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Greetings from the Board

The Wings of the North Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Jack Larsen as President of Wings of the North organization. In this capacity Jack will be responsible for the overall organization and will report to the Board of Directors. As President, Jack’s duties will include overall direction and accountability for the execution of the various activities of the Museum including aircraft operations, AirExpo, aircraft restoration, special events and other functions necessary for the successful operation of WOTN.

Gary Applebaum will continue to lead the Board to set the mission and long term objectives of WOTN, collaborate on our growth strategy, lead the corporate sponsorship and fund raising initiatives, lend visibility in the community and approve our annual financial plan and budget.

A preliminary organization chart illustrating our go-forward organizational structure is posted on the website and a few key individuals that have been identified to head up each of these sections. As you’ll note, there are still a number of open positions essential for the successful operation of our organization available for interested individuals to consider and contribute.

Please consider whether you may be interested in one of these roles. If so, please send an email with “2020 Announcement” in the title block, a short introductory paragraph on yourself, and the position you would like to volunteers@wotn.org. You will be contacted shortly after.

We have an exciting year ahead of us with many new activities and initiatives in the works that will make Wings of the North a great place to be a part of. These activities will be reflected in our 2020 calendar of events, which will be released in the next few weeks.

Happy New Year to all of you and best wishes for a prosperous and healthy new year!

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Ricky Snyder “Balloon Boy” Reminisces his Unplanned Free-flight Balloon Ride

December 14, 2019 (50 yr anniversary)

Wings of the North Air Museum hosted Rick Snyder as he reminisced about his unplanned free-flight hot air balloon ride during the Minnesota Vikings Football Game halftime show on Dev 14, 1959. Then 11 yr old Ricky was swept out of the stadium and landed on the Minnesota River where he was rescued and rejoined his family at the stadium.

The hot air balloon was the same one that the Piccard family used for their early explorations. Ricky and his Dad made the basket from reeds from their family Minnesota house.

Wings of the North Air Museum, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, serves Eden Prairie and the Twin Cities by showcasing our fleet of restored aircraft to: Bring history to life honoring our Minnesota aviation heritage and veterans through exhibits and events; Inspire learners of all ages using aviation to equip them for the challenges of the 21st century; and provide a community of involvement for all.

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Artifact Voices

We have posted the first of a series of short videos called Artifact Voices on our YouTube channel that we are making that describe items we have in the museum. Various docents will give voice to the Artifact to help tell it’s story. If you like what you see, please subscribe to the channel to see more!

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BT-15 Roars to Life

Wings Restorations (the restoration arm of Wings of the North) has been restoring a Vultee BT-15 since its acquisition in 2004. After the BT-15 entered the civilian market in 1946, it spent its entire civilian career in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois. The last flight in the logbook took place in August of 1955 while owned by Edward and Chester Pachnik. This year has seen a rapid increase of restoration activities with the goal of getting the aircraft flying within a year. Over the weekend of September 28-29, 2019, the aircraft roared to life again as a test of the 450hp Wright R-975-11 Whirlwind engine. As can been seen in the video, there’s still much to do on the airplane such as recovering control surfaces, but the engine run marks major progress in the quest to get this aircraft airborne again. To learn more about the history of our BT-15, go here.

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YouTube Channel

Wings of the North has started a YouTube channel! If you’re looking for some interesting videos of what is going on around the museum or the restoration hangar, head over to our newly created YouTube channel and check it out. If you push the subscribe button in the top right corner of the page you can be notified when we publish new videos. Until we receive a custom URL, you can find the channel at:


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