2023 Ray Scholarship Blog

Logan Talks About Becoming a Certificated Pilot

Logan Vidal (2nd from right) with Steve Socolosky, Doug Stewart (Designated Pilot Examiner), Logan’s Instructor, Ken Karamshahi, and Aaron Torres, EAA 166 Student Member.

“My private pilot check ride was one of the hardest things I have ever done, being pushed to my limit in every aspect of being an aviator. I was grilled by my examiner, who came at me from every way he could think of. It was a challenging experience that had both its triumphs and pitfalls, such as performing a maneuver properly, or answering a question incorrectly on the Oral exam. At the end of the day, I got it done! I don’t think any of this would have been possible without the love, support, and guidance of everyone who has helped me on my journey to becoming a pilot. From my younger sister, to airline captains, to helicopter pilots, to physics professors, it seemed as if everyone had come out of the woodwork to support me and my journey. I cannot put into words how grateful I am for everyone who has supported me on my journey to becoming a pilot. I am excited to see where my aviation career takes me next.”

2023 Ray Scholar Logan Vidal Earns Private Pilot Certificate

EAA Chapter 166 2023 Ray Scholar Logan Vidal passed his private pilot checkride on November 24, 2023 at Columbia County Airport, NY (1B1). His Designated Pilot Examiner was Doug Stewart. On his arrival back at Westfield-Barnes Airport (BAF) he was greeted by his parents and sister. Providing support for his trip to the examination were Chapter 166 President Steve Socolosky and Logan’s instructor pilot Ken Karamshahi.

Logan is the FOURTH Ray Scholar from our Chapter to earn an FAA pilot certificate! Congratulations Logan!

Logan put his new certificate to use right away – flying N515AC back to Westfield-Barnes Airport.

Logan Talks About His First Solo:

“My first solo! It was an incredible experience, and I could not have asked for better conditions on the morning of my solo flight. I would like to think that I had executed the flight well, with my three take-offs and landings in the pattern all being great, being able to walk away, and use the plane again! I encountered a scenario in the traffic pattern which I hadn’t before, which was a bit daunting. I was given the option of making a short approach or extending my downwind to make way for a faster aircraft coming in for landing. Overall, it was a successful flight, and afterwords I was met by a large group of family, friends, and fellow aviators who had made the trip to the airport just to support my first solo.”

Ray Scholar Logan Vidal Solos!

On Saturday, August 26, EAA Chapter 166 Ray Scholar Logan Vidal made his first solo flight! Logan made this milestone flight at Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport at the same time that Chapter 166 was holding its August meeting at Hartford-Brainerd Airport.

The Chapter is looking forward to congratulating Logan in person at our next meeting. That will be at 10 am at Hartford-Brainerd Airport. See you there!

Congratulations Logan – you are off to a great start on your path to becoming a pilot.

Logan Talks about His Ray Scholarship

“Receiving the Ray Scholarship from EAA 166 was one of the best things that could have happened to me, allowing me to train and fly, doing what I love to do. After receiving the scholarship, my training went at a rapid pace, quickly accumulating flight hours and valuable experience that I would not have gained by only flying once every few weeks. The support from my family and friends was a driving factor that helped to motivate me to pursue and follow through on my private pilot license.”

2023 Ray Scholarship Awarded

Logan Vidal has received a unique full-scholarship opportunity for flight training, thanks to EAA Chapter 166 of Hartford and the Ray Aviation Scholarship program administered by the Experimental Aircraft Association in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

The Ray Aviation Scholarship program provides up to $10,000 scholarships to young people who are seeking to learn to fly. The Ray Foundation has provided $1.55 million to fund the scholarship program, which seeks to improve the flight training success rate from the current industry standards of 20 percent to 80 percent for program participants. Local EAA chapters are responsible for identifying youth for the Ray Aviation Scholarship program and mentoring them through flight training. The Ray Foundation is furthering the legacy of James C. Ray, an EAA lifetime member who was dedicated to aviation and youth education.

Since its introduction in 2019, the EAA Ray Aviation Scholarship program has allowed over 180 youths to complete their flight training and receiving their pilot licenses. The program has been consistently meeting and exceeding its expected 80% success rate each year.

Logan will be training at the XXX Flight School based at Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport in Westfield, MA. The scholarship is designed to support a flight student through both written and practical segments of flight training that are part of successful FAA pilot certification.

EAA chapters play a critical role in the success of the Ray Aviation Scholarship program. Chapters interested in participating are prequalified by EAA through an application process. If selected, they mentor and support the scholarship recipient throughout their flight training journey. Once selected as a Ray Aviation Scholarship participant, candidates also commit to volunteer service with the local EAA chapter.

EAA Chapter 166 is one of 900 local chapters of the Experimental Aircraft Association, the world’s largest organization for recreational flying. It meets at Brainard Airport in Hartford on the last Saturday each month. More information on EAA Chapter 166 is available at www.eaa166.org.

Congratulations Logan!

Check in here for updates on Logan and his progress.