Two $3,000 scholarships are available to eligible NAAA Operator and Pilot members for turbine transition training.

The new NAAA scholarship program has been made possible thanks to a generous educational grant from Jim Mills of Turbines Inc., who established the scholarship in memory of Charles Stokes. The National Agricultural Aviation Association administers the scholarship. The deadline to apply is Aug. 31st.


To provide training funds to agricultural pilots with a minimum of 150 hours of ag time for use at a turbine transition course or program. Scholarship is to be used for turbine flight training at a qualified flight school or turbine training facility.


The Charles Stokes Memorial Turbine Training Scholarship program will award up to two (2) one-year, $3,000 scholarships to a deserving, qualified ag pilot(s) participating in one of the following programs:

  • A flight training program focused on turbine transition training (turbine flight training at a qualified flight school or turbine simulator training facility).

Scholarships are awarded based on the merits of the application. NAAA reserves the right not to award every one of the scholarships if it is not merited based on the pool of applicants. One award per applicant. All funds are in U.S. dollars. 

Scholarship is available for future training, not for training already completed.

For Applicants: 

  • Applicants must have a minimum of 150 hours of ag time to apply.
  • Entrant must be a Pilot, Affiliated Operator or Operator member of NAAA.
  • Entrant must be sponsored by an NAAA Operator Member. (It doesn’t necessarily need to be the operator the applicant works for, but the sponsor must be a current member in NAAA’s Operator dues category.)
  • Operator Member applicants may not sponsor themselves—they would need another NAAA Operator Member to sponsor them.
  • Paid employees of NAAA and immediate members of their families are not eligible.
  • Applicants may only apply for one NAAA pilot-training scholarship a year—either the Charles Stokes Memorial Turbine Training Scholarship or the NAAA “Ag Wings of Tomorrow” Scholarship, but not both in the same year.

For Sponsors:

  • Each applicant must be sponsored by an NAAA Member Operator in the Operator dues category.
  • An NAAA Operator Member may sponsor only one Charles Stokes Memorial Turbine Training Scholarship applicant per year.

Applicants must apply using NAAA’s online application. A link to the online application is available  below. The applicant will fill out ALL applicant and sponsor information. The NAAA Operator Sponsor must write a letter of recommendation on behalf of the applicant. Upload all required material noted in the Application Checklist and any additional supporting documentation using the turbine scholarship’s online application portal. The deadline to apply is Aug. 31st, 2024.

Application Checklist

  • Completed application.
  • One (1) letter of recommendation from the NAAA Operator Member sponsoring the applicant. In the sponsor’s letter, please comment on the applicant’s agricultural aviation background and general character, focusing on why you believe the turbine training scholarship will help the applicant become a safe and dependable ag pilot and what the applicant has to do to further their training and development.
  • Essay of 400 words or less explaining why you are deserving of the Charles Stokes Memorial Turbine Training Scholarship.
  • One-page résumé or list of activities detailing all agricultural and aviation experiences, education and training, including total hours flown, total ag hours, and the number of hours flown in each make and model of ag aircraft.
  • Provide information about the prospective turbine-specific flight training program (ag or otherwise) you would like to use the scholarship funds for (upload supporting documentation or a syllabus if applicable).

All applications must be received by Sept. 15 to be eligible for scholarship funds available for the following calendar year (January–December).

  • All applicants will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
    • Need
    • Prior experience
    • Likelihood of retention in the aerial application industry
    • Strength of operator’s recommendation letter
    • Strength of applicant’s essay
  • Applications will be reviewed and winners chosen during the Fall NAAA Board Meeting by the NAAA Membership Committee.
  • Winners will be notified by November 1. Scholarship recipients will be announced at the 2024 NAAA Ag Aviation Expo in November.
  • The decision of the NAAA Membership Committee is final.

Payment: A tuition bill must be presented verifying enrollment of the applicant. The scholarship will be paid directly to the appropriate flight training institution, turbine simulator facility, or flight instructor before the recipient’s turbine training course begins or resumes. (Scholarship is available for future training, not for training already completed.)

Revisions: NAAA reserves the right to review the conditions and procedures of this scholarship program and make changes at any time.