brett-2-resizedEmbry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott Campus student Brett Ahola has been awarded the 2016 MD 500 Transition Training Scholarship by MD Helicopters Inc. 

Embry-Riddle Student Receives Generous Scholarship from MD Helicopters

Thu Mar 3, 2016 at 04:30 PM

brett-2-resizedEmbry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott Campus student Brett Ahola has been awarded the 2016 MD 500 Transition Training Scholarship by MD Helicopters Inc. The unique training opportunity has a value of approximately $10,000.

The MD 500 is an advanced, turbine-powered helicopter that most students are not yet qualified to fly. The week-long, one-on-one training course is held at the MD Helicopters global headquarters and production facility in Mesa, Ariz. There, students learn helicopter systems, emergency procedures and how to fly the aircraft.

“This being my last semester at Embry-Riddle, I am overjoyed and so appreciative toward MD Helicopters for offering such an amazing and valuable experience,” said Ahola. “Completing the transition course will be a huge leg up for my future within the industry.”

Ahola knew he wanted to be a helicopter pilot at a very young age after watching a Huey pull water out of a river near his home in Lotus, Calif., to fight a nearby fire. For the past three and a half years, Ahola has been a full-time student at Embry-Riddle while flying with Universal Helicopters, and is now a CFI and CFII-rated pilot with 850 hours in helicopters. His career goal is to work for an air ambulance service back in Northern California.

In addition to a current or impending Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) rating, the scholarship applicants needed a minimum grade point average of 3.0, a first or second class FAA medical certificate, two letters of recommendation and an essay describing the importance of a CFI in the helicopter industry.

“With nine applicants, this year’s decision proved to be a very difficult one,” said MD Helicopters Chief Pilot Jay Wigginton. “Reviewing each application revealed that Embry-Riddle is working with a very talented group of young aviators. I am sure Embry-Riddle is as proud of each student that applied for the scholarship as we are.”

The announcement was made on March 3 at the MD Helicopters booth, #8151, HAI Heli-Expo in Louisville, Ky.

Check out photo highlights from Heli Expo 2016.

For more information on Embry-Riddle’s Rotary Wing program, go to

For more information on MD Helicopters, go to

Embry-Riddle Media Contact: Jason Kadah, Communications and Media Relations Manager; Office (928) 777-6731; Cell (602) 826-4790;

MD Helicopters Media Contact: Amy Romano, Director of Communications and Marketing; Office (480) 346 6344; Cell (480) 244-3027;

About MD Helicopters Inc.

MD Helicopters Inc. (MDHI), a Lynn Tilton company, is a leading manufacturer of commercial, military, law enforcement and air-rescue helicopters. The MDHI family of rotorcraft is world renowned for its value, versatility and performance, and includes the twin-engine MD 902 Explorer, and single-engine versions of the MD 600N, MD 520N, MD 500E, MD 530F, MD 530G and MD 540A. The innovative NOTAR® system for anti-torque control with no tail rotor – a key feature of the MD 902, MD 600N and MD 520N – is used exclusively by MD Helicopters to provide safer, quieter and confined-area access capability. For more information about MDHI, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, or visit

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 80 baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts & Sciences, Aviation, Business, Engineering and Security & Intelligence. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., through the Worldwide Campus with more than 125 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and through online programs. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and, and find expert videos at

Media Contact

Jason Kadah

Communications & Media Relations Manager, Prescott, Ariz.
University Marketing
(928) 777-6731