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.
Samantha Ripley and Joe Taylor, recipients of the 2019 Minnesota Pilots Association Scholarships, gave us an update at the end of the year on their progress. The MPA is proud to support these young folks in pursuit of their aviation careers!
Samantha Ripley Checks In
My name is Samantha Ripley and I was one of the lucky recipients of a scholarship from the Minnesota Pilots Association last spring at The Great Minnesota Aviation Gathering in Buffalo, MN. I am a Junior at UND studying Commercial Aviation. I am currently working on my multi-engine rating and at the end of this flight course I will be a multi-engine, instrument rated commercial pilot. I am also currently finishing up the aerobatic course in the Decathlon. Let’s just say that the barf bag and I have become very acquainted.
Yesterday my MEI and I flew to Baudette, MN on a short cross-country flight. Along our route we passed over a massive aerial crane that was working on some powerlines. When we got back from our supper at a local café, we were just in time to see the aerial crane land. The power from the rotor was so strong that I could feel myself getting pushed back. Definitely something I won’t forget. On the flight we worked a lot on single engine approaches, which have been a very fun to practice and get better at. I love the faster pace that has come with learning to fly the Seminole.
Next semester I am planning on getting my CFI rating, the following two semesters I plan on getting my CFII and completing UND’s simulated CRJ course. After I graduate from UND and finish my hours flight instructing I would love to fly float planes up in Alaska, one of my favorite places on Earth, or fly island hoppers down somewhere in the Caribbean for a bit before I head to the regionals. I am very excited to see where this career takes me, and I am very grateful to the Minnesota Pilots Association for helping me financially to achieve those goals.
An Update from Joe Taylor
This fall, the Captain Edward Erickson scholarship has helped continue my flight training here at the University of North Dakota. The current flight course I’m taking is the third in a series of four, one semester courses which combine basic attitude instrument flying, instrument procedures and approaches, the commercial certificate, and the multi-engine rating into one long training regime.
Since August, my flights have consisted of several VFR cross countries in addition to performing maneuvers required by the FAA Commercial Airman Certification Standards. Power-off 180 landings, chandelles, lazy eights, eights on pylons, and steep turns sure keep the flights challenging but enjoyable!
In addition to my flight training, I’ve continued to compete with the UND Flying Team. The team won the 2019 National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) championship in May where I competed in Aircraft Recognition. In mid October, we made the trek to Omaha, NE for the Region 6 Competition; I competed in Aircraft Recognition and Ground Trainer which is a precision instrument pattern flown on a flight simulator. The team scored first place, securing our spot for the National Competition at Oshkosh, WI in May.
I can’t thank the Minnesota Pilot’s Association, especially Ms. Barb Mack and Mr. Patrick Halligan, for supporting me in my journey to become a professional pilot. Thank you, thank you, thank you!