FMA Newsletter
October 2019
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 2019  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

20% discount on all products for FMs. The link can be found once logged in to the FMA website. 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."

We are excited to roll out the 2020 FMA Solo program. This will be the sixth year following such enormous success: 11 awards presented, 9 solos, lots of private pilots mentored. Please visit the blog site,, to lend your assistance via an encouraging word. This is one of the many ways you can be an integral part of the FMA network.

What's going on in your music and or aviation life? Whether or not you feel it is worth sharing, I can tell you that others do. Your fellow members love hearing what's going on in various parts of the world. Share your aviation and music stories. 

Do you have an FMA Shirt? Send us a photo either in an aviation or music setting, or both, wearing your FMA shirt. 
Harry is at university now studying music, for which he lives and breathes, guitar (electric & acoustic) is his choice.

Thank you for the "T" shirt and keyring that you let me have, it was well received when I got home, certainly not many of those in the UK. 

Don't have an FMA Shirt. Let us know!

Have you found the FMA Checklist? You must be logged in to view the checklist. Please take a moment to visit the FMA website, login, find and complete the checklist. 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, Jamstik, Capitol Music, and more. 
Friendships, Opportunities, Advice, Assistance, & Positive Influence
What an amazing summer 2019 has been. The sixth year of the FMA Solo program has begun on the back of five years of successes in many different areas not to mention the explosion in new student members. I was able to see lots of members this year in Sebring, FL - Lakeland, FL - Nashville, TN - and Oshkosh, WI. Next up is the DeLand Sport Aviation Showcase in Florida November 14-16. I'm also Looking forward to seeing west coast members in January 2020 at The NAMM Show. It's hard to think about January with temps still in the low 90s in NC.  As we enter October we still can't find fall. 

As our student members grow so do the enormous amount of accomplishments. Just take a look in the Members in the News section below.  As I've said many times in the past, if you are looking for a spectator sport, keeping track of our student members gives the greatest value. What can you do to support them? The FMA Network is a wealth of knowledge that when mobilized can be of great assistance to anyone trying to accomplish goals in aviation and music. Just be there!

As you will read below, I traveled to Nashville, TN for Summer NAMM then straight to Oshkosh, WI for AirVenture. Both were whirlwind trips filled with lots of music and aviation. Until you visit NAMM and AirVenture, back-to-back, you'll have a hard
January 16-19, 2020
time imagining the enormity which each event engulfs in their respective communities: aviation & music. Spanning manufacturers, cottage industries, support, musicians/pilots, and everything in between. I encourage you to attend, if possible, both. The NAMM foundation encourages you to attend as FMs too. Contact me now if able to attend and represent FMA at The NAMM Show in January 2020. I hope to see you in Anaheim!

Have you been flying? Making music? Don't let the micro overwhelm the macro... Engage it all!
Josh and JD
Founding member, Josh Homet, recently found himself flying a trip to Houston. While at David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport (KDWH), Josh met up with fellow FM "JD" Dyer. They were able to spend a little time looking over each others aircraft and catching up. JD has a couple Aerostars and a Cessna 172 while Josh was flying an Embraer Legacy 450 / 500. Read Josh' story below in the news section.

Did you catch the flight bag Josh was sporting? That is a custom flight bag with the FMA logo embroidered on front by sponsor My Go Flight. MGF has been a HUGE sponsor of the FMA Solo program from day one... Five years ago! You can be seen carrying this awesome flight bag too! Visit MGF and put your
FMA South Carolina ambassador Denny Kotz with his MyGoFlight flight bag.
member number in the notes section to get the FMA discount. Don't know your member number?  Login to the FMA website, update your profile, and there you will find your member number. Not a member? What are you waiting on? Join us today to receive this and other discounts just for FMs. You will receive 20% off all products if you follow the link which can be found online once logged in.  We'd love to have you in the FMA network.

When you travel, look at the FMA Map and reach out to fellow pilot musicians. Don't forget to share pictures because we know you will have a blast!

Lastly, I'd like to thank all of those who support FMA: members, sponsors, donors, and friends. A huge thank you to recent renewals of our corporate members: AOPA, Hartzell Engine Technologies, and Sensenich Propeller. AOPA was our first corporate member, ten years ago, in the aviation community. They are still enthusiastic supporters. Hartzell Engine Technologies bought Sky-Tec who was our first sponsor of the FMA Solo program five years ago. Hartzell, both the Engine Technologies company and HArtzell Propeller company have pick up the flag and run with it. Sensenich Propeller has continued to show their support for FMA through donations to the FMA Solo program and renewal of their corporate membership. Thank you all for being on the FMA bandwagon.  

Your ideas, thoughts, concerns, or compliments are always welcome.   Send an email, a text, a letter, or just pick up the phone. Love hearing from you all.

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.

Greg Knowles Northeast Ambassador 
Greetings from the Northeast!! The fall colors are already starting to turn and time to be thinking about some wintertime flying.. and some great music and concerts coming up in our area. As part of music and flight education, I am putting together a webinar, "The Rules and Realities of Copyrights and Publishing." This is a webinar designed to fill you in on some of the complexities of copyright law, how it works for you as either a composer, writer or player... and an in-depth look at the different types of publishing (Mechanical, Sync, Performance, Print), and how you can be sure to collect your money OR to make sure you have the proper licenses and clearances for other music. We will be putting out a separate notice when the date is confirmed. Also in the planning stage is a webinar on "FAR's - Facts & Myths." Watch your email for announcements for the dates and times.

Kass Smith - Mexico & Caribbean 
I will be in Europe to perform at the Aarghus international Reggae Festival in Voxhall, Denmark. While there, I will take the opportunity to speak about FMA on my radio & TV interviews to help spread the word and promote our association in Europe.

Don Bilbrey - Ohio Ambassador
We are enjoying the onset of fall here in Ohio. 

Lots of good stuff happened at Osh this year, our 10 year anniversary as well as the 5 for scholarships. Over all we had a strong presence at Oshkosh for Airventure. The turnout was strong for aviation & music. I had so much fun with my fellow FMA members. Denny Kotz, South Carolina ambassador, got to go this year for the first time.

On August 17 we held our annual HangarJAM here at Brown Field (KGEO). Our HangarJAM was fun. We had a few pilot musicians come over and play some songs, met some new people. John Laughman our solo scholarship recipient from 2018 drove down from his town and brought a buddy and introduced him to FMA.

Two  weeks ago we went to a grass field called Nulltown airport in the  vicinity of Connersville/Metamora Indiana  and had a very nice lunch at their annual pig roast.  Last week we flew down to My Sterling, KY for their Pancake breakfast  fly-in. 

Our Brown county fair began on the 23rd of Sep thru the 28th. On  the 24th Marty Stuart was on the center stage at 7pm. Everyone enjoyed his performance.
On the eve of the 28th I will be attending S.W.O.R F.I. (south west
regional Ohio Fly In)  for a campout and sing around the campfire event. The following morning  will be  a gathering of pilots in this area flying in. There will be a judging  contest for best plane along with other  aviation and various related activities followed by a lunch an awards  ceremony.
This is for many of us in the midwest, the best times of the year for  aviation/flying.

Jeff Auen  -  Mid-Atlantic Ambassador
Essex Skypark (W48) had their Wings and Wheels Event on September 14th. With good weather (finally) we had a terrific turnout. The surrounding community loves the airport and we plan to keep it that way. An impromptu Spot Landing contest was a hit for pilots and spectators. The FMA was well represented with a swag table (thank you sponsors!) and a tent. Live music was difficult due to the proximity to the active runway but "canned" tunes played all day including the CD by FMA's own Vinny Raniolo.

Perry Chinn - Montana Ambassador
And life has its own ups and downs. 

Speaking of downs... took the SeaRey up to the cabin for a few days. Our kids and grandkids were at the beach in WA state so I thought I would help out with the farm animals, get some maintenance work done. After the first day I decided to drive back to Missoula, pick up the plane, stop at a fly-in on the Flathead and head up to the cabin.
Scene of the crime...our little spot 'o Montana heaven...
The fly-in was great! Had fun, met some nice folks, met a new friend with a waterfront place on the lake, nice ramp for his Super Petrel.  Got to the cabin last Saturday morning, spent the day relaxing, working around...
Then about 7:30 the wind died down and I thought "hmmmm... nice evening to fly over to Dewey lake and play a bit." No sooner got up above the trees and the wind hit like Thor's hammer. Went over to the lake (couple miles away) and it was not better. Went back.
Was on short final to my grass strip, just over the 'numbers' and the wind shifted with a vengeance.  Hard gust on the tail, and the bottom dropped out.  Hit hard.  Right gear leg bent, slid to a stop (upright and straight thankfully) on the grass.  I shut her down and got out to inspect the damage.
Definitely destroyed right main gear leg.  Bent a right float horizontal support tube (minor).  But the big damage after inspection is a bent tail boom tube.  This requires a major tear-down of the aft end of the aircraft including pulling the engine and the aft turtle deck.
Sooo....out of flying commission for a while.  My plan is to bring it to Jim Ratte at Valkaria, Florida and have him help me fix it.  He is the SeaRey whisperer.  So will load it on a truck and drive her down. 
Tucked in the truck ready for the long trip to Florida.
Therefore... will miss Sullivan lake fly-in this weekend.  Stillwater the following week and another event the weekend after that.  My August changed in an instant.
Shook me up good.  Will see my chiropractor for a few visits to fix me up. If I had hit a little harder probably would have had some compression fractures and of course N774HF would have been hurt a lot worse too.
She flew just perfect during two post rebuild test flights...sans engine cowl.
Have been sharing FMA info at events so far this summer with some good interest, however the rest of my year... well, we'll see.
Not a cool time of year to drive to Florida in a box truck, however it is what it is...

Scott "Sky" Smith  -  Iowa Ambassador
Not much happening in the music world for me, unless you count supporting a few bands on the live music circuit in the area.
Between business and all my other activities, flying, music and boating are a few that have been ignored the past few months.  Although I now own three motorcycles.  If you know anyone that wants to buy a couple of nice Harley Sportsters, I have two extra.  
Mike Manny  -  Canadian Ambassador
Good Day Fellow FMA Members:
A quick update from your Canadian Ambassador. Some of you may know that I am a full-time, Regular Force member of the Canadian Armed Forces, and I was recently posted in August to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada - the nation's capital. I was posted here from 2004 to 2009, and then 17 Wing Winnipeg from 2009 to 2019. While in Winnipeg, I had a few in-city postings, most recently in an 'out-of-trade' position as a J3 Training Support Coordinator at the Regional Cadet Support Unit (Northwest), working with the youth program of the Canadian Armed Forces. Now in Ottawa, I am back in the music branch posted to the Central Band of the Canadian Armed Forces, as the Senior Warrant Officer (SWO) / Band Sergeant Major (BSM). The move came with a promotion to Master Warrant Warrant Officer (MWO). The job here entails more of personnel management, instead of actually playing an instrument in the Band.
Downtown Ottawa
(Photo credit: Meaghan Manny)

Upon returning to Ottawa, I promptly returned to my 'flying alma mater' - Rockcliffe Flying Club (RFC). (Hoping to put together a hangar jam at RFC soon before the winter!) It's has been great to fly around the city where you can see the Parliament Buildings in downtown Ottawa - the political centre of Canada. In my volunteer time as I was doing in Winnipeg, I will continue to work with local air cadets squadrons and coordinate their power familiarization flying programs, where I take up youths between the ages of 12-18 yrs old in hopes to spark their interest in aviation.

Are you on it?

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

Larry Flesner -  Cartersville, Illinois
Larry Flesner and his award winning KR2
I've been flying for 50+ years and writing music and poetry for 35+  years and greatly enjoy doing both.  In 2017 a B-17 visited our area  and I was inspired to write a song titled "American Heroes."  I'd like  to get it professionally recorded and all proceeds go to EAA or other  groups (editor note: perhaps FMA?) in an effort to keep the war birds flying and tell the story of  all the heroes of air power. If you think  the song has merit and can help promote it  and get it recorded to help tell the story I would be extremely  grateful. I'll also attach a couple of poems I've written on the joys of  flying. 

(editor's note: Look for Larry's songs, poems, and stories in future issues of the FMA newsletter.)

American Heroes (in A )

Chorus (open with chorus in D, slow, acappella, with harmonies)

D                                           A                           E                               A
Who's gona' keep those war birds flying; who's gona' tell of heroes dying
       A                                           D               A                         E             A
The fight for freedom wasn't free; the burden lies with you and me
A                                       E                                              A
Listen to sound of the 51's, roaring engines and mighty guns
A                                                   D               A                     E                 A
They took to wing across the land; American heroes took their stand
A                               E                                                           A
Hear the engines roar up high; a thousand wings take to the sky
A                                         D                A                                 E               A
Filled with hero's every one; they don't give up till the fighting's done
A                                           E                                                            A
They fought for an ocean deep and wide on wings of blue that lifts them high
A                                                     D                 A                             E             A
They carried freedom on their wing; their courage was an awesome thing
A                                               E                                                                     A
Just common men with a common dream - in freedom's fight they took to wing
A                                                  D               A                                 E             A
They took the fight to the enemy; they risked their life to keep us free
A                           E                                                             A
Heroes all, both black and white, and ladies too were in the fight
A                                                                                           D           A                               E             A
I know they're in heaven cause they flew through hell -that we might now ring freedom's bell
Verse #6
A                                     E                                                   A
We owe a debt that can't be paid by placing flowers on their grave
A                                                     D           A                         E           A
We can only tell their stories true; the burden lies with me and you
Repeat chorus to close
  © 6/4/2017 Larry Flesner, Carterville, Illinois 62918

Larry with his KR2 and the B-17 which inspired the song "American Heros"

Scott "Sky" Smith - Iowa Ambassador

Aviation insurance rates on the rise!
Aviation insurance rates are on the rise. For years the aviation insurance market has been pretty slow in increasing the premiums.
But if you have followed my posts and articles, you will know that in the past year rates have been going up and it doesn't look like it will stop anytime soon.

There are lots of reasons why the increases could be happening: from airline crashes, general aviation crashes, bad weather, to the financial markets. Whatever the reason for the increases. Here are a few things you can do to manage your insurance premium:
  1. Make sure your broker has your most updated and accurate pilot hours.  Keep flying and putting on hours. It's an excuse to fly.
  2. If you have hull coverage, re-evaluate the insured value of your aircraft. Are you insuring it for enough or too much?
  3. Get that advanced rating. While an instrument might not save you a huge percentage, it might open the market for more options.
  4. Keep it simple. Some of the best insurance rates are on fixed tri-gear aircraft. Thinking of moving up to a retractable gear or tail wheel aircraft, be prepared that the insurance rates are going to be higher.
  5. If you are an older pilot don't let your insurance expire (lapse). Age is also a barrier to getting insurance coverage.
And as a final thought, please note, Insurance Agents/Brokers don't have any control over the rates of the insurance companies.  There's the old saying, "Don't shoot the messenger," and that applies here.

Kass Smith - Mexican/Caribbean Ambassador
FMA´s Mexico and Caribbean ambassador, Kass Smith, is the owner and creator of the Real de Talpa holistic reserve, a master-planned countryside residential development of 180 acres (73 hectares) located  in Talpa  de  Allende, Jalisco, close to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
The project is segmented into 4 phases consisting of single family homes and lots and a boutique hotel and spa. Real de Talpa is designed as the first "Net Zero" community in Mexico in a bold contrast to its rustic but luxurious design. In other words, Real de Talpa will produce as much energy as it consumes on an average annual basis, and surplus will be fed back into the national grid.

The project features: 24 hour security, lake for fishing, horseback and hiking trails, organic farm, areas for meditation, yoga, holistic healing, and  much  more. 

Another great  feature  is the  Investor home  rentals packages  through  AIRBNB. 

Here, homeowners  can have  their  homes  rented  and  managed by the  staff when not  in use. The property also features a 4200 foot  paved  airstrip.
FIRST PHASE SOLD  OUT -  Second  phase  reservations  available  now 

Please feel free to link with Kass for the pilot/musician discounts.  

Kassiano  Entertainment  Inc.
Roma 196 J 1 , Col Versalles 
Puerto Vallarta,  Mexico
Mexican Cel whatsapp  ( +521322 7796854

Joshua Homet -
  Michigan Ambassador

One of the cool perks of my travels as a professional pilot, is the possibility of visiting other flying musicians while I'm on the road. More specifically, because I'm a corporate pilot, I don't just go to the same 20 or so large airports with passenger service. One of my favorite parts of working for Flexjet is the variety of airports and areas I still get to see. So, just because you're at a little municipal airport, don't count out the possibility of seeing a tail number ending in "FX". If you've got 4,000ft of pavement or more, chances are I can get my Embraer Legacy 450 in there. I get a good balance of time going into the biggest bravos and picking up hold and release clearances to get out of small uncontrolled fields that so many of you call home. I've even had the opportunity to pull that transport category jet up to a self service fuel pump a couple of times already. That was a pilot bucket list item I didn't know I had. 
JD and Josh at David Wayne Hooks field (KDWH) outside of Houston

This last rotation out, I had another such opportunity to meet up with one of you. I brought the jet into KDWH (David Wayne Hooks field outside of Houston) for a static demo of the aircraft to a prospective owner. I recalled from my recent trip to Oshkosh '19 that our member, John Dyers (JD to most of you), is based there. Knowing that he's retired and loves to be at his hangar I figured he'd be there. When I called, sure enough he had just run out for lunch and was coming right back. He ended up driving right out to the airplane (a small airport perk) where we were still up and running from our completed sales demo. He got to experience the full red carpet treatment that our company rolls for the demos and trips alike. JD then got to 'show and tell' his digs after we put our airplane to bed for the night. He rents a large hangar on the field where he has his two Aerostars and a recently acquired Skyhawk. He also runs a pretty active oil business in there as an Amsoil rep. It was great seeing where he spends so much of his time. I also got a guided tour of his personal career museum. JD has had a very interesting and impactful career in aviation. He played a great docent highlighting his service as an Air Force Pilot, years with Continental airlines, and finally his 25 years with Fed Ex; wrapping up just less than a decade ago. He then personally chaeffered me to my hotel and picked me up a while later to have dinner together to wrap up the day. What a treat. It was great to see him outside of Airventure, in his own element. I look forward to other opportunities to visit him there and other members out there. If any of you get a chance to check out KDWH and Gill aviation, ask around for JD. Chances are he won't be too far away.

editor's note: The FMA Map will help facilitate these encounters. Check today to see if you are on the FMA Map.

Student Members

FMA has nearly 200 very talented student members who are wonderful citizens and will no doubt be future leaders. The Sponsored Student Membership was developed in 2018 to help maintain these bright young individuals in the FMA network. Please consider sponsoring one or more student memberships. Donate today to the FMA Youth Engagement Fund.

Dylan Mardioan -  Student Member - Michigan
"I just completed my private pilot training and passed my checkride! I did my training at a Part 61 with a 1967 C172H. It got the job done! Learning on a six pack, steam gauge set up is definitely what I prefer compared to learning on glass cockpit setups. You can focus more on learning how to fly/maneuver rather than learning that AND how to work the avionics package." I did my flight training at Kal-Aero Flight Instruction based at KAZO at the Duncan Aviation facility. If you’re in southwest Michigan area. I recommend giving Kal-Aero a look at. I started training in February 2019 and just finished now in August 2019 (the winter definitely was a factor). It's been quite a journey and a great learning experience! Can't wait to move inward and forward to my instrument training and more at WMU!"


Meredith McNair -   Student Member  - Tennessee
"A couple months ago I soloed for the first time in 6 years. A couple weeks ago I did my first ever Cross Country Solo flight (53 nautical miles). Today I completed my first 150+ miles Cross Country Solo flight! I started at Gallatin, went 89 miles to Owensboro, and then from there 58 miles to Bowling Green, and then 35 miles back to Gallatin. I had the best time and I'm exhausted! I'll do it all again tomorrow afternoon, and be one step closer to getting my private pilots license! Wooh!"
Visit Flyte Three 

Kristin Coyle -   Student Member  - Texas
I'm so excited to be joining y'all! My friend, fellow flying musician Robert Duke (former Texas Ambassador), already reached out to me when I joined the Facebook group. I followed the link from the EAA newsletter this morning and wow, had no idea what a good morning it would be! 

I program mechanical engineering design software for a living (currently working towards my professional engineer (PE) license - THEN my PPL!), but moonlight as a pirate/irish/blues/folk fiddler. I played the Texas Renaissance Festival for 5 seasons, but now I just play with them every now and then (9 weekends is a long run 
Kristin Coyle
photo courtesy of  Bailey Verrett,

when you have a day job). My irish-blues band plays at the Mucky Duck about once a quarter. Otherwise, I play at the local Irish and bluegrass sessions, which is where I met Robert (and Kevin Southwick too, if you know him!). I'm classically trained, too, but I prefer playing folk and rock these days.

And to work this the other way around and get more pilots into music, I'd definitely be willing to trade fiddle lessons for flight time ;) And I would be happy to host beginner fiddle workshops at fly-ins too. Knowing there's some presence in Houston (and hey - you Dallas area guys!), it would be fun to collaborate on a Texas Hangar Band and get some performances going. Down the road. I need to pass the PE first haha. Y'all need a fiddle?

Kristin Coyle is a fiddler from Houston, Texas. She is the lead singer and fiddler for Kristin Coyle and the Black Swans, an Irish blues rock band, as well as the fiddler in Wyndnwyre ("wind 'n' wire"), which performs early music and traditional Celtic tunes. She is also a member of the Pride of Bedlam where you can sometimes see her perform as a fiddle-wielding pirate at the Texas Renaissance Festival and around Houston.
Kristin has been playing some style of violin and fiddle for most of her life. She studied classical violin and viola through high school and later pursued a career in engineering. She now programs pressure vessel design and post-construction software, as well as sits on the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) committee for fitness-for-service and failure analysis. 
She only recently dove into the marvelous rabbit hole of chasing the skies and cannot wait to get her PPL. Currently, she is studying for the written exam as well as the exam for her Professional Engineer license, always remembering that the joy is in the journey.

Check out Kristin Coyle and the Black Swans
Photo courtesy of Bankston Photography,


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.

Send us information so others can read about your home field.  

Tell us about your airport:
What makes it special/unique/interesting/fun?

Are there any nearby attractions for FMA members?

----- ////////////////////////////// -----

Get your HOME FIELD in the spotlight.
Send in information to be considered.

(Nashville, Tennessee)
Summer NAMM was held in Nashville, the city that is constantly being built. As usual the event was well attended with so much going on that three days is just not enough. Lots of artist were performing morning, noon, and evening. From the breakfast sessions to the parties in the evening if you came to be entertained then you hit the jackpot. 

I was fortunate to sit in on a presentation given by the new head guy at Gibson Brands, formerly Gibson Guitars, James "JC" Curleigh. What an impressive guy! JC also happens to play guitar. I picked up that his dad was in the military but was wondering if he was a pilot like his predecessor at Gibson. I asked him the
 obvious question, "Do you fly?"  He looked at me and said "I got a story for you." He proceeded to tell me about when his dad went on deployment years ago,  his mom and several of the other wives, in secret, took flying lessons. When the guys returned the women had the planes ready. They met them on the tarmac and took each for a flight as newly minted pilots. 

The show was enormous but small and quaint compared to The NAMM Show aka Winter NAMM held each January in Anaheim, California. The comparison I also make is Sun 'N Fun to AirVenture. Hope to see you many of you in California in January.

Gibson was back in grand fashion.

I can see myself driving this!

(Oshkosh, Wisconsin)

What a blast. So many joined us in Oshkosh, Wisconsin to celebrate aviation and the 10th year of FMA. From the beginning, Hartzell Propeller threw us a party, Props & Hops, on Monday evening. Life member Gary Filip and his Chicago buddies (Terry Charles on Bass, Bill Demis on Guitar, and Frank Donaldson on Drums) - The Gary Filip Band -  provided the band while several members performed: John Vining, Don Bilbrey, Jeff Auen, and David Peel to name a few. There may have been others. If you did and can provide a picture, please let us all know. Still looking for a picture of David performing. If you posses one, please send it to John.

Jeff Auen
Left to right: Gary, Bill, John, Don, Frank, Terry

Tuesday was lots of fun starting out with the AirVenture band conducted by Elton Eisele. Lots of FMs in the band this year: an Keen & grandson Liam Moore, Jolie Lucas, Rod Sargent, Rust
Elton, Isaac, and Aaron
Barnett, Doug Teague, Aaron Smokovitz, and Isaac Hill. Did we miss someone? The band performed at the beginning of the airshow. All were presented with FMA commemorative keychains. Then Kass Smith and John Vining performing at the ForeFlight party, Apps & Taps. The folks at ForeFlight are really starting to step up their support for FMA. Thank you ForeFlight.

On Wednesday, we enjoyed a full concert by the EAA AirVenture concert band held in the Theater in the Woods. Bravo!!! Afterwards John, along with Jeff Auen and his son, attended the AirCam dinner hosted by the Lockwoods.
Lockwood aviation is THE sponsor who stores the FMA sound system donated by BOSE. They also ship the system to events around the country: Sun 'N Fun, AirVenture, and the DeLand Showcase. This dinner was another stellar moment to raise awareness for FMA while thanking Phil Lockwood for his support.

Full house (tent) with folks spilling over into the grounds
Mark Schneider with Jeff Auen on stage

John Vining Performing Song of Billy Joel
Thursday was another busy day for FMs. Both the FMA Open Mic/Jam  and music at the Seaplane Pilot's Corn Roast  was  pulled off almost simultaneously. Just a little earlier, Gary Filip performed at a function hosted by Jaburu/U. S. Sport Planes. The FMA Open Mic/Jam, coordinated by John Vining and assisted by Josh and Becky Homet, was well attended by both performers and audience. There were lots of performances. We intend to work on better media coverage beforehand and to nail down the start time in 2020. 
FMA Open Mic/Jam with Josh Homet on cajon, Denny Kotz on guitar and John Vining on keys with guest 

Life member and SPA president, Steve McCaughey
with Gary Filip & Jeff Auen 

Friday was a long time coming. Since well before FMA had
Gary Filip on the Theater in the Woods stage
members, the idea was to showcase our artist/members on THE stage called Theater in the Woods. Powers to be have been approached many times over the last 10 years to allow FMA time on stage to showcase our talented pilot/musicians. This year, thanks to many including the
persistence  of member and 30+ year EAA chairman, Mark Schneider, time was allocated on Friday and Saturday evening. Life member Gary Filip and  Mexican /
Kass Smith on the Theater in the Woods stage
Caribbean  ambassador Kassiano Smith were selected for the  inaugural  performances. Bravo to both Gary & Kass. Nothing but rave reviews. As always, there is a back story and John will be happy to fill you in.

On Saturday the FMA Showcase on the Theater in the Woods stage saw North Central ambassador, John Vining, perform "Songs of Billy Joel." the audience really enjoyed this performance by long time member and HUGE supporter of FMA, John Vining.  We weren't done! The AeroShell team party sponsored by Honda was next on the ticket. John Vining, Kass, and Denny Kotz performed for aerobatic pilots, supporting cast, and lots of fans. 
John Vining on the Theater in the Woods stage.

Sunday morning we were asked to provide an artist to perform Taps at the memorial wall. Last year John "JD" Dyer performed. This year it was 2018 FMA Solo recipient, Nathan Nothelle. The performance was spectacular. Look for the video EAA took to surface in the near future. His understudy, Charlie Watson, will perform next year. Charlie was a finalist for the 2019 FMA Solo program who will no doubt be nominated again for the 2020 program. 

Nathan Nothelle

Members and friends perform for corporate events during AirVenture in return for donations towards FMA's programs and scholarships. This year was another very good year with enough donations raised for 1.5 scholarships. Thank you all, performers and friends for your solid support.

For those who ask, "What did everyone do during the day?" have you never been been to the largest aviation event in the world? Aircraft, aircraft, and aircraft... Pilots, pilots, and pilots along with Aviation enthusiast galore their families and friends. The senses were overloaded with sights and sounds. Visiting with old friends while making new ones. We hope to see you all next year.

Most of the picture, the good ones, were taken by FMA photographer, Becky Homet. Enjoy a few more:

Gary Filip on the Theater in the Woods
Gary Filip on the Theater in the Woods
Gary Filip at SPA Corn Roast
Kass Smith at SPA Corn Roast
Kass Smith on the Theater in the Woods

Kass Smith on the Theater in the Woods

Kass Smith at the AeroShell/Honda party

Denny Kotz at the AeroShell/Honda Party

Denny Kotz along with an unidentified Harp player

AirVenture may have been celebrating 50 years in Oshkosh but here's a 50 year commemorative mug I saved celebrating 50 years of AirVenture from 2002.

This was heard by a fan at Props & Hops after John Ving performed. 

"I'll never afford to see Billy Joel, but I did get to see you."    

An FMA 10 year commemorative keychain was given to member James Wynbrandt to give to Patty Wagstaff along with our thanks for her support of FMA. 

The follow was received:

Hi John,
Great seeing you in Osh! I gave Patty the keychain light, and she was thrilled to hear her posts about FMA have been so warmly received. Til next time -
James Wynbrandt

In Memory of Honorary Member Jerry Sleger aka One Man Band


Due to Perry Chinn's incident, he was unable to attend. We are awaiting a full report from Bill Montgomery.

(Georgetown, Ohio)
Don Bilbrey & John Laughman


Don Bilbrey reports that the event was well attended even by 2018 FMA Solo receipient John Laughman. This was the 3rd year for Don's HangarJAM so if you want to get in the act, contact Don for tips at


November 14-16, 2019

DeLand Sport Aviation Showcase
(DeLand, Florida)
Click the Image to Join Us in DeLand

Who will join us for aviation, music, and fun at this friendly event in Florida? Gary Filip will be on hand to share his music along with Terry Charles from Chicago, a renowned bass player and producer, who will be the house bassist. We have on good word that the FMA Brass quintet will again fly over from Tampa area. Will Marci Buckingham bring her Circle Band? Can we count on you too? Visit the volunteer website to sign up to join us.

A Few Pictures from 2018
FMA Brass
Marcia Buckingham's Circle Band

Byron & Nancy Miesse
JROTC Singing the U. S. Air Force Song

Really??? John Performing


January 16-19, 2020
(Anaheim, California) 

Lots of members will be attending The NAMM Show representing FMA. Lots more will be there as endorsed artist. Want to join us?



For updates visit the FMA website

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.

Renewing Corporate Members

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.
"Our corporate membership underscores our support for those who promote cohesiveness and growth in the industry where Sensenich has been a driver for 81 years," said Don Rowell, President.
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.

You can help!
Please inspire folks 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

2019 MFA Solo recipient Navya Pottumutu is learning to fly at the Victoria Flying Club. She soloed and is sprinting towards her private pilot's certificate.

About VFC:

  • We are situated in the beautiful west coast with world-renowned scenery.
  • Our members get a diverse flying experience, sharing the complex airspace with commercial, military, and medical air traffic.
  • Our region offers the challenges of mountain and coastal flying.
  • We have many highly skilled instructors with deep experience in the aviation industry.
  • We offer training in all of the foundational skills you need to get your career as a pilot started, from your private pilot licence to multi-engine rating and beyond.
  • We have a Redbird FMX Simulator for grounded training.
  • There is so much to do around our island, particularly for the outdoor enthusiast. More info here:

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.
Look for a review coming soon

Overhead Guitar by Journey Instruments

Overhead Guitar
Overhead Guitar

Voyage-Air Guitar
"I've taken the Voyage-Air Guitar, Model #VAOM - O2SN, to aviation events across the country in 2018 in the back of the RV6-A. Flying in a small plane requires a bit of a juggling act to get 'er all in - under weight. It not only fits comfortably but is well protected in its very padded case. It never fails to attract more attention than I. The sound is rich with a nice bass. The best part, other than being more of a magnet than I, is that she looks just as good today as she did when she arrived at AirVenture 2017." - John Zapp

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