Why Become a Member?
March 1, 2020
A frequent question posed to members of the Minnesota Pilots Association is “Why should I become a member? What would membership do for me?” That was a question that the founding members of the board of directors asked ourselves as we were considering going through the steps of starting this organization, and a question that we frequently consider frequently as we turn introspective to ask if our organization makes a difference. I think it is important to do so, and the Great Minnesota Aviation Gathering illustrates how we choose to make a difference.
As we approach the 7th Annual Great Minnesota Aviation Gathering, to be held on Friday and Saturday, April 24-25, 2020, we see tangible examples as to why the Minnesota Pilots Association exists. Sure, membership gives us free admission to our flagship event, but it also provides tangible evidence that we are achieving our mission goals to promote aviation in Minnesota. We feel that unless we must act to preserve aviation in Minnesota.
I think we do so by taking a look around the hangars at the Buffalo Municipal Airport and see many of our aviation friends from across the state enjoying themselves and renewing friendships. It is heartwarming to see people enjoying sharing flying experiences and tales of days gone by. We see some people who are new to the aviation fraternity, we see some who are just thinking about getting into aviation. We see representatives from companies and organizations whose livelihood and missions are directly related to aviation. We see youngsters milling around, sensing the excitement that accompanies aviation and pilots. Heaven knows we are an exciting bunch of characters! We find ourselves becoming informed about how to promote and preserve our airports, like the Isle, Minnesota airport now, and the Bowstring Airport in the past. We make a difference.
The awards portion of the GMAG has become one of our favorites. It gives us the opportunity to pay tribute to young and not so young aviators, and I think that recognition is vitally important to achieving our mission. We pay tribute to the not so young by providing the plaques that go to recipients of the Wilbur and Orville Wright Master Pilots Awards, and to recipients of the Charlie Taylor Master Mechanic Award. The pride we and the family and friends have in watching these great people receive the awards from our FAAST leaders is endless. We pay tribute to the young by recognizing new recipients of the three aviation scholarships that the Minnesota Pilots Association provides via the Ed Erickson Aviation Scholarship, the Janette Strathy Aviation Scholarship and the Minnesota Pilots Association Aviation/Avionics Technician Scholarship. These scholarships honor those who have exhibited excellence as they prepare for careers in aviation.
These celebrations at the GMAG would not be happening without your membership in the Minnesota Pilots Association. We hope to see you at the GMAG, and wish you happy flying!