Kurt Pennuto, our RAF State Laison, sent me this summary of the events at the Bowstring Airfield meeting last Wednesday. Apparently approximately 20 aircraft flew in. I think this helps demonstrate the influence we can have on issues such as this. Our challenge now is to keep on using these airfields, and not simply let the airport go unused.
This summary is from our very own Jeff Russell (the Wisconsin version)…
I flew up to Bowstring airport in northern Minnesota yesterday to support Kurt Pennuto in representing the RAF. It is really a beautiful airport in a great location. It’s in the heart of the Minnesota northwoods and lakes area that is truly a special place. Kurt did a great job identifying this strip as one with high recreational value and one that the RAF should be involved with.
The Bowstring airport was rumored to be under threat of closure. Yesterday’s meeting included Itasca county commissioners, airport commissioners, Mn-DOT, and about 45 or so interested pilots and citizens.
The meeting went very well. The county commissioner opened the meeting saying that they were really not considering closure but that there were issues that need to be addressed. The county’s biggest issued appeared to be related to their airport ownership and the perception that this ownership was exposing them to liability. At the root of the matter was that they had airport inspection from MN-DOT two years earlier wherein Mn-DOT noted 17 obstructions at the airport (trees) that needed to be removed. There was typical poor communication between the airport commission and the county commissioners. Upon belatedly learning of the non-conformance of the airport, the county (especially the county attorney) appeared to have gotten a bit agitated.
The county commissioners were actually quite surprised by the turnout to the meeting. They specifically noted the RAF’s attendance and appreciated us being there. In the end, the meeting served to re-establish communications between the county and the airport commission along with MN-DOT. The perceived threat of closure is now gone and the airport even learned of additional funding that was available from MnDOT. It appears that the future of the airport is on an even better path.
Many thanks to those of you who attended the meeting, or contacted the Commissioners. You made a difference!
We are only days away from the 5th Annual Great MN Aviation Gathering, folks and the weather forecast is looking TERRIFIC for the event this year (….it is about time!). Please click on the link at the top of the page and look for the schedule of events, and please plan to attend both days!
We will be posting instructions for those who choose to fly in on the GMAG page. If you choose to fly in, please bring your own tiedowns! We hope you will fly in, as this is one of the great perks of our event…YOU CAN FLY IN AND TAXI RIGHT UP TO THE GOLDEN WINGS FLYING MUSEUM VENUE!
We will be holding a silent auction for some very big items (Garmin equipment and Float Plane rating/resort lodging), as well as a big raffle, on Saturday noon.
We will also be selling tee shirts with the 2018 GMAG Photo winner on the shirt! …and posters of the same!
Hope to see you there!
Patrick Halligan, member of the MN Pilots Assn Board of Directors, has been working with Steve Johnson to establish a unified place on our website where interested people can look for aviation scholarships. Details will be announced at the 2018 GMAG. If you are aware of aviation scholarships which may benefit people in Minnesota please contact Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are less than 2 weeks away from the 2018 Great Minnesota Aviation Gathering! Please click on the 2018 GMAG at the top of this page and you will find the schedule of events. We are blessed again this year with a full house of excellent, knowledgeable speakers. We also are blessed to have over 45 exhibitors again this year. We have been sending notices out to our members spotlighting our Sponsors and are now doing so with our Exhibitors. The long term forecast predicts 60 degrees (I know, that seems unfathomable at this point in time) and we hope you will be able to drive or fly in! We hope to see you at YOUR Great Minnesota Aviation Gathering!
Today I had the pleasure of visiting with Dick Fechter, from Rochester, who helps guide the Southeast Minnesota General Aviation Action Team. After visiting their website at www.rstga.com one can see that this organizations focus is greatly aligned with that of the MN Pilots Association!
They are hosting a banquet this coming Saturday night (sorry, the event is sold out) as a fund raiser for scholarships aimed at getting young people into aviation.
The MN Pilots Assn looks forward to promoting the SEMNGA Action Team, and we hope they may choose to exhibit and become more engaged with us at the 2018 Great MN Aviation Gathering!
Congratulations to Brad Thornberg for having one of the five photos he submitted chosen to serve as our backdrop for the 2018 Great Minnesota Aviation Gathering! Thanks also to Sarah Dickerson, who developed a terrific flyer for our upcoming event!
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.
MN Pilots Assn…making a difference in Minnesota Aviation
We are pleased to announce that Patrick Halligan has been elected to serve a three year term on our Board of Directors, and that Gregg Strathy and Steve Thibault have been re-elected to the Board to serve another three years.
Congratulations to them, and thanks to them for making the commitment to serve our members to further general aviation in Minnesota!
We have had the good fortune of finding some terrific photos, each year, to grace the cover of our Great Minnesota Aviation Gathering program guide, and to use for the posters and advertising for the event. We are rapidly approaching the drop dead date for getting a photo to showcase our event.
This year we would like to ask you, as current members (paid up, so to speak), to submit photos which you think would be appropriate for this noble purpose.
Checklist for submitting photos:
- Choose up to 5 photos for submission. I know, this will be a challenge, given many photos you have taken in 2017. Photos need to be shot within the 2017 calendar year. They should have some relevance to flying in MN.
- Photos should be in files no greater than 25 megabytes. If your email will not allow this size file to be sent, submit the largest it will support and we will find a way to obtain a bigger file for use.
- Email photos as attachments to email@example.com
- Email submitters name, submitters email address, where the photo was taken and when the photo was taken, along with a description of the photo.
The deadline for submission is Friday, January 19, at noon. The person who submits the winning photo will be honored at the 2018 GMAG Awards Ceremony on Saturday afternoon, April 28, and will be asked to sign release for use of the photograph by the Minnesota Pilots Association in materials which support the 2018 Great Minnesota Aviation Gathering and the Minnesota Pilots Association.
We think this will be a great way to promote our interest in our event. Thanks for giving this some thought. I hope you will be able to submit some awesome photos!
President, Minnesota Pilots Association