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Oceanside Airport Association Offers Flight Scholarships to Local Teens

Oceanside CA— The Oceanside Airport Association (OAA) flight scholarship is given in memorial to Jack Cassen, a community leader and activist who aggressively supported the Oceanside Municipal Airport. The scholarship is designed to promote the aviation interests and career pursuits of local high school students and will only be awarded to those who have demonstrated a strong interest in aviation and are passionate about becoming a pilot.

This scholarship is intended to lead to the achievement of a “Solo” flight by the participating student. All flight training is done during the summer to avoid scholastic conflicts.  The selection process of candidates wishing to train this summer will begin in late March.

Visit OceansideAirport.org for an application and submittal instructions.

OAA Seeking Corporate Sponsors

Due to a conflict with the current management of the airport, the Oceanside Airport Association(OAA) has had to end their very popular annual ‘Classic Car & Aircraft Show’.  The show was the principal means of funding this scholarship. The Scholarship activities this summer will utilize residual funds in the scholarship account.

Spencer French, 2014 Scholarship recipient with Gordon Nesbitt, President of the Oceanside Airport Association.

Spencer French, 2014 Scholarship recipient with Gordon Nesbitt, President of the Oceanside Airport Association.

OAA is actively seeking corporate sponsors who will keep the program alive. Although costs vary from student to student, OAA budgets between six to eight thousand dollars per scholarship recipient. “Our immediate goal is to establish a relationship with corporate benefactors who at a minimum will commit to fund the flight training of a single student.” said Gordon Nesbitt, President of OAA. “The Oceanside Airport Association teaches local kids how to fly. In 2009 our board established a youth flight scholarship with the goal of inspiring high school students to pursue careers in aviation or STEM. And we are proud of the results. Our very first recipient recently graduated from the US Naval Academy and has been accepted into the U.S. Navy’s Flight Training Program. Others have been accepted into aviation and aerospace engineering programs at MIT and Texas A & M.”

Aviation forecasts point to an increasing world deficit in professional pilots. While demand for commercial pilots grows, the number of pilots trained by the military annually is dwindling. This leaves General Aviation and small airports like Oceanside Municipal Airport as the primary incubators for new pilots.

Interest in the program has grown and now draws applicants from throughout the northern San Diego County coastal region. “Unfortunately, while the number of student candidates has steadily grown, our ability to fund multiple highly deserving candidates has not.” said Gordon