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Leadership Transition at Young Pilots USA

Members of Young Pilots USA received the following message from Founder and President Luc Zipkin on the evening of Wednesday, August 9th, 2023:

Dear Members,

It's with a mixture of pride and sadness that I would like to announce that I will be stepping down as President of Young Pilots USA, effective September 30th, 2023. This decision was not taken lightly or quickly, but with many months of careful consideration and no shortage of sage advice from the rest of the Executive Board.

Since I founded Young Pilots USA almost three years ago, we have made incredible progress as an organization. In many ways, we have established ourselves as exactly what I intended from the beginning: a home, a welcoming place of community, for the next generation of aviators. While these three years have not been without their challenges, the growth that I have seen is tremendous and something each of us has to be proud of. We are, after all, a team and a community of like-minded individuals. However, the measure of a leader is their ability to prepare an organization for self-sufficiency, and this leadership transition is reflective of that. I am confident that the leadership of Young Pilots USA will remain strong, even though I will no longer be at the helm.

I am confident in this because my successor is an immensely talented, passionate, and devoted young woman who will continue my work to advocate for young people in our industry and community with vigor and her own personal style. Aubrey Thomas, who has shown her capacity for leadership and grace in the face of many challenges, will succeed me as President on September 30th, the three-year anniversary of our young organization's founding. While Aubrey joined the Executive Board only recently, she has earnestly led Chapter 25 in Smyrna, TN for some time, and was a particularly resilient and balanced voice during our recent presence at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2023. Aubrey will certainly not be alone in leading Young Pilots USA, though.

While I will be stepping down as President, I am not leaving Young Pilots USA. I will continue to lead Chapter 6 in East Haddam, CT, and I will remain on the Executive Board, now serving as Vice President for Finance. The rest of the Executive Board will remain as it has been. I have been particularly impressed with the leadership of Hugh Flanagan, our Director of Collegiate Outreach. Ethan Hand will remain as Vice President for Chapters, for the time being, as will Jack Dennis as Director of Professional Outreach. In my new role, I will emphasize continuing our mutually beneficial relationship with the Tunison Foundation, Inc., as our 501(c)(3) parent organization, and directing development efforts where they are needed, while continuing to provide guidance to the rest of the team.

I hope that these developments and this transition are as encouraging to you all as they are to me, but if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to let me know. It has been an honor to serve you all as President, and I look forward to what the future brings. From where I'm standing, it looks incredibly bright.


Luc Zipkin Founder & President

Young Pilots USA is America's nationwide members' association for young people in aviation, run completely by young pilots themselves. With more than 25 chapters in 18+ states, YPUSA seeks to create an encouraging and supportive community for the next generation of aviators through our annual fly-in, network of chapters, and efforts to sponsor Members taking youth aviation to new heights.

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