GMAG is nearly here!
April 1, 2019
The 6th Annual Great Minnesota Aviation Gathering (GMAG) is nearly here and with that comes a great deal of activity by members of the Minnesota Pilots Association and our supporters, activity that is necessary to make the event a continued success. Each of our previous five GMAGs have been different, as we have been test pilots, so to speak, to see how best to fly this baby! This year will be particularly different in that the event will be held outside of the MSP Class B veil at the Buffalo Municipal Airport (KCFE). No control tower. Open countryside.
The kind citizens of the City of Buffalo, and particularly EAA Chapter 878 and the aviation community, have welcomed us with open arms. There surely will be a few snags here and there, but the enthusiasm is palpable at KCFE and we feel we have put together a program that will once again have something for everyone over the Friday and Saturday, April 26 and 27, of the GMAG.
Why a Friday and Saturday, and not Saturday and Sunday? Well, folks, we have tried both and the year we tried a Sunday event was very poorly attended…after a record-breaking day on Saturday! It is the unanimous feeling of the board of directors that we keep with the Friday and Saturday timing. We are aware that those who attend on Friday do so by taking a day off from work, or skip out on the “honey do” tasks for retirees. We also feel that the people who attend on Friday must be pretty committed to aviation, an observation that is noted by the exhibitors and vendors who support the GMAG.
This year we will again honor those upon which the FAA’s Master Pilot Awards are bestowed, recognizing them for their commitment to safe flight for at least 50 years. We will also honor those who go above and beyond to provide EAA Young Eagle flight experiences to youngsters, and we will recognize the individual who won the Photograph of the Year award.
We are very happy to announce that we have established the Minnesota Pilots Association Aviation Achievement Award, and the very first two awards will honor Gordy Lewis and Charlotte Swanson. Gordy Lewis has given hundreds of Angel Flights, providing transportation to many people to receive medical care. Charlotte, who recently passed, was the Editor-in-Chief of the Minnesota Flyer, and was directly responsible for helping make this magazine truly reflective of Minnesota Aviation. We honor these giants as we recognize their achievements.
AOPA will once again provide the Rusty Pilot Seminar, and we will have an enthusiastic group of exhibitors at the GMAG. We hope many of you will fly in (bring your tiedown stakes and ropes/chocks) or drive in. We are expecting many pilots to make this a camp out, or sleep over, Friday night. Details will be listed on http://www.mnpilots.org/gmag.
This is your event, and we will hope you make special efforts this year to attend. See you at the GMAG!