Another first in APA history has occurred; APA members voted for Board of Directors terms via an electronic ballot! Thank you for participating and making your voice heard. I also thank you for placing your confidence in the current board members, as each up for election was retained. Since APA’s founding, these elections have been in person at annual meetings. With all of the “back to normal” talk in nearly every industry and facet of life, this is something I hope does not become the norm. Aviation is an in-person, face-to-face, hands on type of lifestyle. Sun N Fun recently conducted a survey asking attendees what they liked most about fly ins. Overwhelmingly, meeting with other pilots was at the top. Not only is there a camaraderie and brotherhood/sisterhood with fellow aviators, but we also learn from each other in every conversation. What not to do. What to do. How to manage a particular situation. The social aspect of aviation is key and helps to keep us sharp. We are actively working to get in-person seminars started back up and are looking forward to working with you on a number of projects throughout the year.
The effects of quarantines and closures over the last year no doubt played into the increase in pilot deviations recorded in Jim’s Executive Director’s Report in this newsletter. They show that we need to spend more time reinforcing the safety culture that must be present among pilots and that we must spend more time with our heads in the game while flying. Attending FAAST Wings Seminars, forums at fly ins, or going up with an instructor just because are all ways to help us return the focus to safety. Fortunately, most deviations do not result in bent aircraft or injury, but occasionally they do. Please keep your head in the game when planning, executing, and debriefing a flight. Pay attention to airspace at all stages of the flight. Listen for your callsign,write down instructions, and perform a full readback of ATC instructions. While I look forward to Jim’s report each month, I would love it to be a simple “nothing to report” kind of month. Let’s all do our part to allow Jim to write this!
Lastly, the summer heat has returned to Arizona. Please carefully review density altitude calculations for your aircraft. Plug your most common weight/balance load values into the calculation and adjust your mindset to the additional runway length needed. With my Comanche, it means some of my favorite airstrips can only be accessed early in the morning if I want to depart the same day. That’s quite alright, as the Comanche lacks air conditioning.