In the last column, I mentioned my first real IFR approach. This time, I get to talk about one all the way to minimums…and in the mountains, to boot. Near the end of March, two friends and I took a chance on a late ski trip to North Carolina (the last week the resort was open). The only way to pull off the time-constrained trip was by General Aviation, so we loaded the 182 and headed North. There was a cloud layer a couple thousand-feet thick starting a couple hundred feet above the ground. After weighing our many options, we decided on ONE try at the approach. Before descending, I briefed the passengers on the entire approach procedure, which helped me as much as them. Though there was limited visibility and light mist at the airport, the approach lights and runway showed up when and where they should, and it was a nice landing. We were joined in NC by my LONG-time friend and FABA-sponsor Mike Allen (Shell Aviation) and had a great three days together on and off the slopes.
Anyway, the trip reminded me of FABA’s recent plight; everyone knows it’s been a tough few years for our organization. For a while we weren’t exactly sure where things would end up, and it often felt like a dark and stormy approach with low fuel. Through some awesome leadership by our Board coupled with great support and participation by our membership, we navigated the storm, and landed FABA safely. Now, we have a whole new future ahead of us.
Our Annual Conference was an enormous success by all accounts, and I heard from MANY of you personally right after. Honestly, I was nearly overwhelmed with so much positive feedback; I greatly appreciate the input from each of you. Other Board members reported the same. This has been an almost unbelievable turnaround for us, and we all have each other to thank (but this is ME thanking YOU).
During the show, we also put out the call for new Board members; you certainly responded. We were thrilled at the quality of people that wanted to help lead our new organization, and by the time you read this we will have announced our newly-selected Directors. The experience, vision, diversity and even size of this Board will be nothing like we’ve ever had before; we’re very excited!
Three days after my approach to Minimums, and after playing in the snow while the Florida weather was already hot, we flew the pretty, 3.5 hours back home. It reminded me how nice it is to live in the General Aviation world, and how nice it is to live in Florida with access to so much! Just a couple months after the ski trip, I skirted some weather and landed in the Bahamas. I ended up “stuck” for the birth of Hurricane Arthur—but that’s a story for another column…