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 Happy Fall  and NGPA Family, and welcome to another action packed edition of The NGPA On The Fly newsletter! Having just returned from an incredible weekend in Provincetown at the 2021 NGPA Cape Cod Classic I for one am feeling even more excited for our future. The connection, camaraderie and fellowship that happens at our in-person events is absolutely paramount to the mission of NGPA. Coming together truly fuels our mission to BUILD, SUPPORT and UNITE the LGBTQ Aviation community worldwide.

This years Lobster Bake sponsored by Wings Financial Credit Union was one to remember! Watching our attendees attack a full 1.25 LB whole lobster certainly was a sight to be seen! Besides being meaty and delicious, the pure entertainment value of the puzzled looks on how to properly crack open a lobster were priceless! Nonetheless our members prevailed and showed those lobsters who were boss!

Our Saturday airport events were enjoyable with (QOF tail Numbers) taking the Queen & Princess of the Fleet prizes respectively. The event culminated on Sunday with our first ever Farewell Drag Brunch. This seemed to be a member favorite with the hysterical antics of PTown’s own Diva’s of the Sea and NGPA Favorite Ongina bringing the patio down as they performed for our members alongside a delicious brunch! All in all, our Cape Cod Classic events were just what we needed to rejuvenate our NGPA soul and gather together with the family we choose!
As we head into fall, cooler temperature are on the way and the holidays are right around the corner. This is always a great time of year for ones favorite fall activities and a time to take a break after what is often a busy summer season. I hope that no matter where you are in the world you take some time for yourself to rest and recharge before we all get lost in the business of the holiday season.

As I have said before, I’m always open to hearing from our members on where they think NGPA needs to focus our efforts on as an organization, where we can improve and of course what we are doing right. I ask that you never hesitate to reach out to me whenever you feel the need. It remains an honor to lead NGPA and I want to ensure I am always doing our membership proud. Until next time, continue to take care of yourselves and each other!
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Twenty years. It's difficult to imagine that an event twenty years ago that can still sit so fresh in your memory, and still create such powerful emotions for so manyemotions felt worldwide. Sadness. Grief. Hate. Fear. Love. 

It's been twenty years since our NGPA family lost one of its early members, David Charlebois. David sat in the right seat of American Airlines Flight 77 (AAL77) twenty years ago as it pushed back at Dulles International Airport (IAD), unknowing that their planned flight to Los Angeles would be disrupted that fateful morning. AAL77, and three other commercial airliners, would soon be hijacked- used as a tool of terror in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. David was among the 2,977 innocent people who's lives would be taken that morning, and twenty years later we still remember David.

For our NGPA family, we strive to break barriers, make milestones, advocate for change, diversify our industry, and build, support, and unite the worldwide LGBT+ aviation community. David, one of the organization's early members, was a trailblazer in the industry, fighting for the rights of LGBT+ people. 

David worked to get approval from American Airlines' Chief Pilot to wear their uniform in the Millennium March on Washington in 2000, where he also helped carry the NGPA banner. American Airlines Captain Michael Walker, a close of friend of David's, was quoted in a press release saying
David also strongly advocated for American Airlines to allow for domestic-partner benefits, which it did in 1999 following United Airlines.
For David, the NGPA was the pivotal turning point that the industry needed to provide recognition for the LGBT+ aviation community. His partner, Tom, was also quoted in American Airlines' press release, saying that 
Today, after twenty years of remembering, the NGPA honors David with a memorial scholarship, awarded to extraordinary recipients who reflect David's passion, kindness, and love. Today, we all honor David by making the aviation community a better place, a place where everyone is free to fly high, regardless of their sexuality, gender, race, or ethnicity. 
David, we remember youfor twenty years, and for forever.

 So, the floatplane pilot landed on the mountain lake to pick up the passengers. The pax had been camping all week, and the pilot had doubts about all the stuff that needed to get loaded on board. One of the pax said “Hey, it didn’t bother Charlie last year - Charlie loaded it all up.”  

The pilot didn’t want to be upstaged by Charlie, so on goes the canoe, in goes all the stuff, and the passengers board the plane.

The pilot taxis out, surveys the lake.  Hmm…. Might be a little tight.

”Whaddya waiting for?  Charlie would have hit it by now!” exclaimed the front seat passenger.

Well, ok. here goes….  Water rudders up, power, stick all the way back… plow plow plow, barely onto the step, nope!  No good. Power idle.

By now, all the passengers are in on the game.  “Charlie didn’t mess around!  Charlie just put the power to it!”

Ok, one more try.  here goes…..…… lumber off the water, barely flying, and…… Into the trees at the end of the lake!

When the last piece stopped moving, it was frighteningly quiet.  

The front seat pax sighed “Well, you made it about a quarter mile farther than Charlie did last year!”

— this was a joke, in case you didn’t realize —

The point of this story is that in seaplanes, there are lots of places where you might be able to land, but not have enough room for takeoff.  It takes a lot more room to get the airplane airborne, it takes not much room at all to get it landed and ‘stopped’.  That’s true of land planes, too, of course, under most circumstances, but it’s really obvious in seaplanes. 

Seaplanes don’t always take off in a straight line, either!  It’s not unusual to start in one direction, get up on the step, and turn in another direction - to avoid obstacles, to use up more lake surface area, you name it.  If it looked likely that we’d need to do something like that, I brief passengers about it. “We’re going to be making some maneuvers that will feel unusual, but are normal for seaplane operations.  Oh, and they’re FUN, too!”

I know my fellow seaplane pilots (looking at you, Keith D! :) ) have many techniques, and many stories to tell, too. And now YOU know another aviation-related stupid joke to tell……

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 Having seen so many of you at events in Palm Springs, P-town and campuses across the country, I’m excited to share more about Aviate, our industry-leading pilot career development program at United Airlines®.

If you’re interested in working alongside some of the best pilots in the industry, being part of an inclusive culture, and joining a workplace that invests in your future, United is the place for you, and Aviate is your way in.

Aviate offers aspiring and established pilots the most direct path to the United flight deck. With a plan to hire more than 10,000 pilots in the next decade, our goal is to inspire and develop the next generation of aviators, while building a community where the best pilots and leaders want to work.

Our pilots are the heartbeat of our airline. As an Aviate participant, you will have access to invaluable opportunities and experiences as you advance toward your goal as a First Officer. Aside from having a clear and direct path to a career at United, you’ll have continuous support and coaching along the way from a dedicated United pilot mentor, more connections with our United family, access to senior leadership at exclusive events, and the chance to enjoy exciting travel privileges. 

In addition to the Aviate program, United has also launched Aviate Academy (UAA) for those who do not have experience in aviation but dream of becoming a pilot. UAA is our wholly owned flight school in Phoenix, AZ, where United has committed to training 5,000 new pilots by 2030, and offers full-time flight training, mentorship and financial aid. We’re also hiring CFI’s, both recently certified and those with previous instructing experience, to join us at the Academy in Phoenix! 

And you can guarantee we’re investing in your future (and future office). With the purchase of 270 new aircraft, plus our investments in Boom Supersonic and electric aircraft, it’s clear that a career with United will take you to new heights.

The path is yours to take — join us in the flight deck and begin your journey. Click below to apply to Aviate or learn more about what a path to United could look like for you. 

It has been a privilege to be long-standing partners with NGPA, and on behalf of United, I thank you all for your continued support. I look forward to seeing you all very soon!

Wishing you blue skies ahead!

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 Yet another summer comes to end, and nature begins its annual transition into the fall season. Here in Michigan we use this time to begin our trek into the long cold month's of winter by enjoying weekends at ball games and apple orchards, indulging ourselves in donuts and apple cider, spending too much time admiring the beauty of dying leaves, and enjoying ourselves with the friends and family that we love. 

As a worldwide organization we endure an abundance of change—as individuals evolve throughout their time within our community, and as we acquire more and more members to expand our family's horizons. As our organization grows and changes, however, we have to allow ourselves to change with it. As the worldwide LGBT+ aviation community, change often comes in the form of welcoming new types of members into our community; as our community continues to grow we've seen an increase in the diversity of our membership, which is a remarkable thing for us to be able to achieve. 

While we transition our organization into it's next "season", I think it's incredibly important for us to remember that the NGPA that we know today won't necessarily be the NGPA we see tomorrow. New members, new opportunities, and new horizons for each and everyone of us, but together as a family. I hope that we can all agree that change in our organization is good, and that we can embrace our organizations changetogether. 

This month we've included a couple of special feature's, as well as a commemorative article on behalf of David Charlebois. David was an early member of the NGPA, and American Airlines pilot, and a strong advocate for the LGBT rights and inclusion, even being a key influence in receiving approval from American Airlines to wear the pilot uniform to the Millennium March on Washington. David was sadly also the First Officer work AA Flight 77 on September 11, 2001, which crashed in the Pentagon. I strongly believe that David would be proud of where our organization is today, and would also support the growth and change within our organization. 

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

Clear skies!
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