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Willard G. Plentl Aviation Scholarship Program


Willard G. Plentl, Sr. was born in Houston, Texas and began pilot training in the Army Air Corps in 1942. Mr. Plentl had a successful career as a military pilot that included serving during the Korean War and flying a variety of aircraft from trainers to bombers to fighters. After his retirement from the Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1962, Mr. Plentl accepted a position with the Commonwealth of Virginia as Assistant Director, Division of Aeronautics, Virginia State Corporation Commission, and in 1964 he became Director of Aeronautics. In 1970, he was a member of the President’s Aviation Advisory Commission which helped shape America’s current aviation system. Mr. Plentl retired from the Virginia Department of Aviation in 1984 and was elected to the Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame that same year. Mr. Plentl passed away on May 19, 2005 leaving behind a devoted family and a record of outstanding service to aviation. In honor of his remarkable gentleman and his 22 years of service to the Commonwealth of Virginia, this scholarship program has been established.

Scholarship Requirements

The Willard G. Plentl Aviation Scholarship, in the amount of $1,000, will be awarded to a Virginia High School senior who is planning an aviation career in a non-engineering area. A certification of acceptance into a non-engineering, aviation-related postsecondary education program is required. Examples of non-engineering aviation careers include (but are not limited to) pilots, aviation maintenance technicians, aviation managers, etc. Scholarship applicants must have an unweighted GPA of at least 3.5. One scholarship of $1,000 will be awarded each year and is not renewable.

To Apply:

  1. Complete the attached application
  2. Have your guidance counselor or other high school official sign all required certifications.
  3. Attach an official copy of your current high school transcript and a copy of acceptance letters or other verification of enrollment or acceptance into a postsecondary institution.
  4. Attach to the application a typed, double-spaced essay (350 word minimum/500 word maximum) on the subject: "Why I Wish to Pursue a Career in Aviation."
  5. Attach recommendation letters (no more than three) and a typed (one-page maximum) sheet listing both school-related and extracurricular activities demonstrating accomplishments and leadership capabilities.
  6. Mail all documents to: Plentl Scholarship, c/o Virginia Department of Aviation, Attn: Betty Wilson, 5702 Gulfstream Road, Richmond, VA 232502422.
  7. Deadline for application: March 10, 2017.  

    Willard G. Plentl Aviation Scholarship Program Application (Word)




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