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  • August 09, 2021 10:10 | Anonymous

    Bismarck State College (BSC) will hold a non-credit, introductory avionics course this fall. The two-day workshop, designed to provide an introduction to avionics wiring techniques and troubleshooting skills, is well-suited for A&P licensed Aircraft Technicians and electronics students, as well as hands on aviation enthusiasts.

    The 16-hour class will be held October 9-10, in the BSC Technical Center, 1200 College Dr., Bismarck, ND. The $375 course fee includes the instruction, textbook and a sponsored evening meal. This two-day, aviation seminar employs in-depth theory and hands-on lab exercises to immerse the participant in the best practices used to plan, manage, and install a general aviation avionics panel. Participants will learn practical information necessary to identify and install aircraft wiring including soldering, coaxial cable, data bus cables and repair techniques. Participants will also complete lab exercises in a classroom fully equipped with practice materials and the standard tools used in the wiring installation and repair environment.

    Course Objectives:

    • wire and cable cutting

    • wire and cable preparation

    • crimping tools

    • BGN-C, TNC and N series connectors

    • terminating small and large copper wires

    • splicing

    • bonding and grounding using all seven sections

    • repairing broken and damaged wires

    To learn more or to register contact Bismarck State College at bsc.training@bismarckstate.edu or call our office at 701-224-5600. The deadline to register is September 27, 2021.


  • August 09, 2021 09:26 | Anonymous

    Chairman's Comments

    I want to extend a warm “hello” to all of you. I hope everyone’s summer flying and all summer activities have been great so far! 

    My name is Justin Weninger, and I am the new Chairman of the North Dakota Aviation Association (NDAA). I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. I am a business banking and aviation lending officer for American Bank Center in Bismarck, ND. I am married to my high school sweetheart, and we have three kids that I love chasing after, and watching the world through their eyes.

    My earliest memory of flying was around six years old. My dad took my brother and I to Capital Aviation in Bismarck for an airplane ride with Bob Watts. I walked out to the airplane, took one look in it, turned around, and went back inside. There was no way I was getting in that thing. So, as my dad and brother went flying, I sat inside and played with the cat and enjoyed an orange soda. 

    In sixth grade, our teacher assigned the class a project to interview someone with a career we thought was interesting. I decided I didn’t want to do the standard careers, I wanted something really cool! I wanted to interview a pilot and really blow my class away! I was able to get set up with Roger Pfeiffer, who was a neighbor down the road. I remember riding my bike to his house, not knowing what to expect. As Roger poured through his logbooks, showing me all of these incredible journeys, I was the one blown away. Riding my bike home that night, it wasn’t simply a Huffy bicycle anymore, it was one of those airplanes Roger told me all about and I was its captain. This is when my love for aviation really started.

    During our visit, Roger suggested I look into the local Civil Air Patrol, as a way to become connected to aviation at a young age. Two weeks later, my dad and I attended one of the weekly Tuesday night cadet meetings. I signed up that night and stayed an active member all through middle school and high school. Being involved for those seven years afforded me the opportunity to take advantage of numerous orientation flights, United States Air Force Familiarization flights, and even some flight training. Along with that came lifelong best friends.

    In high school, it was time to get a job. I once again didn’t want a standard job like all of my classmates had, I wanted something cool. I started working as a line guy at the Bismarck airport and continued working on the line for five years. What an incredible opportunity with the people I met and the fun I had! At some point in the first year of working there, I decided to take a couple of training flights in the Cessna 152. Eventually, I was turning my paychecks back in for more flight training. If I wasn’t hooked already, I certainly was now. Then on November 18, 2003, I became a private pilot. What a dream come true, and the start to my bigger dream.

    The airport and the Fixed Based Operator (FBO) became my hang out spots. My friends and I hung out watching airplanes, eating popcorn, talking to pilots, and learning the finer points of when to make a new pot of FBO coffee. The three of us dreamed of where our love of aviation would take each of us. My girlfriend - now wife - knew that if she wanted to see me, it’d be at the airport. There were many dates with her spent flying the Cessna 172 to Hazen, Dickinson, or just around the Bismarck area. 

    After two years at Bismarck State College, it was time to head up to the University of North Dakota (UND). Being a Private Pilot already, I was able to enroll in the abbreviated transition course that UND Aerospace offered. Flying at UND was something much different than what this Part 61 boy had become accustomed to. It taught me how to approach flying from the professional mindset, a skill I’m thankful for everyday! Being in the Aviation Management and eventually the Airport Management program, I started taking business classes as well. In 2008, I graduated from UND with a double major in Airport Management and Financial Management. Although I did not attain any more ratings or certificates from my time at UND, I knew it wasn’t the end of the dream to fly. I knew that it was just going to be put on hold for now. A new path to my dream would come around.

    After a short stint in Minneapolis, MN, a move back home to Bismarck, and three kids later, it was time to get back in the air. In 2017, I started toying with the idea of jumping head first back into aviation and buying an airplane. In June of that year, along with a couple of great partners, I was able to buy a Cirrus SR-22. I decided that at this point in my life, it’s time to rekindle the dream and start chasing it. I started building flight time, worked through my Instrument Rating, Commercial Pilot Certificate, and my Multi-Engine Rating. Through my connections made while working at the airport all those years ago, I was able to start flying right seat in a corporate jet part-time. 

    I can truly say this is a dream come true; a dream that would blow away 12-year-old me. 

    However, I didn’t get here by myself. I really need to thank my wife, my parents, and some incredible friends who’ve helped me along the way and given me opportunities to achieve my dreams! But also, I need to thank the community of aviation here in North Dakota, which has done so much for me. And that is why I’m so proud to be able to give back to this community through the North Dakota Aviation Association. I’m proud to be the Chairman of this great organization and excited to get to work to help build the dream of someone else!

       Justin Weninger, Chairman

       North Dakota Aviation Associaton

       chairman@fly-nd.com


  • May 25, 2021 15:35 | Anonymous

    CDR BRIAN C. KESSELRING | USN // Flight Leader / Commanding Officer Commander

    Brian C. Kesselring is a native of Fargo, North Dakota. He graduated from Concordia College, MN, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts undergraduate degree with majors in Physics, Mathematics, and Business while also competing in basketball and track & field. Upon graduation, Brian attended Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Florida, where he earned his commission as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy in March 2001. Brian was designated a Naval Aviator in August 2003, and received orders to the “Gladiators” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106 at Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana, Virginia, for F/A-18C Hornet training. His first fleet assignment was as a member of the “Gunslingers” of VFA-105, where he flew the F/A-18C and F/A-18E and completed two combat deployments aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was then selected to attend the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN), where he remained as a staff instructor from 2008-2011. Upon completing his tour at TOPGUN, Brian reported to the “Tophatters” of VFA-14 at NAS Lemoore, California, where he served as the Training Officer and deployed aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) in support of Operation New Dawn and Operation Enduring Freedom. Following his Training Officer tour, Brian reported to the “Tomcatters” of VFA-31 as a Department Head, where he deployed aboard the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Inherent Resolve. During his tour with the “Tomcatters,” he was honored to receive the “LCDR Michael Longhardt” award for superior leadership. Brian then received orders to Carrier Air Wing One as Assistant Operations Officer where he deployed aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Following this tour, Brian reported to the Naval War College earning a Master of Arts in National Security Strategy, while participating in the Halsey Advanced Research Program. Brian was then assigned as the Executive Officer of the “Sunliners” of VFA-81 in March 2017, subsequently assuming Command in June 2018 and deploying aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. While serving as Commanding Officer, the “Sunliners” were honored to receive the Navy’s coveted “Battle Effectiveness” award. Brian joined the Blue Angels in September 2019. He has accumulated more than 3,900 flight hours and has 812 carrier-arrested landings. His decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, six Strike/Flight Air Medals, three Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and various personal, unit and service awards.




  • May 25, 2021 15:32 | Anonymous

    Rocket fuel scientist, Mary Sherman Morgan, was born in Ray, North Dakota, in 1921. During World War II, she interrupted her studies as a chemistry major at Minot State University to take a job designing explosives at a factory in Ohio. In the 1950s, she began working at the North American Aviation company, which won a contract to formulate a more powerful rocket fuel for the fledgling U.S. effort to launch satellites into orbit. Of the roughly 900 rocket scientists at the company, Morgan, the only woman, was named the technical lead of the project. Her work resulted in Hydyne, a rocket fuel composed of 60 percent unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine and 40 percent diethylenetriamine. Hydyne was used for the first stage of America’s first successful satellite launch, Explorer 1, in 1958. Throughout her life, Morgan did not receive much credit for her accomplishments. At her funeral, a former coworker told Morgan’s son that his mother had single-handedly saved America’s space program. George Morgan, a playwright, went on to write a play and a book about his mother. (Photo credit: George Morgan, CC BY 3.0)

    Reproduced from www.facebook.com/PhysicsToday, with the permission of the American Institute of Physics.


  • May 25, 2021 15:26 | Anonymous

    The city commission voted in late April to rename the Mandan Municipal Airport in honor of Jim Lawler. The new name will be the Mandan Regional Airport – Lawler Field.

    Jim Lawler was the face of aviation in Mandan for over 40 years, and passed away last October. When he first started working there as a young man, the Mandan Airport was simply a few dilapidated buildings and an asphalt runway. However, under his guidance, the airport grew to become a thriving hub of North Dakota general aviation. 

    The Mandan airfield is home to a variety of businesses, including an aerial crop-spraying company, two aircraft maintenance facilities, an aviation medical examiner’s office, and multiple flight instructors. Aircraft are housed in the five public hangars and 14 private hangars, and the runway has been upgraded to concrete with LED lights and Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI’s). Other notable additions have been an instrument approach and weather reporting station. This impressive amount of growth, all under Lawler’s direction, is the reason the airport has changed from “municipal” to “regional”. 

    To make the name change happen, the Mandan Airport Authority Board elected a committee. The members include R.D. Reimers, Tom Neigum, a close friend of Lawler, Sharon Lawler, his wife, and current Mandan Airport Manager Lindsay Gerhardt. Dr. Dale Klein, the former Mandan Airport Authority Chairman, was also a part of the committee and presented the proposal to the City Commission at the April meeting. “From the day it was suggested to the board, I was bound and determined to make this happen.” Gerhardt said. “Although, anyone who knew Jim knows he would have protested. It is a testament to how selfless of a man he really was. I’m so proud to have known him and to have had the honor of learning a thing or two from him, in the short time we had together before he passed. There is no one more well-deserving than Jim for this honor.”

    The airport name is already updated on the Mandan City website, but the official name change could take several months after submission to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Once it is approved, online airport information resources will reflect the name change. The airport identifier will also be changed from Y19 to KJLL, which are the syllables in Lawler’s name. Gerhardt explained, “We originally wanted KJIM, but FAA rules prevent identifiers from having two of the same letters within 200 miles of each other. And with Jamestown (KJMS) so near, it was not an option.” The airport identifier will take longer than the airport name to officially change, but once that happens, local pilots will need to schedule a GPS update for their aircraft. The Mandan Airport is actively working to make the transition as smooth as possible.

    Jim and Sharon Lawler


  • May 25, 2021 15:21 | Anonymous

    By Jaden Mitzel

    Last year, I applied for the Flight Training Scholarship paid through the North Dakota Pilot’s Association (NDPA). When I was notified I was a recipient last February, I was so thankful and excited to start my aviation journey. My goal is to earn my private pilot’s license through the Bismarck Aero Center. I am also attending Bismarck State College (BSC) for two years, studying for my Associate of Arts degree. After that, I hope to transfer to the University of North Dakota to continue my education as a corporate pilot. 

    Growing up, I told my mom I wanted to be an astronaut. However, being a pilot has always been something I was also interested in. In high school, I took a couple of aviation classes and worked with a friend’s dad on flight lessons. I loved it! Having this NDPA scholarship, with the dollar-for-dollar match up to $4000, has made it even more affordable for me to reach my goals. It was so awesome being able to take classes and play sports at BSC while simultaneously earning my private pilot’s license.

    I had the privilege of working with Joshua Simmers, the Secretary/Treasurer of the NDPA, on my scholarship arrangements. I appreciate the staff at Bismarck Aero Center; Linda Davis is so helpful and encouraging when I need things, and Ray Brooks has been a fun and amazing flight instructor. I have learned so much and feel this journey prepared me for the next steps I will need to accomplish my dreams! 

    Thank you to the North Dakota Pilot’s Association and to the Bismarck Aero Center for giving me this opportunity! 

    The sky’s the limit!

    Jaden with his CFI, Ray Brooks

    Jaden with his parents.


  • May 25, 2021 15:17 | Anonymous

    by Penny Rafferty Hamilton, Ph.D.

    Using SPRING as the matrix for a quick look at our inspiring aviation history, S-Sierra stands for skilled. Captain John Owen Donaldson, ace of World War I, qualifies. 

    Born in 1897 in Fort Yates, ND, John was the son of General Thomas Donaldson. In 1878, the U.S. Army Post in North Dakota was named to honor Captain George Yates, killed earlier at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. In 1917, our aviation hero joined the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) in Canada, before America joined the war. As a RFC pilot, Donaldson destroyed four Fokker D.VII fighters and drove down three others, causing them to crash and making Donaldson an ace. 

    Eventually, the intrepid pilot was shot down and captured by the Germans. The day after his capture, he tried to escape in a German-airplane. But, an alert German sentry bayoneted John in the back. Yet, he still escaped. 

    About a week later, Donaldson was recaptured only to escape again a month later. After WWI, he continued commanding American aero squadrons. Wow. Wouldn’t this story make a great movie? 

    Next is P-Papa for passionate. Just look to the luminaries in the North Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame. One passionate member is the late Robert “Bob” Odegaard, born in Kindred, ND. He was an aviation inventor, air show performer and racer, Fargo Air Museum contributor, and much more. 

    R or Romeo is next for record-setting. The world’s fastest pilot hails from Hazen, ND. On July 28, 1976, Eldon W. “Al” Joersz strapped in tightly to his SR-71A Blackbird with fellow aviator, George Morgan, to fly faster than a speeding rifle bullet, setting the world speed record of over 2,193 miles per hour. Mercer County Regional Airport-Al Joersz Field honors this decorated Vietnam combat fighter pilot and aviation legend. 

    I-India is for Inspiring. This leads to Jamestown Municipal Airport, where in 1929, newly married pilot Evelyn Nicholas Burleson landed, after earning her pilot license and barnstorming in Nebraska years earlier. Evelyn and her husband, Howard, ran a flying service at Jamestown from 1931-1937. In 1933, Evelyn became the first woman in North Dakota to earn her transport pilot’s license. She added charter flights to the services out of the airfield. She said, “I used to fly barnstorming shows in North Dakota during the Depression. We used to send an advance man to a town to pick out a field and tack up some posters. Then, we’d hit town on the weekend and put on a couple of shows for the folks. One of our tricks was to toss rolls of toilet paper out of the planes, so they’d unravel all the way down. Well, when we landed, we went back to pick up the toilet paper-but we couldn’t find any. You have to remember how poor everyone was. One lady in the audience picked it all up-a whole month’s supply.” 

    Which brings us to the last letter in spring: G-Golf for Game Changer. In 1933, Bruce Peterson was born in Washburn, ND. He became an aeronautical engineer and a NASA test pilot. As a research pilot, Peterson flew a wide variety of airplanes and suffered many crashes. His unselfish efforts resulted in game changing aeronautical designs. Interestingly, actual film footage from one spectacular Peterson crash landing of a test flight of a M2-F2 was used in the opening credits of the popular television series, The Six Million Dollar Man, starring actor Lee Majors. Almost every week from 1973-1978, Majors portrayed a fictitious former astronaut, U.S. Air Force Colonel Steve Austin. Bruce Peterson was real and logged more than 6,000 flight hours in nearly 70 types of aircraft. 

    North Dakota skies invite you to SPRING forward and make your own aviation history. 

    Mercer County is home to world speed record holder, Al Joersz. Forty-five years ago, he clocked over 2,193 miles per hour SR-71 Blackbird. (NASA photograph)


  • May 25, 2021 15:12 | Anonymous


    Are you interested in maintaining your instrument currency via a certified flight simulator? In 2018, new regulations were introduced allowing instrument-rated pilots to maintain currency by using an Aviation Training Device (ATD), such as a simulator. Here in North Dakota, three local airports have certified flight simulators readily available to the public: Mandan Airport, Mohall Airport, and Hillsboro Airport. 

    The Hillsboro Airport simulator is the most recently completed. We were able to visit with Larry Mueller, the Hillsboro Airport Manager, about their simulator project and what it provides to the local aviation community. 

    The idea for a simulator was discussed for about two years, as interest and demand grew for more opportunities to maintain their instrument currency. “There are no other options that we know of in the eastern half of North Dakota to publicly rent a certified simulator,” Mueller said. “With the amount of demand, we thought this might be a service we could provide at the airport.”

    The simulator can cater to a variety of training needs, but is particularly valuable for instrument training and currency. The Hillsboro Airport project team looked at the population of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) rated pilots in the region and found Hillsboro to be easily accessible by pilots in the eastern area of the state, as well as others across the Upper Midwest. Mueller shares, “Based on our research, we found no one else in our area with a certified flight simulator for public use.” This allows Hillsboro Airport to offer any Certified Flight Instructors (CFI) or flight schools the opportunity to incorporate the simulator into their training program. Hillsboro is in non-controlled airspace, making it very easy for pilots who want some extra training to practice with a mentor or flight instructor in a less congested area with very limited interruptions.

    Certified flight simulators are not cheap, but the Hillsboro Airport matched criteria that allowed the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission (NDAC) to fund 50% of the project. This included up to a maximum amount of $25,000, and ensuring they had an acceptable business, marketing, and management plans. As Mueller shared, “We had enough people commit to buying time cards locally that we felt our local share of the cost would be covered within three years.” With instrumental help from the Hillsboro Airport Authority and the NDAC, the project transitioned from an idea into reality.


    The certified flight simulator features a variety of aircraft: 

    Archer III (17 panel configurations)

    Arrow IV (17 panel configurations)

    Baron 58 (13 panel configurations)

    Bonanza A36 (13 panel configurations)

    Cessna 172R (17 panel configurations)

    Cessna 172S (17 panel configurations)

    Cessna 182S (17 panel configurations)

    King Air B200 (13 panel configurations)

    Mooney M20J (13 panel configurations)

    Seneca III (13 panel configurations)

    It can simulate com­plete startup, flight, and shut down pro­ce­dures. Pilots can also use it to perform approaches, hold­ing, intercepting and tracking as required under the Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) Sec­tion 61.57(1) to maintain instrument currency. Modern GPS options, such as a Garmin 430, 650, or 750, are also included.

    Pilots can customize their training with a variety of weather factors, such as varying cloud conditions at selected altitudes, rain, snow, wind, and even turbulence. Instructors can place the plane wherever they wish, and incorporate system failures in flight. The simulator also has bluetooth connectivity compatible with ForeFlight or Garmin Flight. This allows pilots to use their iPad just as they would in their aircraft, with all current IFR charts and publications at their fingertips. “It appears on ForeFlight just as if you were actually in your own airplane.” Mueller adds. “And best of all, it has a pause button. When you find yourself getting in over your head, you can stop and learn from the moment, and then backup or continue. It allows for intense training time.”

    Mueller states the best training that takes place in a simulator usually involves procedures. “It’s not the same as actual flying, so it has its limitations. But for learning procedures where you want to repeat certain processes over and over, a simulator is a great tool and much less expensive than flying a plane.” Additionally, for Visual Flight Rules (VFR) pilots, it can be a great way to practice flying over terrain or areas that are new to you. 

     The Hillsboro Airport team hopes the simulator will be utilized and beneficial to pilots both local and beyond. “This could also be a great tool for incorporating young students into an aviation program at a very affordable price.” says Mueller. “STEM aviation programs are becoming more common in the area high schools, and this could be a great tool to take some of the learning from classrooms and incorporate it into the simulator.” 

    The simulator is open to the public, regardless of where they are located, and can be accessed by anyone who purchases a membership plan. Once approved, it is easy for pilots to access the simulator at their convenience. It’s as simple as reserving a time and showing up! “Keeping current is a key to keeping safe.” Mueller says. “It’s often hard to find safety pilots to ride along when you are ready to fly. The simulator is very affordable and allows you to practice and really learn every piece of your panel and GPS, as well as pausing to think things through on the ground before going up in the air. It allows for a very relaxed state on the ground before doing it in the air.”


    Learn more about maintaining your instrument currency using a local certified flight simulator:

    Hillsboro Airport

    Larry Mueller: (701)430-1642 or larry.mueller@redriverbank.com

    Don Hanson: (701)430-1250 or hansond51@gmail.com

    Mandan Airport

    Marc Taylor: (701)220-0715 or marc.taylor@plainsag.com

    Mohall Airport

    Mike Nehringr: (701)263-1008 or nehringp@srt.com

    For more information concerning membership 

    options and costs, go to www.flyhillsboro.org



  • May 25, 2021 15:05 | Anonymous

    By Ryan Waguespack, Senior Vice President, National Air Transportation Association 

    Business aviation stakeholders from across the globe agree that illegal charter operations significantly increase risk to passengers and can damage the reputation of our industry – collectively making this a priority issue. In response, the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) has continued its leadership in working to put an end to the pervasive problem of illegal charter operations through the formation of the Air Charter Safety Alliance. 

    Alliance leaders also concur that, together, this global coalition will amplify existing efforts by NATA and others to raise awareness among potential customers, charter brokers, and national aviation authorities regarding the use of unauthorized aircraft operators for on-demand flights. Since the inception of its Illegal Charter Task Force in June of 2018, NATA staff has met with other associations, regulators, and members on this issue and has provided proven expertise, tools, and resources through its dedicated website – www.avoidillegalcharter.com, NATA has worked in coordination with the FAA to help develop and execute a comprehensive outreach strategy including webinars, social media messages, promotion of enforcement actions against illegal charter operations, advertisements, dissemination of guidance for pilots and passengers, and agency safety briefings. The Association is pleased with the progress that is being made through these efforts, but recognizes more must be done. 

    Educated customers, in addition to access to tools that help identify illegal charter operations, will assist in dissuading those seeking to compromise safety for profit. Over the coming months, the Alliance will collect best practices from member associations to create an online platform to maximize the industry’s best tools and resources. The Alliance will also develop and promote several safety programs that assist on-demand charter operators, while continuing to improve their already impressive safety performance. Industry-led programs focusing on Safety Management Systems, flight data recording and safety reporting, along with a focus on safety culture, have aided in bringing greater value to charter operators. 

    Ultimately, the success of NATA and the Air Charter Safety Alliance depends on every operator, aircraft owner, passenger, and governing entity, everywhere. Visit websites such as www.avoidillegalcharter.com to find out how you can do your part to stamp out illegal charter operations in North Dakota and elsewhere. 

    If you suspect an illegal charter operation, please report it by calling the hotline (888) 759-3581 or by using the online reporting form at www.avoidillegalcharter.com. 


  • May 25, 2021 14:52 | Anonymous

    By Ryan Thayer, CEO/Executive Director, Fargo Air Museum

    Hello! My name is Ryan Thayer and I am the CEO/Executive Director at 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 UND. My father was my aviation mentor. He was a flight instructor and charter pilot when I was born and transitioned into Air Traffic Control in Fargo, ND. From there he went on to a career in commercial aviation with Republic Airways, Northwest Airlines, and most recently he retired from Delta Air Lines as a 757/767 Captain. Through my father, I found my love and interest for aviation flying, as we were always dreaming and talking about our flying stories.

    Early on in my childhood, ever since I learned to talk, I dreamed of being a pilot. From going to the Fargo and Grand Forks air shows, to flying with my dad, to riding along with him on his Northwest Airlines flights, and even trips to the maintenance hangars, it created an excitement and passion in me for our amazing industry!  

    After high school, I chose to attend the University of North Dakota (UND) to earn an Airline Transport Degree and ratings. Shortly after receiving my private pilot›s license, the terrorist attacks of 9/11 took place and the airlines stopped hiring and fought just to stay in business. At that point, I decided that it was not the career for me at that time. I transitioned into the Entrepreneurship Program at UND and graduated with a bachelors in Business and a private pilot›s license. Ever since then, I have kept my eyes open for future opportunities to become involved in aviation again. After starting and running many businesses through my career, I found an opening at the Fargo Air Museum looking for a business and marketing specialist to run the Museum as the CEO/Director. It was finally my way back into my love and my passion – aviation!

     

    Vultee BT-13 Valiant

    Aviation is such an amazing industry, where anyone can come from anywhere and be successful. We need doctors, maintenance technicians, pilots, technology experts, engineers, business and marketing professionals, to name a few. Almost any degree can be a fit for the aviation industry. Education is a large part of what we do at the FAM. From our free camps to our highly interactive Intro to Aviation courses, there is something always going on at the FAM to continue sharing our love and passion for aviation. 

    Our Drone Cage

    Finding a passion in a career is not an easy task for most of us. I was very lucky to have the experiences with my father while growing up. If I were to offer any advice to future students, I would say to follow your heart and your passions and do something you truly love! The path is not always easy, but it›s truly the challenges that help make us who we are in the end. I highly recommend having a goal and a plan to accomplish what you are seeking, but be ready for pivots and changes along the way; it makes the journey exciting and fun. 

    Here at the FAM, we are always looking for ways to engage our guests and to create interactive and memorable experiences. We are hard at work planning a very busy and exciting summer. The events we are hosting include: 

    The First Annual Aviation Career Expo in partnership with the NDAA - May 14

    An Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Fly-In - May 15

    Our annual Golf Tournament - June 21

    The Fargo AirSho - July 24-25

    Our monthly Veterans Coffee Hour - the second Wednesday of each month

    Our Youth Camp - three times each month

    Lastly, we have also been working hard on securing new aircraft into the museum with a potential North American F-86 Sabre, Northrop F-5E, Stinson Reliant Gull-wing, Pietenpol Air Camper, and a Grumman J2F Duck. 

    We are also adding interactive exhibits with a Drone Flight Experience Exhibit, where guests fly drones at the FAM as well as in an advanced virtual reality-based Flight Simulator Lab, modeled after the UND’s lab. FAM guests can try their hand at one of the most realistic flight experiences out there. 


    Stinson Gull-Wing Project

    For more information about our upcoming events or to check out the museum, visit www.fargoairmuseum.org

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