Washington pilot Carl Hicks has been appointed as the executive director of the Recreational Aviation Foundation (RAF). Hicks is a retired U.S. Army Airborne Ranger officer who will bring his successes in business and lobbying on Capitol Hill to the organization to help protect recreational aviation and backcountry strips, the RAF said in a new release.
“The work of the RAF is important to all of us, and the selection of Carl Hicks is just the latest impressive step by this vital organization. I’ve been pleased to get to know Carl during his visits to the nation’s Capital as well as during a camp out at Ryan’s Field just outside Glacier National Park,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. “All of us at AOPA look forward to working with Carl and our many good friends at the RAF as we fight to protect the freedom and ability to fly into America’s backcountry airstrips."
Hicks, a Cessna 180A owner, is an AOPA member. According to the RAF, he also is a member of the International Cessna 180-185 Club and the Experimental Aircraft Association and has flown hundreds of Young Eagles flights in his aircraft.
Upon the announcement of his appointment to the RAF, Hicks related one of his early flying memories and the importance of protecting small airstrips. “One of my fondest memories in aviation was that of taking a date for a picnic before the ink was dry on my private ticket to a beautiful little grass strip alongside Pleasant Hill Reservoir near my hometown of Mansfield, Ohio,” Hicks explained. “It was a state-owned strip that now sadly, like so many others, has vanished forever from the charts.
“The Recreational Aviation Foundation exists solely to prevent this from occurring in the future, preserving, maintaining and creating safe recreational airfields, and providing recreational opportunities for generations to come. I am deeply honored to be selected and am deeply committed to this endeavor.”