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 Happy Spooky Season, ! I hope you all have incredible costumes and dress socks planned for Halloween.

As we move through autumn and approach the holidays, things at NGPA usually slow down a little bit. That said, be sure to check in with your chapter for local gatherings. We have several scheduled in October and more holiday parties to come in November and December.

Later this month the Board of Directors are meeting in Minneapolis, MN for NGPA’s annual board meeting, hosted by our long-time partners at Wings Financial Credit Union.

The NGPA Ascend Mentorship Program is currently undergoing an engine overhaul and will be relaunched in early 2022 with an ability to host more mentors and mentees. Be on the lookout for more information about the Ascend Mentorship Program from NGPA in the coming months.

Our next big event is the Winter Warm-Up & Industry Expo presented by United Airlines held February 10-13, 2022. Registration for the event will open in December. You access the NGPA rate at our partner hotel, the Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel through our website.

Thank you to all our members, volunteers, and staff who made our Cape Cod Classic in Provincetown, MA a success. We look forward to seeing everyone again next year. 


Be safe and have a happy, spooky Halloween!

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 Possibly one of the most valuable pieces of an NGPA membership are the endless opportunities for new ventures, connections, and memories. The NGPA UND (University of North Dakota) chapter  president, and NGPA member since 2019 , Charlie Williams attended the annual NGPA Cape Cod Classic for the first time this year. Initially, Charlie wanted to use his time at the event to gauge the value that attendance could have on future NGPA UND members, but what he discovered was more than he could've imagined. 

Having been able to expose himself to the NGPA Winter Warm-Up and Industry Expo in Palm Springs in 2019, Charlie was well-acquainted with how event-packed and exciting an NGPA flagship event can be. The NGPA Cape Cod Classic, however, isn't quite the same at the NGPA annual trip to the Southern California desert—

". . . but I quickly realized the Provincetown weekend is almost the opposite: this weekend I was given the opportunity to really get to know the people there and spend quality time with them."

One of the Charlie's favorite things about the NGPA's trip to the Cape was its more relaxing-appeal, which provided him great deal of time to connect with NGPA members, making life-long friendships along the way.

Charlie, like all of the NGPA membership, was filled with joy being able to finally reconnect with his NGPA family after over two years. Having originally joined the NGPA while a freshman at UND, Charlie is happy and proud to now sit as his chapter's president, and as a member of a worldwide family of LGBTQ+ aviation professionals and enthusiasts. 

Hopefully Charlie will be able to attend the 2022 NGPA Winter Warm-Up and Industry Expo, where he can continue to network and unite our global community.

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 Many pilots are used to reporting for duty time, it's a part of their everyday life and career. Sometimes, however, a call to duty isn't exactly the same time as the everyday call for duty time. The Civil Air Reserve Fleet (CRAF) is a unique and vital resource used for mobilize resources around the globe in times of need. Many major air carriers in the U.S are committed by contract with the U.S Department of Defense to the CRAF, which commits them to airlift requirements in emergencies when the need for airlift is more than what's capable of U.S military aircraft.

In August of 2021, amidst a mass evacuation of refugees and U.S military and political personnel, many U.S air carriers were called to duty for CRAF to help provide airlift services; United Airlines (UAL) was one of these carriers. Among one of the UAL crews committed to servicing the CRAF route was John Burdick, dedicated NGPA member since 1999, who also served as an NGPA Board of Directors for four years. John was able to provide some insight on his CRAF "duty time", giving our NGPA family the scoop on his time serving with UAL in the Afghan evacuation efforts. 

Below you'll find some questions that were asked to John (in orange), followed by his responses, written in his own words—
How were pilots selected for this service? 

"Pilots could volunteer for CRAF (Civil Reserve Air Fleet), pick up the trips, or be assigned them if on reserve."

Was there specific training on flying in unfamiliar parts of the world, off of United’s normal route network?

"Most of the flying was between cities that United currently serves; i.e. FRA and IAD. We did some flights into some U.S military based in Germany. Other cities that we flew to we didn’t have any special training for them. We would receive a briefing package from our charter team and dispatch with details of the airports we were going to fly into; I, for example, flew into Bahrain. Neither I, nor anyone else on the crew, had been there, but we had enough information from company teams to allow us to fly there safely."

Did you receive any government briefings on the passengers you would be carrying?

"We did not receive any government briefings about the mission. The only briefings we got were from the company. We were told they could or would be refugees, military personnel, families of the refugees, et cetera."

Did you have any impactful interactions with refugees you served?

"We didn’t have any interactions with the refugees, primarily because very few if any of them spoke English. We had two translators on each flight as well as medical personnel, maintenance technicians, and company support people."

What was your most memorable moment during the operation? 

"Seeing the refugees streaming across the ramp and boarding our flight was pretty emotional, especially seeing young kids. While in Bahrain, I observed some American servicemen playing ball with some young Afghan children—was really cool to see that. At times I would have to pause and think for a moment about how these people’s lives have been completely uprooted. Everything they knew is behind them, and that has to be so scary. But on the other hand, knowing that we were helping them escape a possibly very dangerous situation in Afghanistan was very rewarding. I’m very glad I was able to participate in these efforts."

From all of our NGPA family, thank you John. Both for your efforts in assisting UAL and the other air carriers who were called to serve in the CRAF to provide airlift service for the Afghan evacuees, and also for representing the NGPA in such a valiant way. 

 As a NGPA member for the past 3 years, the 2021 Cape Cod Classic was my second time in Provincetown for the Cape event. I was super excited about the weekend, not only because it was our first gathering since the global pandemic, but because my employer was a sponsor.

I have worked at Textron Aviation for 7 years. Starting with an internship during college, I joined the team after graduation for full time employment. Currently, I am a Regional Sales Director for our piston and Caravan aircraft covering sales for the south-central US. In the last year, we have begun our internal initiatives toward promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Our first LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group “FUSION” was established last year and has since grown to include employees from all parts of our organization.

As a co-chair of FUSION, I wanted to explore ways Textron Aviation could become more involved in supporting NGPA. After a few discussions with our team at Cessna and Beechcraft and our friends at NGPA, Textron Aviation was a sponsor of the Queen of the Fleet event! I began preparing for our involvement in the weekend. The prep work included grabbing plenty of Cessna and Beech swag items, product brochures, and most importantly, polishing up a beautiful new 182 to show at the event!

We left Textron Aviation’s headquarters in a brand-new airplane and headed east toward P-Town. Flying our demonstrator aircraft to the event was a remarkable experience. Not only were the views breathtaking but I got to share the experience with my partner, John Munn. The flight together will be one that I never forget.

To top off the weekend, our Textron Aviation film team joined us on the Cape and will soon be releasing a video covering “a day in the life” of a Cessna and Beechcraft sales director, covering NGPA event footage and more. I want to express appreciation for NGPA for hosting us at the Cape Cod Classic and I look forward to having the iconic brands of Cessna and Beechcraft support LGBT equality in the future.

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 Recently I was spending one of my weekday evenings browsing a well-known dating and networking app often used by gay men, but no, I won't admit what one (insert sarcastic eye roll here). Long story short, I came across yet another faceless profile that had messaged me and, naively, I started responding. After a short period their responses dwindled to none, and we all know that means, but I shrugged it off and went on with my evening. Not too much longer, however, I got a notification for a new message—a message from the blank profile. This time they messaged me with a picture of their face and a long message, a message confessing that we actually knew each other, but they weren't out about their sexuality, and wished to keep it that way. Of course I agreed to keep our online-interaction between us, and we were able to go on being friends—and now they know that they have me for support or comfort, if ever they need it.

Having been an openly gay man for several years, the idea of the ever being in the closet is a memory that I have suppressed and don't wish to bring up. I, like many in our community, spent an overwhelming amount of my life hiding from myself. The closet is a scary place, but coming out of it can be even more frightening, especially for someone who lacks, or thinks they lack, a positive support group that will accept and love them, regardless of who they love or how they identify.
For those of us who are out and proud, it's hard for us to relate to those who are still in the closet. It's our responsibility to ensure that anyone and everyone who is questioning their sexuality or gender identity, or in the process of coming out, knows that they will always be welcomed to our community with open, loving, arms—when they're ready, we'll be here. 

October 11 was Coming Out Day, and as the worldwide LGBTQ+ aviation community it's our responsibility to ensure that any person joining our family is welcomed and loved. If you know someone, or find someone, who is questioning coming out, be sure that they know you'll always be there for them.

I hope you enjoyed reading this month's On the Fly email newsletter. Until next month—

Clear skies!
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