Well, folks, we have another Great Minnesota Aviation Gathering behind us and we feel it was another successful rendezvous for those who love and enjoy aviation in our state. I am not sure about you, but I know there are some things I really liked about the event, and some that could be improved. We would really appreciate you letting us know, at email@example.com, what you liked and what you feel would add to the event. Your feedback is much appreciated as it helps us make improvements in the event.
This year we enjoyed excellent weather. We felt it was about time! What a long, drawn out winter we had! With that came many more aircraft flying in to the GMAG, taking advantage of this unique event in you can fly in, as well as drive in.
In preparing for the event, we were made aware of the possibility of closure of one of our beautiful airfields in northern Minnesota, the Bowstring Airfield (9Y0), north of Grand Rapids. We were made aware of the potential action of Itasca County to close what is one of the few remaining airfields in Minnesota. The voice of the Minnesota Pilots Association joined that of the Recreational Aviation Foundation (RAF) to speak to the virtues of keeping that airfield open. While researching 9Y0, I performed a Google map satellite view and found the airfield quite easily. It is remarkably long, at over 2500 feet, and is situated very close to Bowstring Lake. I noticed a place named “Bowstring Shores Resort” sits just off the west end of the airfield, literally only a couple hundred feet away. This prompted another Google search for that resort and sure enough, it is apparently a terrific fly-in resort. I decided to call the Resort. I was pleasantly surprised to speak to the owners, who welcomed the call and were very, very surprised to hear that there was any talk of closing the Bowstring Airfield! They were thankful for the phone call and were happy to learn we would be devoting an exhibit booth to keeping 9Y0 alive and well!
I was on the social media trail at that point and decided to post a bit about my research into this airfield and low and behold a gentleman responded, with photographs, on our Facebook/mnpilots page, stating that he flies in every year, sometimes just for a day, and that the folks there are terrific and the fishing is great! Others commented that they had no idea a place like that existed.
It is for things like this we feel organizations like ours can make a difference. There is power in numbers! It has been gratifying to see our members step up to the plate and deliver a home run with their phone calls, emails and letters to those represent us.
We are blessed with a wonderful community in aviation in Minnesota and our region. We appreciate your support.