From the Board
2023 is off to a great start at Wings of the North! Our spring pancake breakfast drew more people than ever before. The1948 Bonanza is just finishing its annual inspection and will be on display at several events around the Twin Cities in the next few months. We expect to have a record number on entries in the sweepstakes for the airplane again this year. And it looks like the AirExpo will, once again, be a great show, if the weather will cooperate. 2023 is looking good!
The only disappointing area is our search for a new location on Flying Cloud Airport to house our museum. We still have a complete museum in storage; we just need a building where we can display everything. No existing buildings are available on the airport so we may have to raise the capital to build a new one, which is no small task. The Metropolitan Airports Commission is in the middle of a long term planning project for the airport so we cannot even talk about a location until this process is finished.
Without a site we cannot draw up plans or get firm cost estimates. We expect to agree on a site later this year and begin the process. In the meantime, if you know anyone with deep pockets and a passion for aviation and/or history please let us know. We will be happy to meet with them.
Pancake Breakfast Was a Flippin’ Success
Wings of the North’s spring pancake breakfast was held on Saturday, May 6, and saw a record number of people attend. Our temporary hangar was full of families eating pancakes and sausage for almost the entire duration of the three-hour event. Kudos to Greg Doeden, his family, and the rest of the crew that managed to keep the food coming. The attendees also got to enjoy three airworthy World War II airplanes on display as well as our own BT-15 restoration project and our 1948 Beechcraft Bonanza that we will be giving away at our fall pancake breakfast. (See the separate article on our sweepstakes below.) Although the sky was overcast, the rain held off and the temperature was comfortable for all our visitors. All in all, it was a great way to start the 2023 flying season at Wings of the North.
Back again by very popular demand is the beautiful 1948 V-tail Beechcraft Bonanza! As you know, this was also our sweepstakes airplane last year but the winner of the grand prize drawing was not a pilot so he opted to take the alternate prize of $35,000 cash. He hoped to start taking pilot lessons and work up to owning his own plane in the future. So all the people who fell in love with this classic airplane have another chance to win it! In addition to the Bonanza there are five other prizes totally over $3,000 in value being given away every other week starting July 1 and leading up to the Bonanza drawing at our fall pancake breakfast on September 9. This year you have the option of buying one entry for $50 or three entries for $120. All sales are done through the Wings of the North website where you can also find all the official sweepstakes rules. GOOD LUCK!
It seems that almost every nonprofit group has the same problem: we need to find more volunteers!
Wings of the North has a great core group of volunteers but they are being asked to do too much. We need some new people to help carry the load. I think you will find that it is fun to volunteer with WOTN and you will make some new friends. Some specific areas where we need help are:
- Airport appearances at Flying Cloud, Buffalo, Crystal, LeSueur, Air Lake, and??
- Help man our information table and talk to people about our activities.
- Fly the Bonanza to these events. Previous Bonanza time is required.
- Help with the writing and editing of this quarterly Air Mail newsletter.
- Oversee the WOTN Facebook page.
- Help with the finishing touches on the BT-15 restoration project.
- Help coordinate volunteers for the AirExpo and our other activities
our next WOTN volunteer meeting is Thursday, May 18, at 6:30 pm in our hangar just inside Gate H (14857 Pioneer Trail). If interested in helping please attend or email [email protected] for more information.
To learn more about volunteering in general, please visit our volunteer page at https://wotn.org/volunteer/
This year’s show will be July 22-23 and it looks like it will be another premier event. In addition to all the World War II warbirds, we expect to have the Air Force C-130 Hercules back on the ramp as well as a pair of A-10 Warthogs (sorry, Thunderbolt II’s). This year the A-10’s might, repeat might, be able to fly during the show and make a couple of photo passes down the runway! You don’t want to miss that!
For a full list of the aircraft and the aviation VIP’s who are expected to attend the show please visit the Wings of the North website. As always, volunteers are needed for the show and you can sign up to help on the website. Please visit our volunteer page to learn more. The AirExpo is WOTN’s signature event and you can be part of it!