TommyThomason

Vice President's Report 

Passing the Baton 

Once upon a time, way back when, a long long time ago, sometime around the year 2000 plus or minus a year or so, I was asked to join the Arizona Pilots Association Board of Directors. Within about a year, I was elected as President and have been doing so ever since (with the exception of about one or two years). As a volunteer organization representing all the general aviation pilots of Arizona, I found out quickly that there are dozens of great ideas, activities, programs and projects that need to be managed, but only a very few people willing to step up and take ownership. There were always those willing to say, “We can’t do that! What about liability? Money? who will do it?” and on and on. Well, over the last 6 or 7 years, more and more aviation community minded folks have stepped up and run with the many programs we sponsor. Our Scholarship Program has and continues to grow, backcountry efforts thanks to Mark Spencer has yielded 6 new or re-opened backcountry airstrips with dozens of fly-ins, workgroups, and campouts. Our support of Arizona’s FAASTeam safety program has resulted in the ever popular GAARMS (General Aviation Accident Review and Mitigation Symposium) by Fred Gibbs and many APA sponsored seminars all over the state. The Weekend Getaway program developed more for the non-backcountry pilots and enthusiasts is expanding with the support of Brad Lawrence and Kit Murphy. Our membership numbers continue to grow, as well as donations from hundreds of general aviation supporters making us financially healthy enough to support most of the programs and projects we have in process. Our website, designed and developed by Stefanie Spencer, is recognized by pilots and enthusiasts not only in Arizona, but all over the country. Jim Timm, our Executive Director, has been keeping us “on course” from the inception of the APA and continues to work with so many ABC groups, airport master planning teams, and more. Jim’s monthly executive and safety reports are probably the most popular in our monthly newsletter. Speaking of the newsletter, there is a ton of work by a handful of individuals that get it out every month. There are so many great contributors within the APA, it is impossible for me to mention you all. I am proud to be a team member of this great organization and will continue to do any and everything I can do to support Brian Schober as I hand the baton to him to help bring the organization to the next level (or two or three). Please step up and let Brian know what skills you may have to help him with some of the new and exciting ideas and programs he is bringing to the table.

Have Fun, Fly Safe

Tommy Thomason

vice president report 2018 07

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