Log in
  • August 09, 2021 10:33 | Anonymous

    NDAA Executive Director’s Note by The Staiger Consulting Group


    “We know summer 

    is the height of 

    being alive.”

                  -GARY SHTEYNGART


    As a true North Dakotan and self-proclaimed lake bum, I view summers as a great gift and precious resource. I am fascinated to see how families and communities awaken and unearth in summertime. We are scrambling to get ready for weekends at the lake and staying up WAY past the little one’s bedtime, in order to get another couple minutes of wonderful driveway conversation with the neighbors as our dirty but happy kids play in their not-so-secret fort.

    The extended daylight offers us bonus time in the summer, maybe as a peace offering for surviving its stingy presence in the winter months, when we run to work in the dark and scramble home in the dark. When it’s too cold and too bitter to interact with people outside of our immediate family. When we are snuggling in with a book by the fire, cheering at football games, and enjoying cozy movie nights. Not now though; this is the time of year when we get outside and pack it all in!

    Communities awaken in the summer; it’s time for summer theatre, outdoor sports, community pools, zoos and parks, and day trips to museums or pitchfork fondues. I feel more connected to my community in the summer and more inclined to participate in these types of events, as I am motivated by the fact that our precious window of time for these events is rather limited. 

    I think this can also be said for the aviation community. I am excited to see all the community fly-ins, which bring people together, fundraisers, air shows, and camps for students. In addition, the air museums have a variety of events happening for those of us who pop our heads out of our winter caves. This is inspiring and I hope you can take advantage of the many wonderful summer aviation activities throughout the state, including all the local fly-ins and fundraisers. What a great way to see the state, support communities, and connect with old and new friends. 

    The North Dakota Aviation Association (NDAA) will also be hosting one of these wonderful community events: the Fly-ND Summerfest in Washburn, ND on August 19. Fly in or drive in for a day to celebrate summer and aviation! We will have the Airport Association of North Dakota meeting at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, the NDAA Scholarship Golf Tournament at Painted Woods Golf Course, self-guided activities for non-golfers, a BBQ social at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, combined with a North Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame presentation, honoring Bill Beeks. I cannot think of a better way to spend a summer day. We will be raising money for aviation students, spending time with friends, and celebrating and honoring an extraordinary individual who helped build a foundation in local aviation. More information can be found on the Fly-ND website: www.fly-nd.com. Our team is happy to help you sign up.

    We sincerely appreciate all the support from the Fly-ND Summerfest event sponsors and the fabulous committee who is putting it all together. We hope to see you there, packing it all in this summer, and maybe even staying up past your bedtime!

    Stacy & Mike Krumwiede

     



  • August 09, 2021 10:23 | Anonymous

    Another successful Wings and Wheels event was held on Jul 14, 2021 in Minot

    A fun time was had by many at the Gwinner Fly-In on July 10, 2021




    Photos courtesy of the Dakota Territory Air Museum & Andy Stroh


  • August 09, 2021 10:15 | Anonymous

    Director's Chair

    It is exciting to see that this summer has been full of aviation related activities, which helps make up for some of the lost time that we experienced last summer when most events were canceled due to COVID-19. Be sure to visit our events page on the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission website at www.aero.nd.gov/events to view a list of all of the exciting upcoming events that are available for you and your family to participate in. Also, feel free to contact our office to share any aviation related events that we are unaware of, so that we can help spread the word for you and your community.

    One incredible event that I had the privilege to attend earlier this spring was the North Dakota Aviation Association (NDAA) Career Expo. This was the first time that aviation leaders in our state took it upon themselves to plan and hold a special event that was tailored towards high school students that were known to have an interest in aviation. I was astounded at the level of participation from the aviation community to support this event, through sponsoring scholarships and/or by taking the time to visit with students by hosting a booth. A huge thank you is needed to all of those who made the event an incredible success and I hope to see even more participation from aviators and students at the fall event, which is scheduled to take place at the Dakota Territory Air Museum in Minot on October 6.

    Our agency is well known for helping to plan and finance airport infrastructure projects. However, we also work hard to further develop and promote aviation education initiatives throughout the state. Whether it’s supporting aviation curriculum and technology in our high school classrooms or working with the aviation museums and NDAA on events and initiatives, we help to promote exciting aviation careers to the next generation. Visit our website to learn more about these programs and initiatives and feel free to contact us to share any new ideas that you may have on how we could work together to further promote aviation within our communities.

    Other than scheduled events, there are also other opportunities that exist to participate in and to help grow local aviation. One additional way is to consider donating to an aviation scholarship fund or participating in the Fly-ND SummerFest golf tournament on August 19, where proceeds will also go to support youth aviation scholarships. These scholarships have a real impact on the lives of the next generation of aviators and the NDAA is making a real effort to establish endowments that would provide ongoing scholarships to ensure meaningful impacts for many years to come. We also plan to honor the 2021 Hall of Fame inductee, Bill Beeks, at the conclusion of the SummerFest and we hope that you are also able to join us to help celebrate his accomplishments.

    Our goal is to continue to build a culture and tradition of excellence in aviation within our state and with so many great North Dakotan aviators and opportunities on the horizon, I truly believe that the best is yet to come.

    Wishing you smooth flying, Kyle


    Kyle Wanner, Director

    North Dakota Aeronautics Commission

    701-328-9650 | kcwanner@nd.gov



  • 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)


Copyright © 2021 North Dakota Aviation Association

North Dakota Aviation Association

(701) 223-3184
PO Box 7370
Bismarck, ND 58507

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software