Suzanne Fernandes / News Editor
Lightspeed Aviation Foundation was recently established in 2010 by the Lightspeed Aviation Corporation. Lightspeed Aviation builds aviation headsets since the unveiling of their first product at the 1996 EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) venture. But, it’s never all about business. Striving to help their customers and society excel in aviation, the Lightspeed Foundation established the Pilots Choice Awards.
These awards are foundation grants ranging from $2,000-$10,000. The winners were determined from an online voting process. Eight award winners were announced during the Flying Aviation Expo in Palm Springs, California on Nov. 1. This year, Pilots N Paws bagged $10,000 to help fund their mission of transporting shelter, foster and rescue pets for adoption. This monetary grant will help raise awareness of Pilots N Paws’ mission to save adoptable animals from euthanasia. Awarded the second highest number of votes and subsequently, winner of the $8,000 grant is New Tribes Mission, a team of pilots and technicians that provide missionary support to remote locations all around the globe. They will use this grant to buy a more fuel efficient aircraft namely the Kodiak for missions in Papua New Guinea. Last year, they also won $8,000 that was used to acquire a helicopter for the Typhoon Haiyan relief mission. The Ninety-Nines were third in place with a grant award of $6,000. Established by 99 female pilots, The Ninety-Nines support women aviation students around the globe through education and scholarships in all facets of aviation.
Academy of Model Aeronautics, Civil Air Patrol, Mission Aviation Fellowship, Angel Flight West and Patient AirLift Services were the next five recipients of grants in the descending order of online votes. Agape Flights, Missionary Flights International, SUN ‘n FUN. The Flying Doctors, Think Global Flight, Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum and Whirly-Girls International were the next seven honorees to receive a Lightspeed Zulu headset and a crystal commemorating them as finalists of the Pilot’ Choice Awards 2014. Going forward, the 2015 grants are available online.
The Pilots Choice Awards are open to non-profit aviation communities that build and help the community using their aviation skills. As Allan Schrader, President of Lightspeed Aviation said in reference to the awards ceremony, “Awarding these aviation charities provides the opportunity to advance their individual cause and together expand awareness and appreciation for aviation.” Indeed, aviation has proven to build a better society and these charities are a testament to that. To learn more about what the finalists of the Pilot Choice Awards, visit http://www.lightspeedaviationfoundation.org/content.cfm/Voting/Get-to-know-the-2014-finalists.