If you've been or flown to Sugar Valley in the last couple of months, you may have noticed a new, rebuilt T-hangar, with a bright red roof - a sure landmark for pilots.
We want to thank Kirk Clearly with Clearly's Construction LLC for a fantastic job in breathing new life into the old T-hangar. We have greatly appreciated working with Kirk and his dynamic team!
And here is a little glimpse into the transformation journey, captured by our photographers Deborah Leighton and Aaron Lobb. Enjoy!
Our new crop of Aviation Ground School students is here! Congratulations to all the participants, completing their study on 1/17/2020! Well wishes to all of you! May success, a sense of adventure and discovery accompany you in your future aviation endeavors!
A special thanks goes to the instructors Sandra Smith and Lee Kosub, who freely share their knowledge, skills and time.
SVA Aviation Ground School is a free training offered twice a year by our amazing volunteers. The next session begins on March 6, 2020. Sign up if you'd like to take advantage of this opportunity and spread the word. Learn more here.
Donald Sweeper, a teacher at the Quality Education Academy in Winston-Salem, brought 14 students, 3 chaperones, the principal and the CEO of the school to SVA on 12/6/2019 for an aviation day.
The students rotated through three stations:
The SVA kitchen again worked their magic providing a welcomed hot lunch, and warm and cozy dining room. Susan Garavaglia and Mary Polkey volunteered in the kitchen as their husbands worked with students. Spectrum News, a local news network, sent a reporter out to cover the inspiring activities. A great day for all!
Congratulations to our own “SVA local,” Lee Kosub, who on October 24th became an instrument-rated pilot, one who is certificated to fly an aircraft in conditions of reduced visibility, as in the clouds, depending primarily on instruments for navigation rather than on visual observation of external surroundings.
She studied and practiced, practiced and studied with that tremendous focus and determination which are among her many gifts. She did this while being pregnant and having a toddler to raise, among other responsibilities. It was not a walk in the park. In fact, Lee admits that it was definitely more challenging and took longer than she expected.
However, as often happens when one is serious about pursuing a heart-felt dream, things magically line up, challenges are transformed into doors of opportunities and one is a step closer to the destination. Lee’s achievement is just another example of that “magical” process.
Lee shared that behind her pursuit of the instrument training was her interest in becoming a flight instructor. Achieving an instrument rating is one of the requirements on that path. “Becoming a flight instructor was inspired by the gift and joy of flight and wanting to be a part of passing that on to the next generation. So many people have been so generous on my journey as a pilot. People in aviation want to see people learn how to fly and experience the joy of it. I'm looking forward to being a part of passing that joy on and paying it forward,” said Lee.
She shared that with a lot of support and encouragement, she was able to achieve her instrument rating. “And when I say support, I mean way above and beyond what is ‘normal.’ Susan, one of the airport managers at SVA, took care of my 2-year-old daughter two mornings a week for nine months so that I could fly! Definitely not in the usual airport manager’s job description! And my instructor, Gary, really had to be as dedicated to my success as I was. He made time in his schedule to fly with me 4-8 hours per week for nine months. He had just retired from a successful career as pilot and trainer with American Airlines when I connected with him to start the instrument training. Not only did he make the time, but the instruction was absolutely topnotch. Better than money could buy. So the story is really about the people at places like Sugar Valley and the inherent generosity and good character in the aviation community. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of passing that on?”
This is a well-earned and a significant achievement that is inspiring to many of us.
May this story serve as an encouragement to all of us in navigating our paths towards worthwhile pursuits.
The Sugar Valley Composite Squadron marked two milestones in its four year history at the July 18 meeting. The squadron held the first Change of Command ceremony and also recognized the first Amelia Earhart Award recipient.
First, the Amelia Earhart Award was presented to C/Capt Christopher Herman by the NC Wing Commander, Col Jason Bailey. It is the third milestone of the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program. Serving as the Squadron’s Cadet Commander, C/Capt Herman has demonstrated leadership and integrity in structuring the cadet program and emergency services training activities.
Next, Maj Stephen Leighton presented Lt Col Eric Orgain with a plaque recognizing his outstanding leadership and service since the squadron’s beginning in 2013. Following this, Col Jason Bailey began the Change of Command ceremony. Lt Col Eric Orgain passed the command of NC-052 to Capt Tom Conroy, who accepted command of the squadron. Lt Col Ron Cheek, Group 4 Commander, spoke briefly after the Change of Command. The evening concluded by honoring Lt Col Orgain and Capt Tom Conroy with a reception in the Blue Hangar at Sugar Valley Airport. Sixty five guests attended, including squadron members and families and other CAP squadron members.
The Sugar Valley Composite Squadron NC-052 thanks Lt Col Orgain for his four years of dedication and service to the squadron, and salutes Capt Conroy as the new commander.
Article and photos by: Lt Deborah Leighton and C/TSgt Michael Herman
This year, SVA has yet another good reason to celebrate!
Sandra Smith, our very own ground school instructor, passed her checkride on 12/14/16. So now she is officially a Commercial Pilot! An achievement built on persistent, consistent hard work.
In her own humble words, Sandra says "that anything one of us achieves is actually the product of input, energy, feedback, and constructive thoughts of others. So although it may seem that an individual accomplishes something, the achievement is a structure created with the building blocks offered by others". While, we believe it to be true, we also acknowledge her own strength of character and all of the dedicated effort put forth.
Congratulations, Sandra, and thank you for your inspiring example!