Welcome to Explore Maryland by Air

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from Alicia Harvey, Program Director

Welcome, pilots and airports, to the Explore Maryland by Air Program (EMBA) newsletter, PIREP!  The newsletter will be released three times a year, and we hope to share your stories as well as important program information and updates.

Please consider submitting a short article about your EMBA experience – or anything funny that happened along the way! Airports can list their upcoming events, and this is a great spot to advertise your business if you’d like to reach a large community of pilots. 

EMBA is in it’s 4th year of operation, with over 1,000 pilots participating. We have awarded 58 Ace Level (leather jacket) prizes so far. This newsletter will give all of the participants a central place to share their experiences.  Ready to take off? Come fly with us!

AWARDS – ACE Level Submission Deadline for 2015

The Awards ceremony will be held on Friday, June 5th following the Maryland Regional Aviation Conference. The deadline for passports to be submitted by is April 12, 2015. Passports must be received by that date to be eligible for the Ace level prize. Passports that are received after April 12th, 2015 will be eligible for next year’s (2016) awards ceremony. Please check back for awards ceremony details and program updates.

Reach over 1,000 active pilots with an ad in our PIREP E-News or be a sponsor of the program for additional benefits.
To place an ad contact cheryl@web4aviation.com
To be a sponsor visit http://marylandairportmanagers.org/emba-sponsorship

Congratulations to Jay Darmstadter!

Flight Instructor and a Certified Yawstring Calibrator

Jay D

“I started collecting airport stamps in Virginia in the mid-2000s. In November, 2014, I stamped my final stamp in South Carolina, thus completing the passport programs in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and South Carolina.  

In February, I attended the awards ceremony in South Carolina and I now have all four award jackets, thus bringing to an end a satisfying hobby that lasted nearly a decade. One benefit of these programs was that I saw places and things I never would have otherwise seen, sometimes by airplane, more often by automobile, as I could not afford the expense of going to all of these places by air.”

“Somewhere to Fly”


Fly in sometime and check out Claremont Airport 58M, formerly called Cecil County Airport. Enjoy relaxing in our upgraded FBO with a cup of coffee. Just look for the FBO at the Southeast end of the airfield near the fuel pumps. That’s us! See you soon!

Mary Hall, Airport Manager
Claremont Airport
Contact: 443-907-7991

Pocomoke Elementary Visits OXB


Students from Pocomoke Elementary visited Ocean City Municipal Airport December 17 2014, in conjunction with an educational unit on transportation.

kids in hangar

Students toured the Ocean Aviation Maintenance Hangar for a look at the care and feeding of GA aircraft.



From the Maryland Aviation Administration (MAA)

Maryland Aviation Administration (MAA) is proud to support MAMA’s Explore Maryland By Air program. The hard work and collaboration by your airport owners/managers is reflected within this newsletter. Our compliments to MAMA for a successful program.

For those readers that do not know who we are, MAA is the state agency charged with fostering and developing aviation across Maryland. While MAA owns and operates BWI Marshall and MTN, we like to say we are all things aeronautics in Maryland as well. Our current programs are focused on infrastructure (i.e. airports, airspace, nav-aids); we do provide education outreach for all ages and groups. If you have an event at your local airport, let us know. We’ll put it on our on-line events calendar (www.marylandregionalaviation.aero). Also, we have a mobile exhibit table and pilot handouts. Contact us to schedule participation at your event.

Maryland Airport DirectoryThe MAA produces a biennial Airport Directory and recently completed the 2015-16 edition.  The directory will soon be available at all public-use airports in Maryland.  Pick up your free copy of this guide at your local airport/FBO. The Airport Directory contains information on public-use airport facilities within the State of Maryland and includes aerial photographs, airport layout drawings and noise abatement procedures to help pilots find their way around Maryland’s airport system.  This guide is also a great tool for students of all ages interested in aviation! Also at your local airport/FBO is the free Maryland Aeronautical Chart. If your local FBO/airport does not have either of these publications, please let us know and we’ll be sure to replenish their stock.

MAA directly supports the airport system in Maryland. We do this through 2 main methods –airport licensing and airport grant programs – the carrot and stick, if you will. The stick is MAA’s regulatory oversight of all public-use airports. We inspect and the airports maintain minimum safety standards that comply w/ State regulations. The carrot is the grant assistance available to all public-use airports. In fiscal year 2014, MAA issued grants over $4.2 million. FAA and Airport Owners provided funds for same period totaling $13.2 million and $1.4 million respectively. In total, the Federal, state and local investment in Maryland’s regional airport system was $18.8 million (excluding BWI and MTN). Many of these projects you are seeing today as you fly in and out of your airports and heliport. So, be sure to check those NOTAMs. Some projects are planning or environmental efforts necessary for setting the stage for future construction.   All are intended to improve safety, access and reliability of service for you – the flying public. SFY 2015 is only half over, and by all indications we will have a robust airport grant program again. In future editions, we will share with you details of the SFY 2015 grants issued.

We want to hear from you – the pilot, the flight school, the charter operator, the mechanic – let us know if there is something we can assist with or something we can improve upon. Together we can continue to make flying in Maryland safe, fun and productive for all who use our aviation system. My direct line is: 410.859.7064 or asolanki@bwiairport.com.


Pets Take to the Air


Puppies make the final pit stop before wheels up at OXB!

Story from Chris Galuardi

No matter where I travel or live, I will always consider Ocean City Municipal Airport (KOXB) as my home airport and the other pilots and employees as my second family. Myself and my three children did all or part of their pilot training there.

It is there that I chanced upon a way to combine my love of flying with a lifelong love for animals. While chatting over a cup of coffee with a pilot from New York back in 2011, I was introduced to Pilots N Paws. He explained that he was there to pick up dogs from another pilot. A network of people work to save animals that are normally euthanized. It starts with the Fosters that get animals out of county animal control facilities before they are put down. They get them veterinary care and health certificates to move out of state. The Fosters also have networks of no-kill animal rescue groups to place the animals in permanent homes. Pilots N Paws is a nonprofit volunteer organization that operates a website to post notices for animals that need a ride. Pilots scan the ride board for flights they can do and post messages to other pilots that can help relay the animals to their destination. Most missions are a two pilot relay meeting at an intermediate airport.

My favorite trip is to pick up in Fayettville or Raleigh, North Carolina and return to KOXB to do the handoff to a plane going to New Jersey, New York or Connecticut. I usually fly on Saturday or Sunday and return to Ocean City in time to have breakfast before they stop making it at 1 PM. I can frequently be seen in front of the glass doors at the airport moving dogs from my transfer cages to the relay aircraft. 

I signed up in March 2013 and since that time have moved 101 dogs and puppies, 4 kittens and 2 rabbits. I had to turn down flying Sea Turtles from Massachusetts to Georgia due to bad weather. 

A side benefit of this volunteer activity is frequent IFR flying. I fly many approaches to minimums and usually get in 6 approaches in 6 months and do not have to put on the hood to stay current. I feel this has made me a safer pilot because I am never rusty at doing IFR approaches.

Many of the volunteers are VFR only and this is fine, they just have to be more flexible with scheduling and waiting for good weather.

Pilots N Paws is a registered nonprofit organization and they have forms on their website to document flight costs as a charitable contribution for tax purposes. They also have an annual fly-out in September or October. I have gone to 2 events, one in Georgia and one in South Carolina. These are usually held on Friday and Saturday and involve 50 to 80 planes moving 500 plus animals in one day. Subaru and Petmate are sponsors and provide catering and hotel rooms. There are presentations and plenty of comraderie. Some of the aircraft relayed all the way to Chicago but more typically to Virginia or New Jersey.

Many people ask what the dogs do in flight and usually they settle down and lay still as soon as the engine starts. I do have to carry Kleenex when the Fosters drop off the dogs because when I close the cargo door there are lots of tears! They will never see the dogs again but at least they have been rescued from death and are off to a better life!