Minnesota 99s

MN99s logoNorth Central Section

The Ninety-Nines, Inc.

International Organization of Women Pilots



Join us in our Holiday Celebration!

Holiday Potluck & Meeting – December 14, 10:30 a.m., Lynx FBO – Anoka Airport

Click the Calendar link above in early January for the 2020 Calendar!

Tree of Hope 2019 Sets Donation Records – December 7, 2019

Ten members of our chapter volunteered for the Tree of Hope event which celebrated its 30th year in bringing toys to children hospitalized during the holidays.  Record toy donations were received this year.  Deliveries were made to 42 hospitals, all Minnesota Ronald McDonald houses, several women’s shelters and an orphanage.  Our chapter volunteers worked with Girl Scouts, EAA members and others to tag, sort and bag the toys for delivery.  Awesome job by everyone – thank you!


 Congratulations to Aura Austin!

Aura Austin earned her type rating in a Beech Jet, another major accomplishment in her aviation journey.  She works hard and is attaining her flying dreams and goals.  Aura also instructs full time at Mankato State University.  Well done Aura!


Congratulations to Andrea Fox!

Andrea Fox passed her Private Pilot check ride on October 29, 2019.  She worked very hard and trained well to achieve this tremendous milestone.  A huge congratulations to Andrea!  We wish you many happy years of flying.  Way to go Andrea!


Volunteer at Tree of Hope – December 7, 2019 — St. Cloud Airport — This is the 30th year  Tree of Hope has donated gifts to children in hospitals over the holidays–children who are far away from home and whose families often cannot afford gifts due to medical expense costs.  Other major toy drives do not give to hospitals, so nurses count on TOH.  Tree of Hope gives to all pediatric units in Minnesota and two in Wisconsin, plus all five Ronald McDonald Houses in Minnesota, and two orphanages.

Last year Tree of Hope gave away all donated toys with no extras to start the new year, and they will lose volunteers by moving to the St. Cloud Airport when free storage was lost at Maple Lake.

Please consider volunteering, donating funds by check (or credit card via the website), or giving unwrapped new toys.  Tree of Hope is able to use 100% of donations to purchase gifts for children, due to the generosity of volunteers.  Tree of Hope is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, so your donation of time and expenses may be deductible if you itemize income taxes.

See the flyer for more information.  Email Elaine Morrow or call her cell 952-913-2356 if any questions.

We know how to celebrate!  99s 90th BirthdayMinnesota 99s 70th Birthday

We had a great 90th birthday celebration for The 99s on Saturday, November 2, starting at Modern Avionics, Flying Cloud Airport, with an excellent presentation by Joelle Petersen and an overview of The 99s by Cheryl Daml. We enjoyed lunch afterward at Green Mill which included delicious birthday cake.  This year we also celebrate the 70th birthday of our Minnesota Chapter which was chartered in 1949.  A very Happy Birthday to our Minnesota Chapter and The 99s!


Great Tour! MSP Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) – We enjoyed an informative tour of the MSP FSDO on October 21.  Front: Cheryl Daml, Jan Moll – Back: Debs Bobka, Patti Sandusky, Brenda Peick, Deb Thompson, Jan Trover, Monika Bell, Joelle Petersen.  Not pictured: Laura Hermann





Amazing!  National Weather Service Tour with Joe Calderone – Special thanks to Joe Calderone of the National Weather Service in Chanhassen for the fascinating September 28 presentation and facility tour with its weather measuring instruments.  We gained new knowledge of the NWS and its great work to deliver forecast information to the public and specialized forecasts to the aviation community.  We even got to hold the light-weight data collection apparatus sent up twice daily in weather balloons launched from their facility – very cool!


Girls in Aviation Day 2019 – Super Event, Warm Hangar!

We had many enthusiastic visitors to our MN 99s booth at GIAD on Saturday, September 21, Flying Cloud Airport.  Everyone LOVED getting selfies taken next to our stand-up Amelia Earhart and our new cardboard airplane. 

Almost 200 attendees entered our contest to win a collectible Lego Friends airplane.  Thanks to Patti Sandusky for donating the Lego Friends plane; it was hugely popular and a big draw to our booth.  Thanks to our volunteers who worked the booth in a warm, muggy hangar! – Aura Austin, Carol Bergquist, Cheryl Daml, Kate McDonald, Brenda Peick, Mikaela Sandager, Robyn Stoller, Deb Thompson and Emily Wishard.  Great job everyone!


  Scholarship Application Time!   Here’s the scoop on scholarship application deadlines…

  • Fly Now Awards, offered by The International 99s for student pilots have an October 1 deadline.  Click here for details.
  • Amelia Earhart Awards, offered by The International 99s for advanced ratings and training have a January 1 deadline. Click here for details. 
  • Minnesota Chapter private pilot, advanced rating and currency scholarship details are found by clicking the Scholarships tab above.  Application deadline is December 31.
  • Richard J. Santori Memorial Scholarship, administered by the Chicago 99s Chapter has a March 1 deadline. Click here for details.

Pine River Compass Rose featured in Echo Journal article

On August 9, MN 99s volunteers completed a beautiful compass rose at the Pine River Airport.  The Pine River Echo Journal published a great article with photos highlighting the work of our volunteers and the mission and work of The 99s.   Check it out! 

Ellen Quist gets her commercial pilot license!

Congratulations to Ellen Quist on earning her commercial pilot license on September 4.  Ellen has worked hard and moved quickly to gain her private pilot and instrument ratings and now has her commercial pilot license too!  We wish her continued success as she pursues her aviation dreams.  Awesome job Ellen! 


Congratulations to Carmen Kivisto!

Carmen passed her commercial check ride on Monday, August 5.  Carmen trained well and has achieved a major milestone in her flight training journey.  Congratulations Carmen, on becoming a commercial pilot.  Best wishes as you continue to follow your aviation dreams!


Pine River gets a New Compass Rose

A superb compass rose was completed by MN 99s members on Friday, August 9.  What a great job!  Thanks to the crew members who included Trudi Amundson, Cheryl Daml, Tracy Davenport, Brianne Forman and Patti Sandusky.

Outstanding Compass Rose at Hutchinson

On Friday, August 2, MN 99s completed a beautiful compass rose at the Hutchinson airport.  Special thanks to the great crew for their time and effort!  The team included Majel Baker, Cheryl Daml, Tracy Davenport, Elaine Morrow, Teegan Palmer (Cheryl’s niece), Patti Sandusky and Deb Thompson. 


Tremendous Experience!  The International 99s Conference – Dayton, OH   

 Eleven members of our chapter attended The International 99s conference in Dayton, OH, July 15-21.  We helped staff the registration booth all week while attending seminars and tours including at the National Museum of the Air Force and more.   Thanks to those who attended and helped make the conference a success:  Majel Baker, Cheryl Daml, Tracy Davenport, Chris Kocinski, Kate McDonald, Carmen Kivisto, Jan Moll, Elaine Morrow, Patti Sandusky, Robyn Stoller and Deb Thompson.

Mountain Flying on your Honeymoon?  Brenda Peick says Absolutely!

Brenda and her husband decided to visit Banff, Alberta, Canada for their honeymoon in June.  When Brenda saw the gorgeous mountains, she decided it would be great to go mountain flying.  She checked The 99s directory online and contacted the Calgary 99s treasurer and vice chair who directed Brenda to Sarah at the Calgary Flying Club.  It all worked out; Brenda was able to fly on the last day of their honeymoon trip.  She brought her husband along (his first time flying with her) and they experienced mountain flying with all of the odd weather patterns that go with it.  Brenda is very excited to learn more and fly in as many new areas as possible.  She also says “I am so glad that I belong to The 99s!”  Thank you Brenda for sharing this great story with us!  We are glad you had a fantastic new experience in mountain flying! 

Mary Jane Rice, Charter MN 99s member, passed away July 17 in Willmar, MN at age 99. She earned her private pilot certificate in 1940 and became one of the first women in Minnesota to hold a commercial pilot certificate. She and her husband, John, founded Willmar Air Service, Inc.  Together they managed the airport and operated their business with Mary Jane ultimately logging 63 years in the office.  Mary Jane earned the first “Mrs. Aviation” title from the Minnesota Aviation Trades Association.  Later she was inducted into the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame.  She joined the ranks of Amelia Earhart and the Wright brothers with an induction into the International Forest of Friendship, a living memorial to the world of aviation in Atchison, KS.  Mary Jane will be remembered for her pioneering nature, deep curiosity and keen interest in the world around her.  The Minnesota 99s extends our deepest sympathy to her family and friends. 

Aitkin Fly-In, Drive-In Wild Rice Pancake Breakfast on June 30 – Thanks to chapter members who volunteered at our booth and represented our chapter so well — Carol Bergquist, Cheryl Daml, Brianne Forman, Laura Herrmann, Ellen Quist and Emily Wishard. 


Congratulations to Ellen Quist on her Instrument Rating!  She passed with flying colors on June 12.  All best wishes for continued success in her aviation journey.  Awesome job Ellen!  

Mankato Air Spectacular – MN 99s Shine as Volunteers 

On June 15-16, MN 99s volunteered for a variety of activities to help make the event a success.  Thanks everyone, for your time and hard work – great job!


Beautiful Maple Lake compass rose!

The ‘one-day wonder team’ completed this gorgeous new compass rose at the Maple Lake Airport on Friday, May 31.  A huge THANK YOU to the team of Jeff Barber, Cheryl Daml, Tracy Davenport, Sheila Gruba, Elaine Morrow, Patti and Dick Sandusky, Jaye Sela and Deb Thompson.  This one is over-the-top gorgeous!   


Deb Bobka first solo flight in Cessna 150 at Fleming Field – May 30!  Awesome job Deb!


Congratulations to Brenda Peick on her first solo flight!    

     Brenda Peick completed her first solo May 11, 2019, at Fleming Field in South St. Paul (KSGS).   Great job Brenda…a huge congratulations and best wishes as you continue your flight training.  Watch her nail one of her solo landings here.    

Wow!  Check out the Brainerd Air Marking – May 10, 2019


A huge thank you to Trudi Amundson, Carol Bergquist, Cheryl Daml, Tracy Davenport, Laura Herrmann and Patti Sandusky for completing the Brainerd Air Marking May 10.  Looks fantastic!


Congratulations to Brianne Forman!  Brianne successfully completed her private pilot check ride at Anoka Airport on Friday, April 19.  This is an especially great accomplishment having trained through a very long and cold Minnesota winter.  A huge congratulations to Brianne!  We wish her continued success in pursuing her aviation dreams.  Awesome job!  

 …to new member Joelle Petersen – From Alaska to Minnesota! 

We welcome Joelle Petersen to the Minnesota 99s chapter!  Check out the fascinating article featuring her in the April 2019 99s Magazine, pages 14-16.  Her story is one of adventure, courage and sharing her love of aviation in a special way.  Wow!

MSP Tower Tour – April 4, 2019

Seeing ATC in action is amazing.  We had an excellent tour of both the MSP TRACON (Terminal Radar Control Facility) and tower.  We also learned about the history of MSP airport, formerly ‘Speedway Field’, an automobile race track in the early 20th century.  Today MSP is the 17th busiest U.S. airport and in 2018 set a new passenger record of over 38 million.


2019 Chapter Scholarship Winner Announced

   Emily Wishard has been awarded the 2019 chapter scholarship for course work toward her private pilot certificate.  Congratulations Emily!  We wish you great success in your private pilot flight training.  You’ve got this covered!  Blue Skies and Tail Winds always…      

 Read Aura Austin’s blog – “Oh No, Not Turbulence!”

We are incredibly proud of Aura Austin who’s worked as a ferry pilot and currently is a flight instructor in Mankato.  Check out her great blog on ways to overcome a fear of turbulence.  Also read the blog on her first ferry flight through Mexico to deliver a Cessna 152 to a flight school in El Salvador.  Click here to read her ferry flight blog.  


The Minnesota Chapter of The Ninety-Nines welcomes women from our state and the surrounding area. We hold quarterly meetings and flyouts many of the other months, plus we create air markings and conduct aerospace education events. Check out our calendar and join us for an event – we’d love to meet you!

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Twitter:  @Minnesota99s

The Minnesota Chapter was chartered July 2, 1949, and is part of the North Central Section of The Ninety-Nines, Inc., International Organization of Women Pilots. The North Central Section covers the states of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

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