OBAP Lt. Col Luke Weathers Solo Flight Academy

July 6 - 20, 2024 | Olive Branch, MS

The OBAP Lt. Col Luke Weathers Solo Flight Academy (SFA) is a two-week aviation training designed to excite and deepen exposure to opportunities in aviation, ideally culminating in an unforgettable solo flight experience.

Tailored and restricted to young adults ages 16 – 19, the academic curriculum establishes the foundation of a productive and successful career in aviation-related professions. While enrolled in the academy, students will receive approximately 40 hours of cursory and condensed ground school detailing federal air regulations, basic meteorology, navigation, basic engine theory, aircraft performance, basic maneuvers, STEM core principles, and the Airman’s Information Manual.

Upon successful completion of the ground school, students will receive up to 10 hours of flight time. Basic flight instructions given by FAA-certified instructors will consist of aircraft familiarization, preflight procedures, taxiing, and parking, straight and level flight, climbs, glides, stalls, slow flight, takeoff and landings, and emergency procedures. Once Federal Aviation requirements are met, the student will be cleared to serve as a “sole manipulator” for the very first time.

The academy is limited to 24 students annually. To participate, students must also obtain an FAA 3rd Class Medical/Student Pilot Certificate from an FAA Medical Examiner and provide proof of U.S. citizenship as required by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

In partnership with the Lt Col Luke Weathers, Jr. Flight Academy, the annual OBAP Solo Flight Academy, serves as an invaluable opportunity for aspiring aviation professionals to advance training. Upon completion of the academy, participants receive a certificate and are provided with the opportunity to attend the OBAP's Lt Col Luke Weathers, Jr. Flight Academy or apply newly acquired skills to pursue scholarships available through OBAP to further education and training.

 

OBAP Solo Flight Academy Location:

Luke Weathers
Flight Academy

11299 Airport Rd,
Olive Branch, MS 38654

Solo Flight Academy Director

JeffHarrison

Captain Jeff Harrison

SFA Director

About SFA

The OBAP Lt. Col Luke Weathers Solo Flight Academy (SFA) is a two-week submersion in aviation training designed to excite and deepen exposure to opportunities in aviation, culminating in an unforgettable experience. If/when all objectives are met to safety and syllabus standards, along with the CFI endorsement, each applicant could earn the opportunity to solo in the traffic pattern.

Should a student not be cleared to solo, that isn’t the end of the world. We’ve had former participants go on to fabulous outcomes inside and outside of the traditional Aerospace career pathways. The Solo Flight Academy is designed to establish the most safe, nurturing, best foundation for becoming a professional licensed pilot within a culturally considerate training environment.

What takes place at SFA?

Upon successful completion of the compressed and rudimentary ground school, students will receive up to 10 hours of flight time. Basic flight instructions given by FAA-certified instructors will consist of aircraft familiarization, preflight procedures, taxiing, and parking, straight and level flight, climbs, glides, stalls, slow flight, takeoff and landings, and emergency procedures. Once the CFI has complete confidence in the students to operate by themselves AND per Federal Aviation requirements, the student will be cleared to serve as a “sole manipulator” for the very first time.

How much does SFA cost?

Thanks to the generosity of the Hilton Foundation, all selected participants will attend this year's Solo Flight Academy free of charge. Each applicant is required to pay the $100, non-refundable application fee.

Who can apply?

Tailored and restricted to young adults ages 16 – 19, the academic curriculum establishes the foundation of a productive and successful career in aviation-related professions. While enrolled in the academy, students will receive approximately 40 hours of cursory and condensed ground school detailing federal air regulations, basic meteorology, navigation, basic engine theory, aircraft performance, basic maneuvers, STEM core principles, and the Airman’s Information Manual.

We look forward to your application and encourage you to submit your questions, comments, and suggestions to make this process better and more user-friendly!

Solo Flight Academy is limited to up to 24 students, annually. To participate, the following minimum requirements (accepted participants will receive a detailed list) must be met:

  1. Applicant must obtain an FAA 3rd Class Medical/Student Pilot Certificate from an FAA Medical Examiner
  2. Applicant must provide proof of U.S. citizenship as required by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
  3. Applicant must be age 16 or older by July 5th of the participating year

Preferred Items (each item improves selection odds):

  1. Students who have attended an OBAP ACE Academy, National Flight Academy, Explore Aerospace, and/or supported STEM program(s) may receive priority. These participants must have an endorsed Letter of Recommendation from an active OBAP ACE, NFA, EA, or supported STEM Director.
  2. Participants in the Memphis/Shelby County (TN)/Participating counties high school’s initiative may receive priority. Applicants must provide a letter endorsed by the program’s current high school training manager.
  3. Applicants with a completed Private Pilot written (PPL) OR who possess a Part 107 rating before the selection window closing date may receive priority. Ground written (proof of certificate and/or passing test score), required.

 

Application Requirements

The primary objective of our two-week training program is to support students as they prepare to solo by the end of the experience. However, the achievement of this goal is subject to various factors including, but not limited to the student's performance and weather conditions. It is important to note that while soloing is a significant milestone, the success of our program is not solely defined by this event. Our program focuses on fostering professionalism, and the opportunity to solo is just one of the many rewards.

Please review this important information before you apply. Have questions? Contact the Solo Flight Academy director at SFA@OBAP.org.

  1. Begin the application below.
  2. Please reference the required and preferred lists above
  3. Complete the application and upload all required documentation by May 1
    at Midnight CT including:
    - Recent school transcript
    - Essay (Briefly and thoroughly describe why you would like to attend our
    Solo Flight Academy; must be from/by the student)
    - Letter of recommendation from an OBAP member
  4. Submit a complete application and the non-refundable, $100 application fee by May 1.
  5. Applications will be reviewed by the Solo Flight Academy director and admissions decisions provided by May 15, 2024.
  6. COVID vaccinations and boosters are not mandatory (but highly recommended). If you have completed either, please provide proof. Students may be requested to test while on-site during the Academy.

Each accepted applicant will be required to complete the following before arrival:

  1. Complete the ground school curriculum (will be provided to accepted students) by June 15.
  2. Provide student medical certificates (AME Class III or higher physical) by June 15. (Recommendation: if underlying conditions are a consideration, you should initiate this as early as possible)
  3. Review IACRA, TSA Endorsement, Pilot Bill of Rights, and Privacy Act of 1974 (conducted with a Luke Weathers Flight Academy CFI)
  4. NOTE: Thanks to the generosity of The Hilton Foundation, this year's participation fee has been waived for all accepted students.

Additional requirements:

Each applicant is responsible for making travel arrangements either to/from the MEM airport or to/from the LWFA (11299 Airport Road  Olive Branch, MS 38654) to attend the Academy.  Details of what to bring, when to meet, daily activities, and a general overview will be provided to accepted students.

Contact the Solo Flight Academy Team

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