Okanagan College student Ben Peters gets a chance to look under the hood of a 1948 Cessna

Okanagan College student Ben Peters gets a chance to look under the hood of a 1948 Cessna

Okanagan College student lands aviation scholarship

Ben Peters becomes first student outside U.S. to receive International Cessna 170 Association scholarship...

An Okanagan College student has become the first student outside of the United States to receive a scholarship from the International Cessna 170 Association.

Ben Peters, 19, received the $1,000 U.S. scholarship just as he completed his aircraft maintenance engineer – M training at Okanagan College’s Vernon campus.

“This will really help,” said Peters.

“The simple fact is, my current post-secondary education would not be possible without this generous contribution.”

Peters, whose father works at Kelowna Flightcraft, has been pursuing a career in aviation virtually since he learned to read.

“I’ve wanted to be involved in aviation ever since I was a wee little lad,” Peters said. “While others were reading Dr. Seuss, I was flipping through my dad’s airplane books.”

But financial considerations ruled out commercial pilot training, so he spent his summer following high school graduation attending the glider pilot scholarship course with the Royal Canadian Air Cadets, and from there enrolled in the Okanagan College program, conducted in partnership with Northern Lights College.

Now with the 62-week portion of the program under his belt, he’s off to Dawson Creek to complete the remainder of his AME-M training.

“I can’t imagine what I’d do other than be around airplanes,” he said.

Aircraft Maintenance Engineer – M instructor Dale Martell said the fact Peters was able to secure an international scholarship speaks volumes about his student’s commitment.

“It’s a wonderful testament to his passion for aviation,” he said.

Martell said the scholarship also serves to link Peters up with the tight community of aviation professionals – including Dave Millar from Alpine Helicopter, who first brought the scholarship to everyone’s attention.