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Thread: Bowstring Airport Needs Your Help!

  1. #1
    SJ's Avatar
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    Bowstring Airport Needs Your Help!

    To all pilots interested in keeping airstrips open for recreational flying—

    It has been brought to my attention that Itasca County, which oversees Bowstring airport, located in northern Minnesota, is questioning its viability and usefulness. I'm asking you to join me at an upcoming meeting to show our support for its continuation.

    Bowstring, (9Y0), is a 2,500 ft grass strip in a beautiful setting just east of Bowstring Lake. The airstrip offers recreational opportunities like camping, fishing and hiking; and it’s a good starting point to explore northern Minnesota. Here’s a link to the 2017 Bowstring Fly-in: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzMO...&feature=share

    On April 25th at 10 a.m., the airport commission is meeting at the Bowstring airport: 49775 County Road 192, Deer River, Minnesota, 56636. The future of the airport will be discussed. As the Recreational Aviation Foundation State Liaison, I expect to learn what the county is considering, as well as to seek opportunities for the RAF to partner with the county and explore all possibilities to keep this airstrip open and operational now and in the future.

    My hope is to have as many pilots and non-pilots as possible attend this meeting, to show support. The RAF has demonstrated that civil conversations can lead to constructive solutions for the continued operation of airstrips like Bowstring.

    If you cannot make the meeting in person, I encourage you to write, call or email the Itasca County administrator and the County Commissioner with positive comments of support.

    County Administrator: Brett Skyles, 218-327-7363
    brett.skyles@co.itasca.mn.us

    Commissioner, District 1: Davin Tinquist, 218-999-7157
    davin.tinquist@co.itasca.mn.us

    Mailing address: Itasca County Courthouse, 123 NE 4th St., Grand Rapids, MN 55744

    Please spread the word, and I hope to see you at the airport Wednesday, April 25th at 10 a.m. Please contact me with any questions.

    Kurt Pennuto
    612-209-3478
    kpennuto@theraf.org

    Recreational Aviation Foundation
    1711 West College Street, Bozeman, MT 59715
    406-582-1RAF (406-582-1723) | theraf.org

    “The Recreational Aviation Foundation preserves, maintains, and creates
    airstrips for recreational access”
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------
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  2. #2
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Beautiful airport, I recognized some of the hoodlums from this site.

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"

  3. #3
    WWhunter's Avatar
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    Awesome location that I have flown into a few times. Hopefully I can make the meeting. That Character at 10:00 on the video of the Fly-in is on a wanted poster!! I think he's an outlaw!!

  4. #4
    SJ's Avatar
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    The meeting has been canceled due to scheduling conflicts with the Itasca County administrator and commissioner. They don't have a new date yet. Will post as soon as we know!

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------
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  5. #5
    charlie husky's Avatar
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    Ken from Bowstring just called me. Rescheduled for Wednesday, May 2nd at 10am. He will call me a couple days before with runway conditions. I also asked if he could post a notam just before, he said he would. Very wet now from melting snow.

  6. #6
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    The MN Pilots Association is planning to donate a booth at our GMAG Friday and Saturday to the Bowstring Airfield Preservation effort. In doing some research, I discovered some neat stuff...

    First, I ran a Google maps search for the airport, and found this image of the airfield...
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    I noticed the "Bowstring Shores Resort" and performed a Google search and found their website...http://www.bowstringshores.com/index.php
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    I phoned the owners and had a nice chat with them. First, they have people fly in to the Bowstring Airfield and stay with them...it is only 200 feet or so from the end of the runway to their resort, but they are happy to leave a car for people flying in, or come pick them up, if needed. Second, they had no idea that the County was considering closing the airfield.

    They will be sending brochures to us for placement at the booth, and will likely donate some items for our Raffle.

    It is my guess that Bill and Yvette Tracy have already been here...

    This sounds like a nice place to visit, and the fishing sounds exceptional! They don't have a restaurant, but they have a dining place with "really good frozen pizza and soft drinks". Sounds like a weekend destination to me!

    We are rallying the troops at the Minnesota Pilots Association, to help the Recreational Aviation Foundation and the locals with their efforts to keep this airfield open. Stop by the booth at the GMAG and learn more!

    Randy
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  7. #7
    SJ's Avatar
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    Randy, that is awesome! Thanks for reaching out to them!

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

  8. #8
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Some photos from Dan Marrs, a MN Pilots Assn member, who saw my post on Facebook/mnpilots. Go there and read his comments!

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  9. #9

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    Good evening all, I have received news for the new schedule date and time regarding the Bowstring airfield. The date and time are as follows;
    Wednesday May 2nd, at 10:00 am.
    The location will still be the same, 49775 County Road 192, Deer River, MN. 56636
    as you may recall, the County is having reservations as to the future of this airport and may be considering closing this airstrip. Please do what you can to show your support and spread the word regarding this important meeting.

    thanks in advance of your support.
    Kurt Pennuto
    Recreational Aviation Foundation
    MN. State Liasion
    712-209-3478
    kpennuto@theraf.org
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  10. #10
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Kurt, it was my understanding that the meeting is to be at the Bowstring airfield. Is that correct?

    Randy

  11. #11
    SJ's Avatar
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    Kurt's note to me said it would be held at the airfield.

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

  12. #12
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Information will be available at the Supercub.org booth at the GMAG.

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    Randy
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ID:	36721Received note from Ken @ Bowstring, field has dried out, should continue to improve with forecasted weather. All welcome to attend both meetings. Lunch served for all after meetings. Still a little wet by hangars, but is high ground and will dry out.
    Last edited by charlie husky; 04-28-2018 at 03:35 PM.

  14. #14
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    About 20 a/c attended Bowstring today. Probably 40-50 people. DOT there and RAF, and multiple EAA chapters. Excellent results and I'd say there will be a future here. Kudos to some pilots coming quite a distance away. JRUSSL flew the flagship in, a Cirrus. Awesome.
    Last edited by scout88305; 05-02-2018 at 04:34 PM.
    Thank a sheepdog today for they are standing guard!
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  15. #15
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    Thank a sheepdog today for they are standing guard!
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  16. #16
    N85HY's Avatar
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    KClick image for larger version. 

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ID:	36844 was a good day. Definitely will go back again. Well worth the trip.
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  17. #17
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Kurt Pennuto sent me this summary of the events at the Bowstring Airfield meeting last Wednesday. Apparently approximately 20 aircraft flew in. I think this helps demonstrate the influence we can have on issues such as this. Our challenge now is to keep on using these airfields, and not simply let the airport go unused.

    This summary is from our very own Jeff Russell (the Wisconsin version)...
    I flew up to Bowstring airport in northern Minnesota yesterday to support Kurt Pennuto in representing the RAF. It is really a beautiful airport in a great location. It's in the heart of the Minnesota northwoods and lakes area that is truly a special place. Kurt did a great job identifying this strip as one with high recreational value and one that the RAF should be involved with.

    The Bowstring airport was rumored to be under threat of closure. Yesterday's meeting included Itasca county commissioners, airport commissioners, Mn-DOT, and about 45 or so interested pilots and citizens.

    The meeting went very well. The county commissioner opened the meeting saying that they were really not considering closure but that there were issues that need to be addressed. The county's biggest issued appeared to be related to their airport ownership and the perception that this ownership was exposing them to liability. At the root of the matter was that they had airport inspection from MN-DOT two years earlier wherein Mn-DOT noted 17 obstructions at the airport (trees) that needed to be removed. There was typical poor communication between the airport commission and the county commissioners. Upon belatedly learning of the non-conformance of the airport, the county (especially the county attorney) appeared to have gotten a bit agitated.

    The county commissioners were actually quite surprised by the turnout to the meeting. They specifically noted the RAF's attendance and appreciated us being there. In the end, the meeting served to re-establish communications between the county and the airport commission along with MN-DOT. The perceived threat of closure is now gone and the airport even learned of additional funding that was available from MnDOT. It appears that the future of the airport is on an even better path.


    Randy
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