Happy New Year! After massive caloric intake between Thanksgiving and New Year, I’m going to have to update my weight and balance before I fly again. I’m thankful for lower density altitude and better performance with the cooler winter temps. That’s a happy coincidence for sure! For APA, rounding out 2021 meant a banner year for our scholarship program. When Covid threw a wrench into the aviation industry, among others, many potential pilot or mechanic candidates decided to pursue other careers based on dismal media reports about the state of the industry. APA continued to churn behind the scenes supporting General Aviation in Arizona. I’m not one to brag about the success of APA, as its typically the volunteer members who deserve credit. In this case, our volunteer members of the APA Scholarship Committee deserve a ton of credit! Led by Chris Nugent, the team implemented some new strategies to connect with candidates around the state, as well as working with potential donors throughout the year. As a result, the committee saw a record number of applications from all over the state, as well as a record number of donations from our membership that EXCEEDED any prior year. As a result, the board of directors unanimously approved an increase in the scholarship amount awarded to each of the deserving recipients. Each of these bright young stars has a promising career in aviation ahead of them and we’re so proud to be part of that. Thank you to the applicants and to the members who donated to support these students! Please read Chris’ column below for the details. Bravo Zulu, Chris!

On a less positive note, pilot deviations seem to remain remarkably high. Jim’s Executive Director’s Report each month provides details, but Arizona pilots seem to have become complacent with airspace boundaries and ATC instructions. This issue isn’t limited to student or low-time pilots, as we have CFI’s, ATP’s, and military pilots committing these deviations as well. Many result in Brasher warnings, which can then lead to punitive action. Please, please, please pay attention to your flight path and all airspace surrounding it. If using an EFB, use old fashioned pilotage to confirm your location on the chart with the surroundings outside. Be very aware of the Class D and B airspace around your path and ensure you have permission to be there. With many towers still suffering staffing shortages, the instruction you receive may be different than what you may have spent years becoming accustomed to. Unlike the “Traffic Pattern Changed” signs that DOT puts up when a new traffic light is installed to warn local drivers of the change, ATC does not provide such warning. These sequences may have changed due to staffing conditions or local procedure agreement. Please be aware of your position and instructions and do not allow yourself to become a statistic to the FAA.

Blue Skies,


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