Presidents Report

Greetings Airmen’s Association Members, 

Happy Spring and hope you’re getting out enjoying some of the longer days!  It has been a fun month for ski flying, outdoor activities, and getting back in the sunshine a little.  We’re starting to look forward to the upcoming summer, while making plans to get as much flying and adventuring in as we can. 

With Iditarod and spring break behind us, we are turning our focus towards the Great Alaska Aviation Gathering, now a short time away.  I hope that you are planning to join us this year for May 6th, and 7th.  The Association staff has been working towards delivering an exceptional Great Alaska Aviation Gathering for 2023.  I really look forward to seeing so many of our Airmen’s  Association friends at the Gathering as well as the new friendships we look forward to making each year.  If you haven’t made plans to come, please give it a second thought as we know it will be a great show. 

For those that have been following the raffle plane, we are eager to learn who the new owner will be this May.  Having the opportunity of getting to fly the Cub Crafters FX2, it is really a remarkable airplane.  I want to make special mention to those who were gracious enough to donate some exceptional mods and components.  First off, I want to recognize our very own Aras Sirvelis. who is the owner of Backcountry Aero.  Aras put in considerable time to help make all the modifications come together. Aras donated his time to not only research the mods that donated for the FX Cub, but he also performed the installation of each of the items that were donated.  If you are looking for a trusted mechanic, then I would highly recommend making it a point to meet Aras at this year’s Gathering. 

I want to personally thank the donors that generously and graciously gave the high-performance products for the raffle plane.  This includes Steve Schwister with Trick Air, who donated a brand-new set of Explorer 2250 wheel skis, Billy James with Beringer Aero, who donated new Beringer wheels and brakes, Sean McLaughlin with Airframes Alaska, with our best around 31” Alaskan Bushwheels, and Doug Evink with the Tanis Engine Preheat System to keep us warm.  Thank you again for your considerable and generous donations to help showcase your amazing products.  

Thanks again to all of you for your membership and commitment to the Alaska Airmen’s Association and look forward to seeing you in May at the Great Alaska Aviation Gathering. 

Fly safe, 

Stephen Ratcliff 


Alaska Airmen’s Association 

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