Fran Bera Scholarship

Scholarship Value: $12,000
Awards Available: 1

Fran Bera the San Diego Chapter matriarch flew for over 70 years. She amassed over 25, 000 flight hours through ferrying surplus aircraft after the war flight instructing running her own flight school conducting flight examinations and flying as an experimental test pilot. She was a recordsetting pilot with numerous aviation hall of fame inductions and was the first woman to fly a helicopter with no tail rotor. She was a first generation American that became one of the most accomplished aviatrixes in history.

For many years Fran was also a sales and demonstration pilot for %eechcraft and Piper Aircraft. 6he even got to name the Piper Duchess airplane! In 1993, Fran loved her Pipers, flying a CheroNee 235 to Siberia "just for the fun of it."

When asked about discrimination in the male dominated industry of aviation she said "I was having so much fun getting paid for what I loved to do that didn't realize that I wasn't liberated."

Fran's passion was air racing. She started racing in the 1950s and is one of the sports winningest pilots. She has flown the famous $All-Women's Transcontinental Air Racer nicknamed the "Powder Puff Derby"́20 times, winning a record 7 times. Her plaque in the Museum of Women Pilots was accidentally engraved "Seven Time Sinner" instead of "Winner," referencing her unsurpassed Powder Puff Derby 1st place finishes and she refused to let them correct it!

If you’re a woman from San Diego County (California) with a passion for flight, we encourage you to apply. Keep on reading to learn more, and soar towards your dreams!

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