NBAA Names Recipients of Hilsmann Memorial Scholarships

May 2, 2018
recipients of the Hank Hilsmann Memorial Scholarship at NBAA's Maintenance Conference in Albuquerque, NM: Erin Shaack and Zach Echols

Albuquerque, NM, May 1, 2018 – The Maintenance Committee of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today announced the recipients of the Hank Hilsmann Memorial Scholarship at NBAA's Maintenance Conference in Albuquerque, NM.

The two recipients will be able to attend model-specific training courses to advance their careers as business aviation maintenance technicians.

  • Erin Shaack: Shaack’s service in the U.S. Navy sparked her interest in aircraft maintenance and a career in business aviation. “My co-workers were akin to my family and the aircraft were our children,” she said of her search and rescue unit. “Business aviation appeals so strongly to me because it has a [similar] work environment.” Currently a student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, she is studying aviation maintenance science while working toward earning her A&P certification.
  • Zach Echols: From watching his grandfather build planes to visiting his father’s maintenance operation, aviation has always been of interest to Echols. Now a licensed powerplant mechanic, he’s studying for his airframe license at Tennessee College of Applied Technology with the goal of leaving his own mark on the industry: “My dream is to be the best mechanic in business aviation.” 

"It’s exciting to see the interest and commitment that exists at the entry level today,” said John Loh, director, technical support with Dassault Falcon Jet Corp. and member of the scholarship selection committee. "It’s important to have this caliber and commitment of folks entering the industry. We face a significant shortage of qualified technicians in the coming years, and reviewing these candidates shows that we have people coming up through the ranks who have integrity and pride in their work, and who are not afraid to step up and work hard to meet the challenges that face us."

The NBAA Maintenance Committee and NBAA Charities, in coordination with Dassault Falcon Jet Corp. and Dassault’s authorized training providers CAE Simuflite and Flight Safety International, offer the Hank Hilsmann Memorial Scholarship to current and aspiring aviation maintenance technicians and military personnel transitioning to business aviation.

The scholarship was created to honor the memory of Hilsmann, whose strength of character inspired a high standard of caring in the business aviation community. In his most recent position as a field representative with Dassault Falcon Jet, as well as in his previous positions as an aviation mechanic and pilot, Hilsmann was known for his integrity and pride in his work.

Applications for the 2019 Hank Hilsmann Memorial Scholarship will be available in fall 2018. Learn more about the Hank Hilsmann Memorial Scholarship.

In addition to the Hank Hilsmann Memorial Scholarship, NBAA Charities offers a number of other scholarships and programs to promote professional development and business aviation careers. For more information, contact NBAA at (202) 783-9000 or visit

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Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The association represents more than 11,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, the world's largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at