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We invite you to submit your favorite or interesting story of a WAMA member, flight department or some historical aspect related to Westchester County Airport or surrounding community.  Articles, stories and photos are encouraged.

Please send submissions to: admin@wamahpn.org


  • Sun, October 10, 2021 10:38 AM | Kerton (Administrator)

    Women in Aviation International Q3 Newsletter 9/18/2021 Westchester Aircraft Maintenance Association’s, WAMA Vice President Dave Schiavone, met with Women in Aviation International, WAI, CEO Allison McKay and Director of Communications Kelly Murphy at this year’s EAA AirVenture 2021 in Oshkosh, WI.

    It was a very impressive event where the attendance was approximately 608,000. More than 10,000 aircraft arrived at the Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, as well as other airports in East-Central Wisconsin. At Wittman Airport alone, there were 16,378 aircraft operations in the 10-day period from July 22-31, which is an average of approximately 116 takeoffs/landings per hour. Women in Aviation International, WAI, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the encouragement and advancement of women in all aviation career fields and interests. Their diverse membership includes astronauts, corporate and airline pilots, maintenance technicians, engineers, air traffic controllers, business owners, educators, journalists, flight attendants, high school and university students, air show performers, airport managers and many others. They strive to encourage, empower and educate all those whose interests, lives, and work involve aviation and aerospace without regard to race, ethnicity, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, physical or mental abilities, or point of view. WAI knows with certainty that the shared passion for aviation transcends any differences. They provide year-round resources to assist women in aviation and to encourage young women to consider aviation as a career. WAI also offers educational outreach programs to educators, aviation industry members, and young people nationally and internationally. The most recent initiative is the Girls in Aviation Day program for girls ages 8 to 17. Here are some statistics:

    Non-Pilots Source:


    Dave interviewed Allison by asking a variety of questions:

    • Tell me about yourself?  I graduated from college with a marketing degree and got my first job working in the sales and marketing department of an airplane seat manufacturer. That job provided me the opportunity to travel and interact with customers from all over the world. I have now spent my entire career in this industry, and the passion of the aviation community is like nothing else. I am so excited that I now get to talk to the next generation about aviation and all the opportunities it can provide.
    • How strong is the organization and how can our aviation maintenance members contribute? Can men join?  Women in Aviation International, WAI, is proud to have nearly 14,000 members around the world pursuing various types of careers in aviation and aerospace as pilots, technicians, engineers, airport managers, astronauts, enthusiasts and much more. We welcome men to join WAI as they are active allies and supporters of our WAI mission. Currently, approximately 23% of our members are male.
    • Explain the scholarships? Are large companies supporting your organization?  Scholarship awards are a major benefit of membership in Women in Aviation International and help members reach their goals and advance into the aviation and aerospace careers they have always dreamed about. In 2021, WAI will award $731,800 in scholarships bringing the total awarded to members to more than $14.5 million since 1995. These various scholarships are offered for flight training, engineering, maintenance, dispatch, drones, and professional development for individuals in all stages of life. Sponsors of these scholarships range from airlines, industry associations and organizations, private foundations, as well as past scholarship recipients. All are dedicated to providing opportunities to women in aviation and to pay it forward. Our motto is that Scholarships Change Lives!
    • How can WAI help recruit?  What is the cost to join the organization? Are there any benefits to new members?  Annual membership rates are $40 with auto-renewal and $400 for corporate members. There are many benefits associated with being a member of WAI including public recognition of our mission to encourage more women and girls in this industry. Members can join one of the WAI chapters that provide local connections with other members, access jobs in Jobs Connect, find a mentor through Mentor Connect, and of course apply for scholarships and receive regular communications from WAI through Aviation for Women and Aviation for Girls magazines as well as monthly e-Newsletters. Corporate members also receive discounts for attending and exhibiting the annual international Women in Aviation Conference and have the opportunity to post open jobs and internships on Jobs Connect in our members only section of our website. Chapter members as well as corporate members have the ability to host Girls in Aviation Day events.
    • What do you like about our industry socially or professionally?  The aviation/aerospace industry is full of amazing technology and innovation and connects everyone in the world. I often tell girls that are thinking of aviation careers that they can do anything in this industry from designing, fixing, maintaining, and flying an aircraft to supporting in-air and on-ground operations.
    • Where do you see our industry going?  Our industry is vital to the global economy and has a unique role in connecting people with one another no matter where they live.
    • With social media now the primary way of networking, do you feel organizations such as WAI bring a benefit to the industry?  Yes, it’s important to WAI to promote our organization’s accomplishments as well as our member’s triumphs. They are our best brand ambassadors to a very wide audience both within and outside of the aviation industry through messaging shared on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. WAI launched a first ever Aviation for Girls App during the pandemic to provide a needed networking and educational tool with hours of educational content that was downloaded by participants in 59 countries.
    • What type of training is important for the maintenance organizations? Approved training with safety as a top priority is necessary to produce quality maintenance technicians.
    • What can we do to recruit or bring in young professionals in aviation? Since WAI was established in 1994 as a nonprofit organization, we have been dedicated to fostering and supporting the next generation of leaders in our industry. We know that connecting with girls as young as elementary and middle school is critically important to ignite the spark to think about aviation and aerospace careers in their future. That is the reason we have held annual Girls in Aviation Day events since 2015. Additional WAI resources such as Jobs Connect, Mentor Connect, the Aviation for Girls App, and scholarships are important to encouraging young professionals in aviation. Our annual three-day conference, next year March 17-19, 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee will be the 33rd Annual International Women in Aviation Conference featuring keynote speakers, education sessions, exhibit hall, as well as personal and professional development seminars and workshops. All these resources and the opportunity to meet in person for networking are great assets for our young professionals.
    • Do you feel the schools are turning out the volume or level of knowledge and skill needed today?  We are encouraged to see an increase in STEM and aviation focused programs and schools at all levels including elementary, middle, high school, college and university.
    • What do you think the industry needs to improve? We have the opportunity to continue to educate the general public, school teachers and guidance counselors about all the various opportunities available in aviation/aerospace.  As I noted earlier, any career you can think of can be pursued in aviation. There are also lots of educational paths to get there including vocational/tech schools, four-year collegiate programs as well as graduate studies. Our industry is innovative, creative, and tech-savvy. It is appealing to all kinds of future aviators and the demand for these types of well-paying jobs goes far into the future.
  • Tue, July 27, 2021 1:10 PM | Kerton (Administrator)

    Wama spotlight Q2 jeff Hare JK edit.docx.pdf

    Many flight departments rely on annual recurrent training for their flight crews. One such requirement is Aircraft Egress Safety and Survival.
    WAMA VP Dave Schiavone, had the opportunity to sit with long time member and supporter, Mr. Jeff Hare of JH AVIATION SAFETY SERVICES, INC.
    Jeff has been a member of Westchester Aircraft Maintenance Association, WAMA, since 1986.          Click link above to read more

  • Wed, March 10, 2021 8:10 AM | Kerton (Administrator)

    WAMA’s Past President Tim Gronberg.

    By Dave Schiavone

    Vice President, Dave Schiavone had the opportunity to  interview one of Westchester Aircraft Maintenance Association’s Past Presidents for his perspective on the industry.       Read more

  • Mon, November 09, 2020 10:41 PM | Kerton (Administrator)
    Interview with Nick Trotta, Former Secret Service Director discusses Security after 9/11

    By Dave Schiavone, Oct 2020

    On this recent anniversary of September 11th, Westchester Aircraft Maintenance Association had a chance to sit down and interview, Nicholas Trotta.  Nick was the former Secret Service Director who was assigned to President George W. Bush.  Nick is no stranger to WAMA.  He is a local son of New Rochelle, New York.  Nick shared his insight in what has changed in aviation and in America.  We felt compelled to share some of the discussion.  When things get back to normal, Nick has graciously agreed to discuss his experience at a dinner meeting.     Read more...


  • Fri, May 24, 2019 12:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    White Plains, New York May 20th, 2019 –

    Corporate Angel Network (CAN) announced that it recently flew its 60,000th cancer patient to treatment. CAN transports cancer patients to clinical trials and specialized cancer centers in order to access the best available treatment for their specific diagnoses. CAN’s mission is to reduce the emotional stress, physical discomfort and financial burden of cancer patients undergoing treatment.

    David J. of Columbus, Ohio, contacted Corporate Angel Network for assistance when he was referred to a specialist at MDAnderson Hospital in Houston, TX for his aggressive salivary gland cancer. David’s only hope of getting to his appointment was to make the grueling 17 hour drive until he learned about CAN.

    After registering him on the phone, CAN volunteers searched for a flight that would take David to Houston. Volunteers look for empty seats on business jets to offer both adult and pediatric cancer patients, at no cost, to distant medical centers. American Electric Power (AEP), one of CAN’s 500 corporations, was scheduled to fly from Ohio to Texas a few days before David’s appointment and they offered him a seat. David’s flight was the 60,000th cancer patient flight that Corporate Angel Network has provided since its founding in 1981.

    “We strive to do more than keep the lights on for our customers. We’re passionate about being involved in and supporting the communities where we live and work. We’re incredibly proud to be able to support the Corporate Angel Network and help give cancer patients access to the most advanced care possible, even if it is far away from home,” said Nicholas K. Akins, AEP’s chairman, president and chief executive officer.                                          

    Corporate Angel Network is grateful to American Electric Power for providing this milestone flight. 

     # # # # 

    For more information about Corporate Angel Network, please contact Samantha Lohse @ slohse@corpangelnetwork.org



    Nov 19 2018

    In an effort to continue to meet the Aviation industry’s increasing needs, Dutchess Community College is expanding its aviation program to include a certified Airframe and Powerplant mechanics program.

    This new program will be a certified FAA part 147 school housed in a new state of the art hangar. DCC, in collaboration with Dutchess County, is constructing a new aviation educational building and hangar at the Hudson Valley Regional Airport that will be home to this new program. The program is anticipated to begin in the fall of 2020.
    In preparation for the program, there is a need for maintenance equipment, parts and tools. The aircraft and parts do not need to be airworthy or operational, because they will be used solely for instructional purposes.
    As a community college we strive to offer our students an affordable quality education. We want to create a premier part 147 school where future AMT’s gain real world experiences so they are better prepared to enter the work force. Your tax qualifying donation will greatly help to meet our needs. If you would also like to consider a partnership with us, please let me know.
    Thank you for your consideration and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you regarding your donation.

    Sincerely,
    Genna Suraci
    Coordinator
    Aviation Maintenance Technology Program


    Parts List- Click here


    Get in touch!

    Genna Suraci
    Coordinator
    Aviation Maintenance Technology Program
    Taconic building Room 107
    (845) 431 8417
    Genna.suraci@sunydutchess.edu



    July 25 2018




    Annie Balshi has always referred to her niche in the aviation industry as her “baby.”

    Conceived less than two years after receiving her hospitality degree, the concept of supplying corporate and private jets with innovative amenities seemed at first to be a risky limb; but with an energy and passion not unlike the devotion of a mother, B. E. Princess sprinted off the line with a healthy start and began to soar.

     Annie’s “baby” is turning twenty-five this year and has grown into the polished, savvy world traveler that she always dreamed it would be.  Those first steps took place at Westchester County Airport, bringing quick and reliable service to a handful of clients who quickly grasped the value of such a creative component to flying private.

     An over stuffed closet office moved to a small warehouse and a small warehouse moved to a larger one halfway between Westchester County and Teterboro.  The client base mushroomed by word of mouth and the first employees were brought into the company to ensure that every customer was properly served.  One of these was Paul Venneri, now the vice president of the company and the backbone of the East Coast operation that spreads from Bradley to North Carolina.

     At twenty-five, B.E. Princess serves forty airports across the country, and is well known to more than four hundred and fifty happy clients who believe in flying with innovation, style and taste.  Sitting in the captain’s seat, Annie is the classic career girl, one who puts service to her client base ahead of everything, searching diligently for things that are new, exciting and also practical to put onboard.  Her recently developed brand of sweets, salts and spicy condiments, the Glendower Farm line, has opened new hatches and her expertise and access to fine wine selections has earned her a reputation as a bit of a sommelier in the air.

     Princess vans and Princess employees stocking lockers in airports can be seen all over the USA, but the essence of Princess lies in the spirited work ethic of its leader and in the main company warehouse in Carlstadt, New Jersey.  This is the showcase for the thousands of products that make flying private a culture of its own.  On August 3, 2018, the home of B. E. Princess will open its doors to embrace visitors in honor of its silver anniversary. Come and see why no one can resist grabbing a cart and taking a few things home.  Here’s to B. E. Princess.  You’ve come a long way, Baby!


    Get in touch!

    Address: 515 Washington Ave.
    Carlstadt, New Jersey 07072
    Telephone: 201-939-FLYY (3599)
    FAX: 201-939-2648 Fax
    Toll Free: 800-489-0609
    E-mail: info@beprincess.com
    E-mail: info@princessliquors.com





    May 13 2018
    Million Air


    Million Air unveiled on Wednesday May 2nd, its new 52,000-square-foot hangar, the first phase of the renovation and expansion of its corporate aviation complex at Westchester County Airport.

    “Our job at Million Air is to really drive that first impression of Westchester,” said Million Air CEO Roger Woolsey. “Our job is to just make sure that we greet the market makers of this community in a great way.”

    The spacious hangar features 28-foot doors and floors that are heated with a radiant heat system that allows temperatures to be maintained for aircraft and pilots. The hangar also includes eight customizable offices with storage space.

    With the completion of the hangar, Million Air’s 26-acre corporate aviation compex now has 84,000 square feet of hangar space and more than 7 acres of ramp space.

    Woolsey said the hangar is a win-win for the county.

               SYR Grand Opening                      HPN Grand Opening



    July 27 2017

    Long Time WAMA member

    Richard "Mac" Mac Vicar


    “ I was around Rockland County for many moons” he said , “and when they built the Tappan Zee Bridge, all of a sudden the people from the city moved up there, then they pushed the Garden State Pkwy up there and now it’s wall to wall houses”…

    Read the full article in the July 2017 AOPA PILOT magazine



    Wayfarer Ketch


    Wayfarer Ketch Flight Department

    Westchester County Airport (HPN) 1956-2016

     

    How do you say good bye and thank you to one of the first Business Aviation corporate flight departments located at Westchester county airport in White Plains, NY? 

    Wayfarer Ketch filed a corporation back on March 14, 1956.  They trace their roots to the Rockefeller family flight department.

     

    Please allow me to share with you my story. It was around the mid 1980’s, when I was first introduced to Wayfarer Ketch Corporation Flight Department. I had just retired from the US Military. I enjoyed my time in the service and was pleased that I had been introduced to Aviation.

    I wanted to take that new wonderful feeling and experience to the next level of my career; yes you could say that Aviation was now a part of my DNA. 

    One day, I picked up the local newspaper and saw a position available as a service technician and delivery driver for an Aviation battery shop located in Connecticut.  I have to admit at the time I knew very little about business and general aviation and it just so happened that my first delivery would be to Westchester County airport in New York to a Business Aviation Management company called Wayfarer Ketch Corporation.

    I was fortunate to meet many special people there who had made a difference in my career.  I would learn from each and every one of them and although I was just a vendor and delivery driver they went out of the way to answer all my eager questions. They took the time to explain the business to me as well as what aircraft were under their care. 

    One of their employees that I met was Dan Jurechko.  Dan was the Assistant Maintenance Director of Wayfarer Ketch at the time. 

    He and I shared a similar situation. We both left the Military and tried to seek employment at the airline level.  As I recall this was very difficult during the 80’s. It seemed that Airlines were laying people off at that time. Therefore it was difficult to find a job as a mechanic.

    Dan told me that he took a part time position at Wayfarer as a mechanic after working a few jobs, although the position was part time and he lived in New Jersey , which was over an hour away he was very grateful to work at Wayfarer .   Dan had no clue how long this work would last?  He went on to say “this was a better place to work, the environment and people were great to work for.”  He recalled that once Wayfarer took on the charter business and grew, then Dan received a full-time slot.

     He retired from Wayfarer with 27 great years and many good memories which he often shares at Westchester Aircraft Maintenance Association-WAMA gatherings.

    Indeed, Wayfarer gave everyone that feeling of belonging and being part of a special team or big family. 

    I would continue to meet many great people that worked at Wayfarer. They were all good professional people who took their job seriously.  They were all skilled mechanics who had the upmost commitment to Aviation and they knew what their role was, they respected the business and anyone that had anything to do with Aviation including vendors, cleaners, and   ground crew.  Everyone who worked there understood that they were in a special place in their aviation careers.

    It seemed to me that every week a new aircraft would join Wayfarer’s team. I was always impressed when I saw a new Business aircraft that was owned by a large corporation.  Eventually,   I also took a part job after work hours as an aircraft cleaner at Wayfarer. This proved helpful as I got to know the different models of aircraft as well as whom the major aircraft manufactures were.

    One day, I had the pleasure of meeting a parts room manager at Wayfarer Ketch.  I heard many things about him. I was told that I better make sure I get on his good side. Whatever that meant? , I was eager to say the least.  I was young and just coming into the business and like many young people I thought I knew it all. Boy was I wrong.  

    His name was Ralph Scorano.  Ralph, a well-respected man, who knew his job and knew where he could purchase any part needed to return that aircraft back to service immediately

    He kept a clean stock room; every parts bin was in order and well-stocked with aviation parts that would keep Wayfarer Flying and operating without any flight delays.  I also heard that if you were lucky enough and Ralph liked you, then he would help you in many ways.   I wanted to make a good impression with him to say the least. Although many times I remember Ralph would tell me to never put all my eggs in one basket.  Ralph shared the work with every vendor around keeping the vendors both pleased and close as he would always remind me and say over and over again “never burn any bridges in this business”. You never know when you’re going to need someone or a part that they have that can help you.

     I also heard that he wouldn’t give his time to just anyone especially salesman.  I wanted to meet him.

    When I had many deliveries to make and when I was dropping off batteries. Ralph would inspect them thoroughly.  He was a perfectionist.

    He would always tell me to sit down and listen to the needs of your customers and show them you care.

    Ralph and I would often discuss many things including the qualities of good salespeople.

    There are many things I must thank Ralph for, he told me to invest in my future, purchase saving bonds, and start planning for your kids’ education. At the time, I didn’t think it was important, but I listened to him and I made those investments as soon as I could.  He recommended that I join the Air National Guard in Newburgh, NY and that my Military time would count towards a pension. He was correct again.

    Ralph also told me about a local Aviation association that was founded in 1960 called Westchester Aircraft Maintenance Association (WAMA)   and that I should get involved right away. He explained its history and what it stood for, its importance and thatWAMA provides opportunities for ongoing learning and professional networking.  I became a member of WAMA immediately supported them since the mid 80’s and eventually joined the board. Today WAMA is an important part of my Aviation career.

    I run into many members who I have met long ago that worked for Wayfarer Ketch Corporation.  Ialways look forward to hearing their memories.

     

     

     

    Sincerely,

    Dave Schiavone

    Membership Chair.  WAMA

  • Mon, November 19, 2018 12:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In an effort to continue meeting the Aviation industry’s increasing needs, DCC is expanding its aviation program to include a certified Airframe and Powerplant mechanics program.

    This new program will be a certified FAA part 147 school housed in a new state of the art hangar.   DCC, in collaboration with Dutchess County, is constructing a new aviation educational building and hangar at the Hudson Valley Regional Airport that will be home to this new program. The program is anticipated to begin in the fall of 2020.
    In preparation for the program, there is a need for maintenance equipment, parts and tools. The aircraft and parts do not need to be airworthy or operational, because they will be used solely for instructional purposes.
    As a community college we strive to offer our students an affordable quality education. We want to create a premier part 147 school where future AMT’s gain real world experiences so they are better prepared to enter the work force.  Your tax qualifying donation will greatly help to meet our needs.  If you would also like to consider a partnership with us, please let me know.
    Thank you for your consideration and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.  I look forward to hearing from you regarding your donation.

    Sincerely,
    Genna Suraci
    Coordinator
    Aviation Maintenance Technology Program


    Parts List- Click here


    Get in touch!

    Genna Suraci
    Coordinator
    Aviation Maintenance Technology Program
    Taconic building Room 107
    (845) 431 8417
    Genna.suraci@sunydutchess.edu


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