Ace Level Jacket Recipients

Congratulations to our 2015 Ace Level Award Winners!

Ace Level Jacket RecipientsFrom Left to Right: Shane Ratterman, Jessamy Rango, Charlie Schaefer, Carol Schaefer, Ed Ponatoski, Andrew Reil, John Podraza. Not Pictured: Paul Lilly, Donna Lilly, John Miceli, Deborah Miceli, Cheryl Phillips.

On June 5th, the 4th Annual EMBA Awards Ceremony was held in Ocean City, MD. The grand prize, a leather jacket with EMBA logo is awarded to Ace Level Pilots who complete the program by the following requirements:

  • Visit all (36) Public Use Airports in Maryland
  • Visit All (4) Aviation Museums in Maryland
  • Attend (4) FAAST Safety seminars
  • Attend the MD Regional Aviation Conference to redeem prize

The Explore Maryland by Air program was launched by the Maryland Airport Managers Association and Maryland Aviation Administration in 2011, and currently has over 1,000 participants.  This is a great opportunity for aviation businesses to reach an active pilot population. Visit  to see advertising and sponsorship opportunities or to join the program!

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
To be a sponsor visit

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.”