Serving Midwest Aviation Since 1960

MnPilots Hangar Flying

Feeling Thankful

We have so much to be thankful for as aviators in Minnesota, and it is a pleasure to be able to do so as we look back on 2019.

We are so grateful to the City of Buffalo, Minnesota, for hosting the 2019 Great Minnesota Aviation Gathering (GMAG). First, this move to this great airport would not have been possible without the encouragement of Mike Wiskus, who owns West Metro Aviation in Buffalo. Mike continues to serve as a board member for the Minnesota Pilots Association. Mike came to our rescue as we struggled to find an airport that was suitable for hosting the GMAG. When we put the Buffalo Municipal Airport to a vote by our members it was the overwhelming choice for our flagship event and Mike and his team were instrumental in making this a reality. The administration of the City of Buffalo, including Mayor Teri Lachermeier and Chris Fredrick, greased the skids to make the transition doable. The local pilots and EAA Chapter 878 volunteered their time to provide the energy and infrastructure necessary for the many details which contributed to a successful event. Suzy Brallier and Bruce Hoegger allowed us to use their gorgeous hangars for the Hangar Flying Sessions and these proved to be wonderful venues for the presentations. We are thankful for the many vendors and organizations who exhibited at the GMAG. Lastly, the speakers were extraordinary once again and we thank them for their commitment to providing perspectives for our fellow pilots.

We are also grateful for the efforts of AOPA, under the leadership of Mark Baker, in securing and supporting the BasicMed program. We are so pleased that many of the over 50,000 pilots who have enrolled in this program are from Minnesota. This program has been just what the doctor prescribed for re-energizing general aviation.

We are also thankful for the efforts of Tim Franklin in continuing the legacy of the Minnesota Flyer magazine. The challenges that faced him following the tragic loss of Charlotte Swanson, editor-in-chief, were extraordinary and we are so happy to see Verlena Jones stepping up to the plate and hitting a home run for the Flyer. Charlotte would be so pleased.

We can express our thanks by “giving back,” or “paying it forward”and a wonderful way of doing that is to participate in the Tree of Hope drive, by donating toys for hospitalized children. Please check out for details. The date of that event is Saturday, December 7th, at St. Cloud Aviation. Remember, you can collect gifts all year round and bring them to the event where they will be labeled and bagged for distribution.

We are thankful to those of you who are contributing members of the Minnesota Pilots Association. Your membership and support, both financial and by donation of your time, helps us achieve our mission. We appreciate your support and wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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