Don earned his private pilot license in early 1960, his commercial shortly thereafter, and almost immediately began flying for Pietsch Aircraft in Minot as a charter pilot. He also flew charter air ambulance flights during evenings and weekend for approximately 15 years.
He served as Chairman of the Aviation Committee for the Minot Chamber of Commerce for many years and was responsible for making recommendations regarding the Minot International Airport. Appointed by the Mayor to serve on the City Council Airport Committee, Don was involved in the planning and construction of Minot’s new airport terminal that was completed in 2016.
Don has chaired a committee to produce airshows both for the Minot centennial and the state of North Dakota’s centennial. Integrating aviation history into the airshows, quickly inspired him to preserve history, and he became one of the founders of the Dakota Territory Air Museum.
He has been committed to furthering aviation education and awareness, and has been instrumental in starting two annually run youth summer camps at the Dakota Territory Air Museum. He has also been a significant part of a new high school initiative that produced a course of study focused on basic aviation. He has been active as a mentor to high school students in the Real World Design Challenge (RWDC), which is an annual high school competition to increase awareness of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) workforce.
Don is currently the Director of the Dakota Territory Air Museum and has been a member of the North Dakota Aviation Council (now Aviation Association) for over 30 years.