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  • February 08, 2021 13:42 | Anonymous

    By Leisha Lunnie

    North Dakota breeds hearty stock. During the winter, we deal with the cold, wind, and ice as part of our daily life. At some point you may have heard someone say, “The cold keeps the riff raff out!” in response to North Dakota’s low crime rate. While that theory has not been statistically proven, a typical winter in our state is undeniably cold. Often with those frigid temperatures comes smooth air and clear skies, which are some of the best flying to be had. The sun is so bright it hurts your eyes, bouncing off the whiteness of the ground and everything sparkles; it truly is beautiful.

    As a teenage student pilot enjoying the comfort of climate-controlled heating in our home, I remember my dad, who was also my flight instructor, commenting on those beautiful winter days being perfect for flying. Deep down I knew he was right, but sometimes I just dreaded the words “cold and clear” because I knew it meant bundling up and being chilled for the next couple of hours. After a frigid pre-flight in the unheated hangar, I was usually ready to go warm up before we had even started the engine! Teens are notorious for taking the easy way out, so a cup of hot chocolate while watching a movie or meeting my friends at the local ski hill seemed like a better use of my Saturday afternoon than trying to keep my hands and feet warm in a drafty Cessna 150.

    But once you are airborne with that fantastic cold weather climb rate that seems to launch a little Cessna 150 into the air like a rocket, everything else falls away. The heat kicks in, the air is smooth and perfect for practicing maneuvers. One can wonder at how something as simple as snow cover makes everything look so different from the air, so perfectly serene.   

    Winter flying also includes winter weather gear and precautions to keep the pilot and passengers safe from the ever-possible engine failure and forced landing. If you were raised in the North, you were likely taught to always have winter gear in your vehicle from October to April. You know the drill: a blanket, boots, extra mittens or gloves, stocking hats, scarfs, a shovel, and of course a candle with matches. Flying in winter weather requires the same precautions. We may not need a shovel, but there are definitely some items required to keep an aviator safe from the elements. 

    If you’re a current flight student, you will learn all you need to know about winter pre-flights, snow and frost removal, watching for carburetor icing, and so forth from your Certified Flight Instructor (CFI). If you need a refresher, don’t be shy about asking to go over these things during your next flight review or simply schedule a lesson from your favorite CFI. 

    Until then, here are a few essential items you should always bring along on a winter flight: 

    • Parka
    • Food bars
    • Winter boots and warm socks 
    • Gloves or mittens
    • Warm hat and scarf
    • Fire starter kit
    • Insulated pants, coveralls, wool pants, etc.
    • Space blanket or wool blanket and large, heavy duty plastic tarp 
    • Cell phone kept close to your body to save the battery
    • First aid kit and signal mirror
    • Knife or Leatherman-type tool

    Depending on where you will be flying, there may be other FAA requirements. Here in North Dakota, this is a good basic list for emergency situations. Most of us don’t want to be bundled up in the cockpit when the heat is on and it’s hard to move around. Don’t even get me started on how difficult and unsafe it is to try to manipulate rudder pedals while wearing large winter boots. However, should you be forced to execute an unplanned landing, you will definitely need warm clothing, footwear, and shelter. 

    In a best-case scenario, you’ve completed your emergency checklist, radioed your location, and perfectly executed an off-airport landing with no injuries and minimal damage to the aircraft. However, it may still be some time before you are located and rescued. Some days, even a short amount of time exposed to the elements is enough to cause serious frostbite and hypothermia.

    So, dress warmly in layers, complete a thorough weather check and pre-flight, grab your sunglasses, and enjoy some of the best flying days of the year to be had in our beautiful state. And don’t forget your emergency gear though, just in case!

  • February 08, 2021 13:39 | Anonymous

    By Kristi Ivey, NBAA Northern Mountain Regional Representative 

    Supporting members in their home communities and at General Aviation airports across the country is among the National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) primary objectives. I have had the honor and privilege of regularly engaging with North Dakota aviation stakeholders over the past fourteen years, as part of my role as a regional representative for NBAA. I continue to be delightfully impressed with your continuous outreach, communication, connection with each other, as well as your passion and advocacy for our industry within your great state, despite how far apart you may be geographically. 

    I have met with NBAA members and partners across your state and have participated in several of your past Upper Midwest Aviation Symposiums, as well as your Aviation Days at the capitol. One theme resonates throughout: aviation is absolutely vital in North Dakota. 

    As the umbrella aviation organization has evolved to what is now the North Dakota Aviation Association (NDAA), I find myself eagerly anticipating each new wonderfully-written copy of the FLY-ND Quarterly. I truly enjoy each thoughtful conversation about ideas for your organization’s continuous improvement with your leadership. 

    I encourage you to continue to spread the word about the benefits of participating in NDAA as a whole. Join as a member and share best practices with others from around your state, follow NDAA on social media and repost the news and events that they promote, volunteer for committees and help with planning for future events, such as the upcoming NDAA Career Expo. 

    Participating in grassroots local and regional aviation organizations provides many benefits for both the organization and you, as individuals. For the organization, diverse and engaged leaders and passionate community members play a role in hedging developing local and state issues, capturing 

    Visit NBAA's website here

  • February 08, 2021 13:37 | Anonymous

    The Fargo Air Museum (FAM) is partnering with local aviation companies to offer Introduction to Aviation camps for area youth. These camps provide an opportunity for participants to learn about different areas of aviation through exciting interactive experiences. This comes as part of the museum’s efforts to expand educational programming for kids and teens in the community.

    “The goal with the Introduction to Aviation camps is simple: to introduce these kids to various parts of the aviation industry and get them excited about it. There are so many aspects of aviation that many people never get the chance to see up close. We want to help change that for the upcoming generation,” said Ryan Thayer, FAM Executive Director. “We are very thankful for our partners who are volunteering their time to provide meaningful experiences for these kids.”

    During the March camp, participants will get the opportunity to take to the air as volunteers from the 317th chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) come in to teach about the principles of flight and offer 20 minute flights over the Fargo/Moorhead Area. These flights are offered at no additional charge thanks to the EAA’s Young Eagles program.

    The Introduction to Aviation camps will be offered on an alternating monthly schedule opposite of the Turn It, Build It Advanced STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) camps which were introduced at the end of 2020. Youth ages 8-18 are invited to participate, registration costs are $20 per child with a discount for FAM members. Other topics covered in camp curriculum include air traffic control, airport operations, aeronautical engineering and mechanics/avionics. 

    Full schedule of all youth education camps and camp registration can be found at

  • February 08, 2021 13:28 | Anonymous

    By: Matthew Remynse, A.A.E., President, Airport Association of North Dakota

    With 2020 in the rearview mirror, I’m excited for what a new year will bring to the Airport Association of North Dakota (AAND) and its members. In 2021, AAND will again be lobbying for airports at the Legislative Session, will be working with FLY-ND staff to host a speaker for the virtual FLY-ND Conference, and will see new leadership after the business meeting in March. 

    With the Legislature being in session for a short while, there is not yet much progress to report. Through the assistance of Odney, the Association’s Transportation Network Company bill was able to get a sponsor with several co-sponsors. The bill was heard by the Senate Transportation Committee in January. The North Dakota Aeronautics Commission’s bill will be heard by the Senate Appropriate Committee early on and we’ll provide testimony to support the Aeronautics Commission. In an effort to help political subdivisions with funding, several legislators have developed a bonding bill using the earnings off the Legacy Fund. This bill includes airport grant funding. For certain, it will be a bill that Odney and the AAND will be watching very closely and providing testimony on, when the time is right. Additionally, the AAND is watching bills related to an airline tax issue and radio reimbursement for political subdivisions. It is definitely a busy session once again.  

    In March, the AAND and its members will be participating in the virtual FLY-ND Conference. I’m pleased to see that the site committee has elected to provide a virtual format for the conference, which will provide a safe opportunity for individuals to attend the sessions. Also, I’m optimistic that the virtual format will provide individuals who haven’t been to the aviation conference in some time an opportunity to see the quality of the conference and that they will be inclined to participate again at future conferences. Looking at the conference agenda, the Association will have a legislative update, an Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airport District Update, the annual business meeting, an update for the NDAC staff, amongst other sessions.

    Annually, the AAND members elect the officers of the Board. After six years, I will be stepping down as the President of the Association and passing the torch onto Ryan Riesinger, Director of the Grand Forks Airport. Over the last year, Ryan and I have been working together to ensure a seamless transition. I’m excited to see him continue to build the organization. Looking back, I’m proud of what the Association has accomplished in both the aviation community and legislatively over the last six years. Truly, it was an honor and privilege to guide the organization, having the trust of its members, and I appreciate the opportunity. 

    Here is to a fantastic 2021 and remember, check the NOTAMs!     

  • February 08, 2021 13:27 | Anonymous

    If I think of one word that sums up my outlook for 2021 and applies to me, you, our industry, students, and the mission of the North Dakota Aviation Association (NDAA), that word is opportunity.

    op·​por·​tu·​ni·​ty | \ ä-pər-tü-nə-tē, -tyü- \

    plural opportunities

    Definition of opportunity

    1: a favorable juncture of circumstances

        Ex: The halt provided an opportunity for rest and refreshment

    2: a good chance for advancement or progress


    So much of our lives over this past year has moved to an online environment. The opportunity that has evolved from many of us being forced into online meetings in business or school is that we found new ways to get things done. Personally, I like the second definition from above; a good chance for advancement or progress. 

    Let's get into our opportunities.

    The Fly-ND Conference this year has moved to an online conference in March. What we give up this year in meeting in person brings a new OPPORTUNITY to reach out to a larger audience, who may not have attended our conference in the past. The move to online also created another OPPORTUNITY of hosting an in-person event later this summer to bring us together in a fun and engaging event. We hope to announce the new event this spring. 

    The Fly-ND Career Expo has been rescheduled to May 14 at the Fargo Air Museum. We are really excited for what this event will bring to students looking to pursue a career in aviation.  The delay to this spring brings an OPPORTUNITY of all of us to help spread the word to students and to help in our fundraising efforts to fund scholarships for students. Connect on our website if you would like to get involved with the Career Expo.

    As we get into this summer, the Fargo Airsho is back and scheduled for July 24-25. The event will feature the U.S. Navy Blue Angels as they celebrate their 75th anniversary this year. The show will be extra special with Blue Angels Commander and Fargo, ND native Commander Brian Kesselring leading the team in their newly upgraded fleet of F/A-18 Super Hornets. The week leading up to the show will be filled with opportunities to celebrate the history of the Blue Angels. New at the Airsho this year will be an education focused STEM EXPO. Contact the Fargo Airsho or Fargo Air Museum if you would like to get involved.

     Lastly, the Federal Aviation Administration has officially released the Notice of Funding OPPORTUNITY for the Aviation Workforce Development Grant. We are working on grant applications for both the pilot and mechanic side of the grant. If awarded, the grants would fund numerous opportunities from supporting more schools across the region with new aviation programs, equipment, and curriculum to professional development for educators, new student outreach programs, and scholarships for students to just name a few.  

     With all of the OPPORTUNITY ahead of us, we would love for you to join the NDAA and look for an area to plug in and get involved in our mission, to promote and support growth in aviation.

     Looking forward to an exciting year ahead!


  • February 08, 2021 13:22 | Anonymous

    With Don Larson and Ryan Thayer

    It is no secret that North Dakotans are proud of their rich history and legacy, boasting many museums across the state. While you may be familiar with the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame, the National Buffalo Museum, or the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, how much do you know about your local aviation museum? 

    In Minot, ND, you can find the Dakota Territory Air Museum, and a few hundred miles southeast is the Fargo Air Museum. They are a part of the North Dakota Association of Aviation Museums, a branch of the North Dakota Aviation Association. Don Larson is a Founder and the President of the Dakota Territory Air Museum, and Ryan Thayer is the Executive Director of the Fargo Air Museum. Both Don and Ryan have a deep passion and appreciation for all things aviation; they work hard to connect the local community to the past and present of North Dakota’s aviation industry through preservation, restoration, and education. 

    Q.How did you get started in aviation and where has it led you? 

    Don: My introduction to aviation began 60 years ago, when I started taking flying lessons. I worked up to my commercial license with an instrument rating. For several years, I worked as a charter pilot on a part-time basis with Pietsch Flying Service in Minot, ND. In 1986, I, along with Warren Pietsch and the late Alfred Pietsch, organized the Dakota Territory Air Museum. I have been on the Board of Directors ever since. 

    Ryan: I was born and raised into an aviation family, as my father was a pilot and aircraft controller in the Aberdeen, SD, and Fargo, ND, areas. I received my solo pilot’s license at 16 years old and earned my private pilot’s license at 19 years old from University of North Dakota (UND) Aerospace. From a young age, I began dreaming of an aviation career and attended UND for an Airline Transport degree. After receiving my pilot’s license, the industry was struggling due to the terrorist attacks of 9/11. I chose to take a detour and instead received a business degree from UND. Since then, I started and ran over seven companies, from finance and insurance to real estate and construction. I recently moved back to the Fargo area with the hopes of getting back into aviation and I was hired to run the Fargo Air Museum. 

    Q. That is the mission of your museum? 

    Don: The mission of the Dakota Territory Air Museum is: “To be a vital historical aviation resource honoring the men, women, and machines that have impacted the rich history of aviation through displays and events that educate, inspire, and entertain people of all ages.” Over the years, we have collected thousands of artifacts, books, pictures, and newspaper articles, along with over 50 aircraft that have been donated or loaned for display. We have over 55,000 square feet of indoor display area on our 17-acre campus, which also includes numerous outdoor displays.

    Ryan: “The Fargo Air Museum is a nonprofit organization that serves to promote interest in aviation through education, preservation and restoration.” We are very passionate about our mission and we work hard each and every day to accomplish it. We recently expanded our Youth Camps with STEAM/STEM and flight curriculum, are undergoing restorations like our BT-13 and Stinson Reliant projects, and preserve history in the area with our veterans and exhibits.

    Q.What role does the local aviation community play for your museum? 

    Don: Over the years, our local aviation community has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial help. In addition, we have received thousands of hours of volunteer help from our local community, including Minot Air Force Base. 

    Ryan: The local aviation community is very, very important to us. We have a great partnership with our local community where we help support each other, whether it be for aircraft to display at the museum or helping us with youth education and veterans events. We are all pursuing similar missions, enjoying aviation, and helping to spur the passion for aviation in our youth!

    Q.What resources do you provide to your local aviation community? 

    Don: For our local community, we provide a place where families can preserve and display artifacts that have been in their families for many years. We, as a nonprofit 501c3 organization, serve as a facility where folks can donate aircraft and other items and use the donation as a tax benefit to them. We also have an education outreach program, which provides aviation camps to local youth. Additionally, we administer a scholarship program with the funds provided by the Farstad Foundation. From those funds, we provide eight $2,500 scholarships annually for aviation-related careers. The Farstad Foundation also provides $5,000 annually for our general education outreach program.

    Ryan: We provide many resources to our local aviation community with preservation, restoration, and education. We provide advanced educational programs for our youth, preservation of history in our community, and restoration of historic aircraft. This offers  opportunities to help out our community in the areas our volunteers are most passionate about. We are also working on offering scholarships for flight training, as well as other exciting new programs.

    Q. How have you built relationships with the local community? 

    Don: Our museum is open to the public from mid-May until mid-October. Up until this past summer, we had scheduled monthly events in an effort to encourage the community to visit the museum. Many of our events are done around historic dates, such as Victory in Europe Day, Victory over Japan Day, and Pearl Harbor. We provide space for some smaller community events, like the Chamber of Commerce meetings, occasional service club meetings, United States Air Force groups, and promotion receptions.

    Ryan: We are continually building new relationships, as well as fostering current relationships, in our community. We have very strong relationships with local schools, the North Dakota Air National Guard, and local businesses with partnerships and sponsorships. We offer a ton of benefits to our community, which helps naturally draw people in. We also have a great team of staff to help with outreach in setting up partnerships and relationships, as we work through opportunities and challenges. Our community works better together!

    Q.What is your favorite exhibit/attraction in your museum?

    Don: My favorite exhibit is the full-scale 1903 Wright Flyer. I find it very interesting, because that is where it all started 117 years ago.

    Ryan: That is a tough one. I would have to say my current favorite is the Happy Hooligans F-16 that we have on temporary loan from the North Dakota Air National Guard. I grew up just north of Fargo, and I can remember playing in the backyard as a kid and hearing and watching them do touch and gos and practice maneuvers. It is an amazing aircraft, coupled with childhood memories and the strong tie to the Fargo Area, that makes it very special to me. 

    Dakota Territory Air Museum president, Don Larson

    Q.As a branch of the North Dakota Aviation Association (NDAA), in what ways is your museum involved in the Association? 

    Don: As a member of the NDAA, I am currently serving on its Board of Directors. I also served for a number of years as Director of the former North Dakota Aviation Council. Both of our museums have been very proactive in the NDAA. Each year that the annual North Dakota aviation conference is held in our cities, the museums have offered our facilities for the opening night social. It is a very appropriate setting for the event, at which we also have an exhibitor’s booth.

    Ryan: We do our best to be a resource for NDAA members with our event venue services, youth camp programs, veterans events, in-house special events, and to help bring new content to the association through our articles. We are also discussing a NDAA member discount to the Fargo Air Museum. The NDAA has been very supportive of us and we would like to return the favor with a potential discount. 

    Q. What volunteer options do you have?

    Don: We are usually looking for volunteers most anytime at our museum. Even during the off-season, from mid-October to mid-May, we are putting together new exhibits or re-doing existing exhibits. If you’re interested in volunteering, call the museum or visit our website.

    Ryan: Currently, we are looking for volunteers to help with our restoration department. We have a BT-13 we are working on and are over halfway complete, as well as our Stinson Reliant project. We would love to speak to former and current Airframe and Powerplant Mechanics to restore these two aircraft, as well as pursuing additional aircraft for future restorations. We are also looking for volunteers for other things, like landscaping, youth camp help, and drywalling and maintenance. There is always something that we can use help with at our facility. We also host special events and always need volunteers to help with security, parking, and ticketing.

    Ryan Thayer is the executive director of the Fargo Air Museum

    Stop in at your nearest North Dakota aviation museum, where you can explore the exhibits and aircraft. You are sure to discover something you love! You will find visitors and volunteers from high school students all the way into retirement years, from veterans to former youth camp kids, and everyone in between. Learn more about visiting, volunteering, and events here: 

    Fargo Air Museum

    1609 19th Ave N, Fargo, ND 58102, 701-293-8043,

    Dakota Territory Air Museum

    100 34th Ave NE, Minot, ND 58703, 701-852-8500, Facebook: @DTAMMinotND

  • February 08, 2021 13:20 | Anonymous

    By many metrics, 2020 was a difficult year. I won’t sugarcoat the fact that certain parts of the aviation industry in our state and throughout the country have seen significant negative impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. That being said, I believe growing positive trends and an approved vaccine provide us with reasons to start the new year with a positive outlook. I also acknowledge that we must have an awareness that we are entering a time where continued perseverance is required.

    A new legislative session has arrived for us in North Dakota and community leaders around the state will be hard at work discussing how to best position our state over the next biennium. As requested by the governor, the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission (NDAC) has successfully re-prioritized our budget and I believe that our initial agency bill provides a strategically sound starting point. I look forward to having conversations with our elected leaders to discuss our industry’s current situation and I will work hard to advise on an appropriate pathway that will support our airports and aviation industry as we recover from the pandemic. 

    I want to encourage all of you to stay engaged with the legislative process by keeping in touch with your legislators and by utilizing the Legislative Council bill tracking system, which can be found at As legislation comes forward regarding elements that have a factor in aviation, I will be in direct communication with the North Dakota Aviation Association (NDAA) and the Airport Association of North Dakota (AAND) as we work through any critical issues. I also encourage you to contact me to share any concerns or relevant information that you may have on pending legislation. 

    Outside of the legislative session, the NDAC is also continually working with our federal funding partners to fully understand their grant programs and eligibility criteria, as we want to have high priority shovel-ready projects ready to go as funding becomes available. Though we currently do not know what our future has in store, we need to make sure that we are not complacent and that we position ourselves to be prepared to accept any challenges or opportunities that arise in the near term. 

    I also hope that you are able to join us March 8-9 for the virtual FLY-ND conference. As always, your NDAA board members and volunteers have been hard at work preparing an exceptional program for all aviation enthusiasts to enjoy. Though we are unable to come together in person this year, I sincerely hope you are able to take the time to celebrate aviation with us at our state’s first ever virtual conference.

    Wishing you smooth flying, 


  • February 08, 2021 13:18 | Anonymous

    The theme for the 2019 Upper Midwest Aviation Symposium was “Building a Community of Aviation.” As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact everyone around the globe, I am constantly reminded of the tremendous aviation community we have here in North Dakota. I also believe the number one factor impacting student success in schools is having a relationship with a positive role model or mentor. The stronger the relationship a student has with a positive role model, the more likely they are to succeed. I believe this also applies to us in our professional lives or while flying for recreation. 

    Building a personal learning network is one helpful way to grow in the aviation industry. I have found that one of the easiest ways to develop this network is through memberships in professional organizations. These organizations accomplish many goals, one of which is bringing members together to learn. The North Dakota Aviation Association (NDAA) does this through media such as the Quarterly, social media and, as we talk about every winter, the upcoming FLY-ND conference. Though we will not gather together in person this year, the virtual conference will present an opportunity to meet and network with other like minded individuals. I encourage you to attend this year’s virtual conference which is FREE for all NDAA members. You really can’t ask for a better deal than that! 

    Through my role at the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission (NDAC), I continue to work to develop the aviation community by building relationships with the various aviation groups around the state and throughout the country. At the NDAC we work hard, along with the Airport Association of North Dakota (AAND), to ensure airports are kept safe and well maintained. Planning projects becomes a bit like a jigsaw puzzle, while we work with stakeholders to leverage local, state, and federal funds to ensure high priority projects are completed on time. We also work with pilots and aircraft owners through our Passport Program to learn more about the needs of airports around the state. 

    In regards to aviation education, I work consistently with the high school Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs around the state, as well as our air museums, to develop high quality educational programming for youth of all ages. We also help with funding needs for these programs through educational grants. Recently, we awarded educational grants to help fund simulators at three North Dakota airports. These simulators are available for low cost or free-of-charge in the cities of Mandan, Mohall, and Hillsboro. 

    I would like to encourage you to continue building your personal learning network through networking and membership in professional organizations. If you are not already a member, consider joining the NDAA, where you will gain access to this year’s virtual conference among other benefits. In addition, the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA), the AAND, and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) are local organizations which can help you learn and network. Both statewide and national aviation organizations have social media presences as well. Consider joining, following, liking, and contributing to your personal learning network. 

    Mike McHugh, Aviation Education Coordinator 

    North Dakota Aeronautics Commission

    701-328-9650 |

  • February 08, 2021 13:06 | Anonymous

     By The Staiger Consulting Group

    When 2020 recently came to a close, I bid it a not-so-fond farewell. I, like many of you, am glad to be looking at last year through a rearview mirror. My focus for 2021 is one of hope and optimism. Although 2020 was one for the record books, I found light in the darkest of times amongst our circle of family and friends, essential workers, neighbors, teachers, and even strangers. I truly believe that once we are through this pandemic, our community will be stronger, people will embrace one another, support one another, and look at the world through a different lens. We came together as a family, a neighborhood, and community in the face of this pandemic. It is in that hope for the future and the fact that it’s a new year, I think now is the best time to examine what’s in front of us and if we want to be part of something bigger than ourselves. 

    This year, I decided not to make any resolutions; I’m not adding to my plate or to my to-do list. Instead, I am choosing to narrow my focus on what’s important and my role in my home, my family,and my community. I encourage you, as well, to consider what role aviation plays in your life. Is it a profession? A hobby? A passion? An escape? Whatever it means to you, I know that if you have opened this publication and made it to this article, you have a vested interest and care or concern for the industry. Perhaps it’s one small area, or maybe it’s aviation in its entirety. I want you to know that the North Dakota Aviation Association (NDAA) and it’s passionate board members, volunteers, and staff care deeply about all aspects of aviation. 

    The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines an association as:

    (often in names) a group of people organized for a joint purpose.

    An organization of persons having a common interest: SOCIETY.

    Our Association clearly understands that each sector of the industry needs each other, as we cannot have one without the other. Some of you may already know this, but the NDAA was founded in 1983 by six aviation organizations, interested in promoting aviation in the state and presenting their concerns before the government and the general public. It was founded with the notion that solutions to problems facing aviation can be best served by consolidating and working together, rather than struggling as independent groups. The NDAA seeks to serve aviation professionals by providing a forum for the exchange of information, ideas, and experience among their peers: pilots, agricultural operators, airport managers, Fixed Base Operators, aviation mechanics, educators,and aviation museums. By combining our talents and resources, we are set to explore answers to the most pressing issues of today to ready ourselves for the exciting aviation world of tomorrow, all while having fun in the process and networking with like-minded individuals! 

    Further explore your passion for aviation through your membership in the NDAA. Membership means that you too believe in this community of aviation and you have a voice in the direction of the industry. We are in this together, we are a community who works together to accomplish so much and affect change. The dynamics and vision of our organization are focused on preserving the past, embracing the present, and preparing a path for the future of the industry. It’s easy to see the depth and importance of the North Dakota Aviation Association. If you are considering joining, I encourage you to check it out, come for the education, networking, and preservation and advancement of the industry. If you simply believe in the mission and vision of what we do, now is a great time to join to make a difference in the community of aviation.

    I look forward to your involvement and your impact on the future. 

  • February 08, 2021 13:04 | Anonymous

    The North Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame committee announces that William A. (Bill) Beeks has been selected for induction into the state’s Aviation Hall of Fame. Bill will join the prestigious aviation hall of fame group that currently includes 45 other individuals who have all had a significant impact to the growth, development, and promotion of aviation in North Dakota. For more information on the North Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame, visit

    Bill Beeks was born January 21, 1941 in Bismarck, North Dakota. In 1957, he completed his first flight on his 16th birthday and moved on to earn his private pilot’s license at the age of 17. Bill grew up in Washburn, North Dakota and after his High School graduation in 1959, he continued his education at the University of North Dakota and received a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Arts. 

    Bill returned to Washburn in 1967 to assist his father, Clifford H. Beeks with their family business, Central Flying Service. The business was incorporated in 1969 and Bill worked hard to eventually purchase and become the primary owner. He married Mary Ann Guenthner on July 26, 1969, and together they raised their daughter, Lara. During this time, Bill began his many years of working in North Dakota as a flight instructor, aircraft mechanic, aircraft inspector, and aerial applicator. 

    Whenever friends and family would visit Washburn, Bill took time to give them an aerial tour of the area and share his love for North Dakota, the Missouri River, and its rich history of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. In the 1980’s, Bill flew for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Civil Air Patrol, where he helped to gather counts of campers and boats on Lake Sakakawea and the Missouri River. He also provided critical surveillance for area storm damage, range fires, and ice jams.

    Bill served as the manager of the Washburn Airport for many years and was well-known around the area for his love of aviation and the services that he provided. His desire to improve the Washburn Airport prompted him to lead the effort to successfully advocate for the construction of a new concrete runway which occurred in 2002. 

    Bill was active in many different community and church organizations but was especially involved in the state’s aviation-related organizations, where throughout the years he served in multiple leadership roles. His early and active participation with the North Dakota Agricultural Aviation Association and the Airport Association of North Dakota led to many positive evolutions within both organizations as they matured. Bill also volunteered his time to act as a lobbyist for the aviation community, where he would represent the best interests of the industry during multiple state legislative sessions.

    Bill had a passion for his local community that was hard to match, and his sense of citizenship led to help place a small North Dakota farming community on the map. Bill will always be remembered for his love of aviation and his work to tirelessly show others that the front door of any community can truly begin - at the airport. 

    Bill will be honored at the upcoming Fly-ND Virtual Conference that will take place March 8-9, 2021. To find more information on the virtual conference, visit: Tentative plans are also being made for an in-person summer induction ceremony and information regarding that event will be provided at a later date.

    Questions can be directed to the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission at 701-328-9650. 

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