I hope this note finds you well. Welcome to August.
Before I get to the usual stuff, I want to take a minute to thank some special folk... I hope you can spare a minute to read at least the top part of this e-mail.
There is a significant cost to running a VA. In the past we were lucky to have CEO's who would pay all of the costs on their own. However, as the VA has grown, our need for hosting, bandwidth, TS, e-mail, has required more and more money to keep the doors open. Prior to my arrival, Vince Hendrickson paid all the bills to keep VUAL running for 2+ years. Last year, when I took over I implemented a program where members of the VA could donate money to support our operations. Thanks to the generosity of the staff we raised more than enough to keep the VA running for a year, and even enhance almost every aspect of our IT infrastructure and schedules. This past month, I reached out again to the staff, and once again they stepped up to the point where we have enough funds in our account to pay for all our services for another year. Our IT budget is approx $700 per year and no money is spent without an approval from the entire executive mgmt. As you can read, not only do the staff donate their time to the successful operations of this VA, they also donate their hard earned money to ensure we keep progressing.
July is in the books, and we finished with 7,367 hours on 2,287 flights. We flew 2,000 hours more than last July but not anywhere near our best July ever, so the streak of "best ever" months ends at 4.... No biggie, we are on an incredible pace this year to have our best year ever. Keep up the great flying everyone.
Speaking of flying, we are launching new Awards for you all to try. As the Rio Olympics start tonight, we have 2 Olympic themed awards for you all to add to your collection. One is easy - the current Olympic Award, and one is just down-right crazy, an Historical Olympic Tour consisting of 26 flights, mostly long ones..... Good Luck!!! We also added a Round the World Westbound II tour that will test your patience as you fly into headwinds on each and every flight...
We are currently working on some interesting dispatch services and a few other little tidbits, so keep an eye open for those.
Finally don't forget about VATSTAR training. We have over 25 pilots registered for training, so if you need a little help, give them a shot.
With that, I will let you all get back to your flying. Enjoy the rest of the summer!
See you in the skies!
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