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  • November 22, 2022 14:19 | Anonymous

    Over the last year, the North Dakota Aviation Association (NDAA) has accomplished quite a bit in expanding opportunities for youth in North Dakota. Most recently, this October, the association hosted the third annual Fly-ND Career Expo at the Fargo Air Museum in Fargo, ND. This event continues to build off of the success of last year’s Career Expos, with more than 170 students attending this year’s expo. We appreciate all of the exhibitors that shared their passion for the industry with all of these students and the sponsors that helped make the event happen. 


    Students were able to hear about the industry from Karen Ruth, an A330 captain for Delta Airlines, as well as a panel of students pursuing aviation in the collegiate environment. Students were exposed to careers in a cross section of the industry including pilots, mechanics, air traffic control, military, game and fish, engineering, unmanned aerial systems, and many more. The event provided a great opportunity for the aviation community to rally together, share experiences with high school students, and network among themselves. There was great energy during the event. 


    In addition to the learning opportunities during the event, students were awarded $13,500 in scholarships. I am excited to see the scholarship opportunities for these students grow! These aviation scholarships help ease the financial burden for many students. I am constantly amazed by the donations of individual and corporate donors, and am also very pleased to see a couple of scholarship funds have now become endowed and will fund an annual scholarship. 

    Mike McHugh, Aviation Education Coordinator 

    North Dakota Aeronautics Commission

    701-328-9650 | mmchugh@nd.gov


  • November 22, 2022 14:01 | Anonymous

    In early September, 2022, the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission (NDAC) was in attendance at the National Association of State Aviation Officials Conference (NASAO) in Greenville, SC. This is an annual gathering of state and federal aviation officials, as well as representatives from all facets of aviation, to network and discuss current and future issues within aviation. There were 33 states in attendance and this year’s theme of “Future Forward” covered a vast array of issues that impact aviation across the United States. North Dakota’s aviation team participated on multiple panels and NDAC staff member Mike McHugh received two national awards for his work on a state and national level to enhance and promote aviation education initiatives. It was a great showing from North Dakota!


    North Dakota provided a general session presentation and discussion on the implementation of the ND Statewide Beyond Visual Line of Site Network, VANTIS. Pictured from left to right: Frank Matus – Thales, Jim Cieplak – NPUAS Test Site, Kyle Wanner – ND Aeronautics, Trevor Wood – NPUAS Test Site.

    ND Aeronautics Commissioner Kim Kenville (far left) participated on a panel discussion that discussed the future aviation workforce.


    NDAC Staff member Mike McHugh received the NASAO “State Aviation Distinguished Service Award” for exceptional work throughout his career to develop and enhance aviation education opportunities throughout North Dakota and the United States. Pictured from left to right: Mike McHugh – ND Aeronautics Aviation Education Coordinator, Kyle Wanner – ND Aeronautics Commission Director


    NDAC Staff member Mike McHugh received the NASAO “Chair Award” for his work throughout the past year to provide strategic direction to the NASAO Center for Aviation Research and Education. Pictured from left to right: Tony McCloskey - NASAO Chair and Director of Aeronautics in PA, Mike McHugh – ND Aeronautics Aviation Education Coordinator


    Congratualtions, Mike! 

    Thank you for all you do for aviation in North Dakota!

  • November 22, 2022 13:51 | Anonymous

    I am excited to announce some major enhancements that have recently been made to the North Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame. Last spring, our office met with individuals from the Bismarck Air Museum Foundation and was informed that the group had made the decision to no longer pursue the establishment of a facility in Bismarck. They made the decision to donate the remainder of their funds to a project that would enhance aviation history, and the North Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame was the avenue that was chosen. I want to thank the Bismarck Air Museum Foundation for the donation and further commend them for their multi-year effort to preserve North Dakota’s history. 

    After this meeting, the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission (NDAC) staff collaborated with the North Dakota Aviation Association (NDAA) to discuss options that could be considered for improvements to the Aviation Hall of Fame. It was decided that an investment would be made into new software, which would be able to house the information, pictures, and videos of our hall of fame inductees. This software was developed and is now available to access from the Hall of Fame portion of the NDAA’s website at www.fly-nd.com.

    Additionally, a kiosk was purchased to house the software and further enhance the physical location of the North Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame, which is situated next to the ticket counter of the lower level at the Bismarck Airport Terminal. A new electrical hookup was provided from assistance from the Bismarck Airport and now the kiosk is a fully operational centerpiece of the room. Past visitors to the Hall of Fame have only been able to view and read the information included within each inductee’s plaque. Now, this new interactive kiosk will enhance the experience by allowing people to further dive into the history of each Hall of Famer, where pictures and videos are available. We hope that in the future, similar kiosks can be installed at our North Dakota Aviation Museums and Commercial Service Airports to help promote our state’s proud aviation history and heritage. 

    In our efforts to continually improve the Aviation Hall of Fame experience, I also want to announce that if you have pictures or videos of hall of famers that were inducted prior to 2009, we could use your help. North Dakota’s Aviation Hall of Fame was established in 1996 and currently honors 47 individuals. In 2012, we began an initiative to develop a video production for each Hall of Fame candidate and we are currently working behind the scenes with the University of North Dakota’s Aerospace Network to develop additional video materials for past hall of fame inductees. We currently have 17 videos that have been produced of the most recent hall of fame inductees. We are interested in gathering information on hall of famers that do not have current videos or pictures beyond the individual’s headshot. If you happen to have media files of past Hall of Famers that you would be willing to provide to us, please reach out to the NDAC by giving us a call at 701-328-9650 or e-mailing us at ndaero@nd.gov. 

    Additionally, we want to make known that opportunities also exist to create scholarship endowments to honor any of our hall of fame inductees, while also helping to assist the next generation of aviators. We would enjoy working with any interested individuals that would like to help find a way to continue to share and preserve the history and heritage of these amazing individuals.

    Lastly, I invite you to spend some time to view the recent enhancements to the Hall of Fame, whether in person or online at www.fly-nd.com. It’s important to set aside some time to learn more about the incredible aviators that have paved the way so that all of us are able to utilize, participate, and enjoy our current aviation system.


    Wishing you smooth flying, Kyle

    Kyle Wanner, Director

    North Dakota Aeronautics Commission

    701-328-9650 | kcwanner@nd.gov


  • November 22, 2022 13:40 | Anonymous

    Hello again to all of our readers, I hope this issue of the Quarterly finds you doing well! 

    I am very proud to announce that the North Dakota Aviation Association (NDAA) was recognized by the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) as this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Excellence by a Local or Regional Group Award winner. This award was presented to the NDAA at the annual NBAA Convention held in Orlando, FL this past October. Our organization was recognized for its hard work in transforming the Association to its current structure, for the success we have had in implementing the career expos, and the great success of our scholarship program. 

    This really is an incredible honor to be given to our organization, and with it comes many thank yous. Thank you to all of our board members, past and present, who have helped in bringing all of these ideas to fruition. Thank you to all of the volunteers on our committees that we organize throughout each year. Thank you to all of our sponsors, donors, and exhibitors. And thank you to all of the people that work hard behind the scenes to ensure the organization and all of its events go off without a hitch. THANK YOU! This award is for you and because of you!

    Thank you for making the NDAA an Outstanding Excellence organization!


    NDAA members receiving the 2022 Outstanding Excellence by a Local or Regional Group Award at the NBAA Convention in Orlando, FL.



    Justin Weninger, Chairman

    North Dakota Aviation Association

    chairman@fly-nd.com



  • July 27, 2022 17:31 | Anonymous

    By Jeff Beach, Agweek


    Rain, wind, changing regulations and the lure of high commodity prices all have an effect on aerial applicators during the 2022 growing season. Jeff Beach, Agweek

    Matt Hovdenes flew his spray plane from Casselton, North Dakota, to Moorhead, Minnesota, on Monday, June 6, 2022, to visit with Agweek.

    Erratic weather, inflationary prices and changing regulations have altered the calendar for crop spraying in 2022.

    “We have a lot of different versions of wet,” said Matt Hovdenes, owner of Right Way Ag, who flies out of the Casselton, North Dakota, airport west of Fargo.



    Matt Hovdenes operates Right Way Ag, an aerial application service, out of Casselton, North Dakota. Evan Girtz / Agweek


    His own home base area in the Red River Valley, crops went in late but are sitting in pretty good shape, but to the north and west “there are areas where nothing has happened,” Hovdenes said on Monday, June 6.

    In south-central Minnesota, John Thisius farms and runs Thisius Flying Service. Planting was late there, too, but emergence, for the most part, has been good.

    But windy weather has hindered some applications and even damaged some soybean fields, forcing a few farmers to replant.

    “Some planting was still going on yesterday,” Thisius, who farms at Wells, Minnesota, near Albert Lea, said Tuesday, June 7.

    Thisius said strong winds have meant blowing dirt has damaged some soybeans, and some farmers have gone back into plant a second time right over the top of the first planting.

    Farmers with late-planted soybeans are up against a June 12 cutoff date to use dicamba, under spraying regulations updated this year in Minnesota.

    In Minnesota, there can be no dicamba applications made south of Interstate 94 after June 12. For those north of I-94, there’s no dicamba spraying after June 30.

    “It’s going to be difficult to get that dicamba put on,” Thisius said, noting that 20 miles to the south, farmers in Iowa have until June 20 to use dicamba.

    New regulations also mean chlorpyrifos is no longer available. 

    Gary Jerger is just north of I-94 near Moorhead, Minnesota. He said farmers there are sitting pretty well but you don’t have to go far to the southeast to find farmers more heavily impacted by wet fields and a couple rounds of severe storms in May.

    Even so, “I’m at least a month behind,” said Jerger, who runs Ag Spray, Inc. and is in his 48th year as an aerial applicator.



    Gary Jerger’s plane was still in its hangar on June 6, 2022, east of Moorhead, Minnesota. Jerger said he was a month behind schedule. Jeff Beach / Agweek


    Across the Red River in North Dakota, Hovdenes has been busier, putting out some cover crop to protect sugarbeets from the wind and some preemergence herbicides.

    Randy Melvin, near Buffalo, North Dakota, has used Right Way Ag this spring to apply fertilizer and herbicide to some rye that he grows for his own cover crop seed.

    “There was no way we were getting a ground rig in that ground,” Melvin said as he was planting navy beans on Tuesday, June 7.

    Progress is very scattered in North Dakota.



    Matt Hovdenes climbs into his plane on Monday, June 6, near Moorhead, Minnesota. Hovdenes runs an aerial application service called Right Way Ag in Casselton, North Dakota. Evan Girtz / Agweek


    “We have wheat that went in fairly early and we have wheat that just went in the ground two days ago,” Hovdenes said Monday, June 6. “So a lot of the applications are going to be spread out, mismatched this year. It won’t be all at once like it has been in the past.”

    He said farmers are pretty determined to get a crop in where that’s possible to take advantage of high commodity prices. But he expects some prevented planting acres that may still need weed control.

    “I would rather spray fungicide on a customer’s growing crop that they’re going to make revenue off of than go out and keep weeds out of a prevented plant field,” Hovdenes said.

    Thisius said some farmers who may be on the fence about whether or not to use a fungicide on corn are pulling the trigger this year to make sure they maximize yields to take advantage of the high prices.

    But like fertilizer, chemical herbicides and pesticides have shot up in price.

    Hovdenes said prices for some products have more than doubled and others can’t be found because of supply chain issues.

    “Some guys are changing some of their agronomic practices because of the pricing,” Hovdenes said.

    Reprinted with permission from Agweek.


  • July 27, 2022 17:26 | Anonymous


    At its recent grand opening, the Mission Network & Operations Center (MNOC) was described as integral to Vantis and the entire system’s success. Why is the MNOC so crucial to Vantis and the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) that fly on it?

    It’s everything. The MNOC provides both the brains of the system, but also its heartbeat that keeps beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) flights successfully operating, with capabilities to reach the entire state of North Dakota and beyond.


     

    The control center is made of displays and workstations that are monitoring real-time activities of Vantis.


    Inside the MNOC

    The MNOC, which is housed at GrandSky at Grand Forks Air Force Base, is the name for the building as a whole, but the heart of the operations is the control center. The core functionality of the MNOC is in that one room, where it monitors the critical infrastructure.

    The control center is made of displays and workstations that are monitoring real-time activities of Vantis. Operators are seeing real-time deployed operations - the actual flight tracks, flight paths and plans - taking place right now in western North Dakota. 

    The team is also seeing the health monitoring of all of the other system components. Is there a solid internet connection? Do we have all of system components online? Are the radios transmitting properly hundreds of miles away? Are they receiving the proper internet signals and are they responding?

    Operators check for radar accurately picking up targets, and to make sure the test target is always “in sight.” Monitoring all of the critical real-time activities establishes credibility and reliability with the FAA, with whom Vantis works closely. The system provides situational awareness for UAS to see and avoid other aircraft. If an emergency situation occurs or is imminent, Vantis operators can notify the appropriate air traffic control.

    The MNOC currently has eight workstations to house operators, command missions, collect data or a variety of roles simultaneously. As traffic increases, the ability to facilitate more personnel will be scalable, allowing expansion of services for a larger region.

     

    In the UAS Epicenter

    Being where it is, the MNOC benefits from the confluence of many UAS operations and the community in general. North Dakota is already known for being an epicenter of UAS activity, and now Vantis is helping that industry grow and thrive. 

    Another benefit of its Grand Forks location is being able to utilize the state’s high-speed fiber network, Stagenet, which connects public utilities, education, law enforcement and emergency services throughout North Dakota. One of Vantis’ strengths is taking advantage of the infrastructure and investment already made by the state in reliable, high-tech solutions. 


    Data from command and control (C2) and surveillance reach the MNOC through Stagenet, with system integrator Thales providing cloud-based components so it can be remotely monitored as well. While an individual UAS is flying, the Vantis team has the ability to continuously monitor every vital component of a flight operation, not just the aircraft itself.

    That means if a radar is down, they have the ability to restrict flight activity in that sector. Or if the C2 link is down, they will restrict aircraft from flying on that radio, keeping them in an airspace covered by the Vantis system. Without that backbone monitoring, the BVLOS operator could be flying into a hazardous situation without even knowing it.

     


    At the MNOC’s integration lab, operators can use a climate-controlled environment to integrate new technologies onto their aircraft and test them against a baseline system.


    Testing at the Integration Lab

    While the command center is the MNOC’s most visible function, it has another critical component located right next door. At the MNOC’s integration lab, operators can use a climate-controlled environment to integrate new technologies onto their aircraft and test them against a baseline system.

    This is the spot to try out a new technology on the aircraft, either changing the hardware or software of the UAS. The Northern Plains UAS Test Site, which administers Vantis, has long been a testing ground for UAS. The MNOC now provides a well-suited facility to get the crucial data to improve one’s aircraft and operations.

    Opening the MNOC represents the next step in BVLOS flight for North Dakota UAS operators. Its coordination keeps the entire Vantis system moving forward.


    Reprinted with permission from Vantis.


  • July 27, 2022 17:24 | Anonymous

    WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure, announced today the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) awarded a total of $1,865,085 in funding from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

    “Today’s funding from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is another win for our state. These dollars will specifically aid projects to improve North Dakota’s airports,” said Senator Cramer 

    The funding will be used to repair runways, rehabilitate hangars, reconstruct taxiways, and modernize airport infrastructure.



  • July 27, 2022 17:21 | Anonymous

    The Sanford AirMed helicopter landed on the campus of Bismarck State College on June 14 as a part of the BSC MedAdventure Camp. The BSC MedAdventure campers had the opportunity to explore this emergency service and meet the medical professionals who save lives every day. BSC’s MedAdventure Camp offered kids ages 8-12 a chance to experience a wide variety of health careers and learn about how these careers connect to wellness, science, skills, and knowledge! Over the 3-day experience, each day featured a different topic-from muscles and bones to the brain and nervous system and included hands-on activities. 


  • July 27, 2022 17:19 | Anonymous

    Aeronautics Commissioner Cindy Schreiber-Beck has announced that she will not be seeking reappointment for her position on the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission. Cindy was originally appointed as an Aeronautics Commissioner in 1997 and has served in this position for the past 25 years. Cindy has been a tireless advocate for aviation throughout the years, both as an Aeronautics Commissioner and also at our capitol as a state legislator. 

    We want to thank Cindy for all of her leadership and efforts throughout the years in assisting the state with developing a strong, efficient, and safe aviation transportation system!


    Cindy was provided with a service award at the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission’s annual state grant meeting held in Bismarck on June 16th.

    (L-R): Kyle Wanner, Director and Cindy Schreiber-Beck, Commissioner

  • July 27, 2022 17:14 | Anonymous

     By Jeremy Skalicky 

    The history of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is a long and storied one. From conception, to ocean patrols, submarine hunters, radio communications, training cadets, cyberspace security, and search and rescue, CAP has an interesting history. The one thing that has remained constant through the decades is the dedication and volunteerism of its members. 

    I know that statistics can be a little boring, but here are a few interesting ones:

    1. CAP operates one of the largest single engine aircraft fleets in the world. 

    2. We do approximately 90% of the inland search and rescue in the US. 

    3. CAP saved 130 lives in 2020. 

    4. We provide FEMA-level emergency response. 

    5. We transport time-sensitive medical supplies. 

    6. CAP provides highly specialized aerial imaging, intercept training and radio communications support.

    These are just a few things that the Civil Air Patrol does for its country, state, and local programs. 

    Locally, we have flown photo missions for the flood in 2011, conducted Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT), lost aircraft, and missing person searches. We have transported Covid-19 tests and supplies, participated in hurricane reconnaissance missions, and honored our fallen by supporting the Wreath Across America program. We work closely with, and for, FEMA, law enforcement, emergency services, and the Minot Air Force Base. 

    There is a common misconception that you have to be a pilot or in the military to join CAP. This is simply not true. We are a volunteer, non-profit organization that is chartered by Congress and supported by the U.S. Air Force. We have achieved Total Force and First Responder status. We accept people 12 years old and up, from varying backgrounds and occupations. If you have a skill or a wish to serve your community, the Civil Air Patrol can find a place for you. 

    Now for my history with the CAP

    My name is Jeremy Skalicky, I am the current CAP Squadron Commander for the Minot area. We are known as the Magic City Composite Squadron, which means that we have senior members and cadets together. Honestly, I joined CAP to find a way to get some flight training and flying time. However, I have learned and done so much more. 

    I was a volunteer sheriff’s deputy for Ward County, when I had an opportunity to receive some training at a conference in Jamestown, ND. While at the conference, I signed up for my sessions and was most of the way through the conference, when I noticed a scheduled class for ground search techniques that was put on by a member of the North Dakota Wing of the Civil Air Patrol. I had heard of the Civil Air Patrol, but never really knew what it was all about. Being a new pilot, it piqued my interest, so I changed my scheduled class to attend the search training.

    The class was put on by Col. William Kay, who showed us the skills and techniques of searching for clues that would lead to locating our target. After the class had finished, I decided to ask him what CAP was, and if there was a need for a person like me. I told him that I had recently received my private pilot’s license and was looking for a way to maintain my flight currency, receive some training, and help my community. I was intrigued and excited by his response. Col Kay proceeded to tell me all the opportunities that CAP had available for me. I expressed my interest and went about my business. I couldn’t have been more excited. 

    Col. Kay had flown from Minot to Jamestown for the conference and I had driven. By the time I had driven home hours later, I had a message waiting for me. Col. Kay had started the process for me to join the Civil Air Patrol before I had even returned home. I wasted no time in completing the requirements, joining, and taking full advantage of the program. I advanced my pilot training and worked my way through the mission pilot requirements, learning to fly different aircraft and avionics packages. 

    After a few years, our squadron commander was relocating and had to step down. He was looking for a person to assume command. I timidly raised my hand and expressed my interest. A few months later, with a seemingly daunting task ahead of me, I assumed command of the Magic City Composite Squadron. In my time with CAP, I received my ham radio license, became Mission Radio Operator and achieved full Mission Pilot capabilities, 

    I have learned so much and received so much gratification in my time with CAP. Our unit has undergone many changes, suffered some setbacks, and had its numbers dwindle. With the onset of Covid-19, our membership and our leadership have been tested to the limit. With everything that has happened in the world and to our group, I am proud to say that we have cultivated a good group of core members that are dedicated to the success and promotion of CAP. I am happy to see that it looks like the tide is turning and our future is looking brighter as we get back to what we do best. I highly recommend contacting your local Civil Air Patrol and starting your adventure today.

    Interested in learning more about the North Dakota Civil Air Patrol Wing? 

    Visit www.ndwg.cap.gov/about/north-dakota-wing-unit.

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