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January 2017 General Mtg. Minutes

Western North Carolina Pilots Association

General Membership Meeting

Lacy Griffin Building

Asheville Regional Airport

17 January 2017


I.  Call to Order by President Tim Anderson at 6:55 PM 


Secretary: (Tim Fox) The minutes of the last general membership meeting of 15 November 2016 was approved.  

Treasurer: (Elizabeth Henry) Elizabeth stated that after donating 5K to the Education Foundation, which represents 28% of the Association’s 2016 end of year funds, the Association starts 2017 with $13, 793.24.  

Membership: (Dave Bolser) Dave thanked everyone who had submitted their dues.  Also he has WNCPA jackets for those folks who ordered them. 

Programs: (Cindy Carter) Tim thanked Susan for her superb slate of programs for 2016.  Tim welcomed back Cindy Carter to the WNCPA Board and thanked her for taking over the Programs.  Cindy indicated that “Wings” program credit was a favorite of the members and she would continue to try to offer that type of program.  February’s program will be a presentation by Richard Feeman and Rocky Flemming on the Mountain Flyers.  March and May are yet to be determined.  April’s presentation will be a panel discussion with Cindy and Ruffin Benton on the new FAA 3rd Class medical revision called “Basic Med” slated to become effective 1 May.  June’s program will be the Education Foundation’s annual grant awards program.  July is the annual cook out. September’s program is still in development.  October will be a surprise presentation.  November will feature a WNCPA member.  Arnie Andresen will offer highlights of his varied and interesting career in Aviation. And December will be the Association’s annual Christmas Dinner.  Cindy asked for volunteers for a program that features “I learned about flying from that.”     

Fly-Outs:  The January fly-out will be to Greenville Downtown Airport.  We will try the Asheboro, NC fly-out with the Spartanburg Pilots Association, perhaps in February.

Educational Foundation:  (Arnie Andresen) Arnie thanked the Association for their generous donation to the Foundation.  He indicated that they have received $3K from members through the Hendersonville Foundation.  Right now they are confident that they will be able to meet the $14K that was distributed last year and as fund raising is successful they hope to increase that amount.  Arnie also presented a certificate of appreciation to Don Watson who has served the Foundation as its President the last year and IAW the by-laws must take leave the board for a year.

II. New Business:  

Lew Bleiweis of the Asheville Regional Airport Authority addressed the membership about an incident that occurred recently with a GA aircraft.  This aircraft blew a tire on landing and he pilot elected not to risk further damage to the tire and rim and stopped the aircraft short of exiting the runway.  Because Asheville is a single runway airport they had to close the airport until the damaged aircraft could be towed from the runway.  This could have impacted commercial aircraft operations.  Fortunately no arrivals or departures were scheduled during this incident.  Lew impressed upon the members to do what they can if they should experience a similar situation.  Bottom line is to get the affected aircraft off the runway so the Airport Authority doesn’t have to cease operations.   Lew also updated the Project SOAR progress.  Phase IV is out for bid with bids due back by 27 January.  Phase IV will begin in March.  December 6th is the target date for the transition to the new runway.  Some services (ILS) will not be available as they will be moving antennae and conducting FAA flight checks.  Allegiant Air has increased flights from Asheville.  Also United Airlines (UAL) will begin a new flight to Newark (EWR) beginning in February.  The flight will be once a day and will feature United Airlines mail-line aircraft.  Initially an Airbus A-320 followed by a transition to a B-737-300.  It’s the first time in recent memory that an air carrier has used main-line aircraft for service into and out of Asheville. 

Cindy Carter and Dr. Ruffin Benton gave a brief synopsis on the FAA Third Class Medical reform that will take effect I May.  Essentially, if you have had a current third class medical since July 2016 or anytime in the previous 10 years then you will not have to undergo the third class medical physical with an FAA Aviation Medical Examiner (AME).  If you have a Restricted or Special Issuance Medical Certificate the FAA will look back 10 years in your medical history and determine your eligibility to fly under the new program.  If your medical certificate is suspended or revoked or if you’re a student pilot you will have to see an AME for a Third Class medical exam before you can fly under the new “Basic Med” rule. Look for a more detailed discussion during the April program.

David Parley, the weekend manager at Transylvania Airport advised that Transylvania Airport is looking for a full time airport manager to provide wind and landing information and to provide other services to tenants.  Anyone interested can contact him for additional information. 

The meeting adjourned at 7:35 PM

Feature Program: Tim introduced Bruce MacDonald and Andy Miranda of the NC Forest Service.  They gave an interesting and informative presentation on the efforts to fight the forest fires that plagued western North Carolina this past autumn and the interaction and coordination between the ground firefighters and the Forest Service aviation assets in fighting the fires efficiently and safely.  

Submitted by: Tim Fox, Secretary