Allen Sauter to be inducted into North Dakota’s Aviation Hall of Fame

The North Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame committee has announced that Allen Sauter has been selected for induction into the state’s Aviation Hall of Fame.  The induction ceremony will take place on the evening of March 3rd, at the Upper Midwest Aviation Symposium banquet in Minot, ND.  Allen Sauter will join the prestigious aviation hall of fame group that currently includes 44 other individuals who have all had a significant impact to the growth, development, and promotion of aviation in North Dakota. 

Allen Sauter

Sauter was born on October 2nd, 1941 and was raised in Harvey, North Dakota. His love for aviation started as a child on his family farm where he worked as a flagger for a local aerial applicator. On Christmas Day in 1957, he soloed in a 1946 J-3 Cub on skis at the young age of 16, which began an aviation career that currently spans seven decades.

Sauter joined the US Army in 1958 to become a pilot.  Once he discovered that he was too young to begin flight training, he decided to attend helicopter maintenance school. Allen excelled in his training and by the end of his enlistment he obtained all FAA requirements for his Airframe & Powerplant Certificate. In addition, he flew all of the aircraft in the Army base flying squadron, including the L-17, L-18, L-19, L-21 and L-26.

After returning home in 1962 to North Dakota and earning his Commercial Pilot and Flight Instructor Certificate, he began work as a commercial pilot for Combs Airways and Red Baron Lines.  During this time, he flew passengers and cargo throughout North Dakota and other Midwest states. He was also active in the Civil Air Patrol serving as a Captain and Flight Instructor.

Throughout most of the 1970’s, Sauter accrued additional qualifications and certifications. He served as the Chief Flight Instructor for Mid-State Aviation in Bismarck where he wrote the first FAA approved multi-engine curriculum for private, commercial, and flight instructor pilots in the state of North Dakota. He also wrote and obtained FAA approval for the new GI Bill flight school in North Dakota.

Sauter dedicated his life to raising his family while serving as an FAA Certified Gold Seal Flight Instructor and as an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner in North Dakota. Within this position, he trained pilots of all levels including private pilots in Piper Cubs to commercial pilots flying twin-engine jets.

Sauter continued his contributions to the aviation industry and to his fellow North Dakotans after completing his career with the FAA. He began his own Bismarck based aircraft pilot service company which employed three pilots. Over a span of 14 years his business flew doctors and nurses from Bismarck to rural communities throughout North Dakota and other Midwest states.

Sauter received numerous awards, most notably the Orville and Wilbur Wright Master Pilot Award for 50 years of continuous medical certification with no accidents and no violations of FAA Regulations. As an FAA Gold Seal Flight Instructor, he has provided instruction to over 633 certified pilots throughout his career.  He has flown 55 aircraft including Cessna Citation Jets and Convair 240 aircraft as well as three helicopter models and has accumulated over 32,200 hours of flight time throughout his lifetime.

For more information on the North Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame, visit