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By Randle Corfman
President Minnesota Pilots Association 

MnPilots Hangar Flying


December 1, 2019

The Holiday Season is upon us and with this wonderful time of the year comes the opportunity to enjoy time with our coworkers, our friends, our families…and even our flying friends.

We know that it is a time of giving, not only gifts to signify our affection for loved ones, but also by giving the gift of time spent with one another.

The older I get the more I realize that our time is one of my most valuable assets, and choosing to spend time with others is quite a gift in itself.

As this year draws to a close I think of those who have helped with the Minnesota Pilots Association by volunteering their valuable time to promote and preserve aviation in our state. Thank you to those who have helped with the Great Minnesota Aviation Gathering, thank you to those who share their time organizing and leading the many EAA chapters across Minnesota.

Thank you to those who donate your time and aircraft for giving the gift of Flight through the Young Eagles program, and to those who simply get a kick out of giving others flights outside of Young Eagles programs.

There is a misconception that unless we are members of EAA we cannot give kids and adults flights in our aircraft, and that is simply not true. Sure, the EAA Young Eagles program has set a great example for us, but we certainly can choose to offer an open seat to young and old as we take to the skies.

I remember the late Ed Erickson, who loved to fly and who often offered a seat in his airplane and his impact on those who were interested in aviation was huge!

It is challenging to fly when it is cold, granted. It takes some intestinal fortitude to don warm clothing before going out to preflight the aircraft, to scoop snow, to chip ice away from the bottom of the hangar door and to pull the old bird out onto the ramp. Most often the rewards are great, though, in that the performance of our aircraft is so greatly enhanced, the climb rate is out of this world and the air is exquisitely smooth. What a great time to gift someone a flight!

I think it is also a time to give the gift of flight to some of our older pilots who perhaps don’t fly any longer, but who would leap at the chance to get back into the air.

Our EAA chapters have many older pilots who would most likely take you up on the offer to commit aviation…and are willing accomplices!

I truly hope that this Christmas and New Year’s will be an awesome time for you all.

Please be safe and do keep in mind that the opportunity to give the gift of flight is often just around the corner.

Happy Holidays to you and yours,

Happy Flying


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