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Local pilots honored for completion of Passport Program

May 18, 2022 17:12 | Anonymous

Several Minot and area pilots were honored on March 6 with awards for participating in the “Fly North Dakota Airports” Passport Program.

The passport program presents awards to pilots for flying to airports in the state as well as attending Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) seminars and visiting the two North Dakota air museums.

Thomas Sando and Jeff Darling, both of Williston, were among pilots presented with bronze awards for visiting at least 30 airports and attending one safety seminar. These pilots received a polo shirt embroidered with the ND Flying Legacy logo.

Patrick Haye, Minot, Steven Jensen, Tioga, Ari Johnson, Watford City, and Steve Martens, Stanley, were among pilots to achieve during 2021 the most prestigious gold award level award. They received a leather flight jacket embroidered with the ND Flying Legacy logo in addition to the bronze and silver awards. This prestigious accomplishment is achieved when visiting all 89 public use airports in North Dakota, visiting both ND air museums and attending at least three FFA Safety seminars. These pilots join 78 others who have completed the passport program in previous years, making a total of 91 total pilots who have achieved the gold award level to date.

Seventeen pilots from across the state were honored at the March 6 event.

The awards presentation was held at the Fargo Air Museum in Fargo, in conjunction with the N.D. Aviation Association, Fly-ND Conference. Presenting the awards were Kyle Wanner, executive director, and Mike McHugh, Aviation Education coordinator of the ND Aeronautics Commission, and Justin Weninger of the ND Aviation Association.

The program is sponsored by the ND Department of Commerce’s Tourism Division in partnership with the Aeronautics Commission, the Airport Association of ND and the ND Aviation Association.


Submitted Photo (L-R) Kyle Wanner, ND Aeronautics Commission; Steve Martens, Stanley; Robert Sprague & Ethan Sprague, both of Courtenay; Bob Simmers, Bismarck; and Justin Weninger, NDAA, are shown at the Fargo Air Museum. Steve Martens, Robert Sprague and Ethan Sprague were among pilots honored for taking part in the “Fly ND Airports” Passport Program.


Reprinted with permission from The Minot Daily News.


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North Dakota Aviation Association

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PO Box 7370
Bismarck, ND 58507

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