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​​​​​​​North Dakota Pilots Complete “FLY NORTH DAKOTA AIRPORTS” Passport Program

Posted 3/16/22 (Wed)

North Dakota pilots complete “fly NORTH DAKOTA airports” passport program

On Sunday March 6th, seventeen 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.

Three 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:

Patrick Howell – Omaha, NE

Thomas Sando – Williston, ND

Jeff Zarling – Williston, ND

One pilot was presented with the silver award for visiting at least sixty airports, one air museum and attending two safety seminars. This pilot received a flight bag embroidered with the North Dakota Flying Legacy logo. The Silver award recipients was:

Kai Engstrom – Bismarck, ND


The most prestigious gold award level was achieved by thirteen pilots during 2021. 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 seventy-eight others who have completed the passport program in previous years, making a total of Ninety-One total pilots who have achieved the gold award level to date.

The following is a list of the thirteen individuals:

Greg Clabots – Green Bay, WI

Maria Cole – Ellsworth, WI

Kevin Deutscher – Tempe, AZ

Taylor Exizidis-Meier – Fargo, ND

Patrick Haye - Minot, ND

Steven M. Jensen – Tioga, ND

Ari Johnson – Watford City, ND

Russell Kinneberg – Plymouth, MN

Greg Malkowsky – OshKosh, WI

Steve Martens – Stanley, ND

Bob Simmers – Bismarck, ND

Robert Sprague – Courtnay, ND

Ethan Sprague - Courtnay, ND


The awards presentation was conducted at the Fargo Air Museum in Fargo, ND, in conjunction with the North Dakota Aviation Association, Fly-ND Conference. Presenting the awards were Kyle Wanner, Executive Director and Mike McHugh, Aviation Education Coordinator of the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission and Justin Weninger of the North Dakota Aviation Association. 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 Aviation Association.

For more stories and information about the passport program, please visit:


Included in the attached photo: (Left to Right) Kyle Wanner - ND Aeronautics Commission, Steve Martens, Robert Sprague, Ethan Sprague, Bob Simmers, Justin Weninger – ND Aviation Association