(Fall 2020 Issue)

Winter 2020/2021

Welcome to Winter 2021 News

John at NAMM 2020

We may still be in winter but spring is fast approaching with promises of BIG things to come. I hope you are ready! Shaking the cobb webs off has been a little difficult since the near hibernation of 2020 but I see signs that we are on our way to new heights in 2021. There are similarities in the state of affairs with the beginning of FMA and its second decade. Do you remember our first year? Back in 2008 and 2009 we had big hopes and promises of things to come while in the midst of the Great Rescission. So now we are resurrecting those big hopes and promises.

I look forward to seeing, in person, many of my aviation and music friends at Sun ‘n Fun. The Florida sun and friends will cure all ills. I’m fortunate to have family in Florida too. Plans are underway to make this event a comfortable one for everyone. Please join us! Read more and stay up to date on Sun ‘n Fun.

With the downtime that 2020 afforded, I was able to put a lot of thought into the future of FMA. My biggest task, other than keeping all the plates spinning, is to plan for the future and to set the Association up for perpetuity. I present to you the FMA Flight Plan. This plan identifies FMA’s values, mission, purpose & programs. Please take a look and offer you thoughts on OUR future.

FMA Flight Plan
Louise Vickerman
Louise Vickerman

With the coming of the new year we have a new FMA Board member. Please join me in in welcoming Louise Vickerman as our newest board member. Louise has been with FMA from the beginning. She participated with us at the National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) convention in Las Vegas and the last AOPA Summit in Fort Worth, Texas. As the principal Harpist for the Utah symphony, Louise is a very accomplished musician. She is a commercial pilot too. Most impressive is her ability to soar on mountain waves as a glider pilot. Louise joins fellow board members Dr. Ian Fries, Prof. H. Paul Shuch, Lee Ross, and Tim Kern. View the FMA Board members and their details here.

Read more…

Ambassador Updates

FMA Ambassador Updates

Ambassadors are the life blood of FMA. They assist with communications to individuals who are spread far and wide. They are the glue that binds us together. No one person can do this. The convey a positive message while fielding question about the values, vision, mission and programs of the association while sparking activity with their regions.

Mike Manny (Canada) Musically, I’d like to add a plug for a new online platform that I have been performing on here in Ottawa called, Syncspace Live . It’s an online performance platform that was founded by a gentleman of the name, Adrian Cho. He is a local, Ottawa-based musician (bass), who in addition to being the Musical Director of the Ottawa Jazz Orchestra (OJO), he is also an avid, and accomplished photographer. He has utilized his many years of being in the technical and IT sector to create an ever-growing online music performance platform that has been connecting musicians not online here in the nation’s capital, but across the country.

Check out a few videos:

And in flying news: Been keeping up currencies while the pandemic has been going on. One of my latest flights was just this past weekend where my wife took this great photo of the sunset while on a x/c CYRP CNL3 CYCC CYRP.

Sunset Flight Photo by Meaghan Manny

editor’s note –Mike Manny, your Canadian ambassador has been a huge asset to FMA. Mike’s hard work has been awarded with two FMA Solo scholarship recipients and a finalist in the 2021 campaign. In addition to being the Canadian ambassador, Mike coordinates the FMA Map. His contributions are very much appreciated.

Don Bilbrey (Ohio) – The state curfew is lifted, 2 vaccines and a 3rd on the way. Sun n Fun announced dates as 13th thru the 18 of April. I’ve got things I’ve got to get done. Most of the locals are using this time to upgrade there airplanes and deal with family matters. The venues are still having booking problems mostly because their customers are down so low they can’t afford to operate much less pay for music. A number of musicians are doing Podcasts on Facebook.

this is a picture of one of the last gigs in 2020: I been working or some music lessons and trying to understand some recording software that I have. We are just now thawing out from a big snow we has 2 weeks ago. I am are very optimistic forthcoming year. Summer on the way opens a host of possibilities. Stay out of the trees and keep a pickin and a grining

editor’s note – Don Bilbrey, Ohio ambassador, has also had much success in attracting nominations for the FMA Solo program with two recipients and many nominations. Dan has been having annual HangarJams until last year when most everything was shut down.

Jeff Auen (Mid-Atlantic) There’s a little life at Essex Skypark.  The STEM program will start in the Spring, but with only 2 students at first. 3 hangars have been constructed, we are now completely maxed out. Meetings are still not happening due to Covid. No music events are scheduled at this time. Lawyers and insurers are antsy. We have no idea when we can schedule any events. Regionally, some airports are scheduling Spring events with big caveats about last minute cancellations.
I hope to make it back down for Sun n Fun if it actually happens.
The Bristell has been upgraded to full IFR I passed my IFR written and start flight training in March. It will be converted to ELSA so I can fly in IMC.
I’m close to pulling the trigger on a Bushcat kit that we will build with the STEM program kids. We have an interesting approach to the process.  Can’t spill the beans just yet. 

Since the last update:

A little movement at W48. The Scouts are planning an event this year. The airport association is also in the planning stages of our Wings and Wheels and Pancake Breakfast events. Everything of course has the cancellation-at-the-last-minute caveat. More specifics to come.

I flew the Aircam to Naples, FL in January. Unfortunately winds were 15 gusting from 25-40 almost the entire month of February so I only got about 8 hours of air time. I discovered a small fuel tank leak on the preflight before return to Baltimore so I left my baby at Sebring for repairs. I’ll return in a few weeks to bring it back.  I’m trying to make up for last year by attending Sun ‘n Fun, Airventure, Deland and Tripletree as well as a couple of Aircam gatherings this year. 
My duo, Change of Pace has three gigs booked at a local venue. They’ve had to cancel the last two so we will wait and see.

We may do another FB livestream in March and we will produce the next episode of “Baltimore Bob” for YouTube. 

I purchased a Bushcat kit which my friend, Claudius Klimt and I will build with a few STEM program kids.  There’s a new website and additional social media links where we will document the build. Our goal is to have Mike Patey-level fun on one tenth the budget. The website is www.GAJeff.com and should be live on about March 15. We plan to do some mods including in-house anodizing, carbon fiber, led lighting, custom storage solutions using 3d printing, etc. The kit will arrive early June but we will document some of the prep work in the meantime. 

editor’s note –Jeff Auen, Mid-Atlantic ambassador, has been such a big supporter of FMA at various EAA and AOPA events around the country. His family foundation, Auen O’Shea Family Fund, has been contributing financially to the to the FMA Solo program for several years now. We owe Jeff him a HUGE debt of gratitude for his many hours of volunteering at events raising awareness and funds through enthusiastic ??? and music.

Joshua Homet (Michigan ) – Despite the cold and virus-restricted winter, things have been a buzz here in MI. I have completed a very productive first year as a Gulfstream Captain here at Flexjet. In fact, I’m in Dallas this week completing my first long recurrent training since my initial type last February. I still flew over 430 hours this past year even with all the slowdowns and restrictions. I’ve been enjoying the training this time around having spent a year getting used to the real airplane. I also recently completed my first oceanic crossing as acting PIC with a trip to and from Hawaii. On the music front, I’m still actively playing cajon/singing for our church worship band. I finally had to retire my first cajon and purchase a new one after almost 10 years since I started to play. I played in the Christmas eve service this year and it actually started to come apart during a rather animated part of the service. It’s gotten me reinvigorated in my playing and I’ve started to add other accessories to my setup. As we excitedly await spring, my Father-in-law’s 182 is efficiently spending March getting it’s annual. Once it’s done, we look forward to get back to enjoying some GA flying. I’ll be getting more involved with the aircraft, getting him instrument current again, and even renewing my own CFI later this summer.
Please reach out with any aviation and or music endeavors you think I can help you out with! Enjoy your flying and playing!

editor’s note – Joshua Homet, Michigan ambassador, joined FMA straight out of college. Josh was flying pipeline patrol when he heard about the the beginnings of FMA and joined as a founding member. Josh in now a Gulfstream Captain with FlexJet. His contributions have been enormous over the years. Josh was our right hand in the early years of the association and has continued to contribute.

Denny Kotz (South Carolina) I hope that this year is more enjoyable from a music standpoint.  Last year, the only gig I had was a Canal Boat River Cruise.   We (Double D – my good friend also named Dennis and me) have performed this gig for the past 10 years.  A “Peterson Boat” is used by the Enterprise Mill Museum to provide tours of the Augusta Canal.  The canal was built to power the mills that were built back in the 1800’s.  The boat is powered by batteries that are charged by the hydroelectric power plant still in operation at the Enterprise Mill (a side note, the mill has condominiums now, and the residents do not have an electric bill either).  Other than that, I have not performed in public.  My two-three time a year gig performing for the Georgia War Veteran Nursing Home was cancelled.  There have been no House Concerts.  Some Augusta Bars have been in operation, and have had Open Mic Nights, but I don’t feel like exposing myself to those potential spreading events.  Most of my performances have been for my 21 month old Granddaughter.

This year, we have been booked for another Canal Boat Cruise in June.  In addition, we have been contacted about possibly performing at a Music in the Park event locally.

I am planning to attend this years Sun ‘n Fun, and I hope to be able to perform some music at that event.

My flying has been limited since there are very few places to go, and the lunch club that I belong to has not scheduled a lunch flight.  My wife and I visited the Downtown Greenwood, SC airport and ate a very pleasant lunch at the Runway Café. 

I have received both doses of the vaccine, and have only experienced a sore arm from it.  I hope that this is the beginning of the end to a sad period in our history.  For anyone who has suffered from the virus, or the effects of the virus, you have my condolences.  I hope that this year is a better one.

editor’s note – Denny Kotz has performed with FMA at Sun ‘n Fun and AirVenture for several years. In addition to being your South Carolina ambassador, Denny also established FMA’s presence during the Masters Golf tournament. We look forward to increase membership, scholarship nominees and activity in South Carolina as a result of Denny’s work.

Kass Smith (Mexico & Carribean) is an ambassador for  the flying musicians association and is  also the owner of Real de Talpa holistic resort and is recognized worldwide as a recording artist and musician.

Kass Air is owned and operated by Kass Smith, an instrument-rated commercial pilot with over 27 years flight expertise in single and multi-engine aircraft. Kass earned his instrument and commercial ratings in the US and Mexico.

He owns and flies a 1956 Cessna 310 and his team has been in the aircraft detailing business since 1987, providing excellent paint service at a fraction of the cost compared to prices in the US.

All flying musicians members will receive a 10% discount on paint and interior detailing  from Kass if requests for quotes are received before March 31st,2021

editor’s note – Kass has perform for and with FMA at AirVenture for a couple years prior to the pandemic. He has been a HUGE supporter of FMA in raising awareness throughout Mexico and the Caribbean.

Ali Calvert (California) Ridgecrest CA is a sleepy little town, unless you count all the jet and helicopter noise. It is home to NAWS China Lake where the latest and greatest is developed and tested for Navy and Marine Corps Jets. Every now and then we have a drone circling the town, but for a few hours each day it is quiet. NAWS China lake is home to the most ranges and land held by the Dept of the Navy so it can make flying interesting at times. 

 Our local airport is just 15 mins away in Inyokern. KIYK is part of the original NOTS program here at NAWS China Lake. The original bunny logo is still on the hangar. Often the hotspot for many films and commercials it is a very active airport. Our Fedex deliveries come twice a day via Cessna caravan. Kia, Ford, and Dodge have filmed here not to mention TOPGUN 2, which also took over our base and disrupted a few test events. But it is a great way for our airport to get funding. Recently Congressman Kevin McCarthy approved a grant to help repair our runways which were damaged in the 6.4 and 7.1 earthquakes here in Ridgecrest. They are currently ripping up the foundation layers of the runways which were laid in the 1940s. They are doing one closure at a time and trying to not disrupt too much in terms of regular traffic. By regular traffic, on any given day we have gyros, V-22s, MH-60, AC90s, bonanzas, and gliders being towed.  The glider population out KIYK is rather prolific. The active club has a host of world record holding pilots. One even learned from a Polish pilot who escaped Nazi Germany by gliding his plane to safety. We also have one jet propelled glider. It looks like we will have our annual RV fly in ice cream social this summer, if CA continues to ramp out the vaccine roll out. Our sister airport to the south in Mojave has seen several flights and tests of the Stratolauncher as well as some other fun planes now that Plane Crazy Saturday has started back up. 

VX-31 has had some wonderful things happen despite COVID. Being a unique squadron combined of SAR and Developmental testing, we have a variety of aircraft. From F-18 C/Ds (Legacy Hornets) to F-18 E/F (Super Hornets), Harriers and Growlers, to our resident MH-60S for SAR. Recently we had a heroic rescue up at Whitney portal where the 60’s power levels were at 0 and they executed the rescue flawlessly. There was even a very important SAR in December when Santa got lost in the Sierras which is well documented on the VX-31 Facebook page. We were lucky enough to attend a few test events that my husband flew in the F-18 E/F, where we got to meet up with him on the flightlines at Mojave and Pt. Mugu. We were also able to attend his promotion ceremony to Lieutenant Commander.  

I have taken a small step back with playing due to the needs of our son and his recovery from 3 brain surgeries last March. But I have found a very interesting way to invest and be a part of new music. Myself and a few other harpists paid into a consortium with the composer Kincaid Rabb based out of AZ. Instead of one person taking on the entire commission for a piece, it is approached much like buying into a flying club plane. Some paid $100 for a physical bound and signed manuscript in addition to the digital and performing rights, while others paid $50 for the digital and performing rights. It is a really unique way of helping composers during a time where the performing arts is entering uncharted territories. The piece I bought into is called Diamondback Darlene. It is a story to be told along with music written for lever harp. The composer hopes to turn it into a picture book to be shown with the music played, much like “The Wild Symphony” by Dan Brown (yes the same Dan Brown as the DaVinci code). Apparently his parents were music teachers and music was his first form of composition. I highly suggest taking a look at Kincaid’s website: https://www.kincaidrabb.com/ He currently has a consortium going for a chamber piece called Carnival of the Dinosaurs. 

These times have been interesting living in a small desolate desert town formed around a military base. But it has also pressed me in a direction of creating more with my small business Home in the Hangar (custom aviation designs for the home and custom patch design). Almost daily, I take my son to the airport for a picnic and to stare at the beautiful mountains here. He even learned how to walk for the second time by taking long walks with his walker at our airport. Now he is learning to identify aircraft there. (Never too early) It can feel stifling in today’s world with all the difficult news being bombarded at us with different screens, but there is something always refreshing about going to the airport, even if you aren’t flying. Hoping that there are blue skies ahead for all. May your winds always be fair and your landings always be smooth.

editor’s note – Ali has been a firebrand of an ambassador for California. Beside representing FMA at events in her area, she enthusiastically welcomes new members. Ali established and runs Home in Hangar.

Want to participate?
Reach out to John to become an FMA ambassador.

Read more…

Member News

Member News & Updates

FMA is so fortunate to have passionate hardworking individuals who care about others and their community. We celebrate their successes. We hope that you will be inspired by and learn from our members, young and old. They have a lot to offer.

Produce pair soar to new heights

Reproduced from the article in The Produce News

Bill Brooks and Paul Villa (FMA member) are longtime friends in the Los Angeles produce industry, and they have had their respective heads in the clouds for a very long time. Recently, they were honored for that.

Both men grew up in Southern California with a produce broker as a father. They both started in other work but soon followed in their fathers’ footsteps and made very successful careers in the produce industry. Today, Villa is CEO of Great West Produce, while Brooks wears the same title for Westlake Produce Co. They have been colleagues, friendly competitors and occasional buyers of each other’s products for about 45 years.

But this isn’t a story about their produce careers.

Their early produce careers and the proximity of their offices above Los Angeles’ Seventh Street Market in the 1970s is what led them to discuss their mutual love of flying. Since then, they have flown together countless times, been partners in several different planes and borrowed each other’s private aircrafts on many occasions for their own flying expeditions. They have traveled to produce events together using their private planes as the mode of transportation.

Most importantly, the two men were recently honored as each received the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award from the Federal Aviation Administration. The award was a surprise to each man as their wives — Barbara Villa and Kim Brooks — secretly applied for the respective awards and made the presentation at a joint backyard gathering.

“We had no idea they were doing that,” said Brooks. “I knew about the award, but I never really thought about applying for it.”

“The Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award is the most prestigious award the FAA issues to pilots certified under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 61,” is how the FAA describes it on its website. “This award is named after the Wright Brothers, the first U.S. pilots, to recognize individuals who have exhibited professionalism, skill, and aviation expertise for at least 50 years while piloting aircraft as ‘Master Pilots’.”

The award itself is a distinctive certificate and lapel pin issued only after an application review and eligibility requirements have been met.

Villa is the more veteran airman as he began flying in 1968 when he was still in high school in Gardena, CA. A fellow student who had his pilot’s license introduced him to the hobby. “He took me with him once and I was hooked,” he said. That flight took off from the Hawthorne Airport, which is where Villa took lessons, got a job as a “line boy” to pay for those lessons and earned his license that same year. At one point, he did take aeronautics courses at the local community college with the idea of launching a career in the aviation industry, but fate led him down a different path.

His father, Art Villa, worked at the Los Angeles produce market where he launched his own brokerage operation. Unfortunately, Mr. Villa passed away in 1974 at the relatively young age of 62. Paul’s older brother briefly took over the business before the younger sibling tried his hand at buying and selling produce. Initially, Villa worked out of an office on L.A.’s Ninth Street Market but soon he moved over to the long hall of offices that stands atop the vintage Seventh Street Market.

Brooks was working for a non-produce endeavor when his boss introduced him to flying, taking off that first time from the El Monte Airport, which is now called the San Gabriel Valley Airport. He also was immediately hooked and earned his pilot’s license in 1970. In the early ‘70s, he started skydiving and also got his commercial pilot’s license so he could fly other skydivers on jumps. By 1971, he had joined the Brooks & Sims produce brokerage, which was also housed above the Seventh Street Market. He continued to work as a pilot but only on weekends as his burgeoning produce career was a full-time commitment.

Villa and Brooks had offices across from each other in the mid-‘70s but neither can specifically remember when they first shared their passion and started flying together.

“It must have been in the late 1970s,” said Villa, “but I don’t recall exactly. That was a long time ago.”

Their memories were much sharper when in separate interviews they were talking about the planes they have owned, both together and independently, and the many trips and flights they took over the years. Villa mentioned a Cessna 140 and Cessna 210, while Brooks talked about a Cessna 182, among others. Today, they share ownership of a Cessna with Villa also owning a more powerful Turbine Bonanza that they both fly on longer trips. Recently, Brooks acquired a World War II vintage plane from Roger Knutzen of Knutzen Farms, one of his potato growers in  Washington — a good friend and fellow pilot. The two flew the plane together many times in Washington and Brooks plans to continue flying it in Southern California. 

Villa mentions that the planes have been a “handy tool” over the years. “I can leave in the morning, visit a couple of growers and be back home for dinner.” He said these many grower and customer visits over the years — made possible because of the ease of flying a private plane — have forged life-long business relationships and friendships.

Brooks tells the same story. In fact, he noted that his father — Bill Brooks Sr. — was a bit reticent to embrace his son’s preoccupation with flying at first. But shortly after joining the family firm in 1971, the two men took off one morning in a private plane with the younger Brooks in the pilot’s seat.

“We flew to Klamath Falls, OR, saw three different growers and came back home the same day. My dad thought this wasn’t a bad way to do it,” he said.

Brooks also remembers flying up to Alaska to pick up an airplane for another owner — the Cessna 182 — and flying it back. “I took a couple of weeks and had a great time,” he said.

The flying pair have often flown together for fun, traveled together to the Oshkosh, WI air show several times, and flown to produce luncheons in Northern California. Villa remarked that Brooks’ flight with his wife retracing Route 66 from the air in his little Cessna is a testament to their marriage. He noted that the plane hardly moves faster than a car. Brooks remembers the trip fondly, noting that Kim was an able navigator and planned the many stops.

Both men also noted independently what a great friendship they have created over the years and how the relationship is very important to each of them. Fifty years of flying is a noteworthy achievement but so is a friendship that has lasted just about as long.

Paul Villa & Jay Mason
Paul Villa with SW ambassador Jay Mason

Glenn “Doc” Watson

editor’s note – This in from new member, Glenn “Doc” Watson

Hello, Everyone! –

Glenn "Doc" Watson

Thank you for the very enthusiastic welcome! I love the idea of marrying two seemingly diverse but truly related passions, and I love that you are encouraging others (especially youth…) to do the same. Let me see if I can answer some of your questions…

I am based out of Southern California. Specifically, I live in Lancaster, CA, about 40 miles north of LA. I fly out of William J Fox (KWJF), Edwards AFB (KEDW), and sometimes Tehachapi (KTSP).

As a musician, I would consider myself a lifelong amateur. I spent time in the high school band, college choir, and a few off-and-on gigging or worship bands over the years. My primary instrument is bass, but can also hack along on a guitar if pressed. My real pride in the music world is my kids. Both have been playing violin for a dozen years or so. The eldest is studying Popular Music Performance (violin) at the Thornton School of music at USC in LA. The younger has picked up an interest in drums over the past couple years. We will see where that leads…Between the three of us, we are turning an extra room at the house into a studio and looking forward to seeing what comes out of that.

As a pilot/aviator, I have spent all of my post college years around airplanes. I was in the Air Force, where I flew the back seat of F-15Es…think Goose from Top Gun, except my callsign is “Doc”. I got to fly back seat (as opposed to USAF pilot) because my 20/25 vision did not meet the perfect vision standards in place at the time. Either way…still a heck of a time! Got out of that after 9 years and started working in the aviation industry as a flight test engineer. Got my civilian ratings as Commercial ASEL/AMEL, CFI/I. Now I am continuing to fly as a non-military backseater executing B-1B flight test at Edwards as well as being an active FAA CFI/I.

Over the past seven years, my wife and I (along with some other brave folks) have built and now run a homeschool co-op that has an average student census of 75-100 kids ranging in age from 7-19. We offer a place for homeschoolers to get some “outside” instruction (somebody other than Mom & Dad) in a variety of subjects. We have everything from English and Science, to American Sign Language, Economics, History, Music lessons (violin and piano), German Longsword historical martial arts, and anything else we can dream up. We also have an aeronautics class where I get a chance to pass along my passion for everything with wings. We are currently building a Pietenpol Air Camper that will actually fly…I will be the test pilot. We have plans to build a wind tunnel in my backyard as soon as we can get past this COVID thing and we are in the middle of starting a Flying Club centered initially around a Vans RV-12iS. Last year, we turned our efforts into a non-profit corporation exempt under 501(c)3. The Watson Ranch EIN is 84-2591842. The corporation currently has three programs: the Homeschool co-op, the Aviation STEM project, and the Flying Club.

Hopefully that’s a reasonable introduction…In a nutshell: I really like what you are doing. How can I help?

Best – Doc
Glenn “Doc” Watson

Student Members

Jacob Burdette Soloed

Jacob Solos

Your 2020 FMA Solo scholarship recipient, Jacob Burdette, soloed on November 21, 2020. Jacob is a freshman at Kent State in Ohio studying aviation and performing in the band.

“I finally got to fly a plane by myself for the first time after 16 hours of training, and I felt invincible. I will never forget November 21, 2020. I taxied to the runway and lined up with the centerline and pushed the throttle to full power.

Read the rest of Jacobs account online.

Navya Pottumutu (Canada)

” I just got my offer letter to join the Canadian Air Force as an Aerospace Control Officer while studying at the Royal Military College.  Thank you so much for all your help and guidance you’ve given me through this journey. “

We are so happy for our 2019 FMA Solo scholarship recipient. Navya was aware the BOSE headset for being the most outstanding recipient in 2019.

Brad Solos

Brad Suhr Solos

Brad Suhr was a 2020 FMA Solo finalist. He stayed engaged with FMA and will be a great resource in the FMA network as he enthusiastically moves forward in his aviation, music, and academic training.

On November 5th, 2020 yet another FMA Solo finalist soloed. “Out at Rochester International Airport (KRST) today I did my first solo – I flew around the pattern in many different configurations. Was beautiful. 65 degrees, wind 290 at about 3 and not much other traffic. I did some right patterns, left patterns, touch and goes, stop and goes, etc. loved every second of it. Next up? Cross country!”

Read more.

Jennifer Solos

Jennifer Solos
Flight Instructor Paul Shuch & Jennifer

Pharmacist Fills Flight Prescription Jennifer Miller came one step further to her lifelong dream of becoming a pilot on November 6, 2020 by flying a Light Sport aircraft as its sole occupant. Miller, originally from Texas, has been receiving flight training for nearly five months at AvSport LLC, the sport flying school on the Piper Memorial Airport. “Jennifer has immersed herself in her studies,” says Prof. H. Paul Shuch, her flight instructor and the founder of AvSport. 
Read more.

Will Solos

Will Solo
Will Get’s His Shirt Tail Cut

Soloing an aircraft is one of the greatest achievements, remembered forever, by a pilot. FMA student member, Will Adcox, soloed on December 4, 2020. “On December 4, 2020, I had just gotten out of school and was going to what I thought would be a normal flight lesson. After I pre-flighted the plane, my instructor took me inside the flight school and had me fill out a form for my first solo. Before I knew it, I finished two touch-and goes with my flight instructor and he was telling me that he would step out of the plane and…”  
Read More.

Chloe Solos

Chloe Litteral Solos

(editor’s note) Chloe was a finalist in the 2020 FMA Solo program. She is motivated beyond belief.

After completing King’s School Aviation Course online on 9/15/2020, I took the FAA exam on 9/25/2020 and passed. Much of my course prep was during the months of August and September. Difficulty in course prep came when both Hurricane Laura and Delta hit our hometown. The sound of our generator running to provide electricity for our home was unbearable at times but I pushed through the abnormalities knowing it would not be forever. I started flight instruction immediately after taking my exam. After 10 hours of flight training on October 7, I soloed flying a Piper Archer 181. I have logged a total of 21 flight hours so far. I look forward to completing my check ride by the end of the year.

I just returned to school this week (November 5, 2020) due to COVID and 2 hurricanes causing delays. No football or marching competitions has put a damper on band this year especially since it is my senior year. I am so looking for to some normal in my life. The best thing about all of this is that my happy place is being on the cockpit with my hands on the yoke flying with blue skies. Read more.

Autumn Pepper Rhodes

Autumn Pepper Rhodes

When I was younger, I was a girly-girl. I liked playing with My Little Pony and dressing up like the Disney Princesses.
Around the age of 8, these interests slowly faded. The gifted program introduced more interesting topics like
engineering and science, and it was great exploring these new avenues. Around this time, I developed an interest
in owls. I thought they were so majestic, and I envied their ability to y. That concept of ight was so interesting to
me. I started collecting owl pictures, gurines, bags, and shirts – all with dierent types of owls. It was quite the
obsession. I wanted to be able to y just like the creatures I adored so much. The only way to soar like an owl was
to learn to y and decided I wanted to become a pilot. The fact I had never been in any type of plane was not a
deterrent. I was determined to one day be a pilot.

Read volume 1 in full.

Jake Myers

Jake Myers was a 2021 FMAS Solo scholarship recipient along with Jacob Burdette. He has a lot of great! In addition to being honored at his school, he and his brother have released their debut album – Pyrux. Jake is also applying for a scholarship to complete his flight training. Take a look at his video an VOTE for Jake.

More information from Jake at – FMAsolo.org.

Continue reading

FMA Solo Program

Latest News from the FMA Solo Program

After a slow start, the 2021 FMA Solo program bolted to the finish line with thirty-three nominees from North America (including Canada) Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. We are so fortunate to have thirty-three new student members. The FMA network is growing with passionate, caring, sharing and talented individuals.

We have now selected five out of the thirty-three as your 2021 FMA Solo finalists. The Board will receive the finalists shortly after April 1 to select the scholarship recipient(s). How many recipients will there be in 2021? That depends on how much we raise between now and May 1, 2021.

2021 FMA Solo Finalists
2021 FMA Solo Finalists

Help FMA Fund Scholarships for Deserving Student Musicians

Continue reading…


Future Events/Opportunities & Recaps

FMA members enjoy participating at events – big & small. Whether members perform outreach through presentation, music and or manning a booth, they love raising awareness and funds for FMA and our programs.

Sun ‘n Fun 2021 is a GO! Join us April 13-18 in Lakeland, Florida. Plans are already in the works for FMA’s participation. We will be hosted by LAMA in Paradise City (Ultrallight area) all week. The FMA stage will be ready with the FMA BOSE sound system. Join us in sunny Florida for a week of (some would say an overdose) aviation, music and fun. More detail and updates here.

Sun 'n Fun 2021

Summer NAMM is planning to take place in Nashville, Tennessee on July 15-17. It’s a little early to bank on but, on a positive note, please reach out to get your name on the list to represent FMA. More information to come.

Summer NAMM 2021

AirVenture will certainly be the crowning aviation event for many in 2021. FMA will once again bring music to his HUGE aviation event. Opportunities are many for music and hangar flying. Stay tuned for updates as the months roll on.

AirVenture 2021

DeLand Sport Aviation Showcase will be the last major event of 2021. Plans are already in the works and FMA will be participating. Contact us now to join us in Florida November 11-13, 2021

DeLand Sport Aviation Showcase

Do you know an event that FMA should participate at? Are you willing to perform outreach? Present the FMA presentation? Perform?
Contact us Today!


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