colleagues, fellow enthusiasts, and guests:
I want to bid you a warm and generous
Texas welcome to our organization's website. This is just the humble
beginning! Over the coming years, you will continue to notice many changes take place
as our organization persists to metamorphose and grow, and our website feeds on
more useful content for your use.
Since the earliest dreams I can recall of
wanting to fly, at three years old, to the first time in control of a real
aircraft at nineteen, a Cessna-150, followed in near-succession by flying one of my favorites, the Piper Cherokee Warrior II
(N81833, later others)...
and then on the eve of Y2K, flying N660SP -a 1998 Cessna 172S Skyhawk
wrapped with the Lone Star flag as its livery- from ADS poetically into the
sunset, to be followed by trying the Cirrus SR22 after the passing of Y2K's
early years... since all this, I've wanted to spread the word about this
wondrous field! Today, I find myself privileged to be doing just that with
people who share similar interests... YOU!
As a proud
Texan, and a most passionate aviation and aerospace enthusiast, I find it surprising that many people fail to realize that aviation
has strong and deep roots in the history of our state. As early as the
1860's, balloonists in Texas took to the air in experiments that seemed to
defy the laws of gravity. Within a few years, however, these early efforts
in aviation were directed toward the development of winged craft.
claims persist that Texas inventor Jacob F. Brodbeck became the world's
first aviator. According to legend, he flew his "air-ship"
on September 20, 1865--almost forty years before the Wright brother's famous
flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina... To put things in further perspective,
timetable wise, remember that the rigid airship pioneered by the German
Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, the Zeppelin, which was based on designs he
had outlined in 1874, and detailed in 1893, had its
first flight on 2 July 1900.
... My friends, flying and general aviation
(GA) are as Texan as the Texas Longhorn!
Today, general aviation faces many new
challenges; to mention a few: the declining pilot population, and the
increase in damaging interference and meddling from ill qualified interest and
governmental groups, policy makers, media outlets, and public, who can not
comprehend the delight of flight, nor understand the field of
GA and the significant value that it adds to our
state and nation's prosperity as a key economic sector -to say the least; these
individuals and groups need to understand that, among other things, GA is
vital to keep America strong, and through working together, it is our roll
at The TPA to educate them and
continue to ensure that
our rights and freedoms
are neither trampled over, denied, nor dismissed.
As The TPA's current leader, I believe that it is
crucial for us to be at the forefront of new challenges and opportunities in
general aviation, particularly in our home State of Texas. Together we will
strengthen the GA community, help educate the masses, protect
airports, aid to grow the pilot population in Texas, and provide means to
the next generation of GA
aficionados and devotees
through education and the promotion of GA,
Advanced General Aviation (AGA), and their related fields. We will
strongly advocate for the needs of GA and AGA at all levels of government,
being it independently when appropriate or in cooperation with other sibling organizations around
the state, nation, and the world.
Our field of passion is not
about gender, race, color, political affiliation, or creed... actually, if there was a creed, it
would be something like the famous poem High Flight:
I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I?ve climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds, ?
and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov?ring there,
I?ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless falls of air...
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I?ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, nor eer eagle flew ?
And, while with silent lifting mind I?ve trod
The high, untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God."
Gillespie Magee, Jr.
To base an organization on any
premise other than the pertinent abilities, is the laying of a foundation of division
and ignorance to build on, which can never be truly useful in a positive
sense -in my own view.
Aviation and aerospace -as are most fields- are based on abilities, qualifications and experience. The
field is already fragmented enough, and does not need further fragmentation
based on frivolous differences.
By pulling together and
working with community, businesses, and government officials, GA
in Texas and the nation will survive and thrive again. To do all this, and do it well, The TPA needs
to assure two things: the continued involvement of our members and then
securing the resources to fund our work through different means that
include, but are not limited to, the generous support of our sponsors.
If you are not yet an active member and
supporter of our efforts, I would like to personally take this opportunity
to invite you to join us and actively participate in our ambitious efforts
to establish The TPA and its supporters (YOU) as major influencers in the
arenas. To learn more about The Texas Pilots Association, please
invest some time to visit and study the "About
Us" page, and then the rest of our website.