Minnesota Flyer - Serving Midwest Aviation Since 1960

Articles written by Tom Foster

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Airport of the Month

It's not fertile in Fertile. Well, that's not exactly true. The surrounding area is probably the best farm land in North America, but the town is built on a geological anomaly called the "Sand Hills."...

 
 By Tom Foster    News    October 1, 2018

Making the most of Aviation

Boxing Day is a uniquely British holiday. The day after Christmas, aristocrats present servants with gifts (in boxes) and working folks get the day off. During World War II, U.S. Army's Eighth Air For...

 

Airport of the Month

Fairmont got its name because the original townsite was higher than the surrounding terrain. Before you pack your skis and head out, remember this is southern Minnesota. The mountain might be a little...

 

Airport of the Month

By some standards, there's not much to Bowstring. It's officially an "unincorporated" place, meaning there's an identifiable community, but without a formal city charter. The population is about 120...

 

Airport of the Month

Interstate Highway 90 connects Boston to Seattle. It's the longest road in the United States. Like the first transcontinental railroad, I-90 was constructed from both ends toward the middle. When the...

 

Airport of the Month

In 1858, Minnesota became the 32nd State of the Union. The new state's most populous county had about 13,000 residents, but it wasn't named after Louis Hennepin or Alexander Ramsey. That honor went...

 

Airport of the Month

Starbuck, what a great name for a great town! The City wasn't named after the first mate in "Moby Dick," or the fighter pilot in "Battlestar Galactica." The consensus is it got that unusual name from...

 

Airport of the Month

Litchfield has some great history. The City is named for E. Darwin Litchfield, whose brother was Egbert E. Litchfield, founded the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad. Darwin was a major investor in the...

 

Airport of the Month

Waseca (wasecha) is a Dakota word. The first Europeans to visit the area interpreted it to mean "rich" but the Native Americans who inhabited the Great Plains at the time had no concept of monetary...

 

Airport of the Month

M*A*S*H was a movie and TV series about the Korean War (aka "Police Action").The setting is the 4077th Mobil Army Surgical Hospital between 1950 and 1953. In the opening scenes of both the movie and...

 

Airport of the Month

Minnesota is blessed with two great streams called Pine River. One originates in a chain of lakes in east central Minnesota, then flows north and east to join the Kettle River near Sandstone. The...

 

Airport of the Month

Aviation's golden age might have been the 1930s, but flying back then wasn't all that reliable. Equipment failures were common and many airlines used airplanes with only one motor. Emergency landing...

 

Airport of the Month

East Gull Lake is a modest size town in central Minnesota. It was incorporated in 1947, but the community was there long before it became an actual city. About 2,000 people are full time residents....

 

Airport of the Month

"A Solid Foundation" is the Dodge Center City motto. That's appropriate since the largest employer in town is Oshkosh Corporation, owner of the former McNeilus Truck factory. It's one of the largest...

 

Airport of the Month

Even if you went to school 50 years ago in some exotic place like New York, there's a good chance your ring or year book came from Owatonna. Jostens (aka, Newell Brands) is probably the country's...

 

Airport of the Month

Hector, Minnesota is named after a legendary warrior from Greek mythology. Hector, a prince of Troy, figures prominently in the story of the siege precipitated by the famous love affair between Helen...

 

Airport of the Month

Backus Municipal Airport could easily be confused with an exotic wilderness retreat. The turf runway is 3,600 feet long and lighted. There are lots of tie downs.Hangar rentals are available for long...

 

Airport of the Month

Cook County has only one City. It has three townships, eight "named communities," and a couple ghost towns, but only one incorporated City. If you only get one city, Grand Marais is the one to have. O...

 

Airport of the Month

In Fosston, they work hard and accomplish a lot. A list of the talents displayed by the residents over the years would be rather long. Alphabetically, the first two things on the list of what they're...

 

Airport of the Month

In the spring of 1876, George Armstrong Custer was returning to Fort Abraham Lincoln after meeting with General Alfred Terry at Fort Snelling. He stopped in Hawley, possibly because another officer...

 

Airport of the Month

Milaca is a shortened version of Mille Lacs. The name, given to an area in Central Minnesota by 18th century French traders, translates as “Thousand Lakes”. Milaca is the seat of Mille Lacs...

 

Airport of the Month

"Morris is where agriculture and culture come together." That's how the City advertises itself, and it's very true. If you fly to Morris, the agricultural connection will be obvious. Some of the...

 

Airport of the Month

A Roman Legion consisted of about 5,000 disciplined and well trained soldiers. Two thousand years ago there were 30 legions in the Roman army, and they usually won their battles. Then, the Romans ran...

 
 By Tom Foster    News    January 1, 2017

Hercules on skis

School days in the 1950s were sometimes punctuated by "Air Raid Drills". The Cold War was on. The Soviet Union had built a nuclear bomb. It was probably false hope, but we practiced taking shelter in...

 

Airport of the Month

In 1948 the Church of Christ in Tracy got a new pastor. About the same time the city opened its new municipal airport. These events are related, how? Pastor Homer Dobson was also a pilot. For 53 years...

 

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