As I sit here recovering from a turkey coma, I’ll reflect on what a remarkably different year we've had. Politics, health, politics in health.... it’s all been thrown at us in one year. Not all has been bad, but it certainly hasn't all been good. I'm simply thankful for the opportunity to enjoy aviation and to share it with those I love. Circumstances dictated that I was absent from the air for far longer than I wanted to be, and for the first time, it's not a budgetary issue. The shutdowns killed most of my aviation destinations. One of my favorite passengers feared getting into a small space and risking exposure. Of course, summer hit and my Comanche lacks any type of air conditioning, making it less enjoyable. I lament the lack of time spent actually enjoying the hobby that I love.
That said, I did not stay absent from aviation. I read multiple blogs daily. I listened to several aviation podcasts weekly. I was active in my type forums. I walked through my checklists in my head. In other words, I stayed as current as I could without actually going airborne. Now, with the help of an instructor for a necessary Flight Review, and after a thorough preflight, I'll be able to enjoy the best weather in the country for flying.
APA kicked off the Arizona flying season (finally) with our first campout at Grapevine. With 30 aircraft arriving between Friday and Sunday, we had 13 aircraft stay overnight Saturday as we held our first camping-centered dinner potluck. We saw several new faces and members and many incredibly beautiful planes. We were able to start some of the much-needed maintenance alongside the runway and plan the next phase of improvement. By the time this is published, we'll have spread several hundred tons of gravel alongside the runway to help with erosion and assist in aircraft exiting the runway. More gravel was delivered to support erosion control near the end of the runway. If you are looking to get your hands dirty with some fellow pilots, please consider coming out in December. The 18th-20th is our campout. We'll have more about November's event in the newsletter below, but stay tuned to our website, our Facebook, and/or our Instagram for details about December.
Please visit our Events at azpilots.org/calendar for more information on other fly-ins, breakfasts, or gatherings around and near our state. I hope to meet you at an airport soon - I'll buy your coffee. Cheers!