Minnesota Flyer - Serving Midwest Aviation Since 1960

Articles written by Tom Foster

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Airport of the Month - Project Spotlight

A small investment can result in a big improvement. In 2020, a simple project at the Fergus Falls Municipal Airport added considerably to airport safety by relocating a taxiway. Coincidentally, this...

 
 By Tom Foster    News    April 1, 2021 

Aviation Has Critical Wildfire Prevention Role

Smokey Bear's campaign started on Aug. 9, 1944 and is the longest running public service advertisement in U.S. history. Fire safety is just as important today as it was during World War II. The...

 
 By Tom Foster    News    March 1, 2021

Mission to MTU

In Upper Michigan there is a delightful place called the Keweenaw Peninsula. Keweenaw is a Native American word that roughly translates as "portage." Over 7,000 years ago the area became a source of...

 

Airport of the Month - Project Spotlight

"Blind luck will beat careful planning every time" might be a good theory for managing stuff like your finances. Thousands of authors have written millions of pages about financial planning, most of w...

 
 By Tom Foster    Cover    February 1, 2021

Minnesota DNR's First Use Of Helicopters Has a Unique History

If you can get past the fact that they have way too many moving parts, Helicopters are wonderful aircraft. Igor Sikorsky developed the first practical machine for the US Army called the R-4. About...

 
 By Tom Foster    News    February 1, 2021

'Honey Bun 7' Has New Home in Australia

David Berger is a District Medical Officer in Broome, Western Australia. There are nine regions in Western Australia. Broome is in the Kimberly region on the northwest coast. It's a fascinating...

 

Airport of the Month - Project Spotlight

Business and commercial flights to rural airports work best if take offs and landings can happen even if the weather's not so good. What does an airport owner do when some important users need lower...

 
 By Tom Foster    News    December 1, 2020

Martinus Stenseth

Nellis Air Force Base is a huge facility. It has two 10,000-foot-long runways and is home for more Air Force units than any other military installation. The base is located on the northeast side of La...

 

Airport of the Month - Project Spotlight

Lots of general aviation airports have only one runway. Some have two, and a few busy ones near urban areas might have three or even four. In many cases, the runway configuration is historic....

 
 By Tom Foster    News    November 1, 2020

"It's a Good Life.... Especially if you like the woods and outdoors."

Happiness is getting paid for what you love to do anyway. That's especially true if you're a flyer or nature lover. Lots of people spend plenty of money to go flying or get away from it all. Robert Ho...

 

Airport of the Month Project Spotlight

In the early 1800s a Catholic Priest mistook a lake for a something else and named a place in Minnesota using the French word "detroit" (that means straight or channel). Soon a village had sprung up...

 

Airport of the Month Project Spotlight

Park Point is one cool place. It's the world's longest freshwater sand spit and separates the Duluth Harbor from the rest of Lake Superior. Since the lake's water is usually about 45 degrees, nature...

 
 By Tom Foster    News    September 1, 2020

Honey Bun

John Parker was a pioneer. Growing up on a Southern Minnesota farm, he loved horses, but his fate took him to aviation and the use of aircraft for conservation and wildlife management. From 1949...

 

Airport of the Month project Spotlight

More than 375,000 passengers pass through Rochester International Airport in a year, second in Minnesota only to MSP. Lots of those passengers are heading for the famous Mayo Clinic. American, Delta...

 
 By Tom Foster    News    August 1, 2020

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Aviation Fleet

"Our mission is to conserve and manage the state's natural resources, to provide outdoor recreation opportunities, and to provide for commercial uses of natural resources in a way that creates a susta...

 

Airport of the Month - Project Spotlight

"Say It Ain't So..." (Chicago Tribune headline after Shoeless Joe Jackson was indicted for fixing the World Series). Non-Directional Beacons (NDB) are being shut off. What will flight instructors use...

 
 By Tom Foster    News    July 1, 2020

Air Freight

Back when "overnight delivery" was exotic, an interesting fleet of airplanes flew "time sensitive" stuff like legal papers and canceled checks. One such aircraft was the Beech 18. Originally a...

 

Airport of the Month - Project Spotlight

Start talking pavement technology and almost everyone else's eyes glaze over. Pavements are fascinating. Discussions about fine and coarse aggregates can go on for hours and of course a great topic...

 
 By Tom Foster    News    June 1, 2020

"May you live in interesting times." (Chinese curse)

It would be hard to imagine more interesting times than what our planet has recently experienced. The coronavirus worldwide pandemic and the resulting government responses have very much changed the...

 
 By Tom Foster    News    June 1, 2020

Einar Mickelson

In all the history of aviation, only 99 pilots can claim to have been "Flying Tigers." The nickname was later adopted by the 23rd Fighter Group of the U.S. Army Air Force, but the original Flying...

 
 By Tom Foster    News    May 1, 2020

"AMONG THE FEW"

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill had a way with the English language. He also liked the sound of his own voice. Many of his speeches in Parliament lasted so long that some members were nearly...

 
 By Tom Foster    News    April 1, 2020

The Marine Corps Ball

My blood pressure was about to spike. The youngest daughter had just told me she was going to the Marine Corps Ball. This was a successful and self-assured young woman, who could take care of herself...

 

Airport of the Month

Before Sinclair Lewis made it to the big time, he was an aviation writer. His first published book was "Hike and the Aeroplane." He wrote it in 1912 under the pseudonym of Tom Graham. Literary...

 

Airport of the Month

Less than seven years after the Wright Brothers first powered flights the air age came to Springfield, Mn. A pilot who called himself Captain Foster (it's true, you cannot make this stuff up) arrived...

 

Airport of the Month

Charles Hallock was an author and publisher from New York City. He studied at Amherst and Yale, then edited the New Haven Register. Around the time of the American Civil War he owned the New York...

 

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