Local pilots have formed a Methow Valley chapter of the Washington Pilots Association (WPA), an advocacy group for general aviation in Washington state.

“On March 14, a group of Methow Valley-based pilots met in Mazama to discuss various issues facing local aviation,” said Rick LeDuc, who was elected president of the local chapter. “During the meeting, a discussion of starting a Methow Valley chapter of the Washington Pilots Association was opened. After a vote it was determined that a local group should be formed.” 

LeDuc said that by being politically active at the local, regional and state level, “WPA works to maintain a positive and beneficial relationship with local communities.”

Airport improvement, safety, education, community outreach and disaster/emergency planning are just a few of the things that the WPA is actively involved in, LeDuc said.

Mike Real was elected vice president of the Methow Valley chapter, Don Fitzpatrick was elected treasurer and June Fitzpatrick was elected to be secretary. LeDuc said that more than a dozen local pilots are likely to be interested in the new group.

The chapter will have its first official meeting April 11. There will be a no-host dinner at 6 p.m. at the Riverside Grill in Winthrop, followed by a 7 p.m. meeting. New members are welcome, and you don’t have to be a licensed pilot to join. Call 996-2071 for information. Go to the WPA website — www.wpaflys.org — for membership details.