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  • July 27, 2022 15:56 | Anonymous

    NDAA Executive Directors Note

    By The Staiger Consulting Group

    I grabbed my Starbucks coffee and found a quiet, sunny corner of the airport which overlooked the runway, ramp, and taxiway. I found myself simply mesmerized, watching all the people that make every single flight happen. 

    It was almost like a well-choreographed production and rightfully so; there are so many people working together to make things go and work smoothly and safely. My genuine appreciation for the individuals in this carefully crafted production was deepened even further. This immediately reminded me of the goal of the North Dakota Aviation Association and how we too are trying to convey and bring together all components of aviation. Our overall mission is one of serving aviation professionals, by providing a forum for the exchange of information, ideas, and experience among their peers across aviation professionals, and enthusiasts across the state; all the different areas work together, strengthening our entire community of aviation. 

    This recognition comes at a time in our world where the headlines indicate that we could all use a little dose of community connection and coming together to produce exceptional results. Let’s be that for our members and for this industry! 

    On behalf of the Executive Director team, I want to thank all of you readers, volunteers, members, board of directors, and aviation enthusiasts for your role in helping to make this organization a success. I cannot stress how you too can make a difference in the organization. 

    Here’s some ways to get involved and make a difference:

    Summerfest in Williston – August 19, 2022, followed by the Williston Air Show on August 20..

    Career Expo – October 6, 2022, at the Fargo Air Museum 

    Fly-ND Conference – March 5-7, 2023, at the Ramkota Hotel in Bismarck

    Each one of you is part of something bigger, and your role is noted and worthy of recognition. I know we are trying new things and stretching our wings, while making great progress for the industry and having a lasting impact on the future of aviation in the state. 

     

    Stacy & Mike Krumwiede


  • July 27, 2022 15:53 | Anonymous

    Many challenges within the aviation industry have presented themselves over the last few months. Most of the vocalized concerns that we have heard within both the public and private sectors are tied to rising project and operational costs, as well as continued difficulties in hiring and retaining a qualified workforce. These impacts are being felt throughout the airline industry, General Aviation, and airport construction sectors.

    The airline industry has come a long way, since the beginning stages of COVID-19 led to a 95% drop in passenger traffic in April of 2020. Now, many of our commercial airports are within reach of a full recovery in pre-pandemic passenger demand; however, new challenges have emerged. The airlines are currently citing inability to add additional flights into the system, due to the pilot and staff shortages that are currently plaguing the industry. Additionally, increased operational costs are resulting in higher fares for the traveling public. These new realities present headwinds for retaining and attracting new air service opportunities, which hurts the overall health of an industry that is now coping with rising break-even costs. In order to once again see sustainable passenger growth above pre-pandemic levels, additional flights or larger aircraft with additional seats will need to be added into North Dakota’s system. Furthermore, systematic workforce needs must be addressed and energy costs will need to improve and stabilize. 

    General Aviation activity throughout the country has also been greatly impacted by both the rising costs of fuel and the current prices of purchasing or upgrading aircraft. In conversations with aircraft operators, I have heard many concerns regarding fuel prices and the large role that those rising costs have had on their flight decisions.

    The airport construction sector has also been experiencing inflationary and supply chain issues, which have substantially driven up costs. These challenges have been taking a toll on infrastructure projects as decision makers throughout the country are postponing projects, scaling back others, and reprioritizing needs. Specifically, airport project costs throughout the state of North Dakota have recently averaged 17% higher than expected, when comparisons are made to pre-bid engineering estimates. Contractors have also vocalized concerns regarding the unknown future prices of materials and the escalating energy costs that are being experienced. Acquiring new snow removal and aircraft rescue and fire fighting equipment has also become increasingly difficult, as most airport deliveries are currently projected to be out 18-24 months. 

    A robust national energy policy, strong efforts to contain inflationary pressures, a reduction of regulatory burdens, and a lowering of barriers to entry for the workforce, are all areas that would have immediate and positive impacts for the aviation industry. These issues are being continually discussed at the national level and will need to be addressed as soon as possible, to alleviate the concerns that many of us within the industry have been vocalizing. 

    Fortunately, good pre-planning was able to position most of our airport projects in North Dakota to be bid early in the construction season. This allowed for a greater opportunity to receive competitive prices and provided more time for contractors to secure supplies. The North Dakota Aeronautics Commission is also currently in a financially sound position, which has allowed airports to secure state grants to help fill in funding gaps where appropriate. These efforts have resulted in the ability for most of our high priority airport projects that were planned in the upcoming construction season to be able to proceed. Our office will continue to engage with airport management and community leaders to readjust and plan for 2023 and beyond. 

    Overall, North Dakota has done a tremendous job over the years to maintain, develop, and enhance our airport system which now allows us to help address the current challenges from a position of strength. Our priority is to work to ensure that a positive business environment exists so that the aviation industry can grow and prosper to the direct benefit of our communities and to the flying public. 

    When we fly, we can’t direct the wind, but we can reroute our flight plan and adjust the aircraft controls. Challenging moments help to bring people together while also creating opportunities for positive changes to occur. I encourage all of us to positively build up our communities and to work towards making decisions that will improve the standard of living for current and future generations. 

    If you have any concerns or ideas to help improve and grow aviation within your community, we would love to hear from you. I also hope that you and your family are able to enjoy the summer weather and discover opportunities to create exciting new memories in the field of aviation. 

    Wishing you smooth flying, 

    Kyle


  • July 27, 2022 15:44 | Anonymous

    A warm hello to all of you once again. I hope this issue of the Fly-ND Quarterly finds you doing well! Summer is clearly upon us, with the toasty temperatures, afternoon thunderstorms are often popping up, and the Fourth of July fireworks are behind us by a few weeks. Summer flying can be a lot of fun, with unique challenges like avoiding thunderstorms. However, one important point I’ve learned during summer flying is to remember your passenger’s comfort!

    A few years back, I had to make a day trip out to Billings, MT, and back. A friend decided to join me for the day. The flight out that morning was fairly routine, with one deviation for weather, then direct to Billings. That afternoon when it was time to depart back to Bismarck, the temperature had climbed to about 95 degrees. We jumped in the airplane and I got it started up. I started reviewing the taxi diagram, getting ATIS, getting my clearance, plugging everything into the GPS and Autopilot and was finally ready to start taxiing. I looked over at my friend, and the sweat was running down him like a hose. I didn’t even notice how warm it was in the cabin, as I was consumed with getting everything ready. He surely noticed how warm it was! In my focus on getting ready, I didn’t think about taxiing out a bit and turning so the sun wasn’t coming straight into the cabin from the windscreen. Later as we climbed to our cruising altitude of 7,000 feet, the air was still quite warm and bumpy. I requested and was granted a climb up to 11,000 feet where we found smooth and cool air. My friend finally mentioned how warm it was earlier, and that this altitude was much better. 

    Another evening in early July, my family and I were on our way back from another trip to Grand Forks, ND, for a Red Pepper supper. The evening had turned to night, as we passed somewhere around Carrington, ND. Suddenly, I heard a commotion from the kids in the back seat. They had spotted fireworks a ways off. Being on a VFR flight, I decided to give the passengers some enjoyment and turned toward the fireworks. We flew a couple of circles over the small-town fireworks display, and enjoyed a view not seen by many.

    Enjoy your summer flying and remember to make your flight enjoyable for your passengers!

      Justin Weninger, Chairman

      North Dakota Aviation Association

      chairman@fly-nd.com


  • May 19, 2022 13:22 | Anonymous

    Read the NOTAM

    If the headline for this story was “One Tip for Flying in to AirVenture,” this would be it. Some NOTAMS are one or two sentences — ours is 32 pages, and it’s an absolutely mandatory read before you fly in. Wittman Field in Oshkosh becomes the busiest airport in the world during the week of AirVenture, and that only works because people follow the rules in the NOTAM. It’s available as a download or you can order a printed copy and we’ll send it to you for free, as long as you promise to read it.

    1. Arrive Before You Get Here If you have a PC-based simulator like Microsoft Flight Simulator X(currently available from Dovetail Games via the Steam marketplace) or X-Plane, you can fly the Fisk arrival, or any of the others, for that matter, before you leave the house. Enhanced scenery packages are available for both platforms, but even out of the box, you’ll see important landmarks and can get familiar with the routes. You’ll occasionally find prepackaged scenarios, especially on simulators from a company like RedBird, which run on a variant of Microsoft Flight Simulator, that include custom ATC and traffic, but using the simulator is more about landmarks and time and distance than it is about what you hear on the radio. If you don’t have a sim at home, you can do much the same thing on a platform like Google Earth.

    2. Learn the Language Once the AirVenture NOTAM goes into effect the Thursday before opening day, you can listen in on arrivals and departures, and even the air show air boss, from anywhere in the world via LiveATC. LiveATC also has some archives available, which, while dated, can still give you a feel for what you’ll hear when you get here. YouTube is another great source for ATC audio, with examples like this and this, among hundreds. There are even some unfortunately spectacular examples of what not to do.

    3. Watch Somebody Else Do It You can hop in the right seat with one of our volunteer pilots and the NOTAM chairman Fred Stadler and take a detailed look at each step of the traditional VFR arrivals as well as a typical VFR departure in this five-part video series. And, once again, YouTube is also a great place to get a pilot’s eye view of the arrival procedure, which can go a long way to letting you know what to expect. You can just head to YouTube directly and search for terms like “Oshkosh arrival.”

    4. Go to School Every year, we present a live webinar that steps you through the AirVenture arrival procedures. These presentations last about an hour, and include time for questions and answers. 

    5. Know Your Numbers This seems like common sense, but you might be surprised. When you arrive at Ripon, the procedure in the NOTAM mandates that you fly at 1,800 feet at a speed of 90 knots (or 2,300 feet and 135 knots for faster aircraft.) This doesn’t mean 85 knots or 97 knots — it means 90. Know your power settings so that, when the time comes, you can nail your speeds.

    6. Hit the Dot Here’s another one from the common sense file: If your spot — or, in our case, dot — landing skills aren’t up to par, go out and practice. If you need to, get a little extra dual instruction. When you’re cleared to land on a given dot, our procedures only work if you do just that. Landing short or floating and touching down a couple of hundred feet past the dot can cause all kinds of separation problems.

    7. Bring a Friend Just make sure it’s the right kind of friend, the kind you trust to help provide you with an extra set of eyes and ears to watch for traffic, listen to ATC, etc. The kind of friend who’s flown in to AirVenture before is a bonus. If you bring the kind of friend who’s loud and distracting, brief them thoroughly and firmly before you leave so that they know when it’s time to be quiet.

    8. Check on Parking While we’re always committed to accommodating all of our visitors, sometimes being the busiest airport in the world can mean some temporary parking delays. You can check our parking status and get other updates on field conditions here.

    9. Tie a Knot If your airplane is hangared full time, you might be a little out of practice when it comes to using tie downs. Take a minute to practice, and, while you’re at it, check out your tie downs themselves. If they don’t look like they’re up to the task, you can build your own. Find instructions, as well as some tips on knots, rope types, and all other things tie-down-related here.

    10. Save Money Along the Way FBOs and airport managers all across the U.S. offer everything from free snacks and discounted ramp fees to courtesy cars and fuel discounts to pilots heading to AirVenture. Before you set off for Oshkosh, check out our list of special offers that might be available along your route.

    Reprinted with permission from EAA.org.


    Venturing to the World’s Largest Annual Fly-In 

    Are you interested in flying to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh this summer? Here are some tips to make your journey a success! 

    EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is July 25-31, and pilots from everywhere are already making their preparations to fly to Oshkosh for the world’s largest annual fly-in convention. An important part of those preparations is fully reading and understanding the Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM, formerly Notice to Airmen) for AirVenture.

    In May, the NOTAM will be available for download via the EAA website – just go to the “Flying In” area of EAA.org/AirVenture. Along with the 32-page NOTAM available for download as a PDF document, EAA’s webpage includes videos that fly the Fisk approach, including the transition points used prior to arrival at Wittman Regional Airport. 

    Also available are tips for flying into major fly-ins, supplied by the National Transportation Safety Board, and FAA’s graphic NOTAM/TFR website that shows other areas that may affect your flight to Oshkosh. 

    The Oshkosh NOTAM is a required part of a pilot’s AirVenture preparation and should be fully understood prior to departure for the event.

    Other recommendations for flying to Oshkosh, along with all other AirVenture information, is continually updated at EAA.org/AirVenture.


    Courtesy of Dick Knapinski, EAA Communications


  • May 19, 2022 13:19 | Anonymous

    Military aviation is an important part of our state’s aviation community. In this spotlight, we highlight some of our local military aviators, who represent North Dakota around the world, and share their stories with you. We thank them for their dedicated service to our country and community.

    Our spotlight in this issue features Loren Obrigewitch, a First Sergeant (1SG) in the Army National Guard.

    Q: What is your hometown?

    I grew up in Beach, ND. I left at 19 to join the Army, and I left active duty in 1999 and joined the North Dakota National Guard (NDNG.) Currently, I live in Dickinson, ND.

    Q: What is your job title? What does your work include?

    I am a first sergeant of Company A of 1-112th aviation battalion.Most of my career was serving as a Petroleum Supply Specialist refueling aircraft and as a platoon sergeant. I also worked in flight operations for the first couple years in the NDNG.

    Q: How many years of service do you have? 

    I have 35 years total, with a little over 12 as active duty army and 23 in the National Guard. I have also been a military-technician at the North Dakota Army Aviation Support Facility since 2007.

    Q: What inspired you to join the military?

    The first time I saw a Memorial Day ceremony, conducted by the ex-GI’s, when I was a child in Beach, ND. They provided the 21-gun salute and gave us kids the brass from their M1 Garands. 

    Q: What has been the most rewarding part of your job/time in the military?

    Working with and training soldiers. Watching them develop their leadership skills and become professionals at their chosen career fields.

    Q: What advice do you have for anyone interested in military aviation?

    Talk to a recruiter, pick a goal, and pursue it. It can take several tries to get the job you want in Army aviation.


  • May 19, 2022 13:09 | Anonymous

    UND’s first dual-credit course provides high school students with bird’s-eye view of aviation careers.


    Students at Red River High School are able to try out flight simulators and learn the basics of aviation by enrolling in Aviation I, an elective long taught by UND Associate Professor Leslie Martin. This semester, UND provided students the opportunity to take the career and technical education course for dual credit – a first for the University. Photo courtesy of Leslie Martin.


    Believe it or not, UND isn’t the only place in Grand Forks where you can find an “Introduction to Aviation” course.

    Just visit Red River High School, where one classroom stands out with its selection of desk-mounted aircraft steering columns and throttle controls.

    Since 2014, Associate Professor Leslie Martin has taught aviation year-round at the high school level, in addition to fulfilling her duties as an aviation department faculty member at the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences.

    Until recently, Martin’s work between UND and Red River High School was connected in concept only. But this semester, the general aviation course she delivers as a career and technical education elective has developed into UND’s first dual-credit course offering – ever.

    According to Janelle Kilgore, vice provost for strategic enrollment management, UND’s foray into offering college-level academic credit to high school students came about with recent approval at the state level to do so.

    Such approval was granted with the understanding that the University wouldn’t offer courses already available from other institutions, such as Lake Region State College in Devils Lake, that have historically offered a variety of dual-credit courses.

    “Aerospace is very specialized to UND, so we’re thrilled to offer this dual-credit course,” Kilgore said.

    She further indicated that other courses are in the works, including one in American Indian Studies. UND is the only university in the state to offer that specific major.

    “With Professor Martin already teaching the high school aviation course, it was a relatively easy lift to get that started,” Kilgore added. “We’re working on the logistics to make sure that students coming to UND for dual-credit have a great experience.”

    Exploring more pathways for students

    At Red River High School, the reason to start offering an aviation class was to expand the career and technical education opportunities available for students – to help them explore and start developing career pathways available in the region and nationwide, said Eric Ripley, executive director for career and technical education at Grand Forks Public Schools.

    At the time of creating the course, Bismarck was home to the only other high school delivering an aviation elective in the state, Ripley said.

    “We certainly felt that with UND, Grand Forks Air Force Base and even partners on the Minnesota side at Northland Community & Technical College, the presence of aviation would make a lot of sense for Grand Forks, too,” he said.

    Surveys showed high student interest for the topic, and soon the search was on for a teacher.

    Martin had been teaching professional development classes through UND, showing math and science teachers how to incorporate aviation topics into their classes – not far off from what she’ll be doing this summer on behalf of an FAA workforce development grant.

    Ripley sat through one of the classes, spoke with Martin about the idea for the elective, and Martin later applied to teach the high school-level course.

    “I got the position a couple of weeks before class started,” Martin recalled. “It was a bit of a scramble to make sure I had the appropriate teaching license.”

    Intro to the industry


    On a field trip to UND, Martin’s students took a spin on the air traffic control simulators. Each year, Martin works to develop field trips and tours that show students what they can do in aviation. Image courtesy of Leslie Martin.

    Through the years, Martin has leveraged her connections at UND and in the regional aerospace industry to deliver a well-rounded perspective about aviation as a study, practice and industry. In addition to getting simulator stations set up in her classroom, including a cockpit simulator donated by UND, Martin has also made a point to take her students on field trips each year (pandemic notwithstanding).

    “It’s a class available to sophomores, juniors and seniors, and my goal is to teach them about all aspects of aviation,” she said. “A lot of them come in thinking, ‘I want to be a pilot,’ which is great, and I do talk a lot about flight training. We practice maneuvers on simulators and talk about principles of flight. But I really just want them to have a fun class where they’re learning about the whole industry.”

    On one recent excursion, Martin took students on a tour of UND’s air traffic control simulators and spent two days learning to use the equipment. Another time, the manager of GFK or Grand Forks International Airport spoke to the class about his job and what’s involved in running an airport.

    Another big field trip that Martin likes to do near the end of the school year involves touring not only the Grand Forks airport, but also facilities near Hillsboro, N.D., along Interstate 29, as well as at Fargo Jet Center and Hector International Airport.

    Between various guest speakers and real-world experiences, on top of the everyday curriculum, students get a 360-degree perspective throughout the year-long course.

    “In the classroom, I’m also throwing in current events, scholarships, how to get a private pilot’s license and how to look into other career possibilities,” Martin said. “It’s not about whether they come to UND, or decide to become a pilot. It’s just an introduction: ‘Here’s what the industry is all about.’”


    At the Hillsboro Municipal Airport, touring students saw the inner workings of aircraft maintenance and other operations at the airstrip situated along Interstate 29. Image courtesy of Leslie Martin.

    New connections

    Red River High School students who wanted to change their “Aviation I” enrollment to dual-credit had the opportunity to do so for the spring semester.

    The change has required some restructuring, but Martin noted that Aviation I’s content was already on-par with what’s covered in UND’s Aviation 105 – the introductory course upon which the high school elective is based.

    “Since this is so new, everyone is still in the same classroom,” Martin said. “They’ll all get the same assignments.”

    Ripley said that the transition to dual credit for the course validates the quality of Grand Forks’ career and technical education opportunities for high school students. Partnering with a four-year institution for dual credit is a win-win when it comes to helping students see connections between high school and whatever is next for them, he added, whether that’s a degree from UND or another path to post-secondary success.

    “Ultimately, I’m a huge believer in these types of agreements,” said Ripley of the new partnership with UND. “I’m appreciative for Professor Martin for delivering the course and for Associate Dean Elizabeth Bjerke, who has been a champion of this effort and has worked at the higher levels to push this through.”

    Ready for the right space

    And as the aviation course further develops, another burgeoning aspect of career and technical education in Grand Forks will change how it and other courses are delivered.

    In recent weeks, the Career Impact Academy – a new physical location meant to deliver education experiences to the Grand Forks region – crossed an important milestone, receiving a $10 million match from the North Dakota Department of Career and Technical Education following a months-long fundraising effort.

    According to the Grand Forks Herald, a collaborative partnership between area education, industry and business interests committed nearly $11 million in financial and in-kind contributions, resulting in the maximum state match. Since the formation of the Academy’s working group and leadership committees, UND has taken an active role in advancing the project and mapping its eventual programming.

    Once the project is completed, the Career Impact Academy will likely be the home for the aviation course currently hosted by Red River High School, Ripley said.

    “The current classroom is a former business education room, so it wasn’t really designed with aviation in mind,” he said. “We’re doing the best we can with the space, but our future ability to build the right space with the right design will help raise the profile of the course.

    “And with the location just down the street from UND, it’s going to be a better space for serving out-of-town students and grow participation. Bringing over a somewhat established program to the Academy, with dual credit on the table, that’s huge.”

    Ripley indicated that all parties are on the same page when it comes to UND offering dual credit courses where it best makes sense – allowing for regional technical colleges to continue their longstanding offerings for high school students.

    “This example of aviation showcases that partnering with four-year research institutions can be done where it makes sense and fits,” Ripley remarked. “For example, offering an automotive dual-credit course wouldn’t make as much sense for UND as it does for Lake Region.

    “We want to be strategic in making connections with UND that help our students make educated decisions on their next step after high school.”


  • May 19, 2022 13:07 | Anonymous

    By Ron Lundquist 

    Let me ask you a little-off-the wall question: have you ever been really lucky in aviation? I mean really lucky? I’ll share a story to illustrate what I mean.

    Around 1995, I was working as a crop duster. A farmer had dropped off a map of a field with assurance that all obstacles had been accounted for. I loaded up later that morning and headed to the field. I dropped down on the field and was about halfway across, when I got a feeling that something was wrong. The plane was running fine, the air was smooth, but something didn’t seem right. I pulled on the spray handle, shutting off the chemical and tugged back on the stick just in time to see a power line pass below the airplane. Had I continued on with my spray run, I would have certainly hit the wires. Would it have brought the airplane down? I’m not sure, but it sure might have ruined my day!

    We can go back through the history of aviation and find these events. Some people that experience them are regular people like you and me, while others are quite well known. Some seem kind of eerie; others sound like luck.

    Lindsay Wagner, who was the leading lady in the television show The Bionic Woman, suddenly started to feel ill before her flight on American Airlines 191 on May 25, 1979. She decided not to take her flight that day and went home feeling better as she exited the airport. It tragically crashed after takeoff from Chicago, IL, killing everyone aboard.

    Denny Fitch was jumpseating on United Airlines 232 which crashed in Sioux City, IA, on July 19, 1989. He came forward and ran the throttles, helping Al Haynes and his crew get the DC-10 to Sioux City. Capt. Haynes said without Fitch, the outcome would have certainly been different. In Denver, prior to the flight, Fitch had passed up an earlier United flight and was leaving from a gate that was a shorter walk than the accident flight. When asked why, he had no idea.

    Another personal story: and this is about being unlucky! A fellow pilot and I reached our overnight destination years ago and when we picked up our room keys, I got 401 and he got 402. He calmly turned to me and said, “Would you mind trading with me?” I was a little puzzled and responded, “Sure, but why?” He said years ago, he was piloting a Cessna 402 and an electrical fire had started onboard the aircraft. He landed as fast as he could, and exited the airplane to watch it pretty much burn to the ground. Years later, while in the Navy, he had to eject from an aircraft while approaching an aircraft carrier to land. I don’t remember the details but I remember the aircraft number: 402! And lastly, as he sat with his dad who was dying of cancer, he glanced at the clock as his father drew his last breath. The time? You guessed it, exactly 4:02. We switched rooms, as he didn’t want to push his luck!

    9/11 was a day filled with lucky outcomes. Michael Jackson was supposed to have a meeting at the top of the Twin Towers on the morning of September 11th. He missed it, because he had stayed up until 3:00 a.m. talking to his mom and then overslept. 

    Actor Mark Wahlberg was supposed to be on American Airlines Flight 11, going to his home in Los Angeles. He and some friends chartered a private plane at the last minute and flew to a film festival in Toronto.

    Actor Seth MacFarlane, who also created the Family Guy cartoon, arrived for American Airlines Flight 11 late, after his agent told him the wrong departure time.

    Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, had an interview run long on a morning television show that morning, which ended up saving her life. Otherwise, she would have been on the 101st floor of the North Tower working at her charity.

    Then we have E Jack Ridout; he got lucky three times. Jack was involved in a car accident in the early 1970’s. He survived and was declared physically unfit to serve in the Vietnam War. He also survived the deadliest aviation accident in history, when two 747s (KLM 4805 and Pan Am 1736) ran into each other in fog on the Spanish island of Tenerife. There were 583 deaths and 61 survivors, Ridout being one of them. Lastly, he was supposed to be on Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 182, which collided with a Cessna over the skies of San Diego. It crashed, killing all aboard. Ridout had been staying in Los Angeles during a heat wave with a friend who didn’t have air conditioning. Not being able to stand another night sleeping in the heat, Ridout caught a flight home to San Diego a day early, missing the accident flight.

    So are all these instances luck? A premonition perhaps? Or something else? I know I’ve experienced them multiple times and I bet you have too. Let’s be careful out there and here’s to having luck on our side!

  • May 19, 2022 13:03 | Anonymous

    By Ryan Riesinger, Executive Director, Grand Forks Regional Airport Authority President, Airport Association of North Dakota

    The 2022 FLY-ND Conference was held March 6-8, 2022, at the Fargo Delta Marriott hotel. It was awesome to be back in person and the event was a great success. I would like to provide a recap of the conference news and actions relative to the Airport Association of North Dakota (AAND).

    Every year at our annual AAND Business Meeting, we elect Officers (President, Vice-President, and Secretary/Treasurer) and five District Directors who, along with the Past President, serve as the Board of AAND. This year, we made a conscious effort to bring balance to the Board with more representation from our General Aviation (GA) airports. I am happy to report we have two new members on our Board and both of them are from GA airports – we welcome Mike Nehring of Mohall and Andy Tibert of Grafton. Our new Board members are as follows:

    Ryan Riesinger, President, Grand Forks (I)

    Anthony Dudas, Vice-President, Williston (I)

    Jordan Dahl, Secretary/Treasurer, Fargo (I)

    Matthew Remynse, Past President, Bismarck (I)

    Mike Nehring, District 1, Mohall

    Maria Romanick, District 2, Minot (I)

    Andy Tibert, District 3, Grafton

    Ron Lundquist, District 4, Kindred (I)

    Kelly Braun, District 5, Dickinson (I)

    It was also discussed how important it is for airports of all sizes to join AAND, engage, attend the conference and activities, participate in legislative action items, and be a part of the discussion. We had separate Roundtable discussion meetings for Commercial Service and GA airports – this worked well and will be continued at future conferences, to foster conversation and sharing of best practices. Together, we have had many successes legislatively and in advancing important projects and promoting aviation. If you have not already paid your 2022 AAND dues, invoices will be going out soon. Please consider joining, so we can make the Association even stronger.

    AAND members voted to continue sponsoring the Gerald K. Olson Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $1,500. This scholarship is awarded to a current University of North Dakota Airport Management student and is a wonderful way to remember Jerry.

    We also awarded $1,000 for an educational Airport Lighting Maintenance Seminar, to be held in Grand Forks in September 2022. We know sending personnel to far-away training seminars can be expensive, so AAND has been supporting in-state training classes, like this one, for several years. I encourage you to have a member who performs maintenance at your airport attend this seminar. 

    Thank you to the 2022 Fly-ND Conference Site Selection Committee, the ND Aviation Association, and all sponsors and attendees who made the Conference a great success! 

    Keep ‘em  flying!


  • 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.


  • May 18, 2022 17:08 | Anonymous

    The North Dakota Aeronautics Commission (NDAC) is nearing the completion of our triennial Pavement Condition Index (PCI) Study update, which is completed in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). As part of the study, an online Airport Pavement Management System (APMS) is developed to evaluate the current pavement condition and predict future conditions based on the PCI. The APMS is designed to meet FAA requirements of Advisory Circular No: 150/5380-7B – Airport Pavement Management Program (PMP); however, it is customized with unique features by NDAC and developed by a consultant.

    North Dakota comprises 89 public airports, of which 72 are paved and assessed as part of the study. The cumulative area of all airside pavement at these airports is approximately 60 million square feet. The current pavement split by airport classification is about 42% for general aviation and 58% for commercial service airports.

    The APMS uses the PCI information to develop a maintenance program and help identify the most cost-effective method and recommended timing of rehabilitation projects. The program allows the NDAC, FAA, and airport management to plan and budget for the required maintenance needed to extend the service life of existing pavements. The PCI information and maintenance program also provides us with critical information to assist in updating 10-year individual and statewide airport Capital 

    Improvement Plans (CIP).

    In the review process of the PCI data, a few trends were noted. One trend was the percentage of asphalt pavements with raveling. Raveling is the dislodging of coarse aggregate on the surface of asphalt pavement. These pavements may show signs of aging and hardening, known as weathering, and result in loss of fine aggregates. Fine aggregate aid in preventing raveling. Together, these distress types may result in the production of Foreign Object Debris (FOD), increasing the potential for aircraft damage. In our region of the country, pavement goes through harsh cold, which is a significant contributor to aggregate loss. The total pavement area with raveling rose from 44% in 2018 to 55% in 2021. This increase of nearly three million square feet is significant. We continue to work to identify solutions to reduce these impacts and further prevent these distress types from creating systematic issues and maintaining safe pavements.

    Some may think airport work in North Dakota is slowing down, due to a significant effort over the last decade to rebuild and expand infrastructure across North Dakota, largely on the state’s western side. The fact is that work continues, and project needs have not gone away but instead have shifted or changed. In an unlimited funding scenario, the state’s airports would need an estimated $250 million over the next five years to maintain and rebuild all of the pavement projects identified in the PCI study. This does not include other types of projects, such as pavement expansion projects, building projects, or drainage projects. This affirms that the state has an ongoing challenge in prioritizing its projects within the system.

    The included graphic shows the PCI distribution of the 60 million square feet of pavement and the changes in the system that have occurred since the last inspection in 2018. The area-weighted PCI value of the entire airport system is a 77 (on a scale of 0-100), similar to the 2018 and 2015 analyses. Overall, the results show that our state does a great job in maintaining and prioritizing pavement maintenance and rehabilitation. The NDAC will continue to prioritize and emphasize the importance of good shovel-ready projects.

    We look forward to working with the FAA and our airports to utilize this data fully and will continue to strive to lead the country and set a strong example through our efforts to preserve and update our airport system.

    For more information on the PCI study and to use the interactive database, please visit the following link: https://aero.nd.gov/studies/pavement-condition-index/.



    Nels Lund, Airport Planner

    North Dakota Aeronautics Commission 

    701-328-9650 | nlund@nd.gov


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