Civil Air Patrol

Civil Air Patrol Pilot wins three aviation scholarships at the 2019 Women in Aviation Convention.

Capt Wilhite

Photo by John Riedel. WAI Space Flight Scholarships were awarded to Kelly Wilhite

March 20, 2019
Civil Air Patrol Pilot wins three aviation scholarships at the 2019 Woman in Aviation Convention.

Danville, KY

A Civil Air Patrol (CAP) pilot, Capt Kelly P. Wilhite, took home three monetary scholarships at the 2019 Women in Aviation International Conference. She won several awards totaling $17,500 worth of scholarships to continue her pursuit of a career in aviation. The scholarships included a $10,000 WAI Space Flight Scholarship, a $5,000 United Airlines Flight Operations Scholarship, and a $2,500 Russ and Lauren Cotney Pro Airline Pilot Career Scholarship.  Kelly won these awards over several hundred of her fellow female aviators through a series of essays, interviews, and evaluations.

Kelly currently works full time as a professor at the Frontier Nursing University. This is the same University she earned her Doctorate in Nursing many years ago.  She is married, has five children and lives in Lancaster KY. Her 13-year-old son, Joshua, and her husband are also members of the Danville squadron. She intends to use her scholarship earnings to finish her last semester of commercial pilot training as well as obtain her Flight Instructor ratings.

When she is not studying or working, she serves as a pilot and Health Services Officer for the Civil Air Patrol Stuart Powell Cadet Squadron in Danville. She is passionate about flying and joined Civil Air Patrol to give back to her community.

Capt Wilhite says, “My dad was a pilot. It has always been a goal of mine to fly.  Now that my dream of flight has come to fruition, I want to help others reach their goals as well. Civil Air Patrol does that and so much more. For our cadets, it is literally an opportunity for their dreams to take flight. I want to be part of that, to be helping the next generation find their wings of success.”

Civil Air Patrol Kentucky Wing has nine aircraft across the state that is used for events such as search and rescue, transport of medical supplies or personnel in times of disaster, and humanitarian missions. When they are not flying for missions, volunteer pilots get to fly young cadets, 12-18 years old, on orientation flights. Each cadet gets five orientation flights where they learn about the basic of flight.

Capt Wilhite is no stranger to hard work, having served 12 years in the US Air Force as an Advanced Practice Nurse Midwife. Delivering hundreds of services members and their family’s babies over the years.  She served honorably, completing a combat operations tour in Afghanistan and leaving the military in 2013 as a Major select.

She says she looks forward to many sunny days in the air and lots of orientation flights with our young cadets.

In addition to aerospace, Civil Air Patrol inspires youth to become the next generation of leaders in its Cadet Program. The program centers around its core values of integrity, volunteer service, excellence, and respect for ages 12-18. They have the opportunity to develop a passion for flying, leadership, cybersecurity as well as many other careers that they are exposed to while serving their communities.

Stuart Powell Cadet Squadron in Danville meets every Monday night from 6:00-8:00 pm.

Civil Air Patrol offers teens and adults experiences that build skills while serving their community.

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually. CAP’s 61,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. In addition, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to over 26,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit or for more information.


Capt Wilhite with Son

C/Amn Josh Wilhite, Capt Kelly Wilhite. Photo by 1Lt Nick Birt

Capt Kelly Wilhite. C/Amn Josh Wilhite, and SM Greg Wilhite. Photo by 1Lt Nick Birt

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