Category Archives: Scholarship


Team Awards $2,500 Scholarship to Yasmina Platt

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Houston, TX – The Racing Aces, Dianna Stanger and Joyce Wilson who won the 2014 Air Race Classic awarded a $2,500 scholarship on Saturday, May 16th at the Southeast TX Fly-In to Yasmina Platt, Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA) Regional Manager of the Central Southwest Region.

The purpose of the Racing Aces Aviation Aces Scholarship for women is to provide funds to further the recipient’s pursuit of a career in aviation. The Racing Aces seek to empower women to contribute to the future of aviation through access to education.

Yasmina was born in the beautiful Canary Islands, Spain. Raised in Zaragoza, she has called the United States home for over ten years. Since childhood, she dreamed of becoming a pilot.

Platt is a commercial pilot with instrument, multi-engine land, single engine land and single engine sea ratings as well as a Certificated Flight Instructor (CFII and CFI). She enjoys teaching and sharing her love of flying with others. She especially likes to introduce flying to young people who, like her, have dreamed of becoming a pilot. Yasmina holds a B.S. in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a M.S. in Transportation Planning and Management from Texas Southern University. She is also a Certified Member (C.M.) of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE).

Her passion and commitment for aviation is evident in the number of professional credentials that she holds as well as the number of awards she has obtained. Her focus is aviation safety, outreach, research, education, and the promotion and protection of aviation.

Yasmina is truly enjoying her venture representing the Association in the Central Southwest Region covering NM, TX, LA, OK, AR, KS, MO, NE and IA. In this role, her mission is to build strong local General Aviation communities and strengthen AOPA’s relationships with state legislators, state aeronautics agencies, state aviation organizations, and other policymaking entities. In addition to representing AOPA member interests with state and local government officials, she hopes to stimulate and encourage greater involvement among pilots and aviation enthusiasts.

“Now I’m working on my next dream, to become a helicopter pilot, because I believe in bettering yourself,” Platt wrote in an essay which was apart of the entry requirements. “Looking further, learning more about other aspects of general aviation I have not yet explored, and challenging yourself within your limits and reach. Plus, you always hear that ‘a pilot is always learning.’ I agree with it and live by it.”


Platt is also an Adjunct Aviation Professor at Utah Valley University (UVU) having taught classes in aviation logistics, private pilot flying, business aviation, and aviation management. She lives in Houston, TX with her husband Jared, an airline pilot and GA supporter.

“It’s very important for our team to award these scholarships,” said Stanger. “The female pilot population is very low — only 6%! We’re doing our best to pay it forward and promote aviation. Yasmina is an excellent role model for any girl wanting to learn to fly. She is always willing to volunteer her time when we host aviation events.”

Each time the team wins a race another female pilot receives the benefits. Because winning isn’t everything — it’s just the beginning.

The team has awarded $12,500 in scholarships since 2012.

Rachel Brandhorst

Racing pilots present scholarship to future LeTourneau pilot

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Gregg County, TX (KLTV) – Less than ten percent of all pilots are women, but LeTourneau University is doing their best to change that. And when a female pilot is trying to earn her wings, sometimes other female pilots come out of the blue to help out…with cash.

Joyce Wilson is a pilot, but she came to LeTourneau’s Abbot Aviation Center by truck, even though she prefers to fly really fast. Her friend Dianna Stanger came in by plane, and she is the other half of The Racing Aces. They just happen to have $5,000 for a good cause.

“It was actually our winning purse for the Air Race Classic which we won last year,” Dianna said.

“Well, it seems appropriate that you gave her a purse,” I said.

“Well, you know how we women are about our purses,” Dianna laughed.

That good cause is Rachel Brandhorst, who is working on her private pilot’s certificate, and that’s for a good cause, too.

“My parents were in Brazil as missionaries. I had already had in my mind that I wanted to become a mission pilot, and while we were there we met a mission pilot,” Rachel said.

The Pilot suggested LeTourneau, but she can’t just get her license and cruise.

“They want you to have a certain amount of experience flying and in maintenance, and they would like you to be debt free before you go to the mission field,” Rachel explained.

“That’s all?” I asked.

“That’s it, just very simple,” Rachel laughed.

While taking her simple classes she applied for the second scholarship the Racing Aces offered.

“Her application just kept raising the bar, and she just was head and shoulders above the rest,” Joyce Wilson revealed.

“I’m very excited that this scholarship was given to me. I have seen a lot of ways God has provided for me this semester, and that’s really just blowing my mind that He is constantly taking care of me, and I just feel like He’s setting me up for something big,” Rachel revealed.

And the Racing Aces are giving her some of the fuel she needs to to get to that something big.

Actually the $5000 really will go towards fuel and other costs dealing with the airplane Rachel will be using in her training., Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News


Air Race Classic Champions Use Winnings To Create New Aviation Scholarship For Women

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The Racing Aces women encourage other women to pursue careers in aviation

Port Lavaca, TX – The Racing Aces, Dianna Stanger, Joyce Wilson and Erin Cude, sponsored by Cirrus Aircraft, today announced the new $5,000 Aviation Aces Scholarship for Women. The team just won the 2014 Air Race Classic and is funding the scholarship with their winnings and sponsorships to underwrite aviation education for women.  The 2012 Racing Aces team also won the Air Race Classic and awarded a scholarship.

“We are racing for women’s education in aviation,” said Dianna Stanger. “Today only six percent of pilots in the United States are women. There should be so many more – it’s a great career opportunity and we believe women can contribute so much to aviation as pilots or in any capacity. This scholarship will hopefully encourage more women to pursue an education in aviation whether it’s as an air traffic controller, mechanic, or pilot.”

Stanger said there is a rich history of groundbreaking women in aviation from Amelia Earhart, through women’s efforts during wartime to recreational women’s air racing that started in 1929 with the First Women’s Air Derby. According to Stanger, women pilots raced cross-country through the ’30s and again after WWII in the “Powder Puff Derby.” After the Derby’s 30th and final flight in 1977, the Air Race Classic continued the tradition of transcontinental speed competition for women pilots. Stanger and her teammates won this year’s event and plan to defend their title in 2015.

“We thought this win was the perfect opportunity to offer other women the chance to move into the aviation field – it gives us an even greater incentive to compete,” said Stanger. “We are especially interested in applicants with a financial need because broadening the opportunities for women in aviation is our ultimate goal.”

The deadline for submission for the 2015 Aviation Aces Scholarship is November 30, 2014. Recipient will be selected by The Racing Aces and Cirrus Aircraft representative(s). Applicants will be advised of winner in February 2015. The formal Aviation Aces Scholarship Award will be made at 26th Annual International Women in Aviation Conference, March 5-7, 2015, at Hilton Anatole, Dallas, Texas, and recipient is required to attend.

The application should be submitted at or emailed to


We Won

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New Cumberland, PA – The Racing Aces were announced the Championship Title of the 38th Annual Air Race Classic on Saturday, June 21st at the Awards Banquet. The team was victorious after a long two week journey.

The four day air race was intense this year and weather conditions were extreme. Snow and ice in Wyoming and mountain ranges, lightening plus twin tornadoes in Nebraska. They experienced four seasons in one day!

The Aces will award the $5,000 winning prize money to one deserving young female aviator. Look for details soon.

We’ll have more info for you shortly plus photos and video!

Read about the entire journey at


The Aces Featured in All Things Crossroads Magazine

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About a month ago following the delivery of our new race plane we had the opportunity to have a photo shoot with Vickie Romero of All Things Crossroads Magazine at Victoria Regional Airport. At the time we didn’t know if we’d make the front cover, well we found out today!

These Aces are very excited to be about to share their journey with the Crossroads community.

Read the Feature Article Here

Read the entire magazine at:


Cirrus Aircraft Promotes Women in Aviation, Equips ‘Racing Aces’ Pilots with SR22 Airplane for 2014 Air Race Classic

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Duluth, Minn. (May 13, 2014) – Doing its part to raise awareness for women in general aviation, Cirrus Aircraft will equip ‘Racing Aces’ team pilot Dianna Stanger, co-pilot Joyce Wilson and teammate Erin Cude with a Cirrus SR22 airplane to take on the 38th annual Air Race Classic in June. A competitive four-day flight across the United States, the Air Race Classic promotes current and future women pilots while increasing public awareness of general aviation. Cirrus will also help select the 2014 winner of the Racing Aces Scholarship, an annual $5,000 scholarship given to a young woman interested in aviation. Stanger was named the 2012 and 2014 ‘Most Dedicated Female Pilot Worldwide’ by Women of Aviation Worldwide, and won the Air Race Classic with her co-pilot in 2012.

“Only seven percent of all pilots are women, and we’re hoping that initiatives like the Air Race Classic – which encourages women pilots from across the world to come out and hone their flying skills in a spirit of camaraderie – will help the general aviation industry nudge that number upward,” said Dale Klapmeier, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cirrus Aircraft. “We’re excited to play a small role in this endeavor by exposing women pilots to our aircraft that are technologically advanced yet easy and safe to fly, and of course, also by promoting a scholarship that helps women take the steps needed to pursue their dream of flying on their own.”

A Cirrus Aircraft enthusiast and owner of a custom Cirrus SR22T Xi, Stanger and her team will fly a Cirrus SR22 in the Air Race Classic. As the best-selling airplane in its class for the past decade, the SR22 embodies advanced technological innovation, exhilarating performance and unprecedented style. Features include a continental IO-550-N 310 HP engine with a max cruise speed of 183 KTAS, advanced avionics and the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System™ (CAPS).

The nonprofit Air Race Classic will be held June 16-19 and culminate in a 2,307 nautical mile journey from Concord, Calif. to New Cumberland, Pa. Contestants are given four days, flying in daylight hours, to reach their destination, with the winner determined by having an actual ground speed as far over an assigned handicap speed as possible, as opposed to simply reaching the destination first.

Racing Aces Scholarship

Stanger started the Racing Aces Scholarship in 2012 on behalf of her team to support women seeking a career in aviation. Each applicant will be reviewed for eligibility by an independent panel. A second panel of judges consisting of The Racing Aces and Cirrus Aircraft members will review qualified applicants. The 2014 scholarship winner will be announced in November 2014 and honored at a celebratory event.

To learn more about the SR22 and other Cirrus Aircraft models, visit

ABOUT CIRRUS AIRCRAFT Cirrus Aircraft is a recognized leader in general aviation. Its all-composite line of personal aircraft – the SR20, SR22 and the turbocharged SR22T – incorporate innovative and advanced performance, electronic and safety technologies, including Cirrus Perspective™ by Garmin® avionics and the unique Cirrus Airframe Parachute System™ (CAPS). To date, total time on the worldwide Cirrus Aircraft SR-series fleet surpassed five million flight hours with 92 lives saved as a direct result of CAPS being a standard safety feature on all Cirrus aircraft. The Cirrus Vision SF50 jet, with over 550 production positions reserved, will provide a new personal and regional business transportation solution: the personal jet. All Cirrus aircraft are made in the U.S. with a direct sales force in North America and authorized sales centers covering export markets in 60 countries around the world. Cirrus Aircraft is wholly owned by China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co., Ltd. (CAIGA). For additional information on Cirrus and its products please visit


Todd Simmons
EVP Sales, Marketing & Customer Support


LETU Aviation Student Whitney Brouwer Earns $5K Scholarship

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Longview, TX — LeTourneau University (LETU) student Whitney Brouwer, a senior flight science major from Raymond, Minn., was awarded a $5,000 scholarship from the 2012 Air Race Classic champions Dianna Stanger and Victoria Holt, known as The Racing Aces.

On Friday, February 1st, Stanger and Racing Aces representative Jasmine Gordon presented Brouwer with the $5,000 scholarship during a luncheon celebration at the Abbott Aviation Center. “There is nothing better than giving back — especially when it is so well deserved,” said Stanger. Stanger is an advocate in promoting all there is good about being a pilot. Donating a scholarship on behalf of her Air Race team is just one of the great ways to give back.


The flight from Calhoun County Airport to East Texas Regional Airport.


Stanger and Holt won the 36th Air Race Championship in June 2012 following a four-day air race covering nearly 2,900 statute-miles across eight states and making nine stops. They decided to donate their $5,000 winning purse and sponsorship money to empower a female flight student to realize her own dream of flight. The Federal Aviation Administration reports that only 7 percent of all pilots are women, and that that percentage has not increased in nearly a century.

Brouwer dedicates her time to working with the university flight team and working at a local flight service center. She earned her private pilot’s certificate in August 2010 and has logged over 250 flight hours.

“Aviation is an exciting field, and I enjoy the different opportunities it presents,” Brouwer said. “I love to fly, and I’m also becoming certified as an Airframe and Powerplant mechanic.”


It’s no doubt this is one of the nation’s outstanding colleges for pilot, aircraft maintenance, air traffic control, and mission aviation training.

Brouwer will use the scholarship to help pay her university expenses. LETU Flight Science Chair Lauren Bitikofer says Brouwer is a top student. “Whitney helps the aircraft mechanics with annual and 100-hour inspections by performing many tasks including: changing oil, cleaning spark plugs, and servicing wheels and brakes,” Bitikofer said. “In more than 35 years of observing and teaching students, I would place her within the top 2 percent of all students for potential, ability, and personal integrity.”

LeTourneau University is an interdenominational Christ-centered university located in Longview, Texas, with undergraduate and graduate programs online and at education centers around the state.


Whitney and Dianna in the Air Traffic Control Lab at the Abbot Aviation Center.

Academic majors include aviation, business, communication, computer science, criminal justice, education, engineering, health care administration, health science-nursing, human services, kinesiology, the liberal arts, the sciences and psychology.

The team would like to personally thank the 2012 sponsors for their support; AvFuel, Byrne & Storm, P.C., Federman, Lally & Remis LLC, IBC Bank, Flight Safety, Formosa and Ladd Gardner Insurance.

Stanger is now busy preparing for the 37th annual Air Race Classic with co-pilot Joyce Wilson. They will race as the Team XXtreme Aviatrixx.

“I really want to thank everyone at the luncheon celebration for recognizing Whitney and helping her achieve the goals she has in aviation,” said Bitikofer. “She will be an incredible asset to our industry.”

In addition to presenting Brouwer with a ceremonial check and certificate the pilots toured the Abbot Aviation Center. The Abbott Aviation Center houses LeTourneau’s School of Aeronautical Science at the East Texas Regional Airport. “I was extremely impressed with the facility and the level of hands-on experience the students receive,” Stanger commented.