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Articles written by Tim Hennagir

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  • Van's Aircraft Celebrates 50th Anniversary At Oshkosh

    Tim Hennagir, Managing Editor

    he 50th anniversary of Van's Aircraft RV series was a major element of homebuilt aircraft activities at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2022. "While aircraft kits have existed for more than a century, it was 50 years ago that Richard VanGrunsven introduced a model that would move the homebuilt movement into an age where kit aircraft would become dominant," said Charlie Becker, EAA's director of chapters and homebuilt community manager. Today, more than 11,000 completed RV models are the direct...

  • EAA Mourns Loss of Former President, Chairman

    Tim Hennagir, Managing Editor|Aug 1, 2022

    Tom Poberezny, the retired president and chairman of the Experimental Aircraft Association, was mourned by the EAA and numerous aviation communities after his death July 25 at age 75, following a brief illness. Poberezny was EAA president from 1989 until 2010, and also served as chairman for two years until his retirement in 2011. EAA Director of Communications Dick Knapinski alerted aviation media of Poberezny's passing at the start of the Monday morning AirVenture daily briefing. EAA issued... Full story

  • EAA Seaplane Base Watermelon Social Returns

    Tim Hennagir, Managing Editor

    The Watermelon Social presented by Wipaire, Inc. is the EAA AirVenture Seaplane Base's big event. The gathering returned this year after a COVID-19 forced absence. First-year EAA Seaplane Base Chairman Shane Albers estimated total attendance at 1,000 participants. The watermelons were sourced through local grocery stories and carved up with machetes. Albers said it takes about a dozen people three hours to set up the event. The Seaplane Base is presented by lead sponsor Wipaire Inc. with...

  • Public-Private Partnership Serves Workforce Niche

    Tim Hennagir, Managing Editor|Aug 1, 2022

    The U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure's Subcommittee on Aviation recently reviewed key opportunities and challenges facing the industry. General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) President and CEO Peter Bunce addressed the subcommittee's July 13 meeting, stating the industry is still struggling with filling technically skilled jobs to operate, maintain, and manufacture aircraft. Bunce said workforce challenges will become even more acute as general aviation...

  • AirExpo 2022 Features Return of 'Yankee Lady'

    Tim Hennagir, Managing Editor

    Attendees at Wings of the North's 2022 AirExpo were able to climb aboard an iconic plane of World War II and be transported back in time via big bomber flight. Yankee Air Museum again offered paid B-17G rides during the two-day event July 23-24. The aircraft is based in Belleville, Michigan, It was the 13th from the last ever produced. It was delivered to the U.S. Army Air Forces on July 16, 1945, and did not go overseas or see combat. In all, 12,731 Flying Fortresses were built during World...

  • Cover August 2022

    Tim Hennagir, Managing Editor|Aug 1, 2022

    This early morning canopy shot of a 2020 Van's Aircraft RV-8 registered to Roger Bestland of Webster, Minnesota, was taken June 26 at the Wings and Wheels Fly-In Breakfast and Classic Car Show at Wells Municipal Airport....

  • Cover July 2022

    Tim Hennagir, Managing Editor|Jul 1, 2022

    A 1974 Piper PA-32-300 heads down the ramp July 12 during EAA Chapter 1174's fly-in at Fergus Falls Municipal Airport-Einar Mickelson Field. The aircraft is registered to Thomas Long of Benedict, Maryland, and flies out of Harry Stern Airport in Wahpeton, North Dakota....

  • Historic Beechcraft Bonanza Gets Avionics Upgrade

    Tim Hennagir, Managing Editor|Jul 1, 2022

    An FAA Registry and N-Number inquiry provides the basic information about Jay Schrankler's recently acquired 1965 Beechcraft Bonanza Debonair 35-C33. There a whole lot more to the story, however. The aircraft has been a Minnesota aviation fixture its entire operating life. That's one reason why Schrankler has a refined strategy for improving the aircraft's 1980's era avionics. Lake Elmo EAA Chapter 54 members learned about Schrankler's plans for the Debonair last November. The Beacon newsletter...

  • Twin Cities Event Features Aircraft, U.S. Navy Pilots

    Tim Hennagir, Managing Editor|Jul 1, 2022

    The Minnesota Navy League Council acted early when filing a special flight plan to celebrate the long-awaited sequel to a military aviation cinematic classic. "Top Gun: Behind the Curtain" landed Wednesday, June 1, at the U.S Air Force Joint Base Fort Snelling, 760 Military Highway, Minneapolis. Veteran U.S. Navy pilots, active-duty Navy F/A-18 and F-35 fighter pilots, and Top Gun graduates shared stories prior to a close-up viewing showcasing both aircraft. The paid admission event also include...

  • 'Pride of the Pacific' Airshow Wows Crowd

    Tim Hennagir, Managing Editor

    his year's Ray Fagen Memorial Airshow at Lenzen-Roe-Fagen Memorial Airport in Granite Falls was action-packed, spectacular, and filled with U.S. Navy aviation blue. "Pride of the Pacific" featured more than 40 vintage and period-specific warbirds on the ramp, said Diane Fagen, director of the Fagen Fighters WWII Museum. "We are not sure of total numbers yet, but attendance was in the thousands," Fagen reported in a day-later event recap. "The weather certainly was hot, but we do not feel it...

  • Fergus Falls Fly-In Features Waffle-Making Effort

    Tim Hennagir, Managing Editor

    Fergus Falls EAA Chapter 1174 took a hands-on approach to solving a perplexing problem. When Dad's Belgian Waffles wasn't available to provide the main fare for a June 12 fly-in, members purchased waffle irons and organized their own breakfast. "We served 1,061 meals," said Chapter Vice President Dave Jennen, who has been a Young Eagles coordinator for 22 years and flown 1,279 prospective aviators. A group from a local gymnastic club the Fergus Falls Flippers bussed tables and helped in the...

  • Father's Day Airshow Beats Hot Weather

    Tim Hennagir, Managing Editor

    Canby Municipal Airport - Myers Field hosts a free regional airshow each Father's Day weekend. The entertainment ranges from off-the-wall aerobatics to high performance aircraft racing and trick shows from a core group of aviators. Airport Manager Matt Wagner reported a great Sunday show despite extremely difficult weather conditions that provided an all-around planning challenge. Free Man Airshows' Bob Freeman offered this summary on his Facebook page: "Made it to Canby with a 60-knot...

  • Crystal Open House Has Strong Bond

    Tim Hennagir, Managing Editor

    Wrapping up another Crystal Airport Open House provided a bittersweet moment for Luke Gustafson. This year's record-setting event was his last as lead organizer. "I'm only 48 years old, but I started with this event when I was 18," Gustafson said, adding he's been at Crystal Airport 30 years and involved with the event 28 years. Maxwell Aircraft Service (Prop Shop) saved the day by providing last-minute hangar space for the event, Gustafson said. "Davey Heskin got things ready, all for free."...

  • Minnesota Flyer Community Annoucements

    Tim Hennagir, Managing Editor

    Please check with contacts in this column to see if dates have been cancelled or changed. Send your event information to We will publish as we have space available. For a full calendar listing, visit and click on the"Events" tab. July 17: Benson, MN: Benson Kid Day Flight Breakfast, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Benson Municipal Airport Breakfast hosted by Girls Gymnastics. PIC free. Contact: Kurt Flegel, (320) 760-0458. Aug. 4: Nary, MN: Burgers at Nary, 5 to 7 p.m. Nary...

  • Cover June 2022

    Tim Hennagir, Managing Editor|Jun 1, 2022


  • Flying Clubs Offer Affordable Aviation Experience

    Tim Hennagir, Managing Editor|Jun 1, 2022

    Flying clubs represent an outstanding opportunity to continue aviation adventures. They organize fly-outs and getaways to grassy airstrips and fun destinations. And few things in life are as satisfying as venturing to a new place, camping under an aircraft wing, and swapping flying stories with pilots from different backgrounds. That mantra was re-echoed by AOPA President Mark Baker during his May presentation at the Great Minnesota Aviation Gathering (GMAG) at the Buffalo Municipal Airport....

  • Minnnesota Flyer Community Annoucements - Events & Fly-Ins

    Tim Hennagir, Managing Editor

    Please check with contacts in this column to see if dates have been cancelled or changed. Send information to June 11: Grand Rapids, MN: EAA Chapter 412 Spring Fly-In Breakfast, Grand Rapids/Itasca County Airport (KGPZ) 8 a.m. to noon. Local merchants silent auction; freewill offering chapter scholarships. Contact: Larry Daigle, (218) 244-3056. June 12: Fergus Falls, MN: Fergus Falls Municipal Airport Fly-In/Drive-In Belgian Waffle Breakfast, Fergus Falls Municipal...

  • Storm Damages Five Hangars At Crystal

    Tim Hennagir, Managing Editor|May 12, 2022

    Five hangars were damaged Wednesday, May 11, at the Metropolitan Airport Commission's Crystal Airport after powerful spring storms plowed through the area. Airport Manager Mike Wilson said he received a call about 8:30 p.m. reporting a roof had blown off of a hangar. "Our initial call for closure came at 8:45 p.m. and we decided an hour later to close the airport overnight because of the lights being out," Wilson said, adding he had received a call from the tower informed him power was out at...

  • Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame Honors Seven

    Tim Hennagir, Managing Editor

    The Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame Class of 2022 Induction Ceremony and Banquet honored seven Minnesota Aviation personalities Saturday, April 23, at the InterContinental Minneapolis – St. Paul Airport Hotel. The gala was the 32nd annual induction ceremony for the non-profit. Each year, the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame selection panel meets to consider new candidates for induction. Selections are made from public nominations. Candidates are determined by panel research. In addition to t...

  • Bollig Engineering Serves Unique Market Niche

    Tim Hennagir, Managing Editor|May 1, 2022

    Over the last 15 years, Willmar-based Bollig Engineering's expertise has focused on airport projects that are crucial to the financial well-being of rural Minnesota. Smaller GA airports need both technical support and funding advocacy. Their communities often have a good grasp of infrastructure needs, but struggle to understand the myriad funding programs available and their ever-changing rules and regulations. "We help our clients understand and access the multitude of funding sources," said...

  • Fuel System Features Remote City Monitoring

    Tim Hennagir, Managing Editor|May 1, 2022

    Brooten Municipal Airport/John O. Bohmer Field's recently added fuel system, completed in 2021, includes a 5,000-gallon tank for 100LL. It was provided and installed by O'Day Tank and Steel LLC, based in Fargo, North Dakota. The project was funded by MnDOT via 70%/30% split, with a private donor contributing to the project. Paul Jurek, PE, is a senior engineer with Bollig Engineering. He was involved with design and construction of the new aviation fuel system. "They didn't have fuel on the airp...

  • Laura Herrmann Named FAASTeam Representative Of Year

    Tim Hennagir Managing Editor|May 1, 2022

    For the last five decades, the General Aviation Awards program and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have recognized professionals for general aviation contributions in flight instruction, aviation maintenance/avionics, and safety. These awards highlight the important leadership roles these individuals play in promoting safety, education, and professionalism throughout the aviation industry. Laura Herrmann of St. Bonifacius has been named the 2022 FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year. She will receive national recognition in July...

  • Minnesota Navy League Council Welcomes 'Top Gun'

    Tim Hennagir, Managing Editor|May 1, 2022

    The Minnesota Navy League Council has filed a special flight plan to celebrate the soon-to-be-released sequel to a military aviation cinematic classic. "Top Gun: Behind the Curtain" lands Wednesday, June 1, at the U.S Air Force Joint Base Fort Snelling, 760 Military Highway, Minneapolis. The event starts at 4:30 p.m. Veteran U.S. Navy pilots, active-duty Navy F/A-18 and F-35 fighter pilots, and Top Gun graduates will share their stories prior to a close-up jet viewing and social hour that will s... Full story

  • Minnesota Flyer Upcoming Events

    Tim Hennagir, Managing Editor

    Please check with contacts to see if dates have been cancelled or changed. We publish events as print space is available. For a full calendar listing, visit Click on "Events" tab. Send information to Include the following details: Date, City, Two-Letter State Abbreviation, Event Name, ICAO Airport Identifier, Time, EAA Young Eagles If Applicable, Contact Person Name, Phone, Email. If you want to include full menu details and pricing or additional...

  • Minnesota Maintenance Tech Conference Returns

    Tim Hennagir, Managing Editor|Apr 1, 2022

    The 2022 Minnesota Aviation Maintenance Technician and IA Renewal Conference returned March 28-29 to the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center. The two-day, in-person conference attracted almost 200 aviation maintenance professionals for continuing education, networking, and IA renewal. Industry exhibits featured the latest and best in aviation products, technology, and services. The event continues to be a premier opportunity for aviation maintenance professionals to reconnect with...

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