Time Flys, and So Do Families

by Dave Weiman
Published in Midwest Flyer Magazine August/September 2022 Digital Issue

In 1978 when Peggy and I started Wisconsin Flyer Magazine, which evolved to become Midwest Flyer Magazine in 1980, we met a lot of wonderful people, also operating small aviation businesses. One such business was “Mitchell Aircraft Instruments,” located in the old Wisconsin Air National Guard building at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

We received a call from Jeff Bales, who operated the business with his dad, Phil, and brothers Jon and Chris. Forty-four (44) years later, I received an email from Jon Bales asking if I thought a story about a family of 10 children, most of whom chose aviation careers, would interest our readers. I will let you be the judge of that beginning on page 35.

Another article in this issue features a “father and son” who set out to earn leather flight jackets for flying to – and landing – at all 125 public-use airports in Wisconsin.

The “Fly Wisconsin Airport Passport Program” promotes safety and education by promoting recreational flying, general aviation airports, area businesses and tourism. It is a collaborative effort by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Bureau of Aeronautics (BOA) and the Wisconsin Airport Management Association (WAMA).

Any licensed pilot, from any state, and their passenger(s), may participate. There are three different levels of awards that can be earned by flying to airports, attending FAA safety seminars, and visiting Wisconsin aviation attractions.

Minnesota has its “Fly Minnesota Airport Passport Program,” and the Petersons have already set their sights on landing at a minimum of 130 of that state’s 134 public-use airports.

For additional information on both passport programs, go to wisconsindot.gov/flywi and mndot.gov/aero.

The question I have is, what are the Petersons going to do with all those flight jackets? Yes, a family photo session is already in the works. See article on page 42.

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