Minnesota Flyer - Serving Midwest Aviation Since 1960

By Tim Franklin
Minnesota Flyer 

License to Learn: November 2014

Leaders abound in state


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 still miss those.

What a wonderful team that comes together each year and puts on a great performance for the entire nation to experience each year.

Page 14 features a story on Dale and Alan Klapmeier, who were inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame on October 4, 2014 at a ceremony in Dayton, Ohio. Who did they join in this exclusive club? Oh, we will just throw out a few names ... Orville and Wilbur Wright, Amelia Earhart, Neil Armstrong and Chuck Yeager. Not too bad for a couple of Wisconsin kids that began with designing aircraft while they were still in college and then started Cirrus Aircraft, that has a large workforce in Duluth and Grand Forks.

When I purchased this magazine 13 years ago, and was still an earthling, one of my most pleasurable experiences was to go up in a Cirrus over Duluth as part of a media day at the production facility. At the time, there was some question on whether my life insurance policy purchased in order to get a loan to buy this magazine and a newspaper would allow me to learn how to fly. The day after I returned to the office, I called my life insurance person, and asked if I could learn to fly. Of course not, I told him .... there was silence. He then told me I could start flying at any time. I wonder what would have happened if I had answered it another way?

So that one media day in Duluth about 12 years ago led to ground school and then flight instruction, and learning how to fly. You never know how just one day out on the field can change someone's life, and that airplane ride was designed by a couple of people from a Minnesota company, and they are now in the Hall of Fame.

Of course, not all of us are destined to be in the National Aviation Hall of Fame, but the contributions each of us make help further aviation on the state and regional level. C.M. Swanson takes us to KANE on pages 10-11 on a story and photos on some great home builders. Read their stories and maybe you will be inspired to build your own airplanes, like the Wright brothers, the Klapmeier brothers, and those who don't even share your aviation passion with your own brother or sister, of course.

The days are getting shorter this time of year, but that does not mean that we are not still excited about all the great stories out there in aviation.

Happy landings to all!


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