Gimli – Made Famous by a “Glider”

Gimli, Manitoba.

My wife, Lynn, and I were brought to Gimli, a small resort village on the shore of Lake Winnipeg, to visit the Air Cadet League glider training facility. After a morning visit to the training facility and a great lunch on base courtesy of the Air Cadet League of Manitoba, our host, Vern, took us on a tour of the resort community. You can read more about our visit with the folks at the Air Cadet League, Manitoba here.

The village has only about 6000 residents but swells with vacationers in the mild Canadian summer. Founded by Icelandic settlers in the 1870s, the community is located about 50 miles (80 km) from Winnipeg. Our first stop was along the lake shore at Viking Park where a large statue of a Viking proclaims the Icelandic heritage. Continue reading

United States Air Force Thunderbirds – America’s Ambassadors in Blue

Fargo, North Dakota.

A couple of weeks ago, I shared the story about the USAF Thunderbirds Meet and Greet with Civil Air Patrol cadets. As far as I know their exhibition would be the first time that they appeared during our Fargo Airsho (spelled correctly). As you might imagine, their two-day show features some of the best pilots the Air Force has at their disposal. Their precision flight demonstration is something to be seen. Continue reading

Air Cadet League of Canada – A Focus on Cadets

Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Over the years, I’ve made some interesting connections through my involvement with Civil Air Patrol. As the North Dakota Wing Commander, my travels to national and regional conferences have introduced me to new people and places. It’s been an interesting and busy three-and-a-half years. In April, I’ll be ready to hand over the wing to my successor. But I digress… Continue reading

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Magical

Regular readers know of my affinity with all things aviation related. This week, Ann-Christine asks us to share our concept of the term “Magical.” She writes in part, “But Magical can mean so many different things to everyone of us – At Lens-Artists, we have already had Magical Light as a theme, (last year) but this time it is all up to you! What is Magical to you?” You can read her entire challenge post here. So, I’ve always thought that being able to get into an aircraft and visit places unknown is magical in itself. But what about those aircraft who don’t have the advantage of generating any power to keep themselves airborne? Continue reading

USAF Thunderbirds – Meet and Greet

Fargo, North Dakota.

The USAF Thunderbirds were in town for the Fargo Airsho (spelling correct), and a couple of the members of our Fargo Cadet Squadron did the advance “legwork” to arrange a “Meet and Greet” on the day before the performances began. Thanks to their forethought, cadets and senior members from squadrons in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota were able to visit with one of the Thunderbird pilots and some of the ground crew members. I must say, it was a thrill for this old man as well and I was glad to be in town when the meeting occurred. The image above features all of the CAP members in attendance as well as the Thunderbird crew members. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 8 September 2019

Casselton, North Dakota.

On a summer day, what better way to spend the afternoon at the airport. On this mid-August day, I was content to work on the ground crew as we certified a new tow pilot and did some flight proficiency training for the glider pilots who were there that day. As the tasks were winding down, I was invited to take the front seat for a ride. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 28 July 2019

Jamestown, North Dakota.

The James River winds its way through the town of Jamestown just south of a dam and reservoir. The small dam widens the river and the view to the west above is just upstream of the dam. For those who wonder why this isn’t a feature called “Drone Sunday”, we are much too high in altitude to have been captured with a drone. FAA regulations limit drones to a maximum altitude of 400 feet above ground (or above the nearest tall structure). Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 21 July 2019

Fargo, North Dakota.

In late June, I was getting ready for a proficiency flight in preparation for my annual Civil Air Patrol (CAP) check flight (certification to continue piloting CAP aircraft). As I went about my business doing the normal preflight safety checks, I noticed a large cargo aircraft that looks like the military heavy hauler, the Hercules C-130. This wasn’t a military aircraft painted in the usual dull gray. It was painted white with the only identifying signage reading “Lynden Air Cargo.” Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 23 June 2019

Mandan, North Dakota.

A couple of Sundays ago, I made the trip to Mandan’s Y19 airport for their annual Planes and Pancakes fly-in. I try to get there every year to help share the Civil Air Patrol story, sometimes bringing along the glider behind me. That was the case on this day, as well as hoping to give some Civil Air Patrol members a sortie or two in the glider after we showed it off to the fly-in attendees. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 9 June 2019

Fargo, North Dakota.

OK, so this isn’t technically a Cellpic. It is, however, captured from a truly mobile device. First, the backstory… One of the newest missions of Civil Air Patrol (CAP) involves the use of small unmanned aerial systems, in CAP parlance, sUAS Missions. In the common vernacular, drones. The sUAS class of device weighs between .5 (266 g) and 55 lbs (25 kg). In a word, “small”. In the last couple of years, I’ve gone through the steps needed to become a Commercial sUAS Pilot. The FAA calls this class of license a Part 107 and CAP requires that all of our members who wish to pilot one of these devices hold a Part 107 UAS license. Continue reading