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MD Helicopters, Inc. Awards High Achievement Graduation Scholarship To Embry-Riddle Helicopter Students

PRESCOTT, Ariz., January 27, 2012 – Two very accomplished students enrolled in Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Helicopter Specialty degree program will be even more prepared to enter the helicopter industry when they graduate in May, 2012. MD Helicopters generously donated two MD-500 Transition Scholarships to graduating students from the Bachelor of Science Degree in Aeronautical Science Rotary-Wing program. The transition course takes five days and is valued at approximately $10,000 each.

Congratulations to scholarship winners, Cody Hart and Elizabeth (Beth) Raetz
Embry-Riddle Prescott Helicopter Flight students

MD HelicoptersCody is a Presidential Scholar and has served as the President of the Student Helicopter Club. He completed his helicopter Certified Flight Instructor Instrument (CFII) rating during his junior year and is currently a full time student, adjunct faculty member, and a flight instructor. Additionally, he has been an ambassador for Embry-Riddle for many external events including Oshkosh Air Venture and Helicopter Association International conference while maintaining a perfect 4.00 GPA.   Embry Ridddle Scholarships

Beth transferred to Embry-Riddle after serving as a volunteer firefighter/EMT. She is scheduled to complete her Helicopter CFII rating this Spring. Beth completed a summer internship at Papillon Helicopters, is an active member of the Student Helicopter Club, and supported Embry-Riddle’s weekly radio shows. While maintaining a 3.95 GPA, Beth also served as an ambassador for Embry-Riddle at the Helicopter Association International conference, New Student Orientation, and many other university events.

In addition to the aforementioned scholarship awards, Ben Lewis, another Helicopter Specialty student at Embry-Riddle, who will graduate in May, 2012, was also awarded the prestigious opportunity to act as co-pilot and fly a new MD 902 Helicopter to the Helicopter Association Conference in Dallas, Texas in February.

The scholarship application criterion was limited to students holding a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher and a Helicopter Certified Flight Instructor rating by May 1, 2012. The application also required an essay describing the importance of a Certified Flight Instructor rating and what aspect of the industry they saw themselves in the future.

According to Assistant Professor Bryan Cox, “the relationship between Embry-Riddle and MD Helicopters began several years ago when MD Helicopters invited a group of Prescott students to tour their nearby facility as part of an advanced helicopter operations class.” In response, students invited MD Helicopters, Inc. to visit campus for the annual homecoming event known as OctoberWest. MD Instructor/Production Pilot, Robert Rappoport and then MD Chief Pilot, Dwayne Williams flew an MD902 to campus.

That very first visit to campus formed a bond with the students that would ultimately lead to these scholarships. At the end of great weekend meeting with Embry-Riddle students, MD’s Robert Rappoport, who spearheaded the scholarship said; “After so many years in the industry, it is easy to forget the passion we had for this industry when we were young. Spending time with these students has been a breath of fresh air that I deeply appreciate. It makes me want to do more to help them realize their dream like I did so many years ago.”

Since the first student visit to the MD facility in Mesa, Rappoport, like the many others at MD have formed a special kinship to Embry- Riddle students that is likely to continue for years to come. Two years later, with mutual support from Chief Pilot Jay Wigginton and Vice President of Customer Support, Gary Dolski; MD Helicopters formally notified the Dr. Gary Northam, Dean for Embry-Riddle’s College of Aviation that two students would be awarded a MD-500 Transition Course scholarship.

“MD Helicopters, Inc. is particularly pleased to have Embry-Riddle recognize and use our aircraft as part of their advanced helicopter operations instruction,” stated Wigginton. “Embry-Riddle has always been the leader in aeronautical education and with the addition of a helicopter specialty degree it is great for our industry. It is important for all of us in this industry to support schools like Embry-Riddle in raising the bar for the next generation of helicopter professionals.”

According to Dr. Northham, “We are very fortunate to have a manufacturer like MD Helicopters as a neighbor and we are even more pleased to have MD Helicopter employees supporting our students as role models. It provides a level of professional education that cannot be duplicated in the traditional classroom.”

For more information on Embry-Riddle’s Aeronautical Science, Professional Pilot Helicopter Flight program visit http://prescott.erau.edu or email: pradmissions@erau.edu or contact the Admissions Office at (800) 888-3728.

MD Helicopters, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of commercial and military helicopters. The MDHI family of rotorcraft is world renowned for its value, versatility and performance. The MD Helicopters, Inc. family includes the twin-engine MD Explorer®, and single engine versions of the MD 600N®, MD 520N®, MD 500E® and MD 530F®. The NOTAR® system for antitorque control is used exclusively by MD Helicopters. The Company is based in Mesa, AZ. For more information about MDHI visit http://www.mdhelicopters.com

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world's largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 40 baccalaureate, master's, and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business, and Engineering. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., and through the Worldwide Campus with more than 150 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia, Canada, and the Middle East. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities, and government agencies. For more information, visit http://www.embryriddle.edu.

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