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February 5, 2017

TXAA Annual Membership Meeting Success!
Special Guest Speakers and Prestigious Award

TXAA members flocked to one of our favorite haunts for social hour, delicious seafood and annual business meeting. On Thursday January 19th, TXAA members gathered for the 18th annual membership meeting. After libations and hangar stories, the membership sat down to a great meal provided by our host, Jay McKinney owner of The Catfish Parlour on E. Ben White in Austin, Texas.

Following the supper, special guest Gary Stamper of the San Antonio FSDO FAAST team presented the prestigious Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award to TXAA member Paul Smith. Paul is a long time member who has served on the TXAA board of directors, TXAA steering committee and presently holds the title of Director Emeritus.

Paul Smith is the President of PAUL H. SMITH AVIATION in Georgetown, Texas, which has a special focus on Aviation Safety, General Aviation Advocacy and Aircraft & Airport Security.

Paul recently retired from the National Business Aviation Association as the Regional Representative in Texas and ten other states.  Prior to a twenty year career with NBAA, Paul was a civilian pilot and then a military master aviator, instructor pilot, examiner and senior air traffic controller. He graduated from Embry- Riddle Aeronautical University (Cum Laude) with a BS in Aeronautics.

Paul is a current dual rated ATP, CFII and Flight Department auditor. A Member of TXAA since the beginning, he is an honorary lifetime Member. He also serves as the Standardization/Evaluation Officer for the HQ 5th Air Wing of the Texas State Guard.

The Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award is the most prestigious award the FAA issues to pilots certified under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 61. This award is named after the Wright Brothers, the first US pilots, to recognize individuals who have exhibited professionalism, skill, and aviation expertise for at least 50 years while piloting aircraft as "Master Pilots".

A distinctive certificate and lapel pin is issued after application review and eligibility requirements have been met. Upon request, a stickpin similar in design to the lapel pin is also provided to the award recipient's spouse in recognition of his or her support to the recipient's aviation career. Once the award has been issued, the recipient's name, city and state will be added to a published "Roll of Honor" located at


BasicMed After TXAA board members did some housekeeping such as the treasurer's report and election of new officers, the audience was treated to a special summary. Bill Gunn spoke about the newly established FAA medical system called BasicMed. The Third Class Medical is becoming a thing of the past. Although a pilot may retain the established 3rd class medical if they wish, most will opt for the new system of medical review. Please scroll down to Bill Gunn's article which give a full description of what has happened and what is to come.

Door prizes were given out and the meeting adjourned shortly after 8 PM. A splendid time was had by all!!

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