The Flying Musicians Association (FMA) has formed an Advisory Board. The five-member board will help steer the association into the future while assisting it in focusing on its goals and mission, according to FMA officials.
The board includes:
- Leonard Assante, an associate professor of communication at Volunteer State Community College near Nashville, Tenn. Born and raised in the New York City area, he earned his private pilot certificate at 17 in New Jersey. A graduate of Rutgers University and State University of New York at Buffalo, he has been a college professor since 1991. A life-long love of music led him to recently take up the guitar.
- Ian Blair Fries, M.D., an orthopedic and hand surgeon, and Senior FAA Aviation Medical Examiner. He has medical offices and homes in Brick, New Jersey, and Vero Beach, Florida. He plays Excelsior acoustic and Roland digital piano accordions. He has logged more than 6,000 hours, and always carries an accordion or two in his TBM 900.
- Tim Kern, the former CEO of an airplane engine company writes extensively about propulsion and power. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Northern Illinois University, an MBA from Northwestern University, and NBAA CAM (Certified Aviation Manager) certification. He is a founding member of the Flying Musicians Association and the American Air Camping Association. He has been a builder on three airplane projects and has been a private pilot for 25 years.
- Lee Ross, a commercial pilot and aircraft owner who has been flying almost 40 years, starting in 1976 as an Army helicopter pilot. He is also a musician and bandleader who has been performing in the New York area since 1983 after touring with his band “Formation” in 1982-1983. Ross is an award-winning aerial photographer whose work is published and displayed around the world.
- H. Paul Shuch, a singer, songwriter and scientist who sings about aviation, engineering, and space exploration under the stage name Dr. SETI. After 34 years in the classroom, he retired briefly in 2007, only to found his own flight school on the Piper Memorial Airport in Lock Haven, Pa., (birthplace of the ubiquitous Cub).