Category Archives: News

2016 GMAG to Feature “Pinch Hitter” Course!

We are so pleased to announce that the MN Pilots Association is sponsoring a Pinch Hitter course during the Saturday morning hours at the 2016 Great Minnesota Aviation Gathering. Cheryl Daml, CFI, CFII, has enthusiastically offered to present this course for those spouses or significant others who would like to know what to do should you, the pilot-in-command, becomes unable to complete the flight. Cheryl has developed her own version of the well-received AOPA course of past years, incorporating aspects of the AOPA course, and we think you will have a wonderful excuse to bring your partner out to the GMAG.

We will be announcing a signup procedure here, so stay tuned…we are anticipating a good turnout for this popular course.

Thanks, Cheryl, for getting this course off the ground!

Planning Domestic Flights in MN? Must have a valid Passport beginning Jan 1!

ATTENTION…PASSPORTS REQUIRED, STARTING JANUARY 1, FOR COMMERCIAL FLIGHTS IN MN. As unbelievable as that might sound, apparently Minnesota is one of four states which has failed to update our ID system by deadline, and you will need a Passport to fly domestically into and out of MN. Please check out for details. MN PIlot Assn members…please pass this on to your family and friends so they can get their passports, if they do not already have one.
Passports MN

Update on the negotiated Pilots Bill of Rights 2

Mark Baker sent the following summary and FAQ’s regarding the negotiated PBR2:

By Elizabeth A Tennyson

A recent announcement by Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the author of the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2, about modifications to the bill’s language have raised plenty of questions among members of AOPA and the Experimental Aircraft Association.

We’ll be up front with you: AOPA and EAA fully support the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2, including these modifications. For more than 25 years, our two organizations have been pushing for aeromedical reform. Our most recent exemption request was made in 2012 and was much less expansive than the bill as it now stands, but it did not gain the traction needed for approval. We are farther along the road to substantive aeromedical reform than at any time in history.
We’ve also been digging after answers on some of your most common questions.

Why the changes in the bill’s language?
Simply put, the original language of the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 did not have enough support in the Senate, despite your thousands of contacts with your senators. It was not going to pass or move forward in its original form. Inhofe knows the workings of the Senate extremely well, so he looked for a way to get support to move meaningful reform forward. They went directly after the objections voiced by fellow senators, and in doing so built bipartisan support from 67 senators across the entire political spectrum.
What if I will only support the original language in the bill?

Again, we’re going to be frank here. Accepting only the original Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 language would mean failure of the entire bill. We would end up with nothing, the same way previous efforts for meaningful aeromedical reform have ended.

Will this affect me if I still want to fly as a sport pilot?
No. This bill does not change any provision of the sport pilot rule. You may still fly light sport aircraft with at least a sport pilot certificate and a valid driver’s license in lieu of a third class medical certificate.

Isn’t the requirement to have had a medical certificate within the past 10 years only a move to a 10-year renewal of a medical?
No. If you are a private pilot and have a valid medical certificate (regular or special issuance) within 10 years from the date when the bill is signed into law, you may never have to visit an AME again. You will simply have to take an online medical education course every two years, and visit your personal physician once every four years and note that visit in your logbook. No requirement will exist to report the outcome of the visit to the FAA.

Even though I have held a special issuance within the past 10 years, I understand that I may have to get another if I have been diagnosed with certain conditions. What are those conditions?
Those conditions are described in the federal aviation regulations and are limited to an established medical history of the following:
· Cardiovascular: myocardial infarction (heart attack); coronary heart disease that has been treated by open heart surgery, cardiac valve replacement; and heart replacement.
· Neurological: epilepsy; a transient loss of control of the nervous system; and disturbances of consciousness without satisfactory medical explanation of the cause.
· Psychological: personality disorder that is severe enough to have repeatedly manifested itself by overt acts; manifested or may reasonably expected to manifest delusions, hallucinations, grossly bizarre or disorganized behavior, or other commonly accepted symptoms of psychosis; severe bipolar disorder; and substance dependence within the previous two years as defined in FAR 67.307(4).

What is this online aeromedical course and who will administer it?
The online aeromedical course, taken once every two years, would be a requirement to keep your flying privileges. It would be free of charge to all pilots, whether or not they are AOPA or EAA members. We believe education is more effective than regulation, and this is the best way to get the important health information to everyone. It also would include information on how over-the-counter medications can affect our fitness for flying. The course will be run and maintained through the GA community’s communications channels, such as the AOPA Air Safety Institute. The FAA would only approve the content of the online course. If we as a flying community fail to show that we can be responsible for educating ourselves, more regulation will be put upon us.

I feel fine. Why do I have to go to a doctor every four years to prove it?
We’re pleased that you feel fine, but even if you weren’t a pilot, avoiding the doctor’s office isn’t the way to assure that you’re in good health. Most people see their personal physician for a physical every year or two regardless. This legislation eliminates the cost, paperwork, and extra hassle of regularly seeing a different doctor just to fly. It also eliminates many of the burdens placed on private pilots just because they’re pilots.

Will this help me if I need a special issuance?
Yes! One of the biggest problems with the current special issuance process is that it’s a continual renewal, with all the cost, paperwork, and hassle associated with it each time. Under the bill’s language, you receive the third class medical special issuance once and you’re good to go, with only future visits to your personal physician at least every 48 months. In addition, the bill requires the FAA to streamline its special issuance process, so even that one time might not be as much of a burden in the future.

I’ve heard that the FAA denies most special issuance medical requests, so I’m reluctant to even try.
Whoever told you this is wrong. The FAA issues medical certificates to the vast majority—more than 98 percent, in fact—of people who complete the medical certification process. That includes those who are seeking a special issuance medical. And, under the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2, you will only need to complete the special issuance process once.

Doesn’t this just help old pilots? What about new private pilots who can’t get a third class medical?
Inhofe heard clearly from fellow senators that in order to support the bill, they needed one initial medical approval by the FAA to ensure that a new pilot was in sufficiently good health to fly. That’s a one-time approval, compared to the biennial medical exam— sometimes more if certain conditions are involved—that is now required. That’s a pretty substantial step forward for everyone.

Will I be able to get insurance if I fly under the rules set out in the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2?
Insurance companies have not yet addressed how they will handle medical reforms and are unlikely to do so until medical reform becomes law. Our 10 years of experience with the sport pilot regulations and other pilots flying sport pilot aircraft without a medical certificate showed little or no impact on insurance availability or rates. Since each company uses slightly different language regarding medical requirements, the best thing to do is to contact your insurance broker or company and ask how they will handle anticipated reforms. History indicates that compliance with the applicable regulations is typically all that is required by insurance companies, and the new regulations would not require an additional medical certificate for many pilots in the future.

So, where do we go next? What’s the timeline?
Even with all the progress, there’s still work to do. Few things move forward quickly in Congress. Inhofe would love to get more senators on board as co-sponsors—so, if your senator is on the list of those still not signed on, continue to contact them. Inhofe is also working to get the bill to the Senate floor. If approved there, it would move to the House, where nearly 150 representatives are co-signers of the original parallel Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2. We are seeking every potential avenue for progress in both houses of Congress.
Predicting the pace of legislation is a fool’s game, but we’ll say it again: This needed reform is farther along now than ever before and we are working daily to get this done as soon as possible. It has support of GA groups, aeromedical groups, and several large airline pilot groups. Everybody would love it to move faster, but discouragement and doubt do not help. Let’s push this across the finish line!


Elizabeth A Tennyson | Senior Director of Communications, AOPA
AOPA Senior Director of Communications Elizabeth Tennyson is an instrument-rated private pilot who first joined AOPA in 1998.

ACAA/MAC Annual BBQ Monday night, 5-7 pm

Attention Anoka County-Blaine Airport people! The annual Anoka County Airport Association (ACAA)/Metropolitan Airport Commission (MAC) bbq is tonight at the base of the tower from 5-7 pm. Please stop by and enjoy seeing your neighbors and enjoy good food and company!

David Schall MD, Regional Flight Surgeon, to Speak at EAA Ch 25 Banquet

We are very pleased to have an invitation extended to MN Pilot Association members from EAA Chapter 25! On Sunday evening, October 4, 2015, EAA Chapter 25 will hold its annual banquet at the Eagan Community Center, 1501 Central Parkway in Eagan. The social hour starts at 5:30 p.m. with Dinner at 7:00 p.m. The presentation will begin at 8:00 p.m.

The fees for the event are $22 per person for EAA Chapter 25 members and $25 for non-members. Contact Patrick Halligan at, or phone him at 651-341-9264.


This year’s speaker is none other than David Schall MD, our Regional Flight Surgeon, who will be speaking about the Doolittle Raiders. Some of you may have heard Dr. Schall, who is a wonderful historian and speaker in addition to being an excellent Flight Surgeon, give this presentation at our 2015 Great Minnesota Aviation Gathering. I was able to listen to a small part of that presentation and it was a terrific and well-researched event. Dr. Schall has interviewed many in preparing what is likely to become an excellent book, and his presentation shows a personal an in depth look at some very surprising and inspiring stories about one of the Raiders, who was a physician.

This is one presentation that you will not want to miss. Really. History and Aviation and Patriotism all rolled up in one dynamic event. I hope to see you there!

Ed Erickson to Be Inducted Into the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame

We are absolutely delighted to have learned that the late Ed Erickson has been officially voted to be one of the 2016 Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame Inductees! How fitting that Ed be the very first nominee from the Minnesota Pilots Association for induction into this prestigious institution. The award ceremony will be on Saturday, April 30, 2016. Honestly, we cannot think of a person who is more deserving than Ed, who went West last year. Our congratulations to go his family and to his wife, Barbara Mack.Ed Flying - Great Smile copy

MN Seaplane Pilots Association Annual Safety Seminar, May 16-17

The MN Seaplane Pilots Associations annual Safety Seminar is coming soon! Please make plans to attend this terrific meeting on Friday and Saturday, May 16-17, at Madden’s Resort. For details, check out the MN Seaplane Association website at While you are at it please consider joining our sister (or brother) organization as yet another way to support aviation in Minnesota!

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 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.