Minnesota Flyer - Serving Midwest Aviation Since 1960

By Randle Corfman President
Minnesota Pilots Association 

Absence makes the heart grow fonder


September 1, 2020

The Minnesota Pilots Association is very much looking forward to seeing 2020 in our rear view mirror...

It has been nice to see pilots out, however, flying to destinations across our State and region this summer. We have noticed an increase in the number of our friends and neighbors who decided to take the plunge and purchase a recreational vehicle/camper of one sort or another, and it is thought that people are pretty much ready to get out and travel, while the traveling is good!

We have noticed a lot of aircraft at destination airports in the region. A trip to Mackinaw Island in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan recently revealed a ramp overflowing with aircraft, and I’m talking about Cessna 172’s, Piper Archer’s and the like. I heard the same thing is true about Madeline Island. Pilots have taken the bull by the horns and ventured out to some new destinations while they “socially distanced” to “mitigate” risk of becoming infected with a virus. Ramps full of airplanes are a reassuring sight for us.

We have seriously missed the lack of fly-in pancake breakfasts this summer. I miss flying into a smaller airport, parking my airplane next to an interesting aircraft, securing my airplane and walking over to the picnic tables in order to purchase a breakfast. I miss the pride I feel when the person at the sign up place tells me that I get a complimentary breakfast because I was the pilot in command, and I miss the chance to see the communities come together, pilots and non-pilots alike, to eat pancakes, sausage and sometimes scrambled eggs while we listen to the roar of airplane engines, and look skyward to see what aircraft is making entry into the traffic pattern. I miss sitting down at a table at which there are people who I don’t know from Adam and striking up a conversation about how nice their airport is, what a great community they live in. I miss learning that, even though I have never met these local citizens, we know someone in common. I enjoy seeing pilot friends who I have not seen since the last Great Minnesota Aviation Gathering, or since the last pancake breakfast. I miss seeing the families sitting down together, as the kids are wide-eyed with excitement when a loud aircraft flies overhead.

I think that what we are sorely missing this year will make next year even more special. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”. The marked absence of fly-in events will make next year potentially the most fun in years! We feel that the 2021 Great Minnesota Aviation Gathering will be one not to miss! If you have suggestions to make the 2021 GMAG, (to be held on Friday and Saturday, May 14-15), even better please email us at info@mnpilots.org and share your thoughts.

We have much to look forward to in the future.

Thanks for supporting aviation in Minnesota, and thanks for contributing to making great memories by attending aviation events in our State!


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