Neil Armstrong Fund Details

Guidelines for the Neil Armstrong Scholarship Fund

1. The Neil Armstrong Scholarship Fund was first established in April 1995 through contributions from friends of Neil Armstrong, COPA members and the Canadian aviation community.  Contributions are made to the COPA Flight Safety Foundation, Neil Armstrong Fund from which a charitable tax receipt can be issued.  

2. The purpose of the fund is twofold - to honour one of Canada's foremost aviation members and to provide flight training to worthy young people who might not otherwise be able to pursue their love of flight and who exemplify the fine character, optimism and love of adventure which were epitomized by Neil J. Armstrong. 

3. The capital assets of the Fund are invested to provide income sufficient for the annual scholarships, therefore contributions are acknowledged and retained on that basis.  Fund earnings over and above that required to pay for the annual scholarships may be used to cover presentation plaques or gifts, to sponsor attendance at the awards presentation by winners and a representative of the Armstrong family, to increase the capital of the fund or to increase the number or amount of the awards.

4. The Fund assets and investments shall be administered by COPA and will be used solely for the purposes described in these administrative guidelines. 

5. Qualified applicants shall be Canadian citizens or landed immigrants, not less than 15 years of age and not more than 21 years of age as of March 01 in the year of application. They will be assessed on the following basis-.

  • A demonstrated keen interest in flying and general aviation in Canada.
  • A proven self-starter, willing to earn their way.
  • Financial need.
  • Participation and demonstrated contributions to their community, school as well as leadership attributes.
  • Reasonable academic skills as demonstrated by scholastic record.

6. Reasonable academic skills as demonstrated by scholastic record. There will be a Selection Committee of not less than five (5) people, which shall include two (2) representatives of the Armstrong family so long as they shall be available, a Chair of the Selection Committee and the Eastern and Western Vice Chairs of the COPA Board of Directors.  In the event a member of the Armstrong family also acts as Chair, a member “at large” will be nominated to ensure an odd (5 member) number of members eligible to vote. 

7. The Selection Committee will have full and final authority to select the winning candidate and to instruct COPA to disburse funds in accordance with these guidelines. 
The principle award each year, provided suitable candidates are presented, shall be the “ab-initio” award which shall, funds permitting, be of sufficient amount to pay the average of flight training costs across Canada to obtain a Private Pilots License as an ab-initio candidate.  In addition, there shall be two awards each year for lesser amounts as recommended from time to time by the Committee, which shall be not be limited to ab-initio applicants and may be used for advanced flight training.

Applicants may be considered eligible for the principle ab-initio scholarship award if they meet the following criteria-.

(a) They have met the age, citizenship, and other required qualifications of the Neil Armstrong scholarships, and,
(b) have not, at the time of application, been granted any pilot privileges including, without limitation, a Private Pilots License, Recreational Pilot License, Ultra Light Pilot Permit or a Soaring / Glider License.  (Applicants may however be the holder of a student pilot permit), and,
(c) have not, at the time of application, acquired more than ten (10) hours of formal flight training. It shall be at the discretion of the Committee to consider candidates who otherwise qualify but who may have accumulated more than 10 hours flight training, particularly if such training has taken place over an extended period.
(d) Ab-initio candidates shall not, at the time of application, have received or been awarded any other flight training scholarship(s), including flight training through the Canadian Air Cadet program or any other program.
The decision of the Neil Armstrong Scholarship Committee shall be final as to qualification and eligibility for all awards.

8. Applications must be received the COPA head office in Ottawa, Ontario on or before the date prescribed.  Notice for applications will be published in the COPA newspaper or other selected publications, or by circular.

9. The winning candidates may select a facility at which the training is to be taken subject to the approval of COPA.  The training facility shall be a licensed Flying School or institute with facilities satisfactory to the COPA President or his/her delegate and shall agree to the terms and conditions of the Scholarship. The designated Training Facility will normally invoice COPA directly for training as it progresses, except that the COPA administrator may issue funds to the training facility at the commencement of training to cover instructional materials and initial training costs once the individual has qualified for flight training (medical and student permit). The Scholarship amount is the maximum that will be paid by COPA from the fund for the permit, licence or endorsement(s) being sought and may not be used for any purposes other than those approved in Section 11 of these Guidelines.  Unused amounts at the completion of training, if any, will remain in the Fund for future awards.  The COPA administrator may exercise judgment as to whether training can be deferred for a reasonable period and which courses are eligible for payment under these guidelines.

10. Training should be completed within a reasonable period of time, usually one year from commencement.  In the event the recipient does not make satisfactory progress, or does not conduct himself or herself in a manner consistent with the standards and objectives of the Fund, COPA shall have the right to revoke the award and to cease paying any further costs of training.  Progress reports from the training facility shall be provided to COPA if so requested.

11. Eligible costs of training will include the following-.    

  • costs of ground schooling, including books and materials for required courses.
  • costs of instructor time and training aircraft.
  • in the case of advanced flight training, flight and ground school costs for such training or endorsements.

Costs which are not eligible will, without limitation, include the following:

  • tuition costs at secondary or post-secondary schools, including colleges and universities. Those seeking assistance with such costs should apply to the Scholarship and bursary programs usually available through those institutions.
  • personal meals or transportation to and from the training facility.
  • clothing.
  • aviation equipment or supplies which are not required for the program.

COPA shall have final authority to define and approve authorized costs or expenditures.