Young aviation enthusiasts offered scholarship program

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FARMINGDALE -

A new program at Farmingdale's Global Aviation Center is giving young and aspiring pilots a chance to pursue their dreams. 

The Aviation Scholarship Program is offering up to 50 applicants a free flight lesson and $300 worth of student pilot materials. Applicants can be from ages 16 to 30. 

Matt Kobiolka, of Great Neck, said he loved every minute of his first piloting experience. 

"I always wanted to be [a pilot] since I was a little kid," he said.

The program is being sponsored by American Airlines and Global Aviation Center. American Airlines says 75 percent of its pilots will retire in the next 15 years.

"American Airlines is really dedicated to making sure we have a continuous supply of quality pilots," says pilot recruiter Claire Webb.

Brian Miller, of the Global Aviation Center, says the program is intended to put aviation enthusiasts in a better position to pursue a career. 

Global says it's already received 100 applicants, but American Airlines says it may expand the program.

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