Former DNR Chief Pilot Was Avionics Use Pioneer

Dick Stoltman Helped Agency Improve Flying Accuracy


Photo Courtesy Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Former DNR Chief Pilot Dick Stoltman (left) confers with a wildlife biologist regarding electronic moose tracking equipment.

Forty some years ago an aviation revolution was occurring, one of the biggest changes since Jimmy Doolittle flew without seeing outside the airplane. Point-to-point navigation using VORs and NDBs was being replaced by "area navigation." It more or less began with Long Range Radio Navigation or "LORAN."

Use of LORAN by aircraft goes back to World War II, but the hardware was two large "black boxes" and it was mostly used on big transports for over water flights. A couple of avionics manufactures miniaturized the on-board system to about the size of a VHF radio, but it was soon replaced by t...

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