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Batesville mom awarded helicopter pilot scholarship

Forging her own path from 3,000 feet above

(BATESVILLE, Ind.) – A Batesville woman isn’t letting motherhood hold her back from following a new career path. 

After spending years working different jobs, Brandi Truesdel decided to pursue a sky-high dream in 2022.

She wanted to become a commercial helicopter pilot and after countless hours of training, she is now closer than ever to her goal.

Brandi is one of only 24 females in the world to earn a scholarship from Whirly-Girls International, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing women in the helicopter aviation industry. 

Truesdel is the sole recipient of a scholarship in honor of Lora Trout, who was a certified flying instructor and former wildland firefighter who died in a helicopter crash near Dallas, Texas in March of 2022. 

Upon naming her the winner, Whirly-Girls said Brandi already has the skills and aspirations to encourage women of all ages to fulfill a dream of flying.

"It’s not easy, it’s the hardest, most rewarding thing I’ve ever done! But, you don’t yell at the bud because it isn’t a flower yet, it’s gonna be a flower, it just needs time," Truesdel said.

Brandi during training in 2022

She will officially receive the Lora Trout scholarship at a banquet in Southern California next month and the scholarship mandates that the training be conducted in Panama City, Florida. 

Truesdel, and her husband, Russell, have four children and reside in Batesville.


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