FMA Newsletter
November 2018
John's Message
Home Field Spotlight
FMA Bandwagon
Flight Schools
Product Review
Do you enjoy interacting with others? Are you enthusiastic, committed, and dependable?  
might be your calling
Contact us to assist!
HangarJam in Lebanon, TN
in 2018  to support FMA programs.


Aviators Hotline








Barnstorming Productions, LLC

The art of defying gravity.




Seaplane Pilots Association

tradewind aviation international

Thanks to all the above for jumping on the


As soon as new events arise we will place them on the FMA Radar. Once confirmed they will move to the website calendar.
fma calendar icon
Voyage Air has special discounts for FMA

Get your FMA custom embroidered (no extra charge) Flight bag and all other products from sponsor
25% of purchases price goes toward FMA programs.

AirTurn is offering a discount to all FMA members and will donate back 10% to FMA. 
First 5 members will receive a 25% discount on purchase of a  ToneWoodAmp.
Log on to the FMA website to get the your discount code (bottom of checklist). onsor
Two Passions
- One Goal -
501(C)3 Nonprofit EIN: #80-0433326
Bringing Aviation and Music Together

"Pilot Musicians sharing their passion
while encouraging and educating youth (& adults) in the
science and art of aeronautics and music."

Have you contributed to the newsletter lately? Send in your stories, photos and grace us with your wisdom.

Have you received your FMA shirt? If so, send us a picture. If not, let us know.

FMA Student Member Bella Ruiz (read more about this amazingly enthusiastic student member below.)

Have you found the FMA Checklist? Please take a moment to visit the FMA website and login. The the checklist should appear along with discounts from our sponsors. Can't find it? Contact John for detailed instructions.  

The FMA Checklist was developed to help you become fully aware of all the FMA comm channels and opportunities. Once you complete the checklist you will see the discounts and special codes from sponsors: AirTurn, MYGOFLIGHT, Voyage-Air Guitar, HogJim, etc... 

Friendships, Opportunities, Advice, Assistance, & Positive Influence

It has been a very long and productive summer for FMA. How was yours?

My travels took me to many events this year where I met lots of enthusiastic members and folks who support FMA. It has been my pleasure to reach out to so many of you. I want to thank those who have done so when I was unable to attend. You did an outstanding job raising awareness and funds for FMA and our SOLO scholarship at over a dozen events concluding with the DeLand Sport Aviation Showcase in Florida this month.

2019 is special in two aways. It is FMA's 10th anniversary and it's the 5 year anniversary of the FMA Solo program. The board and I took a chance starting this program without funding several years ago.  We had faith that folks would get behind this program and YOU have. Now it's time to take a couple more leaps with the next scholarship program and create an annual FMA event to celebrate each other while raising awareness and funds. 

Are you willing to take the next leap of faith with me? Reach out now! Join this special-purpose committee to determine the date and location. Let's get this ball rolling in order to have a proper celebration next fall for the 10th anniversary of FMA while also celebrating 5 successful years administering the FMA Solo program. Be a part of the magic that in 10 years from now, we all will be proud of.

Please join me in welcoming Kassiano as FMA's Mexico and Caribbean ambassador. Kassiano joined us a AirVenture this year and was an instant hit. Since returning home Kass created a promotional video with critique from fellow ambassadors and Bob Slowey. Kass, through music at corporate functions, is inspired to inspire you. 
KASSIANO Supports FMA Through Music at YOUR Event
(Click Here)

Are you a professional musician? You too are invited to join us in raising awareness and funds through music. View the video, share it with potential clients, and join us.

What have you done this past summer? We'd all like to hear and see pictures. Videos are nice too! Submit your musings for others to enjoy in the next newsletter.  Ideas? Send us your thoughts and suggestions for making the next 10 years even better than the first.

Blue Skies,

Ambassador News
So good to see more and more folks stepping up to assist. Ambassadors are the glue that holds us together. They are the ones who answer questions, represent FMA, and keep the lines of communication open. Consider jumping on the FMA Ambassador Bandwagon.

Meet Your Mexico and Caribbean Ambassador
Kassiano Performing at ForeFlight's Apps & Taps Function
During AirVenture 2018

Kassiano is a bilingual, Jamaican-born singer, songwriter, fine artist, holistic teacher and motivational life coach who has lived in Mexico for most of his life. His performances, punctuate with spontaneity and a stage presence that commands the full attention of his audiences, won him the "JFM Best New Artist Award" in 1990.

In 1992 Kassiano moved to Mexico, learned Spanish, and landed a successful four-year, three album deal with Emi - Music Records. He has performed alongside Paul Anka, Julio Iglesias, Juan Gabriel, Los Pericos from Argentina and recently Rick Ross, Beenie man, Lee "Scratch" Perry and Kymani Marley at the High Vibes Reggae Festival.

His mega hits, "Ay Cosita Linda" and "Bote de Bananas" gave way to performances at international events such as the Miss Mexico World Beauty Pageant, Siempre en Domingo, Octoberfest, The Acapulco 96 and 97 Festivals, Merida Carnival, Coca Cola Tour, Veracruz Carnival, Hard Rock Live, CNN latino, Telemundo and the annual Teleton, a benefit concert for disabled children and the Terry Fox Run.

Kassiano earned his pilot certificate in 1994 and has single, multi and instrument ratings and owns a Cessna 310 that he flies to his shows in Mexico and the Caribbean.

He is the owner and creator of Real de Talpa, a 180 acre holistic resort being built, close to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Kassiano transmits a message of peace and harmony in his music while helping young musicians get their pilot certificates.

Check out Kassiano's official website at:

Contact Kassiano at 


View the FMA Map. This is a really nice way to graphically show where folks are and what they do. Can you imagine how fun and helpful it is, being able to look up folks when travelling to share music/aviation? Contact your regional ambassador with the following to get your spot on the FMA Map
  • Home Airport
  • Aircraft You Fly
  • Music You Play
  • Anything else you'd like to include
Are you interested in becoming more involved in FMA, in spreading the joy of flying and music? Do you like helping others excel? Are you able to communicate using 21st century technologies? Then consider becoming an FMA Ambassador. Visit the FMA Ambassador page  to find out more, then reach out to a regional ambassador to get involved.  
Members in the News

Mike Mather - Virginia
I'm a private pilot and self-taught guitar player who has kicked around in a few just-for-fun bands. I live in Charlottesville, VA, where I am a communications manager for a non-profit environmental law firm. Before that, I was a newspaper and television reporter for many, many years in Norfolk, VA. I'm also a 2d Lt. in the Civil Air Patrol. When I am not flying, I play volleyball, ride snowboards, and spend time with my wife and my four boys, including 15-year-old triplets.

Louise Vickerman - Utah
I spent a very busy summer away from the harp flying full time for an aerial survey company based in Salt Lake City, Utah. I was primarily flying the turbo Cessna 206's for LIDAR survey and aerial photography all over the intermountain west. Got to fly over some of the most spectacular scenery from the Idaho panhandle to the Rocky Mountains to the southwest desert.

The training and practice I had accrued flying both powered planes and gliders in the mountains was absolutely invaluable for this job, as we were required to fly pretty remote areas over high terrain but I loved every minute of it!

One of my camera operators is also a musician (graduated in trumpet performance from Snow College) and together we made up a very rare (probably only!) all-female, all-musician aerial survey team! 

Ted Piltzecker
No more holding short. Finally ready for takeoff!
It's Here
It's Here
Aside from being a pilot... Ted Piltzecker has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, NY State Council, NJ State Council, Lincoln Center Institute, and the ASCAP Foundation. He is a professor of music composition at the Purchase Conservatory of Music, SUNY, and also teaches vibraphone at the Hartt School in CT.

More about Ted at

Student Members

Isaac Hill - Tennessee
Isaac has passed his private pilot checkride and is now a freshman at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Isaac is majoring in Aerospace Engineering while also marching in the Pride of the Southland Band.

Immanuel Santos - Florida

Immanuel passed his checkride and is now a freshman at Embry Riddle in Daytona Beach, FL. Music is still in his life; he enjoys being a member of the ERAU Pep Band as he pursues his instrument training. 

Richard Green - North Carolina
Since being a finalist in 2017, I have graduated high school. Now I am in my second year of studying engineering at Nash Community College, planning to transfer to either NC State or East Carolina University. I have also continued with my violin playing. 

I soloed on the 23rd of August through Civil Air Patrol at the local Rocky Mount-Wilson Airport in a Cessna 172S. My flight instructor is Lt. Col. Dion Viventi, who is also the KRWI airport manager and an active member of our CAP squadron.

Nicola-Isabella Ruiz - Georgia
On September 9th 2018, I flew solo for the first time. The moment my wheels left ground I felt a shiver go through my body- I couldn't believe it. I had heard endless stories from other pilots and their solos. They say it's a moment you never forget, and I don't think I ever will.

I'm the first pilot in my family and the amount of challenges I met through my training are endless. The hardest moments however, are what made my solo so much more special. My first solo landing, the smile on my mom's face when I returned, the 'I'm so proud' from my older brother, and the little girl who told me she wanted to be pilot too made it all worth it. I put a lot into flying, but flying gives back so much more.
Discovering flying felt like a miracle because it offered me peace and a sense of purpose in a time I really needed it. I know that there are kids who go through similar times and are searching for the answers that flying gave me. For this reason, I recently started a project called 'Project Cayley'. After high school I will fly around the world solo with the goal of introducing aviation to kids from every background. I want to promote the idea of the doing the impossible no matter your circumstance or background.


Your Home Field
FMA members come from all over the world. In the interest of promoting our members, their airports, and aviation, we thought it would be interesting to showcase one member's home field each month.

Welcome to the Wilkes County Airport (KUKF) in the foothills of northwest North Carolina. The  Wilkes County Airport is a general aviation facility home to many corporate and personal aircraft. There are nearly 23,000 operations yearly. The runway is over 6,000 feet! Home to Samaritan's Purse, Window World, Vanny Construction, and other flight departments.
What might be interesting to many fellow musicians is that Wilkes County hosts the annual americana music festival -  Merlefest . This year's event takes place April 25-28, 2019. 

Check out the extensive list of performers for the 2019 lineup.

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Get your HOME FIELD in the spotlight.
Send in information to be considered.
Host a HangarJam at your airport. Meet local aviators and musicians. Introduce local musicians to aviation and aviators to music. Enjoy live music and hangar flying. Help raise funds for FMA programs and scholarships. 

We are picking up the pace at AirVenture. So many performances and of course the annual Open Mic/Jam hosted by the Ultralight folks and John Vining, your North Central ambassador. 
Kassiano, your Mexico & Caribbean ambassador, flew in to perform, and perform he did! I believe we all were amazed by his talent, showmanship, and good nature. 
Kassiano with John Vining on Keys

We were able to raise awareness and funds for FMA and the FMA Solo program by providing music at several corporate events: Hartzell Propeller's - Props & Hops, ForeFlight's - Apps & Taps, SPA's Corn Roast, and Honda's joint function with the AeroShell Aerobatic team.  

The Open Mic/Jam was well attended and everyone has a blast! John Vining along with Josh Homet hosted the event again at the Red Barn in the ultralight area.
FMA Open Mic/Jam

John Vining Performing at Apps & Taps

Gary Filip, Kent Nichols, JD, Kassiano & Chicago Crew at SPA Corn Roast

A huge THANK YOU to all the members who contributed: Gary Filip and Kent Nichols along with their Chicago band, Kassiano, JD on Flugelhorn, Mark Schneider for his awesome support and blues licks, John Vining, Josh and Becky Homet... welcome back. 

Ohio HangarJam
Don Bilbrey, Ohio ambassador, held a HangarJam at is home airport,   Brown County Airport (KGEO), in Georgetown, OH. 2018 FMA Solo recipient, John Laughman, attended. This is two years in a row for Dan. Thank you!

AOPA Carbondale Fly-In - Bruce Dunai
One of AOPA's regional Fly-In's in 2018 included Carbondale, IL. A friend of mine from Dallas mentioned going up there and we agreed to split the cost and to camp overnight. The weather was iffy for the weekend and fortunately stayed just north of our route and destination and allowed for great cross-country flying and some actual instrument time as well. What would have been at least a nine and a half hour drive in an auto each way was accomplished in just over 3.25 hrs going and 4 hours coming back in our flying club Mooney N6867U.  We arrived just before dark Friday night, and quickly pitched our tent. The accommodations were great and we camped near some hangars and a large cornfield. 
We could hear coyotes howling off and on during the night. A great BBQ was available that evening along with a great C&W cover band that came over from Missouri to perform. Their setlist was very close to my band's, back in Dallas. We especially appreciated their cover of "God Bless Texas."  

The number of exhibitors was very good and AOPA did a great job organizing the ramp, etc. A warm shower in the morning along with a pancake breakfast was a nice way to start the day on Saturday. We taxied our plane to the ramp and I quickly set up the Flying Musicians banner and materials, and I began playing music on guitar and harmonica to attract people. 

Had a lot of people stop by and  inquire about FMA and hopefully gained a few members. We were stationed right next to a 727 Charity Airplane Pull for Special Olympics, and this brought in a lot of local people to the airport.

Overall it was a great experience, one I'd highly recommend each of our FMA Ambassadors participate in to spread the word about FMA!

(ed note- Would you like to participate at an AOPA event in 2019? Contact us!)

DFW Aviation and Career Transportation
by Bruce Dunai
On Friday, October 26th, FMA was represented at the largest Exhibition of its kind in the nation.   Over 2500 students/youth were exposed to all kinds of careers and opportunities in the Transportation and Aviation fields by a plethora of exhibitors, employers, etc. 

At DFW Airport AA Hangar #5, a large static display of aircraft of all kinds were on display, from Blackhawk helicopters to the new Cirrus Vision Jet, to many GA planes, to Stealth airplanes and military fighters. 

The students spent time talking with many exhibitors and I enjoyed interacting with many of them as they expressed interest in both music and flying. Many in North Texas are involved in some of the best local band music programs in the nation and gladly talked about their music involvements as well as career aspirations. A few were glad to jam with me so I let them play my guitar and we played everything from Tejano to Stevie Ray Vaughan
Hopefully many seeds were planted with them and their chaperones to see the convergence of music and flying. It would be great to have more participation from North Texas FMA members in the future at this event.

DeLand Sport Aviation Showcase
The DeLand Sport Aviation Showcase has come a long way in just three short years. We had a commanding presence in the Show Center tent. It was a pleasure to interact with the students who attended. The Jr AFROTC were filled with enthusiasm. Several students took us up on the offer to perform. Two played the keys while one serenaded us on the guitar. When they finished the group sang the Air Force song. I can only imagine what the Space Force song will be. 
Next up were the Scout Aviation Explorer group. You know when you see a youngster who is bitten by the aviation bug and that was Kiara. Kiara is a 6th grader who traveled all the way from  Kissimmee to participate. She is now a new FMA student member who is working on a piece to perform in Sebring at the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in January.
Jonah, a 2019 FMA Solo nominee, traveled from nearby Deltona to volunteer and perform on the keys both Thursday and Friday. We enjoyed his style and selection of tunes. 
This event was the debut for the Flying Musicians Association Brass. This quintet was put together by Lynn Postel and Robert Schwindt. Lynn flew an A36 in from Tampa area with the Cheryl Lach (trumpet) and Jane Staley (trombone) while Bob flew his Cessna 150 along with the Dave Helfrick (french horn). 
Look for the FMA Brass to appear at the U.Sl. Sport Aviation Expo in January.
On Saturday, Marcia Buckingham, FMA Florida ambassador,  and the Circle Band performed originals. What a treat! They came in from Daytona Beach and were heading to downtown DeLand later in the day for another performance. 
We look forward to much more participation and an opportunity to raise awareness and funds for eh FMA Solo program next year. 


January 23-26, 2018

U.S. Sport Aviation Expo
(Sebring, Florida)

Come to see the aircraft but stay to listen to the music. January 23-26, 2019 at the Sebring Airport you will catch the FMA Brass, award winning saxophonist - Miles Reese, Sebring High school Jazz ensemble, Sebring Middle School pep band, and many local musicians. Do you want to join us? 

Contact John to participate with FMA.

January 24-27, 2019
(Anaheim, California)

Join fellow pilot/musicians at the largest musical merchandise show on Earth. Save the dates -  January 24-27, 2019. 

Contact John to represent FMA.

Do you know of an event where FMA can participate? 
Please let us know!
We want to hear from you about your event.
Jump on the FMA Bandwagon
FMA Corporate Memberships and Sponsorships  allow FMA to produce and present educational outreach, support the FMA Solo Scholarship Program and grow membership numbers through awareness.  We could not do it without them.

Returning Corporate Member

Welcome back Aircraft Spruce and Specialty Co.

"Aircraft Spruce is a proud supporter of the Flying Musicians Association. The FMA members do a wonderful job day in and day out to make the general aviation community events special and enjoyable. It is a pleasure to know and be associated with a group like FMA. This is a group that shares in Aircraft Spruce's passion for educating youth in aviation. We offer our sincerest appreciation for all that FMA does for the community."

Renewing Corporate Members

Thank you for renewing your support:

DeLand Sport Aviation Showcase

The DeLand (Florida) Sport Aviation Village and Showcase is pleased to support the Flying Musicians Association and its commitment to promoting aviation and music as joint avocations/vocations. 

Sporty's Pilot Shop
One of the Passions of The Flying Musicians is, "Pilot Musicians sharing their passion while encouraging and educating youth (& adults) in the science and art of aeronautics and music". Sporty's is very involved in supporting and educating the next generation of pilots and we are proud to support the Flying Musicians Association in the common goal. 

Cirrus Aircraft

"As a leader in general aviation, Cirrus Aircraft is proud to support the many organizations that encourage and support pilots in pursuit of their passions. Living and flying in Music City USA, Nashville, TN, I see the Flying Musicians Association as a natural combination of pilots to do just that, and I look forward to working together to promote both aviation and music in our region!" - Evans Hood, Sales Director, Cirrus Aircraft, Ohio & Tennessee Valleys

Hartzell Engine Technologies

Hartzell Engine Technologies shares FMA's passion for aviation and is proud to support FMA's mission to inspire, educate, and encourage others by creating enthusiasm and promoting personal growth through aviation and music.

Scheme Designers

As a company founded on art and creativity, it is only natural that we support the wonderful Flying Musicians Association. In addition, Emma Barnett (violinist, violist and pianist) and Chase Barnett (cellist and trombonist), children of Scheme Designers founder, Craig Barnett, have been long time members of FMA, and have performed since they were young kids at FMA events at Oshkosh and Sun n Fun.


"AOPA is very proud to continue its corporate membership and support of FMA. AOPA recognizes that FMA members apply the same dedication, discipline and skill that they exhibit through their music in the pursuit of aviation. Those accomplishments are very much in line with AOPA's mission of protecting the freedom to fly and sustaining a population of skilled, safe aviators."


The Flying Musicians Association efforts to educate youth in STEM subjects through aeronautics and music creates a unique approach to bringing more young men and women into the aviation industry. Redbird is proud to support their goal.

You can help!
Please inspire someone in the aviation and or music industry to jump on the FMA Bandwagon.

Organizations wishing to jump on the FMA Bandwagon by becoming sponsors and or corporate members receive a variety of benefits. Details can be found online or by contacting FMA President John Zapp at

101 Flight Training

101 is the most affordable and enjoyable flight training in southeast Michigan. 101 has been around since 1969 helping bring the dream of flight to both young and old. Flying is fun! Your training should be too! Ask about our Discovery flights or Groupon flights. 

(By 2018 FMA Solo recipient, Nathan Nothell)

Why did you choose 101, Nathan Nothell?
101 Flight Training is a school in a fairly busy but not too large airport in  Pontiac, MI - Oakland County International Airport (KPTK). I chose 101 last year for a few main reasons. 101 Flight has been great in helping me get up on my feet in the aviation  industry. 

I love their selection of planes old and new (I actually  prefer older for their steam gauges), they're close to home, and they  have some great knowledgeable instructing staff. 

Just like in music, I  believe that how well you learn those beginning basics can determine how  well the rest of your career goes. With that, a good instructor that  will make sure I thoroughly know the basics is key to me in my training,  and everyone there has showed me just that. There I've flown 172's and  once a Diamond DA-40, and I've determined that their 172's are a great  fit for how I'd like to train. 101 Flight will serve as a great resource  for the rest of my life.

More at

Want your flight school mentioned?

Contact a flight school near you to see if they too will jump on the FMA bandwagon. We will produce a joint flyer to distribute to local music students which includes information about the FMA Solo scholarship program and an Introduction Flight Coupon.
Tonewood Amp
"I was an early adopter here, contributing to the ToneWood crowdfunding campaign, so I've had my ToneWood Amp for a while. It really does live up to the hype. When I play acoustically with reverb or delay it still feels like magic. I can get that amazingly rich sound without pedals, cables or even a power outlet. I love to watch the reactions when I play acoustically around a campfire." - Jeff Auen

Bose L1 Compact & ToneMatch
"I use the L1 Compact for small venue and house concerts up to 75 people. It's lightweight, compact, easy to set up and it always sounds great. The L1 Compact even fits in my airplane with a Honda generator for those outback gigs."  - Jeff Auen

AirTurn goStands 
"I purchased a pair of AirTurn Mic Stands for my airplane sound rig. They pack really small and weigh only 3 pounds or so, but when you set them up, they are rock solid and feel very much like a "normal" high-quality mic stand. They're an essential part of my sound gear that fits inside my airplane." - Jeff Auen

We encourage you to send in your endorsement for one or more FMA's sponsor products. For testimonials, visit the special testimonial page


To contribute to the FMA newsletter please send articles, photos, videos, links, etc. using the contact form found on the website by the end of the month.

Flying Musicians Association, Inc.
501(C)3 Nonprofit EIN: #80-0433326