Minot Aircraft Modelers Success Story

By: Brandon Koch, AMA District IX Vice President | amadistrictix@modelaircraft.org
As seen in the December 2023 issue of Model Aviation.

Here’s another success story. The Minot Aircraft Modelers club in Minot, North Dakota, is healthy and growing. The club owns—and has for many years—15 acres of land north of the Minot that includes a well-groomed 600-foot grass runway, a clubhouse, a pavilion and even a campground. Despite all of those amenities, a while back, the club was losing members and interest. Here are a few words from club President George Lowther:

“Thanks to the AMA Introductory Student Pilot Program, our club has experienced a resurgence at a critical time in our history. The pandemic years took its toll on our membership until only a few faithful ones remained active.

“After efforts to revive the club by advertising in the newspaper, on TV, and distributing flyers from our float in the State Fair Parade, produced only one new member, we decided to try using AMA’s Intro Program to attract new pilots.

“By working hard to spread the word through many avenues, including personal invitations, we recruited friends and neighbors to try flying model airplanes. Last year, we trained three students, and this year, we have eight in the program.”

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A new Minot Aircraft Modelers member shows off his first solo on one of the club’s Apprentice trainers.

“We have a variety of people involved, both young and old—grandpa and grandson, father and son, mom and son, and adult men. There are three instructors using three GPS-enabled Apprentice trainers to manage this many students. We also utilize two RealFlight simulators that are set up in our hangar for practice. Using this program, we have gained four new members and several inactive members became involved again.

“Our annual August fun-fly was the best in years, with pilots coming from North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Canada. I have great expectations for the coming year as we continue to grow and attract new pilots, and the events will be awesome. We are looking forward to what comes next.”

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Phil Johnson’s Eindecker at the Minot Aircraft Modelers’ annual fun-fly.

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