Epic Flight Academy Announces 6th Annual Aviation Scholarship Winners


NOVEMBER 8, 2021

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2021 Epic Scholarship Winners
Epic Flight Academy Scholarship Winners pictured with Epic Staff: (L-R) Abdul Maflahi, Tyler Vischer, Dr. Cindy Lovell (Director of Education), Captain Judy Rice (Epic Ground School Instructor), and Luke Hamilton (not pictured: Julia Juedes)

Epic Flight Academy announced the winners of the 6th Annual Aviation Scholarship Awards during its annual scholarship event on November 6, 2021. The event included a Career Fair featuring sponsors Cessna/Textron Aviation, Air Wisconsin, United Airlines, Piper Aircraft, SkyWest, Southern Airways Express, Piedmont Airlines, Republic Airways, FEAM Maintenance & Engineering, and New Smyrna Beach Outfitters. Epic awarded four scholarships to high school students totaling $65,000 and another $4,000 to current Epic students. New Smyrna Beach Mayor Russ Owen was on hand to present the awards.

Scholarship Winners

Abdul Maflahi, Homewood, AL

Abdul Maflahi received the $20,000 pilot training scholarship. He attends Homewood High School where he is the class president. Abdul emigrated from Yemen with his family when he was just 13 years old. Speaking no English, his hard work and determination paid off, and he was fluent in just 3 years. Abdul has received numerous awards from the Air Force Junior ROTC and has a robust record of volunteerism in his community. In fact, the faculty, staff and students of Homewood High School selected him as “Mr. Homewood.”

Luke Hamilton, Tampa, FL

Luke Hamilton attends H.B. Plant High School and received the $5,000 pilot training scholarship. Luke has already soloed and logged time in a Cessna 172, the type of aircraft Epic uses for flight training. He has completed ground school and is preparing for his FAA written exam. Luke earned the rank of Eagle Scout in 2018. He is a member of the National Honor Society and an outstanding scholar-athlete. Luke’s impressive community service includes volunteering to lead quarterly clean-ups in the Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful Initiative.

Tyler Vischer, Port Orange, FL

Tyler Vischer attends the TESA Academy at Atlantic High School. He received a $20,000 aircraft mechanic scholarship. Tyler has volunteered at past scholarship events at Epic and helped wash airplanes here during a fundraising event for his class. He has spent the last two summers volunteering at Baker Aviation where he changed oil and removed or installed spark plugs. Tyler also helped rebuild a Cessna 150 by installing elevators, flaps, and rudder. Tyler participates in Young Eagles and has had his eye on an aviation career for a long time.

Julia Juedes, Winneconne, WI

Julia Juedes attends Winneconne High School where she is currently taking a small engine class. She received a $20,000 aircraft mechanic scholarship. Julia plans on earning an aerospace degree and is looking forward to training as an aircraft mechanic as it will support her long-term plans. Her ultimate career goal is to become an FAA investigator.

Epic received dozens of outstanding applications from around the country. The annual event supports high school students who aspire to careers in aviation.

Epic Student Scholarships

Epic also awarded $1,000 each to four current Epic Flight Academy students:

  • Kyne Fenton – Private Pilot Training
  • Joseph McGrath – Instrument Training
  • Dominick Bubeck – Commercial Pilot Training
  • Michael Brooks – CFI Training

Epic has awarded more than $210,000 over the past 6 years to 15 high school students. Also, each year, sponsors participate in a fishing tournament to support the scholarship event.

Fishing Tournament Winners

John Brantley of Republic Airways
John Brantley of Republic Airways was the Overall Winner at the 2021 Epic Aviation Scholarship Fishing Tournament in New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Most Outstanding Catch

Evan Foster & Sean Cross – Piedmont Airlines

Lady Angler

Heather Phyllips – Air Wisconsin

Junior Angler

Kyler Hale

Inshore Trash Fish Winner

Erik Perna and Kyler Hale

Inshore Slam Winner

Heather Phyllips and Noah Yaakoby – Air Wisconsin

Overall Winner

John Brantley – Republic Airways

Safety Award Winner

Once each quarter, Epic awards the Colonel Anthony Perna Safety Excellence Award to an Epic employee for going above and beyond in improving, promoting, and maintaining the safety culture at Epic. All company employees are eligible to receive the award. Managers determine a winner based on the actions and attitudes of the employees nominated. 

Epic awarded Flight Instructor Ray Altmann the award during the scholarship event. Ray was selected because of his efforts to assist a solo student divert to another airport when he noticed the weather was deteriorating in New Smyrna. The student was signed off by another instructor, but Ray noticed the situation and took action.

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