Erickson and Volo Mission Celebrate 5 Years of Scholarship Partnership for Whirly-Girls International

February 26, 2024

OREGON, USA – Erickson Incorporated and Volo Mission are celebrating five years of collaboration, contributing nearly $100,000 in external load training scholarships to Whirly-Girls International, a nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to advancing women in helicopter aviation.

Women represent an estimated 10% of FAA certificated pilots and access to additional training opportunities is limited. The Erickson and Volo scholarship provides career-minded women the opportunity to increase their presence and contribution to the aviation industry.

Initially unfamiliar with long-line operations, recipients undergo comprehensive training at Volo Mission, one of the world leaders in training for the long-line and aerial firefighting industry. Upon completion, they acquire proficiency in various load types and line lengths, emerging ready to join the external load workforce in just 10 days.

“Our partnership with Erickson in providing a Whirly-Girls International scholarship allows us to continue to support women in the helicopter industry, specifically the external load and aerial firefighting sectors. We look forward to helping many more women enter a rewarding career as a long-line pilot.”

Kim Hutchings, Founder & CEO, Volo Mission

The 2024 Volo Mission and Erickson Scholarship winner is Katrin Doederer. She will be honored at this year’s Whirly-Girls Banquet, right before Helicopter Association International’s Heli-Expo Industry Conference and Tradeshow. Past recipients included Samantha Challburg, Tori Duke, Dierdre Ratigan, and Jessica Meiris. Erickson, Volo Mission, and the Whirly-Girls International will be exhibiting at Heli-Expo this year — stop by their booths to learn more:

  • Erickson booth #1916
  • Volo Mission booth #8223
  • Whirly-Girls booth #2812

“Erickson is proud to partner with Volo Mission and empower women in aviation through training scholarships. This collaboration not only helps address the gender gap within the industry, but also provides valuable training opportunities for aspiring female pilots. It’s wonderful to see initiatives like this working to increase diversity and opportunities within aviation.”

Kristi Gonzalez, Sr. Vice President of Business Planning & Corporate Responsibility, Erickson Incorporated

About Volo Mission

Volo Mission is the world’s leading training, consulting, and advising company, providing comprehensive services and support to meet the critical demands of the external load and aerial firefighting industry.

To learn more, visit

About Erickson

Erickson Incorporated, headquartered in Oregon, USA, is the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of the S-64 Air Crane® heavy-lift helicopter and trusted global provider of aviation services specializing in aerial firefighting, civil protection, and defense. Since 1971, Erickson has operated and modernized the global fleet of S-64 aircraft and supported operators of a variety of airframes with vertically integrated manufacturing, Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO), and augmented support in North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, and Australia.

To learn more, visit