Category Archives: News

2019 MPA Scholarship Recipients Report In On Their Progress!

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, Patrick Halligan, and Joe Taylor

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!

 

Captain Edward L. Erickson Aviation Scholarship

We are delighted to announce the inauguration of the Captain Edward L. Erickson Aviation Scholarship! Ed was our first nominee to the prestigious Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame, and the scholarship will be awarded in his memory to a pilot who is pursuing advanced ratings and certifications on their way to becoming a professional pilot. We are thankful for the donations to the scholarship fund, and to members of the MN Pilots Assn, whose membership dues are being put to good use! Thank you! Please review the following flyer for details on the award.

Application letters and Letters of Recommendation should be sent to Patrick Halligan at flyinghooligan@gmail.com. Deadline for submission is March 24, 2019.

CAPTAIN EDWARD L. ERICKSON AVIATION SCHOLARSHIP

Captain Edward Erickson was the consummate professional pilot.  His love of aviation and his professionalism set an example for those who followed in his footsteps. His intense interest in aviation ranged from soloing in a J-3 Cub on his 16th birthday to retiring from a B-757 after a 34-year career as Captain for North Central, Republic and Northwest Airlines (flying over 30,000 hours).  Beyond his career in the airlines he flew virtually any piston-driven aircraft, including many warbirds. He was honored with the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award in 2013 and became the very first candidate of the Minnesota Pilots Association to be inducted into the MN Aviation Hall of Fame, in 2016.

His biggest impact during his aviation career was all the people he taught how to fly over the years. He left his mark on aviation at all levels in general aviation. Countless pilots on the airline, in the warbird community, and in general aviation, have benefited from Ed’s wealth of knowledge and experience.  His encouragement and assistance to pilots who were either building or flying their aircraft came with a quiet, unassuming demeanor. Ed loved aviation and wanted to share his enthusiasm with anyone who showed an interest in flying.  Aviation was his true passion and he incorporated it in everything he did throughout his life.

To read all of the details and requirements for this $2000 scholarship, click here.

 

2020 GMAG!

We are delighted to announce that the 2020 Great Minnesota Aviation Gathering will again be held at the Buffalo Municipal airport (KCFE) on Friday and Saturday, April 24-25, 2020!

Please mark these dates down on your calendar.  We hope to see you there!

Randy Corfman
President, MN Pilots Assn

MN Pilots Assn Works with Duluth NWS to Develop Website

Thanks to Gregg Strathy and Jim Peterson, board members of the MN Pilots Assn, for helping the Duluth National Weather Service design their webpage! Here is a note we received from Geoffrey Grochocinski, of the Duluth NWS…

NWS Duluth, surrounding NWS aviation focal points, and our aviation partners,

I’m happy to share NWS Duluth has a new aviation weather webpage after several months of work by our aviation team, including partnering with aviation partners for feedback, looking for ideas and inspiration from other NWS offices across the country, and building the page. This was a team effort by Justin, Bryan, and I of our aviation team. This new page will be more useful and user-friendly for our typical aviation users than our previous page. The new design is an inspiration from NWS LaCrosse’s aviation page. Our partners really liked NWS LaCrosse’s tabs and thumbnails design.

We would like to extend a special thank you to our FAA partners in Duluth and pilots with the Minnesota Pilots Association for their time in discussing our old website and the design of a future webpage with us. Thank you very much to Justin Schultz for his work into assembling potential options for the page and to Bryan in building the page.

Thank you,

Geoff

https://www.weather.gov/dlh/dlh_aviation

MN Pilots Assn…making a difference in Minnesota Aviation

‘Sully’ Sullenberger wants to save the FAA…Opposes Privitization

Please take a moment to read this reporting of an interview with Captain Sullenberger.  If you have followed his story, and seen the movie, you will know that he has seen both sides of the airline industry, and understands their political agenda.

https://www.yahoo.com/katiecouric/sully-sullenberger-wants-save-faa-123442350.html?soc_src=social-sh&soc_trk=fb

I am not a fan of Katie Couric, but she seems to have asked the right questions.

Please pick up the phone and call your Congressman tomorrow (Monday) and register your opposition to H.R. 2997.  It is important.  Thank you.

Randy Corfman, President, MN Pilots Assn

Rushford airport (55Y) adds 24 hour fuel options!

We are pleased to announce that the City of Rushford has installed a brand-spanking new aircraft fueling system, offering 24 hour access to 100LL and Jet A fuel! You won’t find a more scenic area of Minnesota to visit by aircraft or car or bicycle! Congratulations to the pilots and administrators who helped make this a reality!

Tree of Hope Brings a Bit of Cheer to Hospitalized Youngsters

Please make note that the Tree of Hope gift drive is soon to occur!

Collection date is Saturday December 3, 2015, 9AM – 1PM at the Maple Lake Airport (KMGG) FBO building.
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If you are new to the Tree of Hope, this wonderful organization helps to collect toys and distribute them to hospitals across Minnesota (since 1990). Tree of Hope is the only group that supplies toys to hospitals.
In 2015, Tree of Hope delivered toys to 38 hospitals across the state of Minnesota for infants to 18 years of age.
See the Tree of Hope website www.holidaytreeofhope.org for more information about of Tree of Hope. Like us on facebook https://www.facebook.com/TreeofHopeMn and see pictures from previous toy collections. You can also read about us in the Minnesota Flyer magazine – Oct and Nov Issues.

If you can participate by organizing a collection in your local airport community, please do so and contact the Tree of Hope via links on their webpage or Facebook page. We hope this will be a state-wide effort, not limited to just the Twin Cities! Please note that www.holidaytreeofhope.org also offers you the option of making a monetary donation, in case you cannot make it out to the airport.

Tis the Season for Giving…Let’s do our best to help bring some happiness to these children’s Christmas!

Thank you!

Randy Corfman
President, MN Pilots Assn

We are delighted that three members of the Minnesota Pilots Association have stepped forward, expressing their interest in being board members for our organization.

Mary Alverson is a native Minnesotan, born in Duluth Minnesota. She is truly an adventurer, travelling around the world both personally and professionally, serving as a flight attendant for North Central Airlines, Northwest Airlines and Delta Airlines for 38 years. Mary has gone on to distinguish herself flying professionally as a flight instructor and Captain for New Mexico Airlines. She has earned her CFI, CFII, MEI ratings along with a single and multi-engine sea class ratings. Mary is the owner/operator of Wings Over Water Seaplane Training.
• FAA Designated Examiner
• FAA FAAST Representative
• Field Director, Seaplane Pilots Association
• President, Minnesota Seaplane Pilots Association 2009-2012

Mike Vivion soloed in 1969 and completed the requirements for his private pilot certificate in December of that year. After being released from the military, Mike returned to the University of Montana, completing a degree in Wildlife Biology He subsequently worked for the US Fish & Wildlife Service as a Wildlife Biologist and Wildlife Biologist/Airplane pilot for 31 years. Twenty nine of those years were spent in Alaska, where he worked airplanes on wheels, floats and skis in many regions of Alaska in support of wildlife research and law enforcement operations. In December of 2005, he retired from FWS and accepted a job at the University of Minnesota, Crookston, teaching in the Aviation programs there. In May of 2013, he retired (again) from the U of M system. Mike’s wife of 19 years is Gina Carolan and the couple now resides in Bozeman MT. Mike has recently become a board member of the Montana Antique Aircraft Association, the Sacajawea Audubon Society (the Audubon chapter in Bozeman, MT) and the Montana Audubon Society.

Randy Schoephoerster is an established leader in aviation in Minnesota. He has over 10,000 hours flight time, with over 2000 hours in seaplane time. Randy holds ATP MEL, ATP SEL, ATP SES, CFI, CFII and MEI ratings. He serves as President of the Minnesota Seaplane Pilots Association and is an FAASTeam Lead Representative and Field Director of the National Seaplane Pilots Association. He is owner of Air Trek North Flight School and Maintenance with locations at KLVN, KFCM and KSGS. He has served as Marketing Director and Engineering Director for Emerson Electric and served as a City Commissioner. Randy has a BS degree in electrical engineering and an MBA in marketing. He feels his strengths lie in marketing, mentoring and organizational management. He also emphasizes that he is father of three great young adults.

Ballots were emailed on November 9, 2016 to all active members. If your membership has lapsed and you wish to participate in choosing our board members, please renew your membership. Thanks!