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Arnold and Vi Milstead Warren Flight Training Scholarship

Flight instructors play a vital role in developing pilots’ excellent flying skills and good judgment. This scholarship has been established to celebrate the wonderful work of Canadian flight instructors, and in particular to acknowledge the contributions of two outstanding flight instructors, Arnold and Vi Milstead Warren. Vi Milstead Warren left a legacy in her will for a few flight instructor scholarships. Though the scholarship name celebrates her husband Arnold’s work as well as her own, Vi agreed that with the dearth of female flight instructors, it is appropriate for the award to go to female instructor candidates.
Vi Milstead (1919 – 2014) learned to fly in 1939, just as World War Two was beginning. Within just eight months she earned her Private and Commercial Licenses, while working fulltime in her mother’s, and then in her own woolshop. She then went on to complete her Instructor Rating. She was one of a very few female instructors in Canada in the early 1940s. Though women could not fly with the RCAF, Vi taught many male students who later flew with the RCAF.
In 1943 Vi joined the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) in England and delivered military fighters, bombers and training aircraft throughout the United Kingdom and into continental Europe. For this work she received a unique style of flight training. ATA pilots were trained on one representative plane of each class, and then were expected to fly several other types, without checkouts or any additional training. Vi’s logbook shows 47 different types (74 including different Marks). For example, there were more than 20 different Marks of Spitfires, some with Merlin and others with Griffon engines. The stall speed for different Marks ranged from 66 to 86 mph, with flaps and undercarriage up. It would probably be more realistic to consider that she flew 74 different models of aircraft, than 47.

Following the war Vi returned to instructing, first with Leavens Brothers at Barker Field, then on floats with Nickel Belt Airways in Sudbury and subsequently the Windsor Flying Club.
Arnold Warren (1908 – 2000) learned to fly in Kirkland Lake and Barker Field, Toronto, completing his Private Pilot Licence in 1940. During World War Two he became an instructor with the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, training pilots with the RCAF. Part of his work involved doing research in flight training, with the goal of perfecting the RCAF flight training syllabus. This work formed the basis for his book Let’s Learn To Fly. Following the war he worked as Chief Flight Instructor for Leavens Brothers, where he met Vi. He later claimed he was so impressed with her flying ability he decided to marry her.
After instructing with Nickel Belt Airways, Sudbury and the Windsor Flying Club, through ICAO, Arnold was invited to head up a flight training program in Indonesia. Vi and Arnold lived in Indonesia for two years. Vi was issued an Indonesian pilot licence, but Arnold was not allowed to hire her as an instructor, though the school needed another instructor. After Arnold completed his two year contract, he and Vi returned to Canada.
Though they gave up flying professionally, they continued to fly a Piper Cub, and then a Mooney recreationally. Vi and Arnold would hope that successful scholarship winners will enjoy sharing their love of flying as much as they did.
An annual scholarship of $2,000 is intended to contribute to the cost of an Instructor Rating for a female Ontario resident. Applicants may apply for themselves, OR may be nominated by an instructor or another pilot. They must complete the attached application form and a statement of no more than two pages describing the applicant’s personal and professional qualities which would contribute to her becoming an excellent flight instructor. If nominated by someone else, the candidate should also submit a statement re her personal and professional qualities.

Applicants or Nominators are also asked to provide names of two referees. The referees need not provide Letters of Reference, but will be contacted about the Applicant.

The ideal scholarship candidate is someone who is likely to be committed to students’ progress, and demonstrates excellent flying ability, a love of flying, as well as good communication skills.

Applicants may have already started the Instructor Rating when they apply, or they may apply in advance of beginning the rating.

Applications should be mailed directly to:

The Arnold and Vi Milstead Warren Scholarship, 313266 Hwy 6,
R.R. 3,
Durham, ON, N0G 1R0
or may be e-mailed to: [email protected]

Completed applications must be received by April 30, 2021.
The scholarship will be paid directly to the Flight Training Unit, to be applied to the costs of the applicant’s Instructor Rating, upon successful completion of the flight test.

Anyone wishing to donate to the Arnold and Vi Milstead Warren Scholarship Fund, and thus extend the number of years it can be offered, may mail a cheque to the above address.


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