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Articles written by C.m. Swanson


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  • Capturing the moment

    C.M. Swanson|Jan 1, 2019

    Brad Thornberg takes pictures for the same reason he flies a Super Cub...for the joy of it. His interest in photography began as a child, largely due to his father's influence. "Ever since I was little, my dad had a camera in his hand," said Thornberg" Thornberg and his siblings took up the hobby as well. "A lot of it is just amateur stuff where we're out there shooting more for the fun of it than anything else," Said Thornberg. Born in Cambridge, Minnesota, raised in Bloomington, and always fee...

  • December 2018 Cover

    C.M. Swanson|Dec 1, 2018

    A group of Flight Unlimited program participants with the 1973 Piper Cherokee in the background....

  • Benefits beyond flying

    C.M. Swanson|Dec 1, 2018

    Flight Unlimited President, Reverend Linton Scott introduces inner-city kids to general aviation for much more than the thrill of riding in an airplane. Based at Crystal Airport, Flight Unlimited's office is housed in the administration building next to the control tower. Its 1973 Piper Cherokee sits in a hangar nearby. "The first thing is not a ride," said Scott about learning how to fly. "The first thing is to get a broom and a rag and learn how to clean the plane and sweep the hangar. Kids...

  • Eating with history in mind

    C.M. Swanson|Dec 1, 2018

    It takes a man of vision to see potential for a thriving restaurant in a space located away from foot traffic, devoid of retail business, housed in the last building on a dead-end road. However, restaurateur, Troy Reding is a man of vision. The last restaurant in the Holman Field Administration Building at the St. Paul Downtown Airport closed in 1999. Flooding in the early 2000s kept the space deserted until an offer was presented to Reding late last year by the Metropolitan Airport Commission...

  • Girls in Aviation Day held at Flying Cloud

    C.M. Swanson|Nov 1, 2018

    During its fourth annual Girls in Aviation Day, 200 Stars of the North volunteers assisted 1,400 attendees at Flying Cloud Airport in Eden Prairie where girls experienced STEM and aviation careers and opportunities. Stars of the North is the Minnesota Chapter of Women in Aviation International (WAI). "I think we are so lucky to have such a core group of passionate aviators in Minnesota, willing to put in months of time, or just one day, or even an afternoon to create an opportunity to bring the...

  • The L.A. side of Backus

    C.M. Swanson|Nov 1, 2018

    It's all very hush-hush until timing is right for the official announcement. However, Backus residents couldn't help but notice the professional film crew at the Bayside Resort dock on Pine Mountain Lake in Backus, Minnesota in September, shooting a scene for an upcoming, independently produced television series. Despite a chill breeze, mist hanging in the air, and temperatures struggling to reach 50 degrees, the 21-person crew from California (and other warm climate areas) stayed on task...

  • Living where you fly

    C.M. Swanson|Nov 1, 2018

    When it comes to advocating for a permanent resident living at a community airport, Ed and Connie Newberg, have, quite literally, lived their convictions for 38 years. When they got married in 1977, they moved to the Hector Municipal Airport. "Then resident, Gary (Bipes) had it for sale, and I was already hanging around at the airport quite a bit," said Ed Newberg, "so it just seemed a natural thing to do, live at the airport. We are just a mile from town. It's been wonderful." Hector Airport...

  • November Cover

    C.M. Swanson|Nov 1, 2018

    View from the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) office window of Brian Ryks, Executive Di- rector/CEO with an inset of Ryks in his office. The feature article about Ryks' history, from his first internship after college, through his first two years at MAC....

  • Elbow Lake Airport Fly-In supports local Flekkefest

    C.M. Swanson|Sep 1, 2018

    Prairie Air FBO at the Elbow Lake Municipal Airport joyfully joins in uniting their community during Flekkefest, billed by the city as the annual celebration of everything Scandinavian. "Every year our activities have been building with more and more organizations from town becoming a part of it," said FBO operator Joe LaRue. Flekkefest is held the first weekend of August. This year Prairie Air hosted the Civil Air Patrol, the Elbow Lake Fire Department, held a bean bag tournament fund raiser...

  • Wings of the North AirExpo 2018

    C.M. Swanson|Aug 1, 2018

    New to Wings of the North AirExpo for 2018 was Northland Community Technical College Aerospace's DRONE TECH program. UAS Instructor/Program Manager Jon Beck and Boy Scouts of Northern Star Council Activities/STEM Director, Ryan McDonald teamed up to offer attendees a hands-on experience flying drones. "When the opportunity to partner with Northland Aerospace, Wings of the North, and Pathfinder (a section of the Boy Scouts planning adventures, trips, service, and projects) to do a DRONE TECH...

  • Flying in from the 1920s

    C.M. Swanson|Aug 1, 2018

    Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport was the only stop in Minnesota for the 2018 American Barnstormer's Tour. Area residents took full advantage of all the July 15-17 event had to offer including rides in the vintage aircraft, a lineup of Model T automobiles, music from the 1920's and 30's sung by Mankato Barbershop Quartet, Oh Brother, and 5-cent popcorn, a price from1929, made fresh on the spot. NorthPoint Aviation, the airport's FBO and Wing's Airport Cafe accommodated tour participants and...

  • Moose Lake Fly-In a bit under the weather

    C.M. Swanson|Jul 1, 2018

    As is commonly known, inclement weather tends to put a damper on parades, lemonade stands, and aviation fly-ins. Such was the situation with the Moose Lake Carlton County Fly-In Breakfast, Saturday, June 16 when low clouds prevented the normally robust attendance by area pilots. Even though rain and the threat of rain kept many aviators from the airport, drive-in traffic was proof positive of interest in the annual event. Glen Kowitz of Moose Lake had his Ultralight T-Bird on display on the...

  • Drawing all eyes skyward

    C.M. Swanson|Jul 1, 2018

    If you are looking for a role model to pick up a few pointers on how to be respectful to your heritage, drive or fly to Granite Falls, Minnesota for the next Ray Fagen Memorial Airshow. If you missed June's show this year, you missed a lot. From the opening ceremonies to the last of the evening's fireworks, the Fagen Family is all about paying homage to the Greatest Generation. This year's annual event was filled with thrilling aircraft displaying unique abilities in the air for an enthusiastic...

  • Wings of the North Air Museum hosts two-day event

    C.M. Swanson|Jul 1, 2018

    Major Heather Penney held her audience captive recounting her experiences as an F-16 pilot called into action after the Pentagon was struck by terrorists on September 11, 2001. At the conclusion of her presentation at the Wings of the North Air Museum (WOTN) in June, Penney spent another length of time fielding questions from her interested listeners. Yet, the focus of Major Penny's presentation was not on herself. It was on the "average, everyday Americans who answered the call," including fire...

  • Rush City Fly-In draws people of all ages

    C.M. Swanson|Jul 1, 2018

    One of the most positive aspects of community airport events is the family friendliness component. Always the Sunday before Father’s Day, this year’s Rush City Fly-In of June 10, gathered people of all ages to see aircraft as inspiring as the UH1-H “Huey” Helicopter famously flown in the Vietnam War, a 1941 Stinson L-5 from the Minnesota Commemorative Air Force, piloted by Jerry Kyser, president of honor Flight Twin Cities, several T-6s piloted by Chuck Datko, John Bormes, and Chris Koelzer...

  • Buffalo Airport Fly-In Breakfast and Air Show!

    C.M. Swanson|Jul 1, 2018

    Buffalo Airport was the place to be June 10 for the sights and sounds of Mike Wiskus of West Metro Aviation and his Pitts S- 1-11B aerobatics aircraft. Wiskus flew right side up, upside down, tail down, nose down, vertical climb, extreme dive, and any other possible position in which man commands his aircraft to fly for the thrill of the crowd. In a surprise guest appearance, stunt pilot, Craig Gifford also gave the eyeballs of attendees something to fasten on with an air show performance of...

  • Discover Aviation Days

    C.M. Swanson|Jul 1, 2018

    Discover Aviation Days at Anoka County Blaine Airport held in June offered a great pancake breakfast, FAA Safety Seminars, a Warbird Fly Over, T-6 Squad Fly-Overs, a K-9 Demonstration, Huey Helicopter Reenactment, an Education and Veteran's tent, and a parade of antique automobiles. Golden Wings Museum was open for public tours of its vintage aircraft. Food vendors supplied hot and cold menu items. Natured provided rain the first day of the two-day event and a chill wind the second but those...

  • Beating the heat at Crystal Airport - Free ice cream!

    C.M. Swanson|Jul 1, 2018

    Nothing cools off an extremely hot day like free ice cream and taking a turn at letting water escape from an official fire hose. Kids visiting the Crystal Airport Fly-In on an upper 90-degree day for their June 17 Fly-In, had the opportunity to do both. Though cloud cover graciously lent some relief from the sun's rays, high humidity pushed perceived temps up enough for the local Dairy Queen owner to offer several freezers full of free Dilly Bars to attendees of the event. Crystal Airport...

  • Air show put together through blood, sweat and volunteers

    C.M. Swanson|Jul 1, 2018

    Phil Fisher was drawn into the field of aviation through his certified welding skills and desire to help others. Over 27 years ago, a friend of Fisher's, who was also a member of the Planes of Fame aviation group asked if he would be willing to come to a hangar to help with some welding needs. The answer was yes, not only to do welding jobs, but eventually to become a member of the group. When Planes of Fame moved its aircraft to Palm Springs, Fisher remained in Minneapolis where he was born and...

  • July Cover

    C.M. Swanson|Jul 1, 2018

    The Annual Ray Fagen Memorial Air Show in Granite Falls, Minnesota draws aviation fans in droves, provides an abundance of photo opportunities with wondrous air shows and static displays, pays respectful homage to the Greatest Generation, and plants seeds of aviation in attendees of all ages....

  • DroneTECH meets BaseCamp

    C.M. Swanson|May 1, 2018

    "Keep it nice and low to the ground. We're going to try it one more time. Ready? All right. You have control." These words spoken by Associate Dean of Aerospace at Northern Community and Technical College, Curtis Zoller sharpened the focus of Northern Star Council Boy Scouts as they stood in line in the BaseCamp concourse waiting their turn to pilot the unmanned aircraft. Prior to flying drones, attendees get a feel for the soft touch controls by practicing on a bank of computers simulating...

  • A&Ps at MSP

    C.M. Swanson|May 1, 2018

    If the idea of a three-digit income, variety in the workplace, and free airline tickets to anywhere in the world is appealing, becoming an Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) Mechanic for a major airline may be just the right fit for you. Understanding the diversity of opportunities afforded an A&P may also help you make your decision. "There are all kinds of aspects and different categories of this job," said Delta Airlines A&P Kevin Hill. "It's not limited to just working on airplanes." Having...

  • Surprise for Phoenix

    C.M. Swanson|May 1, 2018

    Editor's note Grandpa Steve Young reported that grandson Phoenix was delightfully surprised with the cover and feature story in the April Issue of the Minnesota Flyer magazine. "Surprised" is the key word as Grandpa had not told the young aviation enthusiast he was going to appear in the magazine. The two have been supporting each other's love of aviation for several years. The Minnesota Flyer invites readers to share your stories of how you inspire youth with the joys of general aviation....

  • HOF Inductee Wall finds home at Wings of North Museum

    C.M. Swanson|May 1, 2018

    It was a celebratory afternoon and evening April 21 as the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame held a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Wings of the North Aviation Museum at Flying Cloud Airport to present the wall of inductee plaques. "I'm very proud that we have such a great home," said Chairman of the Board of Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame, Noel Allard, who has been with the organization for 30 years, and is an inductee himself. "As we were hanging these plaques, we saw and handled 194 plaques,"...

  • Lake Area Technical Institute's Learjet Capstone Project

    C.M. Swanson|Apr 1, 2018

    It may seem difficult to make a connection between pheasant hunting and a trip to Arkansas to retrieve a Learjet, but for Lake Area Technical Institute (LATI) in Watertown, South Dakota, the dots are there. Back in 2015, Eric Olson, a former student of LATI who went on to become involved in corporate aviation, was pheasant hunting in Castlewood, South Dakota with John Bucher, a corporate aircraft maintenance consultant. Together, they decided to tour Eric's alma mater. That tour ultimately...

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