually on a quest for knowledge in whatever field caught his fancy at the time, and it is in this vein that his family wishes to help someone follow their quest to fly, whether for fun or for occupation (or maybe both).


 "The person with the most gold when they die isn't the winner, it is the person with the most stories."


This scholarship was donated by Beluga Air and will award an applicant $2,500 toward the pursuit of a professional piloting career.

2022 Scholarship Donors

These generous donors funded our 2022 scholarships. We are grateful for their contribution to Alaska aviation!


We would like to offer a special thank you to the Saltchuk family of companies whose generous donation allowed us to fund five scholarship awards for 2022.

Barry Santana

Barry donated $2,500 towards two scholarships. We've matched his donation, stretching his funds. Barry's contribution will provide a $2,500 Aircraft Mechanic Scholarship in honor of Voight Clum and a $2,500 Pilot Scholarship in honor of Jay Hammond, whose Cessna 185 Barry now flies.

Austin and Merry Engebretson

Austin and Merry donated $2,500 towards to create two scholarships. We've matched their funds allowing for two $2,500 scholarships.

Mat-Su Valley 99's

The local 99's chapter funded a scholarship for a female pilot. We matched their donation to provide a $2,500 award.

James Baum

James donated $5,000, fully funding two scholarships. His donation will provide a $2,500 pilot scholarship and a $2,500 aircraft mechanic scholarship.

Alaska Flying Dames

The Alaska Flying Dames scholarship was donated anonymously. These funds are intended to support a female pilot.

Sutton Aircraft Salvage

A home-operated aircraft salvage yard located 4 miles north of Palmer specializing in Cessna parts.

Donation in Memory of Phil Block, retired Alaska Airlines Pilot

Smaller donations from various members totaling over $4000!


When Howard Knutson was 10 he saved his money and went for his first airplane ride. The ride cost him $5. He knew then that one day he would fly. Howard moved to Alaska in 1953, getting his pilot's license that first year. He went on to become a bush pilot and a commercial pilot.

Howard's friends and family donated to fund a pilot scholarship in his memory.




As part of our commitment to considerably strengthen our scholarship program through additional funding, the Airmen's Association has been partnering with other community and industry actors to co-fund even more scholarships for Alaska's aviation students.

If you would like to honor the name of an individual or have your business recognized while supporting the aspirations of young aviation enthusiasts, the Alaska Airmen's Association will match your donation up to $1,250 .

                                  For more information, please email


Previous Winners...



Aaron Edwards

Bob Reeve Aviation Management Scholarship


Aras Sirvelis

Don & Carol Bedford Memorial Scholarship


Hannah Corral

F. Atlee Dodge Maintenance Scholarship


Nicholas Zito

John P. Culhane Scholarship


Samuel Dobson

Bob Ellis Scholarship


Tyler Berg

LakeHood Pilots Association Scholarship


Tyler Kukowski

Christian D. Bohrer Scholarship


Victoria Austin

Joe Stancil Jr. Scholarship


Ashley FitzSimmons

F. Atlee Dodge Maintenance Scholarship


McKenna Mitchell

John P. Culhane Professional Pilot Scholarship


Leo Hicker

Joe Stancil Jr. Flight Training Scholarship


Abram Leigh

Bob Ellis Memorial Scholarship


Shiann Nanalook

Alaska Airmen's Award


Rachel Richardson

Bob Reeve Aviation Management Scholarship


Emma Apitzsch

F. Atlee Dodge Maintenance Scholarship


Griffin Kellar

John P. Culhane Professional Pilot Scholarship


Hannah Markwood

Joe Stancil Jr. Flight Training Scholarship


Luc Rondeau

Bob Ellis Memorial Scholarship


Josh Blom

Alaska Airmen's Award