Minnesota Flyer - Serving Midwest Aviation Since 1960

Minnesota DNR Aviation's 'Go-To Guy' Retires

John Heineman Logs More Than 13,000 Hours Flying


October 1, 2021

Photo Courtesy Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

In 2002, John Heineman became a full-time Minnesota DNR pilot, eventually flying the MD-500 and Enstrom 480 helicopters in addition to this Cessna 185.

John Heineman retired from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Enforcement Division's Aviation Unit in early July. His next move was to go fishing. Since that outdoors season is when DNR pilots are busiest, Heineman's move from aircraft to boat was probably long overdue.

Heineman was the "go-to guy" within Minnesota DNR aviation. His most recent boss was Capt. Christopher Lofstuen who said, "We all strive to be like John."

Lofstuen also said supervising DNR pilots was "a lot like herding cats." That would make John Heineman the "top cat." Heineman and Lofstuen flew one la...

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