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Future USPA Meetings

Where do you want to go?

Over the past 25 years, USPA has held 90 quarterly meetings. The meetings have been held in 36 states and Washington, DC. The most western site was in Hawaii in February 1991; the most eastern in Philadelphia, PA, in November 2003; the most southern in Vero Beach, FL, in March 1996; and the most northern in Anchorage, AK, in June 1999. Those states visited most often have been Missouri (11), Texas (8), New Mexico (7), Florida (6), Colorado (5) and Arkansas (4).

The time of the year dictates which direction we go with the southern states being best in the winter and more northern states for the summer. In addition to weather and the time of the year, locations are selected by where the USPA directors want to go, what is available to do there, and cost. So, if there is a favorite place you want considered, please let us know. In almost all places visited, we try to arrange an aviation-related tour, trip or experience. For instance, in Fort Worth we visited the Lockheed factory where the F-16 fighter planes are built, and Albuquerque had the US Air Races, New Mexico Air Fair, and New Mexico Pilots Rendezvous. In Rapid City we visited Ellsworth AFB and the South Dakota Air and Space Museum. We have visited the manufacturing facilities of Boeing, McDonnell-Douglas, Beechcraft, Cessna, Gulfstream, TCM overhaul center as well as many other aviation facilities.

Additionally, we partake of local culture, tourist attractions, and regional cuisine. In Lafayette, LA, for example, dinner was at a Cajun dance hall and in Santa Fe we toured the oldest territorial and state capital. In Rapid City we had a buffalo steak cookout on one of the oldest ranches (1879) in the state.

In June 1999, we had a fly-in to Anchorage, AK for our Annual Meeting. Twelve planes departed the lower forty eight to follow the ALCAN highway to Alaska. Some of the planes, pilots and passengers gathered in Great Falls, Montana for a banquet and rendezvous so that all planes could continue the trip together. During the trip and after the Annual Meeting, several planes went in different directions flight-seeing around Alaska. Due to time constraints and for other reasons, several USPA members flew commercial to Anchorage.

We have met several times in Branson, Missouri, the entertainment capital of the U.S.

In addition to conducting USPA business, a FAA "Wings" safety program is also held. Most times this consists primarily of safety classes, but once a year (as in Alaska) USPA also sponsors the three hours of flying with flight instructors (as is required to complete a "Wings" phase.) Additionally, various tests of piloting skills, with awards given to winners, is held.

USPA quarterly directors meetings are designed to accomplish several goals. First and foremost is to attend to USPA business. Second is to present aviation safety and educational training. Third is to have fun by using aircraft to fly to different places, to visit aviation related institutions, organizations, manufacturers or other facilities. These include aviation museums, aircraft builders, government aircraft facilities. Fourth is to enjoy a different location with its own unique culture.

Flying to a USPA meeting to conduct USPA business offers pilots the opportunity to use aircraft to visit places some would otherwise never see. It is also an opportunity to fly around the US and experience all types of flying weather and terrain. The educational aspects of the quarterly meetings in different parts of the US are very enjoyable. And, of course, gathering with old friends and meeting new ones is always fun.

Where we go depends on where the directors and members want to meet. Usually the middle third of the country is most accessible, but trips afar are also fun. Where do you want to go next? Let us know your choice and why you feel that we should go there.

Now, where should we go?