Lovelace-Drake Memorial Scholarship
This scholarship was proposed by the families and team members of the former Red Baron Stearman Squadron to memorialize the dedication to aviation excellence that pilots Jim “Sonny” Lovelace and Randy Drake demonstrated throughout their lifetimes. Sonny and Randy lost their lives performing in an air show to benefit the ICAS Foundation in April 1998. The scholarship was initially sponsored by the Schwan Food Company, who provided scholarship funds from 1999 until 2007, and was called the Red Baron Memorial Scholarship. During this period of time, the scholarship expanded from one recipient per year to two recipients and from $1,000 to $2,000. The scholarship was not given in 2010 or 2011. In 2011, the ICAS Foundation Board of Directors renamed the scholarship to recognize the pilots the scholarship memorializes, set the number of recipients per year at one, designated $2,000 as the award amount, and returned the scholarship to active status. In 2015, Billy Werth of ‘Billy Werth Airshows’ contacted the Foundation to sponsor the scholarship. Billy is part owner of Grayout Aerosports, LLC, a flight school in Indianapolis, IN that specializes in Aerobatic and Emergency Maneuver training.
The scholarship provides continued pilot training in either tailwheel operation or aerobatic flying, so the recipient might increase his or her aeronautical knowledge and insight, and in turn, make a contribution of service back to the aviation community.
The recipient of the Lovelace-Drake scholarship will receive the Basic Aerobatic course from Grayout Aerosports, LLC. The course consists of a 5 flight curriculum (approx. 5 hrs of flight time) and associated ground school sessions (approx. 10-15 hrs of ground instructions). Due to weather and transportation limitations, there is no time limit on the redemption of the scholarship. Although, the prescribed effectiveness tracking criteria will still be enforced. The training will be planned to take place in Indianapolis (Indianapolis Regional Airport, KMQJ). Accommodations could be made to accomplish the training elsewhere if logistical opportunities exist.
About the Red Baron Squadron
Born as a temporary marketing promotion with the introduction of Red Baron Frozen Pizza in 1979, the Red Baron Squadron became one of the premier formation aerobatic air show acts of its era. What made the Red Baron Squadron unique was the authentic antique aircraft they flew, bringing to life the romantic age of open-cockpit barnstormers flying from farm fields in the years between World Wars One and Two. During this “Golden Age of Aviation” many air show and racing pilots were celebrities.
The Red Baron Squadron was comprised of as many as seven Stearman biplanes and normally performed as a group of four. The Stearman biplane was originally used by the armed forces of several countries as a primary trainer in the 1940’s. The Red Baron Squadron’s airplanes were souped-up from the stock 220 horsepower engine to the 450 horsepower Pratt & Whitney Wasp Junior. Many air show spectators remarked that the four thundering radial engines were as loud as a jet team!
The Red Baron Squadron received both the Bill Barber and Art Scholl awards during the time that Sonny and Randy were with the team. These are the highest awards for showmanship in the air show industry.
The Red Baron Squadron was wholly owned by the Schwan Food Company and, sadly, the corporation decided to place their advertising dollars elsewhere in 2007 and the project was discontinued. The Squadron continues to be remembered as one of the best examples of close formation flying and corporate event marketing.
Eligibility and Application Criteria
The eligibility requirements for this scholarship are:
- Applicant must be holder of a Private Pilot Certificate or international equivalent.
- Applicant must be at least sixteen years of age.
- Applicant must indicate how he or she will, in turn, make a contribution of service back to the aviation community. (Examples: Participation in aviation related programs like Young Eagles, 99’s, or Civil Air Patrol; volunteering at aviation events.
This scholarship is to be used for aerobatic flight training and the recipient will communicate training progress to the selection committee at six and twelve months.
Download the print application form below (right-click and select “save target” from the popup menu) or submit the online form.
Follow the submission instructions on the application form carefully.
Return completed print application to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications received by December 31 will be considered the following January by the selection committee. Selections will be made in February.
Prior Important Dates
August 31, 2021 • Hall of Fame Nominations Due
December 6-9, 2021 • ICAS Convention in Las Vegas
December 31, 2021 • Scholarship Applications Due