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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

Final flight planning is in progress for what we think will be a terrific Great Minnesota Aviation Gathering. I have posted a series of synopses that describe our Hangar Flying Sessions, our guest speakers and a little bit to show why we chose them to participate. Really, they are an outstanding group. We think you will want to be at the GMAG both days, as both are full of valuable presentations.

Take a look at our GMAG page…over 45 quality exhibitors will be showing their wares and sharing their passion for various aspects of aviation, including educational opportunities in aviation, representatives from the aircraft industries, volunteer organizations and aviation merchandise.

We also ask that you scan over the list of sponsors, who are supporting the MN Pilots Association and the GMAG. We are thankful for their support and we hope you will keep them in mind as you make choices in aviation.

The weather forecast is looking good, and we hope many will choose to fly in to the Anoka County-Blaine Airport. The tower folks at KANE are superb, understanding and friendly to pilots and aircraft! Parking directions will be posted here soon.

See you at the Gathering!

Click here to see previous "President's Briefings"

Flying In to the GMAG? Check Out Tips for Flying In to KANE

At the risk of rattling the weatherman’s cage, it looks like the weather will be gorgeous Friday and Saturday…Great Flying Weather! Please take a moment to visit our website at http://www.mnpilots.org/gmag/acparking.php to see how to navigate to the South end of the airport and tie down for the events!

Please bring your own tie down ropes and stakes, as there are no tie down spots on the ramp. Aircraft will be able to park in the grass right along the ramp just North of the event area.

Hope to see you there!

“Getting Found: ELT, PLB and SAR/SAT” Hangar Flying Session

“Getting Found: ELT, PLB and SAR/SAT”

Mike Vivion, US Fish & Wildlife Service-retired

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you were so unfortunate as to actually need to USE that Emergency Locator Transmitter mounted in the back of your airplane? But, you live in the upper Midwest, and it’s not like you’re flying over untracked wilderness all the time, right? Mike Vivion flew in Alaska for nearly 30 years, and has spent a number of nights out, as well as having coordinated his own rescue after a crankshaft failure in northern Alaska. After extensive research on the 121.5 vs 406 ELT functionality, he firmly believes it is time to make the switch to a 406 ELT in your airplane. In this presentation, he’ll discuss in detail the advantages and details of the 406 system, why it is so much better than the old 121.5 system, and discuss other devices and tools the smart aviator can carry and use to facilitate his or her own rescue in the event things don’t go quite as planned.

Mike Vivion grew up in Montana, but learned to fly in Hawaii in 1969, and his first checkride experience wasn’t the prettiest. He is a graduate of the University of Montana with a degree in Wildlife Biology. He served as a Wildlife Biologist and Airplane Pilot in Alaska for nearly 30 years, working and flying in many remote parts of Alaska. After his retirement from the Fish and Wildlife Service, he accepted a position at the University of Minnesota-Crookston, teaching and advising in the aviation program there. Mike “re-retired” in 2013, and he and his wife Gina moved to Bozeman, Montana, where they currently reside. Mike has been a flight instructor for over thirty years, and has written for numerous aviation publications. He has been a regular presenter at Montana Aviation Conferences for over ten years. Mike kindly became a founding
Board member of the Minnesota Pilots Association, which he serves as Vice-President. He is now our “out state” board member.

“Check rides: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” Hangar Flying Session

“Check rides: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”

Mike Vivion, Alaska Fish and Game-retired

Check rides often strike fear into the hearts of the most stalwart of aviators. While check rides are intended as a tool to evaluate the aviator, significant learning opportunities nearly always occur simultaneously. For over 30 years, the presenter was subjected to anywhere from one to four check rides a year…..and many lessons learned. In this presentation, Mike will discuss some of those check rides, the lessons learned and just how funny some of these things can be—-in retrospect.

Mike Vivion grew up in Montana, but learned to fly in Hawaii in 1969, and his first checkride experience wasn’t the prettiest. He is a graduate of the University of Montana with a degree in Wildlife Biology. He served as a Wildlife Biologist and Airplane Pilot in Alaska for nearly 30 years, working and flying in many remote parts of Alaska. After his retirement from the Fish and Wildlife Service, he accepted a position at the University of Minnesota-Crookston, teaching and advising in the aviation program there. Mike “re-retired” in 2013, and he and his wife Gina moved to Bozeman, Montana, where they currently reside. Mike has been a flight instructor for over thirty years, and has written for numerous aviation publications. He has been a regular presenter at Montana Aviation Conferences for over ten years. Mike kindly became a founding
Board member of the Minnesota Pilots Association, which he serves as Vice-President. He is now our “out state” board member.

“Aviation Fuels: Proper Handling, Accident Prevention and the Future Fuels” Hangar Flying Session

“Aviation Fuels: Proper Handling, Accident Prevention and the Future Fuels”

Benton Visser, retired petroleum engineer, Shell Oil Company

Having an engineer’s perspective on petroleum products and their application in aviation is a luxury for us this year. Ben has recently retired, but remains one of the world’s leading experts on petroleum products in aviation. He will discuss what oils to use and when to change it. He will share his thoughts on how to properly operate your aircraft with the goal of getting the maximum life out of your engine. He will further grease the skids (couldn’t resist) by describing various greases and which product goes where. Lastly, he will describe proper fuel handling procedures, what to do in case of an accident and then provide his best guess on what future aviation gasoline might look like.