Announcing the BGS BWPA scholarship winners

Emma Wooledge

Bristol Groundschool (BGS) is delighted to announce the two winners of the BWPA (British Women Pilots’ Association) Scholarship.  

Both Emma Wooledge and Laura Fice thoroughly impressed the BWPA judges and managed to stand out from the strong competition for the two scholarships. 

The scholarships cover 50% of the cost of aATPL (A / H) course at Bristol Groundschool, and are part of Bristol’s wider and ongoing commitment to help improve gender parity in the airline industry. 

Alex Whittingham, Managing Director of BGS, said There is always a very high standard of applications for the BGS BWPA scholarships, and this year was no exception. We’re excited to have Emma and Laura join us to complete their ATPL theory and look forward to welcoming them onto the course. 

Laura Fice

Laura Fice said “From a very young age I was passionate about flying, and to this day I am always inspired when I travel by air and I have a strong desire and drive to become an airline pilot. I have gained my Private Pilot Licence and I am planning to start the long distance ATPL training with Bristol Groundshool, and then undertake my Commercial Pilot Licence at Diamond Flight Academy, Sweden. 

Two years ago, I wrote numerous letters and emails in order to eventually receive the opportunity to visit the easyJet’ headquarters, ‘Hangar 89’, and be shown around by the base Captain. It was a valuable experience which gave me an insight into the Airline operation and further encouraged me to pursue a career as a commercial pilot. I will set an example to females of all ages that it is never too late to start pursuing a dream” 

In regards to the coronavirus pandemic, it had both positive and negative impact on my training. I was looking forward to coming back to flying after the winter break but unfortunately it has not yet been possible due to the virus. It has been months since I have flown and I am concerned that my skills have got rusty. On the other hand, I was given a gift of time as I was furloughed for 2 months and used this time to complete studying for POF and Met  it feels really good to have 2 difficult modules covered before starting ATPLs!” 

Emma Wooledge said “I want to be an advocate for women of all ages, races and backgrounds to support and encourage them to enter the profession, to make them believe in themselves and believe that anything is possible. 

“I see women proving to the world that being a pilot is not a stereotypical male role. I see female pilots inspiring and supporting other women in following their passion, for example the Amy Johnson initiative at Easy Jet, the Barbie Range at Virgin Atlantic and the latest BA all female flights and YouTube videos.  

“Female pilots set an example to others with their professionalism and give encouragement to others to start flying too. I believe it’s extremely important to have these role models in our lives. The more exposure the world has to female pilots the more women will believe in themselves. In the future I hope to see the numbers of female pilots increase. 

At the moment Covid-19 hasn’t hindered any plans as I’m hoping to complete my ATPL ground school late spring to early summer next year and then continue on with the flying elements of my training, with the hope to have a frozen ATPL by spring 2022. The optimist in me is hoping that these times would have eased by then and Airlines may start recruiting. If they aren’t then I’ll complete an Flight Instructor course and instruct PPL in the meantime.” 

During the coronavirus pandemic, BGS has remained open, switching to 100% online teaching delivery. Students are currently able to complete the entire distance-learning theory course via online webinars, in the last few months they have run over 110 live Webinars to support their studentsweek-long online revision courses, ATPdigital (their own CBT program) and BGS Online, the leading ATPL question bank. The students also benefit from the BGS student Facebook page, where they can ask questions to other students and BGS Instructors, network, and stay connected despite not meeting face-to-face. 

After implementing rigorous social distancing and safety procedures, BGS last month opened its doors to allow students to sit Austro Control exams, allowing them to get back on track with their training schedules.