Air Capital Insider

AOPA Kansas official to use scholarship to fly helicopters

Yasmina Platt, AOPA regional manager for Kansas and eight other states, received a $2,500 scholarship from the Racing Aces and one of its pilots, Dianna Stanger, earlier this month.
Yasmina Platt, AOPA regional manager for Kansas and eight other states, received a $2,500 scholarship from the Racing Aces and one of its pilots, Dianna Stanger, earlier this month. Courtesy photo

An Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association representative for Kansas is going to add to her pilot credentials after winning the $2,500 Racing Aces Aviation Scholarship for Women.

Yasmina Platt, regional manager for AOPA’s Central Southwest region that includes Kansas and eight other states, said she will use the scholarship to get her helicopter rating.

“With the job I have at AOPA, I run into issues with helicopters,” she said, citing as an example a move by officials in Austin, Texas, attempting to ban helicopter flights over the city. “(The helicopter rating) will position me better to work on those issues.”

As an AOPA regional manager, Platt’s job is to advocate for general aviation and airports at the state and local level. She said in her 3 1/2 years of working in the position, she has more credibility with legislators and other elected officials when she has first-hand experience with issues for which she is lobbying.

“It just has more of an impact on them listening to you,” said Platt, who added her job brings her to Kansas about three times a year.

Platt already has an impressive list of credentials. In addition to a bachelor’s degree in professional aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a master’s degree in transportation planning and management from Texas Southern University, she is a certified flight instructor with about 1,200 flight hours. And she is rated to fly seaplanes.

Platt, who lives in the Houston area, is looking at several schools to earn her helicopter rating.

“I’m thinking, hopefully, the scholarship money will take me through my solo (in a helicopter),” she said.

According to a news release this week from the Racing Aces, the scholarship was donated from the team’s winnings purse from the 2014 Air Race Classic Race.

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