The Mission of the Minnesota Pilots Association

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

We had an excellent Annual Meeting last night via Zoom.  Thank you to all who attended on a cold night!

It is a pleasure to welcome Michael Bergeson and Andy Brown to the Board of Directors of the MN Pilots Assn!  As you were able to see from their bios they bring a wealth and breadth of aviation experience to our Board.  Welcome to the Board!

It is bittersweet, at the same time, to see Jim Peterson and Michael Lawrence complete their terms on the Board.

Jim was one of the founding Board members, having served as Treasurer since inception.  He was one of the Gang of Nine who were kind enough to believe in the need for an organization such as the Minnesota Pilots Assn, and they gave freely of their time, energy and expertise to get our organization airborne.  As I would expect, Jim has kindly consented to remain very involved with our organization.  He is a quality person and an effective leader.

Michael Lawrence has been an up and coming leader in aviation in Minnesota for many years.  He has been active in aviation at the corporate level, first at the Anoka County-Blaine airport and more recently at Flying Cloud airport.  He is a soft spoken leader who is innovative and effective, and he will be missed.

Bios for Michael Bergeson and Andy Brown will soon be up on our website in the “About” section.  They are eager to serve and bring new energy and ideas to our organization.

Click here to see previous "President's Briefings"

2022 Aviation Scholarship Award Winners

One of the missions of the Minnesota Pilots Association is to promote education and to that end we offer two aviation scholarships and two aviation maintenance technician/avionics technician scholarships, each in the amount of $2000. Here are the fine young people who are recipients. Many thanks to board member Pat Halligan and his committee for the diligence and attention that was directed to this important mission!


Philip Krzyszton
MN Pilots Assn Aviation Maintenance Technician Scholarship

Philip Krzyszton is enrolled in the Aviation Maintenance program at Northland Community and Technical College In Thief River, MN. He carries a school work load of 23 semester credits and works fifty hours a week, to help pay his tuition. He says he has had to develop his time management skills. It appears he is doing a good job, at it. He is studying for his instrument written as he has his private pilot certificate. If you are a pilot and can fix your own airplane, it doesn’t get much better than that.


Ryder Lutgen
MN Pilots Assn Aviation Maintenance Technician Scholarship

Ryder Lutgen lives on a small ranch, on the MN/SD border, with a 1700 ft grass runway. He has his private pilot license and he and his dad are building an experimental aircraft called a Zenith 750. Helping his parents on their ranch, with 115 head of cattle has taught Ryder the definition of hard work and determination.He graduates from High School, this spring, and will be attending Lake Area Technical College in Watertown, SD this fall. He will be studying Aviation Maintenance Technology with his end goal to be an AG pilot. Another aviator who will be able to fly an airplane and work on it, also.


Jenny Mulholland
Captain Edward Erickson Aviation Scholarship

Jenny Mulholland became interested in aviation while a junior in High School after talking to one of her teachers, who was a pilot. She took a discovery flight and she became “instantly obsessed” as she put it. She passed her private pilot checkride 6 months ago and achieved her instrument rating April 08th. She is involved in an EAA Chapter and gives Young Eagle rides (free airplane rides for kids between 8-17 years of age) and helped start a flying club at the Albert Lee Airport. She plans to go to UND this fall and get a degree in Air Traffic Management. She will start as a junior, as she took enough college classes in H.S. to earn an associate degree.


Samantha (Sami) Naples
Janette Strathy Aviation Scholarship

In September of 2015, while Samantha Naples was 12 years old, she flew on the first ever Delta Women Inspiring our Next Generation flight to the Jet Museum of Flight in Seattle, WA. The moment she came home, she told her parents “I want to be a pilot.” Six years later, she is a freshman attending Minnesota State Mankato, majoring in Aviation. She holds a Private Pilot’s license with an instrument rating and is working on her Commercial ticket. She wants to get her CFI during her sophomore year, so she can begin teaching and mentoring the next class of men and women aviators.

We thank you, as members of the Minnesota Pilots Association, for contributing to the career development of these outstanding young people. Your membership dues, in addition to gaining admission to the 2022 GMAG, makes these scholarships possible. Please join us at 1:00 p.m., Saturday, May 21, 2022 at the 2022 Great MN Aviation Gathering to honor these young people.