We kicked off the 2016 LightHawk Fly-In in Sedona, Arizona by greeting a few of our best friends. About 100 pilots, partners and supporters attended the Fly-In, making it one of the most attended in recent memory.
LightHawk's CEO Terri Watson gave a "State of the Organization" speech focused on how we're positioned for the future. "We really prioritize getting the most conservation value most efficiently," she said.
Watson's speech also served as a thank you to the volunteer pilots who make our work possible. "The people who know and support our work are incredibly generous. And that's so cool," she said.
The next morning we kicked off a day of presentations focused on our conservation work, and a few of the exploits of a few of our volunteer pilots.
We also had a group discussion about how we could grow LightHawk from the inside out. Below, pilot Bill Rush talks about how he helps other pilots connect with our work.
Michael Maya Charles gave us not one, but two speeches. Below, a moment of levity in an otherwise serious conversation about the "Gift of Discomfort."
During the banquet portion of the Fly-In, we were all fortunate to celebrate LightHawk pilot Bud Sittig receiving his Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award from the FAA. The award honors excellent pilots with 50 or more years of experience.
Below, Will Worthington receives the President's Award for his dedication to LightHawk. Not pictured: Roy Lewallen received the Carpenter Award; Sonny Lacey received the Rookie of the Year award; and Lane Gormley received the Rockwell Award. We also welcomed 13 pilots into our Platinum Flyers club (15 years or more of volunteering for LightHawk): Stephen Parker, Arthur Hussey III, David Kunkel, Mike McNamara, Ben Pierce, Timothy Drager, Allan Silverstein, Geoff Pope, Chuck Schroll, Ray Lee, Richard Hoover, Gabrielle Adelman and Kelly Gottlieb.
Rick Koril recieves the Spirit of LightHawk award, which is awarded to one of the top fove or so pilots by total hours in the preceding year, is outstanding to work with, and represents the best our volunteer pilot corps has to offer.
On Sunday, we had our traditional pancake breakfast and talked about all things aviation.
Pilot Cory West rigs his plane's wing with telemetry equipment in preparation for his planeside talk about locating tagged sage grouse.
Pilot Michael Baum talks about transporting wildlife.
Pilot Jaime Gamble talks about shooting aerial video.