Sling Pilot Academy Awarded $500,000 FAA Workforce Development Grant
Enabling Community Uplift with Scholarships

Sling Pilot Academy, a premier flight training institution located in Torrance, CA, committed to providing top-tier aviation education to aspiring pilots, is proud to announce its recent achievement in being awarded one of the 2022 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Workforce Development Grants amounting to almost $500,000. With this significant Grant, the Academy is set to uplift the Torrance and local area communities by providing invaluable opportunities for our very own residents.

The FAA grant comes as a recognition of Sling Pilot Academy’s commitment to excellence in flight training and its dedication to cultivating a skilled and diverse aviation workforce. The cornerstone of Sling Pilot Academy’s community uplift initiative is the provision of 25 Private Pilot scholarships valued at an impressive $16,669 each. These scholarships have all been awarded to Torrance and local-area High School students and individuals, providing them the chance to pursue their dreams of becoming licensed Private Pilots, and paving the way for a promising career in aviation.

Mark Arranaga, School to Career Coordinator of the Torrance Unified School District, whose students received a portion of the scholarships granted, had this to say: “For the most part, young people’s dreams of becoming a pilot just remain a dream. They don’t know where to start or don’t have the means to obtain the proper education and training. That’s why the Sling scholarships are life-changing for our students. We currently have two eager students who were selected for the [Private Pilot] scholarship. Both students said this scholarship would help them fulfill their dream of becoming a pilot. Because of these scholarships, these two students will have their Private Pilot certificate before high school graduation and be on their way to obtaining their Commercial Pilot license. Thank you, Sling!”

In addition to the Private Pilot scholarships, Sling Pilot Academy is in the process of awarding a total of 160 Commercial Drone Pilot (Part 107 Remote Pilot) scholarships, aimed at further supporting the development of unmanned aviation professionals in the South Bay. The ever-expanding drone industry holds tremendous potential, and through these scholarships Sling Pilot Academy aims to equip individuals with the necessary skills to excel in this cutting-edge field.

“We are honored to have been selected for this FAA Workforce Development Grant,” said Matt Liknaitzky, Torrance Resident and Co-CEO of Sling Pilot Academy. “At Sling Pilot Academy, we believe in the transformative power of aviation and its ability to change lives. With these scholarships, we aim to create a more inclusive and diverse aviation community while fostering a passion for flight within our local area.”

Sling Pilot Academy has a long-standing reputation for its comprehensive flight training programs, modern aircraft, and experienced team of flight instructors. With the FAA Grant, the Academy is excited about the positive effects this will have on the Torrance and local area communities enabling aspiring pilots from all walks of life to pursue their dreams.

Sling Pilot Academy has a good tradition of giving back to the local community. During the “200 Free Flights” event earlier in 2023, Sling Pilot Academy gave away 200 free flights mostly to local area high school students who were interested in a career in aviation. Sling Pilot Academy regularly donates airplanes to women’s aviation groups, and other underrepresented parts of aviation.

The Academy also donates free simulator time to the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) on a weekly basis. And, this summer saw the launch of the High School Aviation Summer Camp, where 22 Students participated in the inaugural camp and got all the tools and aviation experience necessary to become professional Drone Pilots.

Said Wayne Toddun, Torrance Resident and Co-CEO of Sling Pilot Academy: “Sling Pilot Academy loves giving back to our local community. We spent over $40,000 giving away our 200 Free Flights. We believe in giving wings to dreams and flights back to our community. There’s never been a better time to be a pilot, with no college degree required, starting pay at $100,000/yr, and maxing out at $590,000/yr.”


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