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SSA Stoffel Flight Scholarship Recipients


Ethan Hoisington

Progress/Achievement Date Further info




Ryan Grabman

Progress/Achievement Date Further info




Ben Bierstine

Progress/Achievement Date Further info




Michael Jennings

Progress/Achievement Date Further info




Camden Schneider

Progress/Achievement Date Further info





Evan Kownurko

Photo #15917 | Evan Kownurko Solo SFirst Solo Experience
   Over the course of four days, I had been getting my flying skills back and becoming used to the operations at Harris Hill. On July 4th, I had just finished practicing emergency procedures, including my first rope break, when my instructor Evan asked me if I was feeling ready to solo. The winds were light and from the southeast, great conditions for south landings at Harris Hill. After completing the pre-solo test and talking with my instructor, I pulled our 2-33 onto the runway and performed my pre-takeoff checklist. My takeoff roll went well except for my nose going high from the lack of an instructor behind me. Towing to 2,000 feet I began to relax more and started to enjoy myself as we flew over the valley to our release point. After release I circled at the south end of the airport and looked for any thermals in the area, but they were weak and I could not stay in any for long. Then, I circled down to my pattern entry point at 2,700feet AGL. From there the landing was straight forward and I landed softly in the grass. As soon as I got out, I was met by all the juniors who immediately doused me in many buckets of water. I had a great time and I was back in the 2-33 by the end of the day once I dried out. Moving forward, I have begun flying the club’s 1-26, and I am going to continue practicing until my checkride which is planned for the end of July. I would like to thank the SSA again for this opportunity and I would like to thank everyone who has supported me here during my time at Harris Hill. I look forward to sharing more experiences once I achieve my Private rating.

Progress/Achievement Date Further info
Soloed 07/04/2019 Harris Hill Soaring
Private Glider 09/14/2019 Harris Hill Soaring





Gideon Stasak

Photo #15919 | Gideon Stasak soloDear Stoffel Flight Training Scholarship Donor,

My name is Gideon Stasak. I live in Hood River, Oregon. My parents own a small cafe. Besides aviation-related stuff, I ski, ride bicycles and play the violin/ "fiddle.” I am 17 years old, and have been a lifelong aviation enthusiast.

I have built around a dozen r/c aircraft, either from plans, kit, or from my own designs.  At a local STEM/unmanned aerial vehicle education program, one of the organizers delivered a sales pitch for Hood River Soaring, the local soaring club. I had heard about sailplanes before, but suddenly they became a lot more accessible. I wanted to become a pilot, but just as a hobby, not as a career. Getting a pilot’s certificate with a glider rating seemed equally fun. I still think that that is the case, although I have very little powered flight experience to compare with.  I have recently taken and passed the FAA glider written exam. I need to get a couple more flight hours to meet the required 10 hours of flying time, and then take my practical test!

I am currently working on a number of aviation-related projects; I’ve purchased a Photo #15918 | Gideon Stasak Shirttfull-scale, antique sailplane called the Schneider Arrow. The fuselage is in fairly good shape, but the wings are very damaged. I’m working on restoring it. I’ve removed all the interior instruments, cloth, panels, etc., and am preparing to re-cover the fuselage. By doing things in this order, the fuselage will be somewhat secure while I work on rebuilding the wings.  I have also constructed a 3.5m r/c electric motorglider from old plans I found online. I've roughly finished it, and successfully flew it, but I’m making a number of modifications and re-covering it.  It is, again, of all-wood construction, and I’ve learned a lot in the process of constructing it!  

Thanks to this scholarship, I’ll be able to spend less time working, and more time studying, working on such projects, and flying!

Thank you!

Gideon Stasak

Progress/Achievement Date Further info
Passed Private Pilot-Glider Knowledge Test  7/26/2019  Hood River Soaring





Dalton Stradtman

Hi, my name is Dalton Stradtman, I am one of the recipients of this year's scholarships. I want to first start off by saying thank you for putting you trust and faith in me. I am 15years old and ever since I was little I have wanted to be a pilot and that is the main reason I wanted to become a glider pilot. The sport of soaring was such a unique opportunity because you could be 14 and be the pilot in command of an aircraft. I have really enjoyed it however it has become fairly expensive so I have been trying to limit my flight time, but now sense I got this scholarship I will be able to do those cross-country flights I have been wanting to do for a while. It just seemed so awesome to meso I took up the opportunity and never looked back. I have soloed a while back and have been flying to stay current, I am currently preparing to take my written here in September and then try to take my checkride on my birthday.

Photo #15956 | Dalton Stradtman CheI am currently a CAP cadet and I plan to head our glider program with Scheduling and planning to get more cadets flying. My long-term goal is to be an astronaut and I plan to do that by first becoming a fighter pilot, I am currently planning to apply to the Air Force Academy to study astronautical engineering. I want to finish out by saying thank you very much for choosing me and I can assure you that these scholarship funds will not be wasted and will be used in the most efficient and effective matter.

Dalton earned his P/GL rating 01/25/2020. Shown here with DPE Mark Montague and CFI-G Bill Tisdale.

Progress/Achievement Date Further info
 Solo Schweizer 2-33  11/24/2018  Las Vegas Valley Soaring Association
 FAA P/GL Knowledge Test Passed  12/2/2019  Las Vegas Valley Soaring Association
 P/GL rating complete  1/25/2020  Las Vegas Valley Soaring Association





Charles Thom

Dear Committee of Stoffel Flight Training Scholarship Donor,

I want to thank you from bottom of my heart for awarding me with this scholarship. Due to my family financial situation I had to interrupt my lessons this summer. Your scholarship will give me the opportunity to continue learning. I'm humbled and grateful at the same time. I aready contacted my instructer Cindy Brickner to schedule continuanion of my lessons.

My ultimate goal is to solo soon and this scholarship award is bringing me closer to making it possible.

My flying goal is to have glider and power plane pilot licenses. My plan is to continue to get power plane commercial licenses and flying be my professional career. I want to be a pilot.

Thank you for this scholarship! I will never forget it.
With gratitude,

Charles Thom

Progress/Achievement Date Further info




Tucker Thomas

Photo #15915 | Tucker Thomas Solo

Thank you again for allowing me to pursue my aviation goals with your scholarship.

I was able to fly 11 days with the Midwestern Soaring Association this year. The weather wasn’t the best for soaring. There weren’t many thermals, so most of my flights were just up and down. I completed 49 fights this year with a total of eight and a half hours. 6.8 of those hours were solo time in the club’s Schweizer SGA 1-26. I’m hoping the next flying season will have better weather, so I can work on thermaling and fly for longer periods of time.

I have been preparing for the written test. I recently took an eight-week ground Photo #15916 | Tucker Thomas 126school class at Johnson County Community College. I am continuing to study on my own so I can get a higher score on practice tests. I plan to take the written test by the end of February. Then I should be ready to take a check ride in the spring.

I have attached a photo of me in the 1-26 from this summer, and one from after my first solo from October 2018.

Thank you,


Progress/Achievement Date Further info
 Glider solo  October 2018  Midwestern Soaring Association




Posted: 5/2/2020