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Dan Kasowski to be Inducted into North Dakota's Aviation Hall of Fame

Posted 1/17/24 (Wed)

The North Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame committee announces that Dan Kasowski has been selected for induction into the state’s Aviation Hall of Fame. Dan will join the prestigious aviation hall of fame group that currently includes 48 other individuals who have all had a significant impact to the growth, development, and promotion of aviation in North Dakota. For more information on the North Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame, visit the website.

About Dan Kasowski:  Dan Kasowski was born in Buffalo, North Dakota in 1958. He grew up on his family’s farm where his mechanical aptitude began at a young age. His journey as an aviation mechanic began immediately after high school, when he pursued his Airframe & Powerplant (A&P) training and certification at Dakota Aero Tech in Fargo. In 1978 he started his career at Rugbee Air Care in Rugby N.D. After one year in Rugby he moved back to Fargo and worked at ProAir Services for a short time until they permanently closed operations. In the fall of 1979, he emerged as a pioneering force in the new aviation school that was formed at the University of North Dakota (UND). As the second full-time mechanic employed by the organization, Dan became an integral part of UND's aviation program, eventually ascending to supervisory roles.

Throughout his career at UND, Dan's influence reached beyond the mechanics and technicians that he mentored, his impact extending to aviation professionals across North Dakota and the nation. He traversed various roles, progressing from a technician to supervisor, inspector, shop manager, and quality assurance manager. Notably, he held the position of Director of Maintenance for over two decades, overseeing both the main campus and satellite operations under the FAR Part 145 certificate. He received his I.A. (Inspection Authorization) in 1982 and his Private Pilot Certificate from the University of North Dakota in 1988. Dan currently oversees approximately 100 full and part time employees.

Under Dan's leadership, UND's flight operation consistently garnered the FAA Diamond Award, a testament to their commitment to training, safety, and professional development. His strategic guidance navigated the institution through multiple fleet changes, significantly enhancing safety across all flight operations. Dan's humble demeanor and unwavering dedication to safety contributed to UND's impeccable safety record, establishing North Dakota as a premier global destination for pilot training.

Beyond UND, Dan actively participated in the North Dakota Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (NDPAMA) throughout his entire career. He held various officer positions and served as its President multiple times. Dan also had a pivotal role in establishing the NDPAMA aviation mechanic scholarship which gave a preference for North Dakota students. He continually showcased his commitment to nurturing the next generation of aviation mechanic professionals.

Dan served on the North Dakota Aviation Council for 7 years, and in 2004 and 2005 he assumed the role of Chair for the North Dakota Aviation Council, where he played a key role in organizing the state's annual conference and fostering collaboration among aviation stakeholders. His involvement extended to advisory boards at area technical schools offering A&P programs, where he championed the value of giving back to the aviation community by leading through example.

Dan’s legacy is not just a testament to his technical expertise but also to his commitment to mentorship, safety, and the broader aviation community. His profound impact, stemming from mentorship and dedicated work in the field, has positively impacted many individuals within and beyond the North Dakota aviation community.

Induction Ceremony Information: The induction banquet ceremony will take place in Grand Forks, at the annual “Fly North Dakota” Conference on Tuesday, March 5th at the Alerus Center. The social will begin at 6 p.m. and the banquet starts at 7 p.m. To learn more about the state’s aviation conference or to purchase tickets for the hall of fame event, visit Questions can be directed to the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission at 701-328-9650.