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The mission of the Minnesota Pilots Association (MNPA) is to promote and protect aviation in our State through advocacy, education, outreach and social activities.  Our association firmly believes that a healthy aviation community is an invaluable asset to the State of Minnesota.  MNPA membership and volunteers join to act as the voice of pilots, aviation enthusiasts and supporters of aviation in Minnesota.

President's Briefing

We are very excited to have finalized the Hangar Flying Session schedule, which can be found by clicking on the Great Minnesota Aviation Gathering link at the top of our home page. We are so pleased with the quality of speakers who have volunteered their time and talents to present a wide variety of topics that are relevant to aviation in Minnesota.

We hope you will plan to attend the event on both Friday and Saturday, April 10-11, 2015. Remember, active members of the MN Pilots Assn gain free admission into their very own event.

We hope you will take advantage of what is likely to be a one-time chance to experience the equivalent of an altitude chamber right at our event. The FAA’s portable reduced oxygen training enclosure (PROTE) will be available on a first come-first served basis on both days. MN Pilot Assn members can reserve a spot on the GMAG website, but will also be able to sign up on site. We also hope many of you will take advantage of the special offering of High Altitude Operations groundschool, beginning early Friday morning. You will become more knowledgeable about the effects of altitude on personal performance, even if you never intend to enter the “flight level” world.

We will be featuring Hangar Flying Session titles, a synopsis and biographical information in the next 10 days, so that you will get a flavor of what sessions you might want to attend.

Oh, yes, we will have beautiful programs available at the door, and wait till you see the special GMAG tee shirts that will be for sale!

See you at the Aviation Gathering!

Click here to see previous "President's Briefings"

“Successful Navigation of Your FAA Flight Physical” Hangar Flying Session

“Successful Navigation of Your FAA Flight Physical”

Randle Corfman, PhD, MD, Great Planes Flight Physicals

Presenting for your aviation medical examination can be a very stressful event. It is important to “preflight” for your flight physical, just as it is to preflight before initiating a flight. Several aspects of the preparation will be discussed, including successful completion of the FAA MedXPress online Form 8500. Tips will be offered which will make this process less stressful. A discussion of recent changes in the certification process, including body mass index, will be presented.

Randy Corfman is a physician and pilot who incorporates his love of practicing medicine with his love of aviation. A 5,000 hour commercial rated pilot, he holds instrument, multiengine and seaplane ratings. He flies a Cessna T210 across the upper Midwest to provide onsite consultations, and a Piper Super Cub for “real flying”. Randy grew up on a Kansas farm, watching airplanes flying overhead into and out of Wichita for as long as he can remember. He serves as an aviation medical examiner, in addition to his practice as a reproductive endocrinologist. Randy hosts “Medical Matters” on, a forum in which a variety of medical topics are discussed, as they relate to aviation. He is president and founding member of the Minnesota Pilots Association and a long term member of EAA and AOPA. Randy’s wife, Julie, and family appreciate and enjoy aviation and he is looking forward to getting his grandchildren into the friendly skies.

“Carburetor Icing: When Hell Freezes Over” Hangar Flying Session

“Carburetor Icing: When Hell Freezes Over”

Darrell Bolduc, Bolduc Aviation Services

Many of us fly carbureted engines, be they Lycoming or Continental, and it is important to understand how carburetor ice forms, how to detect carburetor icing and how to prevent the condition from occurring. Darrell is such an amazing asset for us here at the GMAG, as he leads the crew at Bolduc Aviation to maintain and overhaul aircraft engines. You will not want to miss this enlightening presentation by a giant in the field of engine maintenance and performance.

Darrell Bolduc has been the owner of Bolduc Aviation, an FAA approved power plant repair station, for 35 years. He has been an A&P for the past 47 years and an IA for 39 years. Darrell holds a Private Pilot certificate with single/multi engine, seaplane, and instrument ratings. Over the years, Darrell has owned several airplanes including a Cessna 185, for 29 years, which he has flown on wheels, skies, and floats.

“Cirrus Aircraft Corporation Update” Hangar Flying Session

“Cirrus Aircraft Corporation Update”

Gary Black, Cirrus Aircraft Corporation

We are very fortunate to have Cirrus Aircraft Corporation right here in Minnesota! Gary will highlight the history of Cirrus, as well as new developments that are underway at this innovative and progressive aircraft manufacturer. Special attention will be given to flight testing and the ballistic recovery system that is an inherent part of the Cirrus aircraft.

Gary Black is the Great Plains Regional Sales Director for Cirrus Aircraft based in Duluth, MN. He was one of the test pilots responsible for the flight testing and certification of the Cirrus SR20 and SR22. He has also served as the Director of Flight Operations, Central Division Director and Jet Sales Director. Gary is a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and was a presenter at the SETP National Symposium on the testing of the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) which has saved 105 lives to date. He flew previously as a test pilot for Maule, Piper and Socata Aircraft companies. Prior to being a civilian test pilot, Gary completed a career with the US Navy flying F-14 Tomcats off of aircraft carriers. Gary holds a Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Medical Technology, and completed his MBA work. He also attended the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN), in NAS Miramar, CA. Gary holds single and multiengine ratings with instructor certificates. He enjoys flying float and classic aircraft as well. He has been married to Celeste Curley-Black for over 30 years and they have two daughters, Amelia (22) and Jacqueline (13), who also love to fly.

“Unmanned Aircraft Systems-Defining Moments…” Hangar Flying Session

“Unmanned Aircraft Systems-Defining Moments in Aviation History”

Jonathan Beck, Northland Community College

The history of aviation is rich in innovation and passion from adventurous souls, thrill seekers, engineers and dreamers. The thought of flight has amazed young and old and filled the mind with possibilities. Advances in technology continue to generate great opportunities as well as concerns. UAS are a technology on the rise with great promise, underwritten with concern. What are unmanned aircraft systems, and is there room in the sky to welcome this new technology? Education and discussion from the experts in the air will be key to building a safe flight path and continuing the history of innovation aviation has cultivated for over a century.

Jonathan Beck has more than 14 years of aviation experience across multiple fields, including air traffic control, piloting, and ten year’s experience with Unmanned Aircraft System operations. He was a Standardization Pilot who helped create the Minnesota Army National Guard’s first unmanned systems program. After two overseas deployments he worked as an instructor and curriculum developer at Fort Huachuca in Arizona, the Army Headquarters for UAS training programs. He has piloted, operated camera sensors and performed maintenance on a wide variety of UAS ranging from hand-launched systems, to UAS with a 60-foot wingspan. He currently serves as an Instructor and UAS Department Program Manager at Northland Community and Technical College. This past summer he flew UAS to gather digital images of agriculture land for use in Northland’s Imagery Analyst Program. The project demonstrated great potential in the use of digital imagery to enhance farm management practices and was recently funded by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to continue the project for an additional 3 years. He is also in charge of a statewide initiative for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System to develop a structure to integrate small UAS education into existing programs and industries, which could greatly benefit from the use of this technology.