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Articles written by Tim Franklin


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  • Isle Airport future to be decided in April

    Tim Franklin|Mar 1, 2020

    Isle Airport Flying Club member Dave Retka terms it a "fight for survival" of the Isle Airport in a letter to airport supporters in early January. After growing membership of the club and making a positive difference in this small community of 751, located on the southeast edge of Mille Lacs Lake, the airport's survival is now in question. Just last July, 45 airplanes landed on its perfectly manicured grass runway, including one from the middle of South Dakota, Aberdeen. During the pancake break... Full story

  • August Cover

    Tim Franklin|Aug 1, 2019

    Andy Miller, AOPA’s Great Lakes You Can Fly Ambassador, was in Aitkin on Sunday, June 30.... Full story

  • Fun fly-in despite the weather

    Tim Franklin|Aug 1, 2019

    Lots of people came out to the Aitkin Fly-in on Sunday, June 30 despite the less than ideal weather. There were lots of displays, wild rice pancakes, and also classic cars. Tractors also gave rides to people to the y-in. Despite the severe weather in the area, there were lots of smiles on everyone. The event was hosted by Aero Minnesota/Aitkin Aviation. There was even a Christian rock band on Sunday morning, and a hangar dance on Saturday.... Full story

  • 50 years of safe flying

    Tim Franklin|Aug 1, 2019

    During the Great Minnesota Aviation Gathering two months ago, the 2018-19 recipients of the FAA Wright Brothers Master Pilot Awards were announced. These awards mark 50 years of safe ying. They are pictured here being presented awards by FAA FAASTeam program manager Al Thilmany during the celebration event. Also, one person, Stanley Weitemier, was awarded teh FAA Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award. Congratulations to all the honorees.... Full story

  • More from GMAG 2019

    Tim Franklin|Aug 1, 2019

    The 99s is an International organization of women pilots started in 1929 by 99 women who recognized the need for an organization to mentor, educate and support women in their aviation endeavors. Currently over 6,100 women belong to the 99s world-wide. The Minnesota Chapter is the second largest in Chapter in the North Central Section, with approximately 87 members... Full story

  • Gordon Lewis recognized for 300+ Angel Flights

    Tim Franklin|Aug 1, 2019

    Gordon "Gordy" Lewis receives an award at the Great Minnesota Aviation Gathering in May for flying over 300 Angel Flights in his Cirrus SR22. Gordy learned to fly in his 70's and celebrated his 92nd birthday in July. With Lewis are Dr. Randal Corfman, president of the Minnesota Pilots Association, left, and Gary Black with Cirrus, right.... Full story

  • A GREAT Minnesota Aviation Gathering

    Tim Franklin|May 1, 2019

    The Minnesota Pilots Association met on Friday and Saturday, April 26-26, at a new location this year, Buffalo Municipal Airport west of the Twin Cities for their Great Minnesota Aviation Gathering (CMAG) in which there were seminars, meetings, and vendors in which they could meet in person. This new place was welcomed by both the pilots attending, and the city of Buffalo. We will be publishing these photos and also some more next month.... Full story

  • May your day be joyfully blessed!

    Tim Franklin|Mar 1, 2019

    Charlotte, in one of the last few precious days, had some moments for laughter. She thought it would be funny I would be writing in this space instead of having her do much of the work. This is a column I have been avoiding. For those who do not know, we lost Charlotte Swanson, the editor of this magazine to brain cancer. About six years ago, Charlotte filled in for a newspaper editor of mine who was giving birth. We had chatted in the past about working together, but thought this would be a... Full story

  • February Cover

    Tim Franklin|Feb 1, 2019

    Mark Nelson center, owner of Hawk Aviation, along with his two sons, both pilots, Kyle, left, and Kevin, right. In an interwiew with C.M. Swanson, Mark talks about Hawk Aviation ground school....

  • Wiley excels both as pilot and business owner

    Tim Franklin, Minnesota Flyer|Feb 1, 2019

    Barb Wiley can be considered a pioneer in aviation in state and nation, but she doesn't want to be considered that. As one of the first commercial women pilots in the nation and the first with North Central Airlines, she just wanted to be viewed for her skill as a pilot, rather than her gender. When she first applied to North Central in 1973 at age 29, she only used her initials. She got a letter back to a "Mr. B.J. Wiley." She then wrote her full name on the application to fly for them. Now she... Full story

  • Hawk Aviation grows from passion of flying

    Tim Franklin, Minnesota Flyer|Feb 1, 2019

    Everyone knows where they were on Sept. 11, 2001, Mark Nelson, the owner of Hawk Aviation in Rush City included. Just the day before, he broke ground on a new hangar for his business. This did not deter the dairy farmer to continue on and expand his business, noting that even when the skies were open again, VFR flights were not allowed, so IFR flights were filed to allow students the ability to continue training. From this start, Nelson was able to continue to grow his business, facing... Full story

  • License to Learn: March 2015

    Tim Franklin, Minnesota Flyer|Mar 1, 2015

    It's hard to think that spring is almost here because, as of this morning’s writing we had a 30 below wind chill, but spring is in our minds. What better way to think about the melting of snow and warming of our hangars than the Great Minnesota Aviation Gathering, which is detailed on Page 2, and at right by Dr. Randle Corfman, president of the Minnesota Pilots Association. One of the companies attending the event is Cirrus Aircraft. A story on that is on Page 5. Gary Black, regional sales...

  • License to Learn: December 2014

    Tim Franklin, Minnesota Flyer|Dec 1, 2014

    How did December get here so fast? It must be all the fun we’ve been having at aviation events, and interesting people we’ve met this past year, that have made time fly by at warp speeds! This issue of the Flyer has been most enjoyable to put together! We think readers will be delighted with the Super Cub Santa story on our inside cover. Thank you Julie Sturek (that moment. frozen. Photography), for your captivating photos. A tip of our wings to Randy Corfman for inspiring us with yet... Full story

  • License to Learn: November 2014

    Tim Franklin, Minnesota Flyer|Nov 1, 2014

    As we work to put this latest issue "to bed" as we say in the business, I am once again impressed how many people who either grew up or live here are truly leaders in the industry in the past, present, and soon to be future, since that is just one day away. Tom Lymburn wrote another excellent article about Sawbones at Reno, starting on page 5, and gave our readers many photos of what can be seen at Reno each fall. I have always wondered if this could one day be a "day tripper" destination. I...

  • License to Learn: October 2014

    Tim Franklin, Minnesota Flyer|Oct 1, 2014

    Do you hear those autumn leaves calling you? Yes, the autumnal equinox has passed. Leaves are dressing themselves in fall colors. You know what that means. It’s time to get out there and fly! At the Minnesota Flyer we’re still celebrating summer with writer Tom Lymbrun’s article describing a week at the Oshkosh Air Show. The Duluth Air Show made good use of what little favorable weather came their way. We’ve got some great photos for you! (Pg 14) A very hearty congratulations to Darrell... Full story

  • License to Learn: May 2014

    Tim Franklin, Minnesota Flyer|May 1, 2014

    It was a pleasure to attend the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame, not only for the interesting social hour and delicious dinner, but to offer the respect and support that long-time advocates of aviation deserve. Photos of inductees start on page 7. We also have a few candid shots of the social hour on page 5 UAS is one of the hot topics in aviation nowadays. See page 19 for coverage of the UAS Summit at Northern Community Technical College for the Minnesota Flyer’s coverage of that event. Our... Full story

  • License to Learn: April 2014

    Tim Franklin|Apr 1, 2014

    We’re getting pretty excited about hanging up our Mukluks for the few months as we welcome warm air and melting snow. Looks like it’s time to ponder seaplane activity. Now there’s a subject Aero Minnesota has at the top of their list, having recently taken over management of KBDE, an international airport and seaplane base in Baudette, right across the river from Canada. Read more about that adventure on page 13. As proud platinum sponsors of the Minnesota Pilots Association’s first annu...

  • License to Learn: March. 2014

    Tim Franklin|Mar 1, 2014

    We all know education is key to furthering all forms of aviation. With that in mind, the Minnesota Flyer visited Thief River Falls recently for a tour of Northern Community & Technical College where we most definitely witnessed education in action. See results of our time with this most impressive educational team in a cover article by C.M. Swanson. Jim Hanson has the second part of his series on "I recall." Great historical piece on how aviation has changed with some great examples. It is... Full story

  • License to Learn: Feb. 2014

    Tim Franklin, Minnesota Flyer|Feb 1, 2014

    Despite the grueling winter folks, you’ll be glad to hear there is hot news in this month’s Minnesota Flyer and sizzling events on the horizon! As always, the list of events begins on page 3 and continues until we run out of items submitted by our readers. We encourage readers to support each event listed. However, in keeping with our focus on foundation and future, we do want to a spotlight on the 25th Annual Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame Induction Banquet April 12, see...