American Yankee Association

The International Grumman Pilots Association   


Upcoming events

    • 23 Feb 2018
    • 25 Feb 2018
    • Port Aransas, TX

    Something to whoop about!

    Image result for whooping cranes

    We are planning a weekend fly-in to Port Aransas, Texas, for the Whooping Crane Festival, February 23-25, 2018!  Port Aransas is recovering from Hurricane Harvey and this year is expected to be a banner year for the whoopers, so let's do our part to help!

    Things to note:

    We will fly into Mustang Beach Airport (KRAS); there is a $5. per night tie-down fee.  (Bring your own tie-downs and ropes.)

    There are no rental cars available in Port A.  We will use the local taxi service and individual vehicles of those that chose to drive. The taxi service has assured me that they have 10 cars and 2 vans, so transportation should not be an issue. 

    The Whooping Crane Festival officially begins on Thursday, February 22.  If you would like to come in on Thursday, Susan has rooms held for Thursday night at the Plantation Suites for $91.16 under her membership; let her know if you would like to reserve a room for Thursday night. You may also make reservations directly with the hotel.

    If you plan to come in on Friday,  Susan has rooms held under her membership at a rate of $93.49 per night for Friday and Saturday for a 2-queen suite.  Let her know if you would like to reserve your hotel room at the Plantation Suites. The online/direct rate per room for Friday and Saturday is $129. If you prefer, you can make your own reservations directly with the hotel; just note that the hotel will sell out for the festival so don't delay in making reservations.  There is a cancellation window up to Monday, February 19.

    There are two Festival guest speakers that will probably be of interest to our group.

    On Saturday at 9:00 a.m., Joe Duff, Co-Founder and CEO, Operation Migration, will be the featured speaker.  Susan and I saw an exhibit about him and his operation in the Udvar-Hazy Museum at Dulles.  Before Joe Duff became involved in conservation, he was a commercial photographer. He uses that talent to illustrate his 20+ years of flying with birds and plots the history of the Whooping Cranes’ slow recovery from the brink of extinction. Lead pilot and co-founder of Operation Migration, Joe accumulated more hours in flight alongside more species of birds than any other person.

    Natalie Bourke is scheduled to speak on Saturday but the Chamber is trying to switch her to Friday just so that we could attend this event on Friday at 2:00 p.m.  Natalie Bourke is the Public Outreach Education Officer for Parks Canada’s Southwest Northwest Territories Field Unit which includes the Whooping Crane nesting area in Wood Buffalo National Park. As a brand new Parks Canada employee in 1989, Natalie had the privilege of accompanying renowned Canadian Wildlife Service scientist Ernie Kuyt on a Whooping Crane survey which in those days consisted of dizzying swoops in a small plane, using binoculars to try and identify leg band colors. Apparently there were few staff who could “stomach” this survey technique, but Natalie was one of them and the experience contributed to her interest in learning how to fly and later piloting her own small plane.  

    Guest Speaker: Natalie Bourke Whooping Crane Festival

    If the Chamber cannot switch the time of her presentation to Friday, she will speak on Saturday at 2:00 p.m., which conflicts with the Saturday afternoon whooping crane boat tour.  There are other whooper tours on Friday morning at 7:00 a.m. and Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m.  We should have a final schedule from the Chamber by Tuesday, January 16.  In the meantime, feel free to go ahead and sign up for any additional activities or tours that you want.

    Although the highlight of the weekend is the boat trip to see the whoopers (12:30 pm-5:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon), there are many other activities associated with the festival.  Feel free to plan your own itinerary.  Dinner reservations for 7:00 p.m. Saturday night at Virginia's on the Bay have been made so that our group can be accomodated.

    If you plan to attend, it is critical that you do these three things immediately:

    1) Book your room.  Let Susan ( know if you want to reserve rooms through her account.  If not, go online and book your room directly with Plantation Suites.  Remember that there is a cancellation window up to Monday, February 19.

    2) Go online and register for the Whooping Crane Festival ($20. pp);  This is required for anyone entering the festival grounds (and it is also helping them recover from Hurricane Harvey). 

    3) Register for the Saturday 12:30 p.m. Whooping Crane Field Trip ($50.pp): Note: there are only 57 tickets left for this trip and they will sell out fast.

    This is not a typical weekend fly-in where we have everything scheduled.  There is some flexibility built in each day so that you can pick and choose activities that interest you.  Just be aware that we will be dependent upon taxis and the local trolley (or golf cart rentals!) for transportation.  For additional information about whooping cranes and Port Aransas, see the links below.  

    If you have any questions, let us know.  If you plan to attend, we can send you a spreadsheet of the full weekend's itinerary.  Hope to see you in February!

    Scott and Susan

    Texas Coastal Communities Face Challenges Restoring Tourism Economy

    Whooping Crane Festival |

    Port-Harvey Report

    • 24 Feb 2018
    • 12:00 PM (PST)
    • Nancy’s Café

    Willows (WLW), Nancy’s Café, Stew Wilson,

    • 24 Mar 2018
    • 12:00 PM (PDT)
    • Leigh & Val’s

    Red Bluff (RBL), Leigh & Val’s, Stew Wilson,

    • 7 Apr 2018
    • 8 Apr 2018
    • Payson, Arizona (KPAN)

    Why is it that only airplanes with STOL kits and fat tires get to have all the fun air camping?  Not anymore!  It has been several years since we have hosted our very popular fly-in air camping weekend at Payson, Arizona (KPAN), so we figured it was time to do it again. 

    Our friends at the Arizona Pilots Association and Recreational Aviation Foundation used to "piggyback" onto our Grumman Fly-Ins at Payson.  We haven't done the fly-in for a few years, so they called and asked me to re-start this fun fly in tradition.  It sounded like fun, so we decided to do it! 

    We are gathering at Payson on April 7-8 for a weekend of fun at the Payson Airport Campground, including lunch on Saturday, a pot-luck dinner Saturday night, and of course songs around the campfire from some of our fellow pilots who are bringing their guitars and banjos.  The airport campground features fire rings with free firewood, picnic shelter, bathrooms with running water, toilets and hot showers.  The only thing you need to bring is your tent and sleeping bag. 

    If you aren't into campground cuisine, remember that Payson is also home to the best airport "greasy spoon" in the state, the Crosswinds Cafe. 

    Not an air camper?  No problem!  We have the airport courtesy car reserved for the weekend so we can shuttle folks to/from motels in Payson.   

    Throw your tent and sleeping bag in your Grumman and join us for a weekend "away from it all" up in the pines of Northern Arizona at the most scenic airport in the state. 

    For more information, please contact James Nebrig at 

    We'll see you there!

    • 21 Apr 2018
    • 12:00 PM (PDT)
    • Potluck at Colin Perry’s Hangar

    Petaluma (O69), Potluck at Colin Perry’s Hangar, Stew Wilson,, (530) 295-7158

    • 19 May 2018
    • 12:00 PM (PDT)
    • Joe’s One Niner Diner

    Paso Robles (PRB), Joe’s One Niner Diner, Stew Wilson,, (530) 295-7158

    • 25 May 2018
    • (UTC+02:00)
    • 28 May 2018
    • (UTC+02:00)
    • Tuscany, Valdera, Italy

    Dear AYA members, Grumpies, Grumman enthusiast and friends,

    I hope that by now everybody is over the delightful holiday stress and has comfortably settled into the new year.

    Let me wish all of you a great flying season, being a pilot or a pax, with great health, perfect weather and many enjoyful flights.

    ''May the number of your landings always equal the number of takeoffs.'

    Our annual highlight - the European meeting in Valdera/Tuscany-Italy - is approaching quickly.

    Everybody was excited when it was announced last year. However I just got the booking sheet and it seems that the excitement is making people forgetting to book?

    I know positively that more people want to show up than I can see on the list, so please - if you haven’t registered already, please do so with Marco Petroni, 

    He does have issues with his usual email address, so please make sure you use this one:

    I include the updated program that’s been passed on to me. Please fill out and return directly to Marco.

    And just in case you have issues with the EU payment of the events booking fee, the requirement of pre-payment has been dropped for those people by the organizer team.

    Those who cannot, simply pay upon arrival.  Here’s Marco earlier mail on this:

     >Hi all, here the following agreements:

    >@ Porta Valdera, they do not ask ‎for advance payment. You book and pay with Credit Card upon leaving

    >@Borgo Colleoli, you book and will receive new instructions for paying 25% advance with Credit Card. The rest upon leaving

    >@Aero Club Pisa, advance payment is recommended (some Members have already‎ fixed it, thanks) for logical reasons. If unable you will comply upon arrival.

    However this ONLY applies to the meeting, one of the hotels still insists in a credit card partial pre-payment. (see above)

    I am missing at least another three couples who indicated early on to me they intended to come.

    Oh, and while I’m having your attention for a sec: There will be a short workshop on sunday morning on the airfield on the joys of the recently changed EASA requirements of individual maintenance manuals for our birds. 

    You might want to plan an hour or two for this.

    And for those in need for a rental car: I can recommend a very competitive and reliable service all over europe, it’s basically a basically a booking agency, even with a superb app.

    best regards to all,


       - Jörg H. Beck -


    Flugschule Ochsenflug

    More information is available here.

    • 16 Jun 2018
    • 12:00 PM (PDT)
    • TBA

    Cameron Park (O61), TBA, Stew Wilson,, (530) 295-7158

    • 21 Jul 2018
    • 12:00 PM (PDT)
    • Aviators

    Sacramento (SAC), Aviators, Stew Wilson,, (530) 295-7158

    • 18 Aug 2018
    • 12:00 PM (PDT)
    • Fenton’s Restaurant

    Vacaville (VCB), Fenton’s Restaurant, Stew Wilson,, (530) 295-7158

    • 24 Sep 2018
    • (CDT)
    • 27 Sep 2018
    • (CDT)
    • Hutchinson, KS (KHUT)

    The 2018 Annual Convention. See a Convention Bureau PowerPoint here. There is a short promotional video here, 90MB file.

    Preview here, information will be updated when available.

    • 13 Oct 2018
    • 12:00 PM (PDT)
    • Rocket Shop

    Bakersfield (L45), Rocket Shop, Stew Wilson,, (530) 295-7158

    • 10 Nov 2018
    • 12:00 PM (PST)
    • Wings Cafe

    Auburn (AUN), Wings Cafe, Stew Wilson,, (530) 295-7158

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