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  • August 09, 2021 12:07 | Anonymous

    By Nicole Ingalls-Caley

    In early June, the Northern Plains UAS Test Site (NPUASTS) and Emerging Prairie co-hosted an event at Grand Farm to celebrate the state of North Dakota’s continued investment in Vantis, North Dakota’s statewide UAS network. Once complete, this first-of-its-kind initiative will enable UAS flights beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) of the pilot, across the entire state. 

    In the morning, we invited local legislators to a coffee hour to mingle with NPUASTS staff and ask questions about this groundbreaking infrastructure in an informal setting. This was followed by a press conference to formally announce the $20 million in continued funding to build out Vantis across the state, particularly on the eastern side of the state. We provided lunch and then hosted a panel to discuss Vantis, followed by speakers discussing other unmanned innovations being developed right here in North Dakota. The day was capped off with demonstration flights by iSight Drone Services.

    The panel included North Dakota Lieutenant Governor Brent Sanford; Bill Panos, the Director of the North Dakota Department of Transportation; Todd Donovan, the Vice President of Digital Aviation – Air Traffic Management for ThalesUSA; Tommy Kenville, CEO of iSight Drone Services, Jim Cieplak, Vantis Program Manager for NPUASTS; and our fearless leader Nicholas Flom, executive director of NPUASTS. Speakers included Dr. Paulo Flores, Assistant Professor, and John Nowatzki, Agricultural Machine Systems Specialist, both from the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at North Dakota State University (NDSU); David Dvorak, CEO of Field of View; and Tom Nickell, CEO of Mobile Recon Systems. 

    “The event was an unequivocal success,” said Nicholas Flom. “We got great turnout, despite temperatures in the nineties, Lt. Governor Brent Sanford joined us for the press conference and the panel, we fielded great questions from local legislators, we highlighted the work of other UAS innovators in the state, and we got great press coverage. Honestly, we couldn’t have asked for more.” 

    The success of this event – and of unmanned innovations in North Dakota – can be attributed to our location. North Dakota has deep entrepreneurial roots, and is a thriving UAS ecosystem today because local leaders, researchers, and visionaries have worked hard to make it so. This most recent funding is a continuation of these efforts and the belief that North Dakota can be – and is– on the cutting edge of new aviation technologies. 

    We all know that if you value something, and you want it to grow, you invest in it. North Dakota has done that with unmanned innovation: 

    • Northern Plains UAS Test Site, one of only seven FAA UAS test sites in the nation
    • Grand Sky Business and Aviation Park
    • Dozens of small UAS companies right here in North Dakota
    • The first accredited UAS Operations major in the country, through the College of Aerospace at the University of North Dakota (UND)
    • Significant investment in UAS research at UND and the North Dakota State University (NDSU)

    North Dakota has invested in the future of UAS, and Vantis is the fruit of that labor, poised to revolutionize the UAS industry while pulling in economic development opportunities and inspiring even greater innovation from within the state. This event gave us an opportunity to share the ways in which North Dakota has already positioned itself as a UAS ecosystem, and how Vantis will put us on the map as the epicenter of UAS development and innovation in the U.S. 

    Progress on Vantis 

    • Key sites have been built in Williams and McKenzie counties 
    • Testing is underway to ensure safety and reliability 
    • First “official” flight on Vantis anticipated this fall 
    • Next sites are expected to be in the Red River Valley
    • Vantis deployment is based around existing use cases, and will continue to expand based on where users already are

  • August 09, 2021 12:00 | Anonymous

    Hello! My name is Ryan Thayer and I am the Executive Director/CEO of the Fargo Air Museum (FAM). I have been part of aviation since birth, received my solo license at 16, and my private pilot’s license at 18 from the University of North Dakota, as well as an Entrepreneurship Degree. I have always been passionate about aviation and business and am thrilled to be able to pursue both of my passions at the Fargo Air Museum. 

    This summer has been very busy and exciting with plenty of fun aviation activities in North Dakota. This summer, the Fargo Air Museum had the pleasure of attending the Grafton Fly-In. I highly recommend checking it out next summer. Andy and his crew at the airport and the local Experimental Aviation Association (EAA) chapter are very professional and throw a first class event. The day included a car show, aircraft fly-in, EAA Young Eagles Flights, and breakfast! 

    The Fargo Air Museum also hosted its first fly-in this summer. The weather wasn’t completely cooperative at first in the morning, but it ended up being a beautiful day. We had a great turnout of Van’s RV’s and home built aircraft. Some of our local EAA volunteers did Young Eagles flights. Coffee and donuts were served for breakfast and pizza and soda for lunch! Stay tuned, we plan on hosting many more fly-ins in our future.

    My involvement with our EAA Chapter 317 at the Fargo Air Museum has allowed me the opportunity to do over 25 Young Eagles Flights. We have a great group of pilots and volunteers that really make it all possible for the youth in our community. The Fargo Air Museum Young Eagles Day was a huge success, we had over 40 kids attend and five aircraft. There were many excited young faces when they left with a certificate in hand. 

    A very unique experience this summer was a formation flight, from Moorhead Municipal Airport to Hector International Airport, with a Piper Malibu and a TIMM N2T! The TIMM does not have radios, so I was able to fly along for a flight of two over to Hector. The TIMM N2T is currently on display at the Fargo Air Museum. It is the first composite aircraft used by the U.S. Navy and is the only one in the world that is still airworthy and flying! Stop by and check it out, you may never get another chance to see this amazing plane.

    Overall, it has been a full summer of flying and aviation events! Being part of the Hawley Flying Club has allowed me to fly two to five hours each month in the Warrior II! The Fargo Air Museum will be planning to attend more fly-in’s this summer, hosting another Young Eagles Day, and a Warbird fly-in this fall! I am very thankful for all our sponsors, donors, friends, staff, our Board of Directors, and the community.  We could not have a special place like the Fargo Air Museum without your support! So on behalf of myself and staff at the Fargo Air Museum, thank you and include a stop at the Fargo Air Museum this summer. 

  • August 09, 2021 11:51 | Anonymous

    By Scott Nelson

    Rudy Froeschle from Hazen, ND, was a B-17 driver with the United States Eighth Air Force in England during World War II. After flying several missions bombing the Nazis, he and his crew were unfortunately shot down and became a guest of the same ones he was bombing. Froeschle ended up in Stalag Luft III and played a small part in the famous escape that was made into a movie after the war, The Great Escape. Froeschle was not portrayed in the movie but the trombone he had in the prisoner of war camp was. Rudy had requested it through the International YMCA for a band they were putting together. The trombone disappeared and was used as an important component of a still to make liquor. Later on, it became a part of the movie.

    After liberation and the end of the war, Rudy was receiving his military separation papers at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX. The servicemen were in a large hall. In one corner of the hall was a surplus administration desk. Rudy approached the desk and asked what he could get. He was able to get papers to purchase a Fairchild PT-26 for $600, used as a Canadian instrument trainer, a Stinson Reliant for $1200, used to transport generals and other individuals of significance, and a B-17 for $350, which could only be used for monumental or educational purposes.

    When Rudy got back to his home town of Hazen, he met with the school board and told them about the great deal they could get buying the B-17 for educational purposes. Rudy offered to fly it in for them. The school board decided to buy the bomber. It took longer than expected for the paperwork to come together and Rudy was already in Chicago starting medical school, so Lyle Benz of Hazen, who was also a veteran WWII pilot, offered to get the plane.

    Lyle and his brother, John, went to Altus, OK, to gas up and add oil to the B-17 engines that had been “pickled” at the end of the war, when they were placed in storage. Lyle removed the cowling from each of the four engines, and with John’s help pulled the plugs and cleaned them. There was no radio equipment on the plane, so they knew they would have to fly VFR. When they departed Atlus, the weather bureau forecasted clear weather. After flying for a while, they ran into clouds and climbed above them. The weather ahead seemed to be getting worse, with the clouds rising to 20,000 feet. The Benz brothers decided to turn around. The nearest airfield they sighted was at Perry, OK. The brothers landed the B-17 and caught rides back to North Dakota to raise money for more gas and oil, before going back for the Fortress. The number three engine had lost a lot of oil, so they had to fill it back up. After refueling, the brothers took off for Dickinson before delivering it to Hazen.

    When they arrived at Dickinson, the number three engine was smoking badly and the local police came to the airport to make sure they were OK. They knew they would lose oil on the way, so they added more oil before heading to Hazen a few days later.

    It was a calm day when the Benz brothers roared over Hazen and landed in a pasture just south of town. The ground was softer than expected and the plane’s wheels sank in the sod and nosed over, bending the prop tips on the number two engine. The whole town had turned out to see the landing and a bunch of the high school boys were able to pull the bomber’s tail back down.

    The plane sat in that spot for several years as kind of a memorial to WWII. It is not known if it ever was used for educational purposes, but people would crawl through the plane and scavenge parts. In 1951, several men came and started working on the plane. They took the number two prop to Herman Mayer, the town blacksmith, and he did an excellent job pounding the blades back in shape. 

    One winter morning, when the ground was frozen and a 40 mile an hour wind was blowing from the northwest, these same men turned the plane into the wind, and with no one to witness it, flew away from Hazen.

    About five years after the B-17 left Hazen, Rudy Froeschle was practicing medicine in Tioga, ND. One day, he treated a pilot who had been in a plane accident while crop dusting. It turned out to be the man who flew the B-17 from Hazen. Rudy found out the plane had been delivered to a buyer in Florida, who equipped it for aerial photography.

    After several years, it was sold to a Canadian company who used it for aerial photography all over the world. It changed hands several times while in this capacity. In its next life, from 1971 to 1982, the B-17 was outfitted with slurry tanks and served as a fire bomber in South Dakota and New Mexico. The bomber was retired and displayed at the Pima Air Museum in Arizona from 1982 to 1984. In 1984, it was purchased by the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. and stored in an open hangar at the Dulles International Airport.

    In 2011, the plane was donated to the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force in Pooler, GA. Extensive restoration was started and the plane was brought back to its original glory as the famous B-17, “City of Savannah.” It is now the centerpiece of the museum and considered the finest B-17 Fortress static display in the world.

    Sources: Article from the Hazen Star, 13 Nov. 2008 by Chris Gessele. B-17 44-83814 Book, B17 Flying Fortress Restoration by Jerome McLaughlin. 

  • August 09, 2021 11:45 | Anonymous

    The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center

    The Interpretive Center explains how the Washburn area was once the crossroads of culture and commerce on the Northern Plains. There lived the Mandan and Hidatsa peoples, who were visited for generations by traders, trappers, and explorers such as Lewis and Clark. A short drive away stands a full-size replica of Fort Mandan, where you can get a first-hand experience of what the Corps of Discovery’s life was like. 

    Hours: Open daily 9am-5pm

    Address: 2576 8th St SW, Washburn, ND 58577 


    Cross Ranch State Park

    A 5,000-acre nature preserve across the river from the town of Washburn. The annual bluegrass festival and quiet camping – including yurts – are available there.

    Hours: Sun to Thurs 8am-4:30pm, Fri and Sat 8am-8pm

    Address: 1403 River Rd, Center, ND 58530 


    If you work up an appetite while exploring Washburn, here are a few dining recommendations:

    Cafe 77 & Coffee Bar - a cozy little cafe with a highly-ranked coffee bar and breakfast. 

    Hours: Tues to Fri 8am-3pm, Sat and Sun 9am-3pm 

    Address: 601 Main Ave, Washburn, ND 58577 


    Captain’s Cabin Bar & Grill - Daily specials, with hand cut ribeye and prime rib Friday and Saturday nights. Dine in, carryout, and curbside pick up options. 

    Hours: Sun to Fri 11am-1am, Sat 11am-10pm 

    Address: 1608 Dakota Dr, Washburn, ND 58577


    Please visit these locations’ websites to confirm hours and availability. And don’t forget, the Fly-ND Summerfest Fly-In is happening at the Washburn Airport on August 19, including the golf tournament! 

    Do you have a favorite attraction to explore or a dining recommendation at your North Dakota airport to share with our readers? 

    Submit your discoveries to

  • August 09, 2021 11:40 | Anonymous

    The following are the opinions and views I personally follow as an aviator.  

    Fact: our safety culture, although very robust and ever changing, is very slow to accept that change. Slowly we learn from the mistakes of others and slowly our thoughts on safety and what we really need to do to be safer are progressing towards the zero accident mark, but are we really committing ourselves to the fact that training is what makes us safer?

    For years, the professional pilots in the airline and commercial world of aviation have flown through day-to-day operations in some of the most volatile airspace in the world. The cost for surviving these challenges? Training, crew coordination, and critical thinking, as applied to routing and operations, has increased their level of safety to a point only falling short to human error and the pilot’s personal management of that daily process of flight.

    Some concepts I would like to bring forward for your thoughts during your next flight or training lesson:

    Training involves you and a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) sitting down and actually discussing what you feel needs to be worked on, with regards to your flying abilities. As the training flight progresses, the CFI then notes and makes a plan with you for correcting any issues found during that flight. Keep in mind that meeting the ACS/PTS standard is only a minimum standard. If you have a bad day, there won’t be enough ability in your bag of tricks to survive your upcoming battle with gravity, which almost always wins!

    A Flight Review is just that, a review! Every two years, we go into the local Fixed Base Operator (FBO), grab a CFI, and for an hour or so on the ground and an hour in the air we expect to be signed off as being reviewed.

    There is no such thing as a one hour review flight, nor is there such as a one hour ground review training session. Back in 1997, when the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) worked with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to revise 14 CFR Part 61.56, the intended outcome was that the CFIs would cover all the areas of concern and discipline with the aircraft that would keep you, the airman, on track and proficient (key word here, PROFICIENT). The WINGS Program was developed due to the evident shortfall of the review process and maximized its effort, by working with the CFIs to get their review process on track with the rules intent and not just rule satisfaction.

    The following short list of topics must be a part of your yearly training if the accident rate is to decline:

    Loss of Control (LOC)

    Number one on the list of accidents causal factors. Refers to aircraft accidents that result from situations in which a pilot should have maintained (or should have regained) aircraft control, but failed to do so.

    Pilot Proficiency

    Conditions exceeding personal skill limitations can present themselves at any time and can occur unexpectedly. Pilots should be able to avoid being startled, make appropriate decisions in a timely manner, and be able to exercise skills at a proficiency level they may not have maintained or attained since acquired during initial training. 

    Traffic Pattern Operations 

    LOC accidents often occur while pilots are maneuvering at low altitude and airspeed, such as in an airport traffic pattern. Pilots should adopt, and flight instructors should promote, training programs designed to reduce the risk of General Aviation (GA) accidents in the traffic pattern or during traffic pattern operations. 

    Airspeed control outside of that normally required for the type of operation must be analyzed, trained, and perfected to reduce the risk.

    Stabilized Approaches 

    Glidepath, heading, airspeed, configuration, rate of descent, power settings, and checklist usage must all be a part of this training


    Even Visual Flight Rules (VFR) pilots should be training for Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC), as inadvertent IMC is another top six accident causal factor.

    Manual Flight after Automation Failure Airmanship!! 

    Practice does make perfect, hands on, perfect!  Pilots need to know their equipment, in particular the aircraft limitations, configuration limits, electronics, and safety of flight data provided by the manufacturer. 

       A particular aircraft make and model is by design until it is altered. Review all Supplemental Type Certificates (STC), Type Certificate Data Sheets (TCDS), and Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) data for every aircraft you fly.  

    How do we define Airmanship? 

    Airmanship is the consistent use of good judgment and well-​developed skills to accomplish flight objectives. 

    And finally… Each year, the Commercial Aviation industry invests billions of dollars in training and safety programs. Each year, you, as an airman, should plan to invest the time and dollars necessary to train through the safety of flight issues we see in General Aviation accidents. 

    Safety is a motivated action which requires attention, skill, and refreshment throughout time.

    Fly Safe!

    By Jay M. Flowers, Safety Educator, Airline Transport Pilot, CFI, and Fellow Aviator

  • August 09, 2021 11:36 | Anonymous

    Three young aviation enthusiasts were recently awarded the North Dakota Professional Aviation Mechanics Association (NDPAMA) scholarships. Rod Brekken, the NDPAMA Scholarship Awards Coordinator presented them. The recipients are:

    Tyler Hupp from Lake Area Technical College in Watertown, SD. He was awarded a $1500 scholarship and Bismarck Aero Center/NDPAMA jacket.

    Keaton Shelton from Northland Community Technical College at Thief River Falls, MN. He received a $1750 scholarship and a Gordon Person/NDPAMA Jacket.

    Nick Zingraf from Northland Community Technical College, MN. He received a $1500 scholarship and an Aviation Industry Partners/NDPAMA jacket.

    Congratulations to these scholarship recipients and happy flying!

  • August 09, 2021 11:18 | Anonymous

    By Kyle Wanner, Executive Director

    The North Dakota Aeronautics Commission (NDAC) recently finalized approximately $5 million in state infrastructure grant allocations to multiple public airports throughout North Dakota. The 102 individual projects received grant awards at 53 different public-use airports throughout the state.  

    A majority of the grant allocations are made possible from the NDAC’s Special Fund, where the primary revenue source is derived from state tax collections on aviation fuel and aircraft sales. These grants are critical in maintaining the needed infrastructure to support our aviation industry, which is a major contributor to the state’s economy and standard of living.

    These state airport grant allocations will help to supplement the funding of high priority airport projects within North Dakota while at the same time ensuring that our statewide aviation system is being maintained.  These projects will also help to create jobs within our communities and will greatly assist our airports as they work to help our economy rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Provided on this page is a listing of each of the public airports that received a state grant along with a description of at least one of their funded projects. A full listing of the airport grants and dollar amounts can also be found in the news section on the Aeronautics Commission website. 

    Congratulations to all of the communities on their grant awards! 

    Commercial Airport Grant Awards:

    Bismarck | Terminal Security Camera Upgrades

    Devils Lake | Replace Radio Controller for Lighting

    Dickinson | Runway 14/32 NAVAID Construction

    Fargo | Acquire Snow Removal Equipment

    Minot | Pavement Maintenance

    General Aviation Grant Awards:

    Ashley | Pavement Maintenance

    Beach | Pavement Maintenance

    Beulah | Pavement Maintenance

    Bottineau | Pavement Maintenance

    Carrington | Pavement Maintenance

    Casselton | Pavement Maintenance

    Cavalier | Pavement Maintenance

    Crosby | Construct Snow Removal Equipment Building

    Drayton | Pavement Maintenance

    Ellendale | Pavement Maintenance

    Enderlin | Tree Obstruction Removal

    Fessenden | Purchase Airport Maintenance Trailer

    Garrison | Pavement Maintenance

    Grafton | Pavement Maintenance

    Hazen | Taxiway and Apron Rehabilitation

    Hettinger | Reconstruct Parallel Taxiway

    Hillsboro | Construct Community Hangars 

    Killdeer | Pavement Maintenance

    Kulm | Purchase Box Scraper

    LaMoure | Apron Rehabilitation

    Langdon | Pavement Maintenance

    Larimore | Pavement Maintenance

    Leeds | Purchase Terminal Building

    Lidgerwood | Design Medivac Helipad

    Linton | Reconstruct Airport Lighting

    Maddock | Design Airport Lighting

    Mandan | Fuel System Upgrade

    Mayville | Pavement Maintenance

    Milnor | Runway Grading

    Minto | Apron & Taxiway Drainage Improvements

    Mohall | Pavement Maintenance

    Napoleon | Pave Taxilane & Relocate Access Road

    New Rockford | Pavement Maintenance 

    New Town | Construct Community Hangar

    Northwood | Pavement Maintenance

    Park River | Tree Obstruction Removal

    Rolla | Update Fuel System Card Reader

    Rugby | Pavement Maintenance

    Stanley | Purchase Snow Removal Equipment Building

    St. Thomas | Replace Air to Ground Radio Antenna

    Tioga | Runway Lighting Repairs

    Valley City | Replace Jet A & 100LL Fuel Systems

    Wahpeton | Apron Rehabilitation

    Washburn | Construct Concrete Apron

    Watford City | Purchase Snow Removal Equipment

    Westhope | Runway Lighting Construction

    Wishek | Airport Lighting System Repairs 

  • August 09, 2021 11:12 | Anonymous

    Do you have a family member or friend who is:

    • An active duty or retired military member

    • Works or worked in military aviation

    • A North Dakota resident

    We plan to highlight our local service members in upcoming Quarterly issues! Email for more information.

  • August 09, 2021 11:03 | Anonymous

    The aviation industry has a spot for YOU!

    A rewarding career in aviation doesn't only mean being a pilot...

    Register for the FREE Fly-ND Career Expo to see what your future could look like in management, air traffic control, weather planning, flight operations, maintenance, engineering, unmanned aircraft systems, space studies and so much more!

    Wednesday, October 6th, 2021 | 9am-2pm

    Dakota Territory Air Museum | Minot, ND

    Scholarship Opportunities!

    Register FREE Here!

  • August 09, 2021 10:52 | Anonymous

    Although COVID-19 may have slowed down the hiring of pilots, we are now seeing the effects of the pilot shortage once again. Earlier this summer, we saw flights being cancelled due to lack of crew and I am seeing signs of the commercial airlines hiring at a faster than pre-COVID rate. As I have mentioned in previous articles, it isn’t just the pilots; as the industry grows, we need mechanics, air traffic controllers, engineers, and other non-flying positions.

    To help students find their spot in our industry, the North Dakota Aviation Association (NDAA) held its first Aviation Career Expo in Fargo, just before school ended in May. The event was a success with more than 100 students attending and learning about all the career opportunities in aviation. Thank you to all the exhibitors, presenters, and organizers who volunteered their time to make this event a great day. To top it off, THANK YOU to the generous donors who enabled nearly $15,000 worth of scholarships to be awarded to students wishing to pursue education in these high-need areas.

    While at the Career Expo, the NDAA board voted to continue the momentum and get back on track with an annual fall Career Expo. Planning has already begun, and I am excited to see what we can provide to the students in western North Dakota on October 6, at the Dakota Territory Air Museum in Minot. It is looking like we will have double the students that attended in Fargo! See page 37 for details.

    I look forward to the upcoming event, knowing that students will be inspired by the guest speakers that we have lined up, will have lots of time to network with passionate industry representatives, and will hopefully leave with an aviation scholarship. I hope that you will consider supporting the event. Financial contributions to the NDAA Scholarship Fund allow the Association to award more students with scholarships, easing the financial burden for a young aviation enthusiast. For the event to be a success, we also need static displays of aircraft and exhibitors. 

    For more information about how you can help, or to sign up, visit: or email: 

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