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GIFT Academy on the West Coast

The nonprofit GIFT Academy, launched by CFI Mary Latimer, aims to help women overcome obstacles in flight training by providing immersive, stage-specific instruction and lots of camaraderie, as well as guest speakers and field trips.

Latimer created GIFT in 2011 to address a need to provide women low-cost flight instruction in a supportive setting to help them advance. Yearly events have produced solos, checkrides, successful knowledge tests, and more. Pilots at all levels are invited.

New in 2022 will be a camp held June 23 through 30 at Arlington Municipal Airport in Arlington, Washington. Arlington Municipal is the home of Glasair Aviation USA, which offers the four-seat Sportsman as an experimental kit or factory-built aircraft. The camp is limited to 15 participants. The registration fee is $300, which covers ground school for the private pilot knowledge test, lunch, and snacks for the week. Aircraft rental will be $125 per hour with fuel included.

To register, see the website. GIFT seeks flight instructors and advanced ground instructors to volunteer for this event. Email for additional details.

Returning to Sheboygan, Wisconsin, August 8 through 12, GIFT Week will take place at Sheboygan County Memorial Airport. The registration fee is $250 and includes ground instruction, lunch, and snacks throughout the week. Aircraft rental will be $125 per hour with fuel included. Sheboygan GIFT Week also seeks volunteer flight instructors and ground instructors.

Vernon, Texas, the flagship location of GIFT Week, will host an event October 9 through 15 at Wilbarger County Airport. The registration fee is $175 before August 1 and $185 thereafter. Flight time is a minimum donation of $110 per hour, fuel included. To register, see the website. To volunteer, register here.

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