Category Archives: News

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 http://www.mnseaplanes.com/. 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 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.

“Aviation Lubricants: Getting the Best Life Out of Your Engine and Aircraft” Hangar Flying Session

“Aviation Lubricants: Getting the Best Life Out of Your Engine and Aircraft”

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.

Ben Visser was born in SD and graduated with a BS degree in Mechanical engineering from the SD School of Mines in 1967. He worked for Shell Oil Co from 1967 until 2000 in the Research and Development Lab. The last 18 years of that time was spent in the aviation fuels and lubricants field. He is a private pilot and holds the world’s record for fuel economy in a passenger car.

“Flying with your iPad: A Pilots Guide to ADS-B” Hangar Flying

“Flying with your iPad: A Pilots Guide to ADS-B”

Brad Thurow, Appareo Corporation

The world of avionics has been changed greatly over the last several years, bringing technologies from other areas of life into the cockpit. Brad will focus on integration of the iPad into the cockpit and the coupling of smart technology with ADS-B. Appareo is the maker of the Stratus module, which permits on board weather and traffic. He will provide insights into the history of Appareo and products that are available now and a hint of what might lie in the future.

Brad Thurow is the Manager of Solutions Engineering at Appareo. Appareo is the manufacturer of the Stratus ADS-B receiver and a recognized leader in the custom design, development and manufacture of innovative electronic and software solutions for aerospace and agriculture original equipment manufacturers. He attended North Dakota State University where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. Brad is an active pilot and holds a private pilot certificate. Appareo has kindly become a Platinum Sponsor of the Great Minnesota Aviation Gathering.

“The Pilot and the iPad” Hangar Flying Session

“The Pilot and the iPad”

Steve Thibault, Flight Proficiency, LLC

The iPad has had a significant impact on aviation, at a number of levels. Steve will explore the world of flying with the iPad, including preflight briefings, weight and balance, flight planning and the like. Special emphasis will be given to airspace, IFR routes and instrument approach charts. His dynamic presentation will compliment nicely with that of Brad Thurow, of the Appareo Corporation.

Steve Thibault took his first flying lesson at the age of 15. He attended the University of North Dakota, which is where he first began flight instructing. After he graduated from UND with degrees in aviation and business, Steve returned to the Twin Cities and found a job flight instructing at the Anoka County Airport. Since then, Steve has been a full-time Certified Flight Instructor. During his 34 years of flying and his 29 years of flight instructing, Steve has accumulated over 17,000 hours of flight time and has provided more than 15,000 hours of flight instruction in airplanes and 2,000 hours of instruction in flight simulators. He is the owner of FlightProficiency, a flight training company and co-owner of Sim Flite Minnesota, a simulator training company. He was the recipient of the FAA Great Lakes Region “Flight Instructor of the Year” in 2014, and he sits on the Board of the Minnesota Pilots Association.

“High Altitude Flight Operations” Hangar Flying Session

“High Altitude Flight Operations”

Roger Storey, Civil Aerospace Medical Institute, FAA

Roger Storey will lead a team from the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI), which is a part of the FAA’s Office of Aerospace Medicine, as they lead us through the world of high altitude operations. Emphasis will be given to the physiology of operations at altitude, as well as how we can conduct flight operations safely in that environment. Following this superb course, participants will have the opportunity to experience the portable reduced oxygen training enclosure (PROTE) and observe the effects of hypoxia on mental status and performance.

“Avionics Update” Hangar Flying Session

“Avionics Update”

Kurt Schendel, Modern Avionics

The world of avionics has changed drastically in the last 20 years, with the advent of GPS. The introduction of ADS-B and the mandates that are in the air provide a significant challenge to pilots, aircraft owners and the avionics industry, alike. Kurt will guide us through current issues we face in avionics and will provide an informative and interesting perspective.

Kurt Schendel is the president and owner of Modern Avionics & Maintenance Services, located at the Flying Cloud Airport. He previously has worked for King Radio Corporation as a flight control engineering technician, Elliot Flying Service as an installation and bench technician, and was the avionics manager for Modern Avionics prior to his purchasing of the company in 2000. Kurt hosts a series of FAAST presentations at his facility.