President's Message



WPA State President George Steed


Please accept a sincere ‘Thank You’ for electing me to lead the Washington Pilots Association in 2017.  It is a great honor and one which I will not take lightly. 

A word of introduction:  I began my flight instruction in 1975, ran away to join the Navy in ’77, became a bombardier and flew in A6-Es out of Whidbey Island and off USS Coral Sea from ’79-82, and finally got my pilot’s license in 2005.  I achieved my instrument rating in 2007, became an A&P in 2012, and The Lovely Mrs. Steed and I bought a 1966 Bonanza in early 2013, just as we were beginning retirement.  From then until now each day has been more fun than the last.  I expect that to continue. 

When I consider the Washington Pilots Association, three things come to mind:

Chapters.  It’s all about chapters.  90% of what we do and 100% of the fun stuff happens in chapters.  Chapters are where we have meetings, parties, fly-ins, and fly-outs. It’s where we interact with old friends and meet new ones.  It’s where we bring new aviators into the fold.  The job of the state officers and board of directors is to ensure that the chapters have the support, help, and encouragement to survive and thrive.  If we do that we’ll have done our job.  If not, we need to hear from you and be reminded of what we should be doing and how we may help. 

The Future.  We’re all moving into it.  We need to recognize that things are changing and we need to embrace the positive changes and identify and fight the negative.  Brice Van Baren and FATPNW have shown us that social media can be a powerful force for multiplying the fun we have flying.  The WPA does not need to envy FATPNW’s success or try to compete with or become like FATPNW but we must understand the changes the future will bring and adapt to them. 
At age 64, with luck, I think I can reasonably expect to fly for another 20 years, any threats to general aviation notwithstanding.  Whether user fees, airport encroachment, ATC privatization, or any other circumstance, I will probably be able to fly out my time.  The same cannot, with certainty, be said for today’s young pilots.  A 20 year old pilot has 60 years left to fly and a lot can happen in 60 years.  Our core mission is to protect the amazing privilege we enjoy and we must be vigilant and effective in our efforts to do so. 

Many hands make light work.  My grandmother said it 60 years ago and it’s just as true today.  Go to a chapter meeting.  Organize a fly-out.  Volunteer for the Christmas Party crew.  You don’t have to do everything but if everyone does one thing, we’ll get an incredible amount done and have a great time doing it.  Sharing challenges with others forms bonds, and aviators are fun people to share tasks with.  

Let’s go out there and fly!

Two  quick notes:

We have recently partnered with FATPNW by offering a free one-year membership to purchasers of FATPNW Premium.  They will provide us with names, we will contact the new members and pair them with a local chapter, and everybody wins.  As of the first of March, we have 45 new members identified through this partnership. 

Second:  We would like to revitalize both the Seattle and Olympia chapters.  If you live in these areas and would like to be a part of shaping some exciting aviation, please contact me.  We’ll be announcing initial meetings when we have a critical mass and are excited about the possibilities.

George Steed
State President
Washington Pilots Association

Page Last Updated: 03.01.17


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