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Articles from the March 1, 2017 edition

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  • Father, son share aviation for the joy of it!

    Rick Mercil|Mar 1, 2017

    Eight years ago in January, my life changed forever when Rosa and I adopted our son Hayden. Our adult girls had left the nest and this little guy came into our lives out of our desire to provide him a home. Fast forward eight years and I not only have a son, but I have a co-pilot too. This was never more evident than on January 16 this year. It being Martin Luther King Day, both Hayden and I had the day off. It was a beautiful bluebird day so we decided to fly up to the North West Angle to... Full story

  • Jackson/TrickAir Ski Plane Fly-In draws 25 hearty aircraft

    C.M. Swanson|Mar 1, 2017

    Apparently Paul Jackson just can't get enough of aviation. He is a Captain at Southwest Airlines based at Chicago Midway, the proud owner of a Cessna 180H awaiting a ferry flight from Olympia, Washington to Minnesota, is co-host and pilot for The Flightline, an aviation magazine T.V. show, and recently held his Second Annual Ski Plane Fly-In at his private sea plane base on Horseshoe Lake in McGregor, Minnesota. Among those attending was Steve Schwister, owner of TrickAir who not only sponsored... Full story

  • From farm fields to fulfilling airport

    C.M. Swanson|Mar 1, 2017

    In the early 1940s, high school buddies Orv Amundson and Harold Fjoslien were awed by the sight of an adventurous barnstormer flying over Elbow Lake farms, landing in and taking off from the fields. As the now 91-year-old Amundson recalls, someone put up the money so the boys could take their first airplane ride. The experience that impacted them for life. They, in turn, impacted their community. After graduation, Amundson, Fjoslien, and several other area residents, including Ronny Nelson... Full story

  • General Aviation banquet draws aviators together

    C.M. Swanson|Mar 1, 2017

    Having a 2017 Cirrus SR22T G6 aircraft in the banquet room is a sure-fire way to let people know this event is all about general aviation. The Southeast Minnesota Flying Club, EAA Chapter 100, the Rochester Airport, and Cirrus Aircraft combined efforts to bring people together January 28 at the Rochester International Event Center to generate conversations about flying. Cirrus Regional Sales Director, Gary Black presented a brief and entertaining history of the development of Cirrus aircraft... Full story

  • Changes and challenges

    Dan McDowell, MnDOT Aeronautics|Mar 1, 2017

    Every aviator who has taken the winter off from flying is now feeling a great excitement to get back into the air. The urge to fly is strong as the renewal of life pushes bright green chutes up through leftover piles of snow, or quickly expanding buds on bushes and tree branches rejuvenates our spirits. Spring is beautiful but its weather is at best, fickle. One may be brushing snow off aircraft wings and windscreens one day, and adjusting flight plans and alternates to avoid towering... Full story

  • On the flyway

    Dan McDowell, MnDOT Aeronautics|Mar 1, 2017

    Each spring millions of birds make their way back to and through Minnesota along the Mississippi flyway, on their way to prime nesting grounds. It is also the time when pilots who do not enjoy the cold of winter begin to feel those deep-seated urges to take flight as the days get longer and warmer. It is also the time of year when all pilots must remember they share the skies with birds of a variety of sizes and weights. It is a time that requires pilots' extra vigilance, preparedness and action... Full story

  • The water factor

    Dan McDowell, MnDOT Aeronautics|Mar 1, 2017

    A departing or landing aircraft can experience a condition called hydroplaning when there is moisture on the runway. The moisture can be rain, slush, ice, snow or a combination of moisture types in a thin layer on the runway surface. Simply stated, hydroplaning is an event that occurs when the brakes are applied on landing for example, and the wheels lock, causing the tires to skid on top of the moisture surface, somewhat like water skiing. When taking off, the wheel and tire will initially... Full story

  • When night comes

    Dan McDowell, MnDOT Aeronautics|Mar 1, 2017

    After a warm, bright, sunny day, the still, cool air of the evening sky and the rising moon call you to take flight. For many, night flying is intimidating. Yet, to others, it is a challenge they willingly accept. Their reward is seeing the amazing beauty of villages and towns twinkling in the ocean of blackness below them and the moonlight shimmering on the lakes in a golden champagne color. Good night vision is a key to overcoming those challenges and enjoying night flight. It is much easier... Full story

  • From the Director's Desk

    Cassandra Isackson, Director Office of Aeronautics|Mar 1, 2017

    Spring arrived early this year with many events attracting attention. As aviators, we flock to airshows, fly-ins, and pancake breakfasts to enjoy bright, blue spring and summer skies with friends and family. I'll be at many aviation events and programs around the state this year, too, along with other Aeronautics staff. Feel free to invite us to any event you'd like us to attend at your airport. We'll do our best to be there. We look forward to meeting you face to face to hear your questions,... Full story

  • #322-The Zenith CH 750

    Jim Hanson|Mar 1, 2017

    FLYING THE ZENITH 750 On the day that I flew the Zenith. The winds were directly across our main runway, gusting to 17. I own a Kitfox LSA, and I wondered what the ground handling would be like. I need not have worried-the nosewheel is steerable, and there was no wing-rocking like you would find in a Cessna 150 in those winds. There was nothing different about the runup, and in short order, we were ready to fly. Kirk suggested minimal flaps for this first takeoff in a crosswind-like my Kitfox or... Full story

  • Airport of the Month

    Tom Foster|Mar 1, 2017

    "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 world's best farm land surrounds the Morris Municipal Airport. Morris has an airport with the "right stuff." That includes a 4,000-foot-long primary runway and a 2,600-foot-long turf "cross wind" runway. The main runway is paved, lighted, and features all the modern visual aids (REILs and PAPI). A VOR... Full story

  • The Mystery Airplane

    Tom Lymburn|Mar 1, 2017

    Known for its reliability, range, and cargo capacity, the Bellanca Pacemaker won the hearts of bush pilots and record setters. As an example, Russell Boardman and John Polando flew from Floyd Bennett Field to Istanbul in a Pacemaker called "Cape Cod" nonstop, a distance of 5,011 miles in 49 hours and 20 minutes between 28 and 30 July 1931. In the far north, Bellancas hauled fish, were used for aerial mapping, and mounted on floats and skies, provided mail service to remote Canadian and Alaskan... Full story

  • Upcoming Events


    Check this column each month to see that dates have not been canceled or changed. Send notices of events at least six weeks in advance of publication to the Minnesota Flyer, P.O. Box 750. Sandstone. MN 55072-0750 or or April 8: EAA Chapter 327 Super Saturday, Anoka County Blaine Airport, Pancake Breakfast Social 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.; Young Eagles flights from 9:00 a.m. to noon (weather permitting); IMC club meeting from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at Gateway Flying Cub Hangar, contact Kirk Fjetland... Full story

  • Aeromedical Forum

    James D. Lakin|Mar 1, 2017

    Last month we took a look at some of the provisions of BasicMed, a new way to legally fly without a Third Class Medical Certificate. We talked about the restrictions on aircraft type and operation as well as the basic procedures a pilot will have to follow if she/he elects to go this route to establish medical qualification. Bottom line—if you are a healthy person under the age of forty, it’s probably easier and more cost effective to stick with the traditional Third Class Medical. If, how... Full story

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