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  • March 02, 2023 10:48 | Anonymous

    The 2023 North Dakota Legislative Session began on Tuesday, January 3, 2023 This is an opportunity for us to engage with our legislators for the betterment of aviation and airports in our state. We have experienced great success in recent sessions, because we have worked together and made compelling cases to support our initiatives. I would like to brief you on our No. 1 priority for the 2023 Session: to improve the Operation Prairie Dog Infrastructure Funding Program.

    During the 2019 Legislative Session, the North Dakota legislature passed Operation Prairie Dog to support infrastructure development throughout the state. This 2019 appropriations bill included allocations of Municipal/County & Township Infrastructure Funds for the non-oil producing areas of the state, and $20 million for a new Airport Infrastructure Fund. These infrastructure funds were placed at the bottom of a series of buckets that are filled by streams from both the Oil & Gas Production Tax and Extraction Tax. However, a $400 million bucket for the Strategic Investments and Improvements Fund (SIIF) was placed in front of the infrastructure funds. This $400 million bucket was never proposed as part of the original Prairie Dog program. It was placed in front of the other infrastructure funds coming out of the joint Senate and House Conference Committee in 2019. In that sense, it was a surprise to many policymakers, including sponsors of the original Prairie Dog bill. Due to a substantial downturn in oil prices and production, largely because of a drop in energy demands as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the infrastructure funds failed to fill during the 2019-2021 biennium.

    During the 2021 Legislative Session, Prairie Dog remained intact. At the end of the 2021 Legislative Session, it was forecasted that the infrastructure funds would not fill during the 2021-2023 biennium. This meant cities, counties, townships, and airports were unable to rely on this funding source, as they planned and prepared for projects within the current biennium. Reliable state and local funding for transportation projects is critical in order for state and local leaders to plan ahead, create shovel ready projects, and to maximize federal grant funding. It is also important to ensure that high priority projects can move forward as efficiently as possible throughout the planning, environmental, design, bidding, and construction stages. 

    The $400 million SIIF Fund started to fill in May 2022. Without that fund, the other infrastructure funds would have started to fill in May 2022 and would have all been filled before the end of summer 2022. The $400 million SIIF Fund is simply cash accumulated by the state. It is not programmed for any use, until the next legislative session determines how to allocate it. In the meantime, the infrastructure planning for cities, counties, townships, and airports waits for another season to begin projects – exposing them to inflation risks and delaying important infrastructure planning and projects throughout the state. The executive budget forecasts that the SIIF Fund will be over $1 billion by the end of the current biennium.

    Our request is to eliminate the $400 million SIIF Fund allocation placed ahead of the infrastructure funds and let it fill at the end of the stream, as originally contemplated in the Operation Prairie Dog bill. The Airport Association of North Dakota, North Dakota League of Cities, and North Dakota Association of Counties are supportive of this change. This is a great example of how we can work together to implement change and make an improvement for our state and aviation system. Please help us support this priority by reaching out to your legislators and discussing this proposed change in the Operation Prairie Dog Infrastructure Funding Program.

    We are also excited for the upcoming FLY-ND Conference to be held March 5-7, 2023, in Bismarck, ND. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend. This will be another great opportunity to meet with legislators and tell our story about how to improve our aviation system for the future.

    Keep ‘em flying!

    By Ryan Riesinger

    President, Airport Association of North Dakota

    Executive Director, Grand Forks Regional Airport Authority

  • March 02, 2023 10:45 | Anonymous

    The North Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame committee announces that Rodney Schaaf has been selected for induction into the state’s Aviation Hall of Fame. Rodney will join the prestigious aviation hall of fame group that currently includes 47 other individuals who have all had a significant impact on the growth, development, and promotion of aviation in North Dakota. For more information on the North Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame, visit

     B. Schaaf was born July 20, 1950 in Hettinger, ND. After graduating from Bowman High School in 1968, Rodney attended North Dakota State University and joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps. Following his graduation in 1972, Rodney joined the U.S. Air Force and was assigned to pilot training. There he was named a Distinguished Pilot Graduate, with a top 10 standing within the class.

    Rodney’s first military assignment sent him to the Grand Forks Air Base, as a KC-135 flight crew member. Flying KC-135 missions involved completing in-flight refueling and passenger airlift operations worldwide, taking him from North Dakota to Alaska, Spain, England, Hawaii, Guam, Japan, and Korea. During his military service, Rodney achieved the rank of Captain. His missions included refueling aircraft returning from the skies over Vietnam during the conflict. He also acted in the commander role for formation flights of up to six KC-135 tanker aircraft refueling four fighters per tanker, moving 30 aircraft to different military bases.

    Following his honorable discharge from the Air Force in 1978, Rodney was hired as a pilot for Delta Airlines and continued a successful career through his retirement in 2004. As a Delta pilot, he flew the Boeing 727, 737, 757, 767, and MD82 airliners.

    Rodney has been an active member of the North Dakota aviation community throughout his life. In 2012, Rodney became the fourth pilot to complete the state’s Passport Program, where he flew to all 89 public-use airports in North Dakota. Rodney has also assisted many others in their completion of this achievement, as he believes in the importance of the program and how it allows people to interact with the aviation community across North Dakota. Rodney also continually advocates for youth aviation education and development. Throughout the years, he has actively participated in many different aviation related events within North Dakota, as well as EAA AirVenture Oshkosh and SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo. 

    Rodney was also appointed to serve on the Bowman County Airport Authority in 2007 and he acted as the chairman of the board for over a decade. In this role, he was the primary liaison between the Bowman Airport and the county, state, and federal agencies. Through his involvement at the airport, he also helped to coordinate and assist with activities at the airport that included hail suppression, crop-dusting, and medical flights. Rodney also goes out of his way to help incoming aviators with obtaining fuel, ground transportation, and to provide information about the local area. He has even been known to offer his hangar space to visiting pilots and their aircraft, when severe weather occurs.

    As the chairman of the airport authority, Rodney was instrumental in the planning, design, and construction of the new Bowman Regional Airport, which opened to the public in 2015. He volunteered countless hours consulting with contractors, engineers, and state/federal agencies, to ensure that the new airport would be a state-of-the-art facility for Bowman and its neighboring communities.

    Rodney has also been involved in efforts that would improve all of North Dakota’s airports. He has been involved in statewide initiatives with the Airport Association of North Dakota and he has provided testimony before state legislative committees to help promote airport funding initiatives for construction and maintenance projects, representing the “Little Guy” general aviation airports. 

    Additionally, he has advocated for aviation efforts across North Dakota and has been especially proactive with the Powder River MOA. He has worked with Air Force and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) staff members in addition to state personnel in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana to advocate for and improve the experience for General Aviation. His tireless efforts have been effective to enhance radar coverage, radio communications, instrument approach procedures, and other considerations that enhance safety for aviators.

    In addition to his dedication to promoting aviation across North Dakota, Rodney has also been

    an active citizen and community volunteer. He has helped as a Cub Scout leader and has taken numerous young aviators on introductory flights to promote general aviation. Rodney has also served as a Talbot Township Supervisor and Bowman County Zoning Officer.

    Rodney’s leadership and support throughout his lifetime has led to significant developments and growth in aviation for the state of North Dakota. The aviation hall of fame committee thanks Rodney for his service and is looking forward to his induction this Spring.

    The induction ceremony will take place in Bismarck, at the annual Fly-ND Conference on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, at the Bismarck Hotel and Conference Center. The social will begin at 6 p.m. and the banquet begins at 7 p.m. To learn more about the state’s aviation conference or to purchase tickets for the awards ceremony, visit Questions can be directed to the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission at 701-328-9650.

  • March 02, 2023 10:37 | Anonymous

    A new legislative session has arrived and elected leaders from around the state will be hard at work discussing how to best position North Dakota for the future. I am happy to report that the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission (NDAC) has successfully prioritized our budget request and our initial agency bill has provided a strategically sound starting point for legislators. Our priorities are to ensure that adequate state support is provided for airport infrastructure projects and aviation workforce development initiatives throughout the following 2023-2025 biennium. 

    At the start of the session, NDAC staff was able to attend an “Information Day” at the capitol, where we met with legislators to discuss our operations and to promote the positive impacts and benefits of aviation. At the event, we also invited them to try their skills on a flight simulator. The simulation had the operator taking off from the Bismarck Airport, climbing to a safe altitude above the capitol building, and then turning back to attempt to land the aircraft on a runway. It was safe to say that the experience left them both smiling and impressed with the skills and training needed to become a competent pilot.

    In my discussions at the capitol, I am invigorated in the fact that the story we can tell our elected leaders is truly remarkable. Looking back a decade ago, we were met with an astounding level of airport development requests, due to the economic expansion and significant energy production growth that the state was experiencing. Since that time, our legislators have afforded us and our communities with the opportunity to provide additional investments into both airport infrastructure and youth aviation education programming. The results of these efforts are now easy to see.

    We have had great success in working with the FAA, airport sponsors, and their airport engineering teams to strategically prioritize projects to significantly update our system of airports. We have also worked hard to partner with the North Dakota Aviation Association (NDAA,) aviation museums, and high school programs throughout the state to grow youth aviation programming to the strongest point it has ever been. Our state currently boasts a record level of aviation activity in multiple areas that include air cargo levels, active pilots living within the state, and based aircraft counts. Commercial airline traffic is also strong and has almost fully recovered from COVID-19 impacts, as our state has surpassed 1 million passenger enplanements in 2022. In fact, we are currently exploring the need to expand multiple commercial terminal buildings in North Dakota. As the legislative session continues to unfold, I look forward to more conversations with our elected leaders to further discuss the aviation industry’s successes as well as its current needs and priorities. 

    If you are interested in learning more about our agency’s budget and would like to listen to the discussions on current and future priorities, please visit the legislative website at and search for House Bill 1006. On this website, you can also find and review my presentation and testimony materials, which has a wealth of information on the current status of North Dakota’s aviation system.  

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

    Lastly, I also hope that you are able to join us March 5-7, 2023, for the Fly-ND Conference that will be held in Bismarck. As always, NDAC staff, NDAA board members, and local volunteers have been hard at work preparing an exceptional program for all aviation enthusiasts to enjoy. I sincerely hope that you can take the time to come network with other aviators and to overall celebrate your love of aviation with us.

    Wishing you smooth flying, Kyle

    Kyle Wanner, Director

    North Dakota Aeronautics Commission

    701-328-9650 |

  • January 10, 2023 11:45 | Anonymous

    FAA approves GAMI unleaded avgas STCs for entire GA piston fleet

    On September 1, 2022, the FAA signed off on supplemental type certificates to allow General Aviation Modifications Inc.’s 100-octane unleaded fuel (G100UL) to be used in every general spark-ignition engine and every airframe powered by those engines. The move was hailed by the industry as a major step in the transition to an unleaded GA future.

    The FAA’s approval of the use of G100UL fuel in all piston aircraft directly addresses the industry’s long-standing goal of finding solutions that can be used for the entire GA piston fleet.

    “I’m proud of GAMI, the industry team, and the FAA for persevering over the long term and getting a fuel that the FAA has recognized as a viable alternative to low lead,” AOPA President Mark Baker said. “It’s vital that we find solutions to what has been plaguing general aviation since the seventies. It’s certainly the biggest issue I have dealt with in my time at AOPA.”

    “This is a big deal,” Baker added, “but there is a lot of work yet to be done.”

    In 2021 the FAA approved STCs for GAMI covering a smaller number of Cessna 172 engines and airframes, and then expanded those STC approved model list (AML) to include essentially all lower-compression engines. Though that was seen as an encouraging step forward in the years-long path to supply unleaded aviation fuel to the piston aircraft fleet, the STC’s did not include aircraft needing the higher-octane fuel that accounts for two-thirds of avgas consumption. Today’s announcement by the FAA addresses the needs of those higher-compression engines.

    GAMI co-founder George Braly said, “This is a big day for the industry. It means that for a lot of our general aviation communities, and especially for a high fraction on the West Coast, relief is on the way. And it means that our industry will be able to go into the future and prosper, and provide the essential infrastructure for this country for everything from Angel Flights to critical training of our future airline pilots.”

    Braly thanked the GA community for its support through this long process. “Without it we couldn’t have gotten this done,” he said.

  • January 10, 2023 11:35 | Anonymous

    $2.5 million program will help veterans pay for flight lessons

    UND has been awarded $2.5 million in a cooperative agreement from the Federal Aviation Administration to assist U.S. military veterans with paying for flight training and providing extra support to ensure a successful transition to the airline workforce.

    The Vets 2 Wings program (V2W) was announced to UND aviation students on Oct. 4, in a visit by FAA administrators. Through V2W, veteran students who have already obtained a private pilot’s license can apply for funding assistance to cover the cost of advanced flight training. There are about 100 veteran aviation students at UND, and efforts are underway to recruit 40 current students into the program, as well as 15 new students.

    Goals of the program are to provide a pathway for veterans to obtain the Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certification needed for an aviation career as a pilot, and to address the national pilot shortage.

    U.S. Senator John Hoeven, R-N.D., was instrumental in securing the V2W funding. On Thursday, Oct. 6, Hoeven visited the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences to commemorate the veteran flight training program.

    “Our nation is facing a severe pilot shortage, and we need a new generation of qualified pilots to help ensure continued access to safe and reliable air service, which is vital to our economy and quality of life,” said Hoeven. “It only makes sense to leverage our world-class flight school at UND and offer this opportunity to veterans. Through the funding we secured, we are establishing a pipeline from UND to commercial airlines to help meet the demand for new pilots, while better supporting veterans who want to pursue this career.”

    Significant need for pilots

    According to the FAA, regional airlines are being seriously impacted by the pilot shortage. Between 2013 and 2016, the Regional Airline Association reported that more than 150 airports lost at least 20% of their departures, and 52 airports lost at least 50%. Nearly 30 airports lost 75% of their departures and 18 lost 100%.

    “The FAA is working to create a robust pipeline of skilled and diverse aviation professionals,” said Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen. “We know we must think differently about recruiting the next generation, and that includes making programs available to reach this workforce where they are and in a format they will embrace.”

    UND President Andrew Armacost offered praise for V2W, saying it helps open the doors to a needed career for the nation’s veterans.

    “We are pleased and proud to participate with the Federal Aviation Administration on this cooperative agreement for veteran students,” Armacost said. “Our veterans have truly earned these educational resources through their honorable service to our nation, and these funds will assist our dedicated students in realizing their dreams of becoming commercial pilots.”

    Robert Kraus, dean of UND Aerospace, said he appreciates the opportunity the funding gives to support veteran students.

    “This program provides a second wind to help our veteran students get across the finish line and into their second career of service — as professional aviators,” Kraus said.

    Elizabeth Bjerke, associate dean of UND Aerospace and principal investigator of the V2W program said she is deeply grateful to Sen. Hoeven for working with the FAA to secure funding.

    “It wouldn’t have been possible without his support and vision,” Bjerke said.

    Veterans assisting veterans

    Bjerke said she is proud of the administrative team she assembled to help her oversee the V2W program. She said she wanted to involve UND administrators who have served in the U.S. military, so veterans could participate in implementing a program specifically for veterans. Of the six-member team, four people are veterans.

    Alongside Bjerke, those administrators include: Jason Evans, assistant aviation professor and U.S. Air Force veteran; Shane Mendez, Aerospace Success Center coordinator and U.S. Navy veteran; Andrew Frelich, assistant director of veteran & military services and Army National Guard veteran; Laurie Baumgartner, finance manager and U.S. Army veteran; and Dick Shultz, director of flight operations.

    “It was great to be able to put together the right administrative research team to work with these students,” Bjerke said. “They also are going to be serving as mentors. I hope we can use this this program well to improve services for all our veteran students.”

    Article reprinted with permission from UND Today.

  • January 10, 2023 11:21 | Anonymous

    The 119th Wing, also known as the Happy Hooligans, recently completed a first of its kind exercise, partnering with the Iowa Air National Guard’s 132nd Wing for Exercise Hawkeye Fury, Des Moines, Iowa Sept. 11 to 26, 2022. (National Guard story and photos by Senior Master Sgt. Michael Knodle, 119th Wing Public Affairs)

    The exercise focused on the ability for the Hooligans to set up two MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft (RPA), ground control station (GCS) and personnel to a deployed location and for the 132nd Wing to effectively utilize the MQ-9 in support of state and local government emergency response efforts.

    The 132nd Wing, while operating an MQ-9 mission, has none of these aircraft at their National Guard base. This exercise was an opportunity to have this remotely piloted aircraft operate on their flightline and for Airmen to see them employed in person.

    Another aspect of this exercise is to further develop partnerships between the different units and to work jointly with other Department of Defense (DoD) partners to operate the aircraft locally and showcase the potential of the MQ-9 to assist with local domestic operations (DOMOPS).

    The Hooligan Airmen benefited from the opportunity to practice Agile Combat Employment (ACE) skills, packing up personnel and equipment, deploying to another base and providing launch and recovery for two MQ-9 aircraft each day.

    Partnerships like this make the Happy Hooligans a leader in providing training opportunities for the entire Air National Guard RPA enterprise.Photo 1: 119th Wing Launch and Recovery Element crew chiefs recover an MQ-9 Reaper after a mission in support of Exercise Hawkeye Fury at the Iowa National Guard base, Des Moines, Iowa, Sept. 20, 2022.

    Article reprinted with permission from the NDNG.

  • January 10, 2023 11:10 | Anonymous

    Dakota Territory Air Museum’s Scholarship Program

    Since 2017, the Farstad Foundation and Jeff Farstad have donated $150,000 toward the Dakota Territory Air Museum’s (DTAM) scholarship program, to assist students in advancing their aviation careers. This past summer, the museum awarded 13 students’ scholarships to assist in their aviation endeavors.

    The Dakota Territory Air Museum’s 26th Annual Sweepstakes

    The annual sweepstakes is the DTAM’s largest fundraiser. This year, we gave away a 1945 Piper J-3 Cub. This year’s winner was Jeffrey Holowienko from Erie, PA. Over the course of the last 25 years, the annual sweepstakes has generated in-excess of $2.5 million gross, with approximately $750,000 in expenses. Revenue generated from our sweepstakes has come from all over the world, with the vast majority coming from the United States. For the 2023 27th Annual Sweepstakes, we are planning to give-away this beautiful 1941 Interstate Cadet. Tickets will go on-sale in March 2023.

    Dakota Territory Air Museum Hosts Events

    Over the course of the summer season, the DTAM has hosted several public events. In June, we held The Forgotten War: Korea in the Flying Legends Hangar. We welcomed twenty Korean War veterans from across North Dakota, as well as approximately 150 guests in attendance. The program for the afternoon commemorated American involvement in the Korean War with guest speaker Maj. (USMC Ret.) Trygve Hammer, and with assistance of the local chapters of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, and American Legion. 

    In July, the museum partnered with the Dakota Cruisers Car Club for this year’s Wings and Wheels event. This year, we welcomed the International Cessna 180/185 Club for the event. The Cessna Club brought approximately 40 additional aircraft to the museum grounds and the Dakota Cruisers brought approximately 150 vintage cars, trucks, and motorcycles. We had approximately 1,000 guests enjoy the displays, food trucks, and axe-throwing! 

     In August, the museum held Welcoming Home Our Vietnam Veterans in the Flying Legends Hangar, where we welcomed approximately seventy-five Vietnam Veterans from around North Dakota, as well as approximately 125 guests in attendance. The program for the afternoon commemorated American involvement in the Vietnam War and featured guest speaker Maj. (USMC Ret.) Trygve Hammer, the Minot Air Force Base Honor Guard, and assistance from the local chapters of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, and American Legion. At the end of the August event, we held our 26th Annual Sweepstakes Grand Prize Drawing where we gave away a 1945 Piper J-3 Cub. 

    In September, the museum celebrated the contributions of women in aviation with Women, Wine, and Wings. Documentary producer Nick Spark was the guest speaker for this year’s event. His documentary, “Pancho Barnes and the Happy-Bottom Riding Club,” was screened and he hosted a Q&A after the screening. Approximately 50 guests were in attendance for Women, Wine, and Wings. 

    The museum’s final public event for 2022 was the Night at the Museum Hangar Dance and Silent Auction at the end of October.  Music, dancing, food, drinks, re-enactments, and a silent auction were on the program for the evening. The proceeds from the silent auction benefit museum operations throughout the year. 

    Please visit our website for more information on future events:

  • January 10, 2023 10:56 | Anonymous

    On September 24, 2022, the Harvey Airport hosted their Pancake Breakfast Fly-in. At the event, the airport also held a dedication to rename the terminal building in honor of North Dakota Aviation Hall of Famer, Al Sauter. 

    Al grew up in Harvey, learned to fly in Harvey, and started his career as a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) in Harvey. Senator Hoeven and representatives from the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission (NDAC) were also present at the event to congratulate Al and the community on the terminal dedication.


  • January 10, 2023 10:48 | Anonymous

    By Jamie L. Leonheart, Capt, USAF, Director & Design Lead, North Spark Defense Laboratory

    It all started with a pile of sticky notes and a dream. 

    “Oh, those are my ideas to change things around here.” Master Sergeant Jesse Gentile explained. “I’ve been trying to get leadership to buy into them, but none seem to want to take the risk.”

    “Let’s get them done, then.” Lieutenant Daniel Leonheart replied. With that, a friendship and North Spark began. 

    From Billy Mitchell, who fought to establish the asymmetric advantage of airpower within the U.S. Army, to Medal of Honor winner Jimmy Doolittle who pioneered instrument flight in World War II, the U.S. Air Force has been formed by rebels, rule breakers, and innovators—the kind of people who are not content to keep the status quo. It’s in the nature, the DNA, of every member of the Air and Space Forces, to always get better and never settle for good enough.

    The Chief of Staff of the Air Force is the highest-ranking uniform-wearing member of the Air Force. This office is currently filled by General C.Q. Brown. Gen. Brown has four action orders: A, B, C, and D. Action order B is focused on eliminating bureaucracy. As a Spark Cell, North Spark joined a network of similarly minded Airmen at bases around the world to disrupt the bureaucracy to solve local problems at the local level with innovative solutions. 

    In short order, Jesse and Dan established a Maker Space with 3D printers, virtual reality (VR) modeling, whiteboards, and drawing and drafting materials. Soon after, their tenacity brought about the establishment of the Zero Ground eSports Center, which was designed to attract and retain talented Airmen and civilians, increase connectedness, and strengthen resiliency at Grand Forks Air Force Base (AFB).

    North Spark quickly outgrew the framework of the Spark Cell, and in August 2021, the Air Force Research Laboratory granted Defense Innovation Laboratory status. Thus, North Spark Defense Laboratory was born. As the second Defense Innovation Laboratory in the Air Force, North Spark is authorized to enter into Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA) with commercial industry, and Educational Partnership Agreements (EPA) with academic institutions. With more responsibility comes the need for more space, and in April 2022, North Spark held a grand opening at its new laboratory that transformed the old base golf course clubhouse into a sleek, modern, collaborative workspace.

  • December 22, 2022 12:44 | Anonymous

    We are thrilled to announce our newest education programs at the Fargo Air Museum: The Lil Flyers Club and the EAA Young Eagles Build Night- Pietenpol Workshop!

    The Fargo Air Museum (FAM) has officially launched our Lil Flyer Club, where our educators and volunteers take our education program on the road. We visit rural schools in the Fargo-Moorhead area to bring our STEAM and aviation curriculum to smaller schools, to expand the aviation passion and education in our great state. 

    Since our September launch, we have visited Kindred, Harwood, and Maple Valley Elementary schools with our aviation camps. serving over 125 fourth graders. We have had a very successful couple of months with amazing feedback from students, faculty and parents! We plan to continue building this amazing program and add additional schools throughout the year. 

    We have also partnered with the EAA Chapter 317 to offer specialized camps at the museum, where 10 to 17 year old students are building a full scale Pietonpol wooden aircraft! The kids have built jigs, assembled wing ribs, and are currently working on the tail assembly. Once the aircraft is complete, covering and all, we will have students sign the fuselage and hang it on display at the FAM for all to see!

    The next series in the EAA Camps will focus on aluminum construction, as we continue to dive deep into the various aircraft construction methods. Stay tuned for updates as we continue expanding our education program.

    We truly believe aviation is such an amazing industry, where anyone can become a part of our passion for flight. We need doctors, maintenance, pilots, technology, engineering, business, and marketing, and so much more. Pretty much any degree can be a fit for the aviation industry. As you can see, education is a large part of what we do at the FAM. From our basic free camps to our highly interactive Intro to Aviation courses, there is always something going on at the Museum to continue sharing our love and passion for aviation. 

    I am very thankful for all our sponsors, donors, friends, staff, our Board of Directors and the community. And a special thanks to the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission (NDAC) for grant support, which allows us to continually expand our education programs!

    We could not have a special place like the Fargo Air Museum without your support! So on behalf of myself and staff at the FAM, thank you and include a stop at the Museum this fall.

    Ryan Thayer is the Executive Director/CEO of the Fargo Air Museum. He has been part of aviation since birth, received his solo license at 16, and his private pilot’s license at 18 from UND as well as an Entrepreneurship Degree. He has always been passionate about aviation and business and is thrilled to be able to pursue both of his passions at the Fargo Air Museum.

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