This will be the first of a series of regular communications from me to you designed to keep you in the loop with what your Recreational Aviation Foundation is involved with across our Nation. While it would be my desire to keep these communications frequent and short, there are so many great things happening thanks to you, it will be an ongoing challenge.

First, a tip of the cap to our directors and founders. When I think of what these folks have accomplished I am reminded and can’t help but paraphrase that great quote by Winston Churchill which incidentally referenced aviators as well. “Never has so much been owed by so many to so few.”  Whether assisting a private airfield owner in Florida open his field for recreational use, to educating a congressman on Capitol Hill about recreational aviation or to assisting fellow pilots reopen airstrips in Southern California, your directors, all volunteers, are on it.  And, they are on it for you, 24/7!

Recently I had the opportunity to stay with our board president and co-founder, John McKenna and his wife Tricia; herself an accomplished pilot. My last vision of them late at night was both of them working in their home office on RAF business. The next morning they were at it again before 6:00 AM and this on a normal workday! Such dedication and commitment is rarely seen, yet for the McKennas, as well as all your other directors, this is business as usual.

Their efforts have paid off handsomely in terms of places for us to fly and enjoy our passion for recreational aviation. Further, these few people have had such an impact that their efforts have been recognized nationally, not only by those in government, but by those in the industry. Over the past few weeks I’ve had the opportunity to interact with such influential people in aviation as Craig Fuller, CEO & President of AOPARod Hightower, CEO and President of EAAPeter Bunce, President and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, and Ed Bolen, President and CEO of the National Business Aviation Association. All had nothing but marvel and glowing comments of appreciation for what your directors and the volunteers of your Recreational Aviation Foundation have accomplished for you, our fellow aviators.

I hope you are asking yourself, “What can I do?” The answer is easy, tell your fellow pilots about the great work that is being done and ask them to formally join our organization and contribute. By that I mean, go to http://theraf.org/make their $50.00 (or more), contribution to the future of recreational aviation and take part in one of the greatest freedoms we American pilots and our families can enjoy today – that of enjoying our legacy of recreational aviation. It is why we learned to fly in the first place!

I’d like this line of communication to be two way, so please feel free to contact me at chicks@theraf.org, or by cell to 253.219.6065 about anything on your mind. I work for you.

Finally, in closing, please take the opportunity to thank the giants in this organization upon whose shoulders, I stand, our founders and directors, John McKenna, Chuck Jarecki, Tim Clifford, John Nadeau, Rol Murrow, Dan Prill and Jerry Cain. You’ll find their e-mail addresses on the RAF site, again at http://theraf.org/.

Thank you for your continued support of recreational aviation!


Submitted on October 25, 2011.

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