Douglas Flight to the Border

by Clifford VanVleet


The third annual Douglas Flight to the Border Pancake Breakfast and Young Eagles Flight Rally was held on Saturday, October 7. Sponsored by Douglas Rotary, the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Chapter 776, Sierra Vista and Cochise College, Douglas exceeded all expectations with 187 youth enjoying introductory airplane rides.  The Young Eagle flight program provides rides free of charge in certificated general aviation aircraft to youth ages 8 to 17 for the express purpose of introducing young people to sport and careers in aviation.  Eight pilots provided rides from 7:30 AM until 12:30 PM.  The flights followed a circular route around the city and lasted 15 minutes each giving passengers good views of the city.  Rotary served a pancake breakfast through mid-morning.

Flying children in Douglas provides EAA pilots the opportunity to introduce youth to the thrill of flying.  Douglas Municipal Airport was the first commercial aviation airport in Arizona with the first incoming flight to Douglas in 1911. The plane landed behind the old YMCA building at the west end of 10th street. In 1913, planes that were used in the Mexican Revolution came to Douglas. Five years later, after World War I, the barnstormers arrived. The city purchased the airport in 1928 and a dirt runway was built connecting Douglas and Agua Prieta. Airplane passengers could land in Douglas and taxi through the runway gate into Mexico.  Aviation activity in Douglas today is very minimal, offering students limited incentive to use aviation as a career or hobby.  Pilots and ground crews conducting the rally were continually heart warmed by the reaction of the children and their parents who are having their first experience with airplanes and flying.

Blue Skies,


April’s APA Happy Hour at Harold’s!

by Mary James & Susan Wearly


Our Spring Social at Harold’s Corral in Cave Creek on Thursday, April 28th was loaded with fun, food, and lots of stories! We hosted sixty-eight pilots, spouses, aviation enthusiasts, and honored military people. Guests came from all over the Valley and even from Tucson. It was wonderful to see old friends chatting and new friendships forming. Tables were set with red, white, and blue flowers, toy and wind-up airplanes, flags, and more. APA President, Tommy Thomason, welcomed everyone and helped announce the winners of the Question Board Raffle. Two questions were posed and Question #1 had 6 correct answers. Tommy drew from these 6 and congratulations went out to Tim Greer for correctly answering the question of who founded the Arizona Air National Guard – Barry Goldwater. Tim and his wife Lynell took home a liter and a half of Maker’s Mark Bourbon as their prize. Question #2 had 3 correct answers and kudos to Robin Gerblick for her winning answer to the question of who owns the Gray Ghost – Tommy Thomason. Robin and her husband Jim walked away with a fifth of Glenfiddich Scotch. Way to go, Tim and Robin! The party went on well past our 7 pm ending time! It was a great way to welcome in the Double Circle Ranch Fly-In scheduled for April 29-30.

Organizers Susan Wearly and Mary James wish to thank Tommy and all of the APA staff for allowing them to run with their party planning and for helping. $140 was raised toward our Scholarship Program. We had a great showing of just how impressive the APA is as a volunteer organization.

Watch for news of a Fall social later this summer – this could be habit forming!!


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