39th Annual Members Meeting 

By Kit McCloud 

 

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The 2017 Annual Members Meeting was a great success! Almost one hundred people made the journey to the Scottsdale Airport to learn a little more about what the APA has done over the past year, and what we will be continuing into 2018. Almost thirty people took advantage of the new webinar option and watched from home.

Joan Fudala was the guest speaker and gave a great presentation regarding the history of the four “Hollywood Thunderbird Fields” in Arizona. These fields were used to train WWII aviation cadets and all were initially owned and operated by South West Airways. This was an evolution from the Civilian Pilot Training Program which began in 1939. Sky Harbor Airport opened first and trained mostly Latin American pilots. Thunderbird I was Glendale, which opened in March 1941, and trained mostly Chinese cadets. Falcon Field in Mesa opened in September 1941 and trained RAF pilots. Thunderbird II, Scottsdale Airfield, opened in June 1942 and eventually became a municipal airport in 1967 after being purchased by the City of Scottsdale. By the end of the war, over 25,000 pilots had been trained. All four fields closed to cadet training by 1945. After graduation, many cadets went on to Williams, Luke, and NAS Litchfield which were operated by the military for intermediate training. By this time, the Phoenix area became the largest aviation center in the country.

Jim Timm lead the election of officers. Andrew Vogeney with Jim and Rick Bosshardt presented our three scholarship checks. Brad Lawrence reviewed some of the previous get-a-ways and updated the members as to upcoming plans (which will be also in the newsletter with details prior to each trip). Fred Gibbs presented a recap of the annual G.A. Accident Reduction and Mitigation Symposium for 2016. Mark Spencer related our backcountry progress and shared photos of Double Circle, Buzzard’s Roost, Pleasant Valley, Red Creek, Ground Gulch, and Grapevine, which are all open to the public. Grapevine has a new FAA identifier (88AZ) and is now charted. Tons of information in a quick meeting. If you missed this year, plan on coming next time!

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