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The David Griffin Aviation Foundation was created in the spring of 2020 to offer young people in our community access to the wonders of aviation. The Foundation, a certified 501(c)(3) organization, is a grass-roots, local, all volunteer organization. We believe young people who have a desire to experience the joy of flight and possess the dedication to learn to fly should not be prevented by economic barriers.


We are providing this opportunity. Foundation resources fund a unique flying club, the Rock Hill Flyers LLC. This flying club uses donated trainer aircraft and pairs one student pilot with one volunteer certified flight instructor. With the Foundation providing the funding for aircraft insurance, maintenance and hangars, our student pilots are able to get quality flight instruction simply for the cost of the fuel they burn. We are not giving away pilot training for free. We are, however, working to make it affordable for those young people who would otherwise have no access to the aviation world.


Our flight instructors and Foundation board members serve as mentors for our student pilots, providing guidance toward their Private Pilot’s License. And we envision the mentoring role to continue even further if they should choose the path of an aviation career.


Donations to the David Griffin Aviation Foundation directly strengthen our ability to offer opportunities to these aspiring young aviators. Additionally, we believe that the skills, responsibilities, and decision-making processes learned while earning a Private Pilot’s License will translate into enriched lives and better citizens.


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Rick Maury

I started flying in 1972 at age 13. I soloed a glider at age 14, then soloed power airplanes at 16. Also, at age 16 I bought my first airplane, a 1946 Luscombe 8A.  I currently own a RV 7 that I built and a 1947 Stinson 108. I remember all that mentored me through the years and helped me get to where I am today, a Captain for a major airline.  I enjoy helping the student pilots in the David Griffin Aviation Foundation and I hope they get as much from aviation as I have.

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Gardy Wilson

I am involved with DGAF because it is such a uniquely worthy and potentially life-changing opportunity for young people who otherwise would not be able to learn to fly.  I learned to fly at the Rock Hill-York County airport in the early 70’s,  have been flying ever since, have had numerous airplanes, and have had the wonderful opportunity to meet the best and the most-qualified aviators anyone could ever encounter.   On a personal level, DGAF is simply a great way for someone like me to be able to “pay it forward” and to remind me of the many people who took an interest in me as I accumulated flight hours.

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Richard Vandam

With over 45 years as a pilot, I serve as a Board member on the David Griffin Aviation Foundation. I have spent my entire professional career in the aviation industry, having flown in both the military and the airline business, as well as being a CFI-I for over 40 years. I currently serve on the Board of two additional aviation groups that are dedicated to the promotion of aviation history as well as dedicated to the future of aviation and the professional pilots that will continue its legacy.

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Ken Nelson

I started flying 50 years ago and have met many wonderful people and had tremendous opportunities in my life thanks to aviation.  For half a century flying has been my hobby and my career.  Many people have helped me along my aviation path and I volunteer at the David Griffin Aviation Foundation so that I may help young, aspiring aviators to achieve their dream of becoming a pilot. 

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