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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.

2020 MNPA Scholarship Recipients Announced!

The recipient of the Captain Edward L. Erickson Scholarship is Michael Ochsenbauer from Forest Lake, MN. Michael is a highly motivated young adult that willingly participates or volunteers for opportunities he hears about. He’s attended MN Aviation Career Education Camp and has been involved in EAA AirVenture, CAP, Young Eagles, H.S. Ski Team, is an Eagle Scout and was a National Honor Society Officer. While in H.S. Michael took AP classes and earned college credits from the U of M and Century College. He is attending Southern Illinois University on an academic scholarship. He is working on his commercial pilot license and plans to use the scholarship money to defray the cost of completing the training course. He achieved first place in the 2019 NIFA Flight Team Short Field Landing competition. Not only does he loves flying, but also Michael loves aviation mechanics. A letter of recommendation, that accompanied his application, is from an A&P with IA authorization that said Michael helped him restore a North American T6. 

On behalf of the MN Pilots Association we want to congratulate Michael on receiving this scholarship and wish him well in the field of aviation.


The recipient of the Janette Strathy Aviation Scholarship is Chelsea Montgomery, from Bloomington, MN. While at Thomas Jefferson H.S. Chelsea participated in speech club, was a member of the National Honor Society and did volunteer work. She also took Post-Secondary Enrollment Option classes during her last two years of H.S. She then attended the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management majoring in entrepreneurial management and political science. While in business school and working three different jobs, she purchased a share in a flying club at Crystal Airport in 2018 and received her Private Pilot license in 2019. Upon graduating from the U of M she was accepted in the flight-training program at ATP Flight School in Mesa, AZ. She is currently working on her commercial ticket and says the Janette Strathy Scholarship will help her accelerate the pace of flight training. She wants to get her CFI and instruct at ATP. Her ultimate goal is to one day fly commercially, volunteer to fly with the Veterans Airlift Command, and start an aviation related business, using her background in business.
Congratulations Chelsea, from the MN Pilots Association, and continued good luck.

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 Scholarship Recipients

Patrick Halligan, the MN Pilots Association Scholarship Chairman, would like to
thank all the pilots who applied for the Captain Edward L. Erickson Scholarship. Pat
says “not only was I impressed with the application letters, but the recommendation
letters that were sent, spoke highly of each individual.” We could of easily awarded
half a dozen scholarships, if we had the money, because there were that many
qualified applicants. The pilot chosen for the Captain Erickson Scholarship is Joseph
Taylor. Just before picking the winner, the MN Pilots BOD decided to add a second
scholarship. We used the applications from the Captain Erickson Scholarship to pick
that winner. So, the recipient of the MN Pilots Association Scholarship is Samantha
Ripley. You can read about Joseph and Samantha in their respective articles, on our
website. They will be awarded their two thousand dollar aviation scholarship at the
Great MN Aviation Gathering (GMAG) on April 27 th . The GMAG runs April 26 and
27 th at the Buffalo Airport, west of Minneapolis. On behalf of the scholarship
committee and the MN Pilots Assoc. thanks to everyone who took the time to apply.
You young pilots have a lot going for you and according to the letters of
recommendation; you are on the right track and have already made a network with
good people.


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.


MSP Class B Airspace Changes

The FAA has finalized changes to the Minneapolis Class B Airspace due to take effect on January 9, 2014 and is in the process of disseminating details to pilots and aviation groups. The following is a summary of those changes and a diagram of the MSP Class B Airspace which were provided by the Minnesota DOT Office of Aeronautics. All changes to the boundaries and the floors of the airspace will appear on new aeronautical navigation charts due to for release January 9, 2014. It is highly recommended that all active pilots update GPS databases and study the new limits to the Class B airspace.

  • All changes are between the 20nm and 30nm rings (see attached diagram)
  • Lowered the floor from 7,000 ft. to 6,000 ft. in four areas
    • Area G from the GEP 111° to the GEP 121° between 20nm and 30nm
    • Area H from the FCM 124° to the GEP 164° between 20nm and 24nm and
    • Area H from the GEP 164° to the GEP 176° between 20nm and 30nm
    • Area J from the FCM 271° to the FCM 295° between 20nm and 30nm
  • Area E from the GEP 301° to the GEP 358° between 20nm and 30nm
    • Area H from the GEP 176° to the GEP 164° Radial
  • Adjusted the MSP south downwind areas to the south 1.5 miles
    • Area D from the GEP 121° to the FCM 124° between 20nm and 30nm and
    • Area D from the GEP 301° to the FCM 295° between 20nm and 30nm
  • Shortened the area by Stanton, MN (SYN) from 25nm to 24nm
    • Area H between the FCM 124° and the GEP 164°

Class B Poster 2013_1

Mission Statement

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.