February was chock full of local aviation fun. From a record-breaking Copperstate Fly-In held in Buckeye, to a record-breaking monthly Grapevine fly-in, to multiple breakfast club fly-outs, and folks just looking to camp in the backcountry, we had a great month!
Thank you to the hundreds of members who swung by the APA booth at Copperstate to chat with us. We love learning what you are looking for and what your concerns are. Our forums on backcountry and safety we held in packed tents. Unofficial attendance reports from Copperstate show that over 36,000 aviation enthusiasts came to the event. Many young folks stopped by to talk to us about our scholarships and are looking to get started in aviation. That’s a very good thing, indeed.
February’s Grapevine event saw more than 30 aircraft arrive. Several more were unable to land due to traffic either in the pattern or still on the runway and soft parking areas due to recent rains. Our Grapevine lunch event has been very popular, and we love to see the success of this airstrip, reopened through APA and RAF volunteers. In order to reduce the workload on our dedicated volunteers, improve accessibility to more pilots, and maintain the unique backcountry aspect of Grapevine, we will be transitioning from lunch to overnight camping potlucks each third weekend beginning this month. This falls in line with the cadence of our Pleasant Valley and Double Circle hosted events. The airstrip is still open for your access, but please watch our Facebook page as we post important NOTAM information there as Grapevine is utilized by the USAF and the Forest Service for training.
To shift focus to the backcountry aspect of Grapevine, we’ll still be out there every third Saturday of the month and will hold a pot-luck dinner. We encourage you to participate in an overnight camping experience at Grapevine with some of the most interesting people you’ll likely ever meet. Bring your favorite dish, your camping gear, and sense of adventure. We believe this will enhance accessibility to all pilots and allow folks to truly enjoy the camaraderie of Grapevine. Thanks in advance for your support of this update.
Please mark your calendars for May 16th, 2020, for the Arizona Pilots Association annual meeting. This year it will be held in Scottsdale. More details to follow, but a great morning learning about what your association has done, is doing and plans to do, as well as a great guest speaker are in store. Stay tuned and check our website for final details over the next couple of weeks. I’d love to meet you there.