Pilots Complete “Fly North Dakota Airports” Passport Program

On Sunday March 1st, nineteen pilots were presented with awards for participating in the “Fly North Dakota Airports” Passport Program. The passport program presents awards to pilots for flying to airports in the state as well as attending FAA Safety Seminars and visiting the two North Dakota Air Museums.

Two pilots were presented with bronze awards for visiting at least thirty airports and attending one safety seminar. These pilots received a polo shirt embroidered with the North Dakota Flying Legacy logo.

The bronze award recipients were:

Clinton Cook – Bismarck, ND

David Operchal – Minot, ND

Five pilots were presented with the silver award for visiting at least sixty airports, one air museum and attending two safety seminars. These pilots received a flight bag embroidered with the North Dakota

Flying Legacy logo. The Silver award recipients were:

Lyn Augustin – St. Thomas, ND

Ray Brooks – Bismarck, ND

Michael Moe – Grand Forks, ND

Jean Moe – Grand Forks, ND

Patrick Haye – Minot, ND

Gold level recipients are from left, Matthew Brugger, Naomi Haye, David Hochalter, Chuck Refling, Joshua Simmers, and John Vold.

The most prestigious gold award level was achieved by twelve pilots during 2019. These pilots received a leather flight jacket embroidered with the North Dakota Flying Legacy logo in addition to the bronze and silver awards. This prestigious accomplishment is achieved when visiting all 89 public use airports in North Dakota, visiting both air museums and attending at least 3 FAA Safety seminars. These pilots join the fifty-eight others who have completed the passport program in previous years, making a total of Seventy total pilots who have achieved the gold award level to date.

The following is a list of the twelve individuals:

Matthew Brugger – Jamestown, ND

Walter Coombe – Bismarck, ND

Michael Haubrich – Racine, WI

Naomi Haye – Minot, ND

David Hochalter – Valley City, ND

Keith Hugo – Grand Forks, ND

Jon Owen – Luverne, ND

Chuck Refling – Bottineau, ND

Kyle Schmaltz – Minot, ND

Joshua Simmers – Carson, ND

John Vold – Fargo, ND

Tami Witt – Racine, WI

The awards presentation was conducted at the Dakota Territory Air Museum in Minot, ND, in conjunction with the Upper Midwest Aviation Symposium. Presenting the awards were Kyle Wanner, Executive Director and Mike McHugh, Aviation Education Coordinator of the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission. The program is sponsored by the North Dakota Department of Commerce’s Tourism Division in partnership with the Aeronautics Commission, the Airport Association of North Dakota, and the North Dakota Pilots Association.

For more stories and information about the passport program, please visit: https://aero.nd.gov/education-programs/passport-program/