President’s Message


Hello fellow CAA’ers. On the occasion of my first president’s message I would like to give you an update on the state of our organization. As many of you are aware, we have been seen declining membership for a number of years. After much research, soul searching and conversations with members and friends, we have concluded that we are in need of a re-invention. But at the same time, we remain the caretaker of a legacy. That legacy is 70 years of club history, of participation in an always growing and changing aviation industry.

Columbia Aviation Association, originally the Columbia Aviation Country Club, was founded by a group of forward thinkers 70 years ago. These members of the greatest generation formed the club to create a general aviation community for pilots and to show the public the wonderful uses of the GA airplane. I think that we can say that those goals were met over and over again. But now we find that modern life has, perhaps, made our club a bit outmoded. The old model that has been so successful over the years seems to be losing its viability. To examine our options and plot a path forward, we have formed a long-range planning group. This group has been tasked with taking a deep look into the club, determining our strengths and assets and the threats to our continued existence. Continued relevance in the modern world can be a challenge and we intend to rise to that challenge.

The long range plan is still a work in progress but has already produced some good ideas. As the year progresses I will report on the work and with the goodwill of the membership we will make the changes that will take us successfully in to the future. And if you have input that might be of value to our efforts, please send it my way.

We are planning a full year of activities for 2020. Flyout chair Lou West is working on developing six flyouts that will entice you to do some cross country flying. He is always open to great fly out destinations and leaders. If you have a destination or want to lead or assist a flyout, see Lou. Please plan on attending the Kick-Off dinner on January 25th to preview Lou’s work. Social chairs Steve Pierce and Greg Mottau are planning events and creating some yummy dinners for your enjoyment.

Programs are, as usual, a challenge. Our members are well connected with the aviation community and have access to some fascinating people, aircraft and activities throughout the year. Great programs come from this access and we will tap our members, (you), for presentations that will fascinate. Our signature activity Flight Profile will continue to challenge our proficiency and skills. We are planning something new this year to increase the challenge. Stay tuned…

Welcome to 2020. I hope you will join in looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead and with your help we will enjoy another satisfactory year of flying, camaraderie and fun.

Stan Swan, CAA President 2020