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A Trip To The University Of North Dakota Aerospace Camp 2001


A Trip To The University Of North Dakota Aerospace Camp 2001


A Campers Eye View







When I first ran across the explanation for the University of North Dakota Aerospace Camp on their web site while researching for a school project, all I could say was "Wow!" UND Aerospace was willing to open their campus, housing, and fleet of airplanes to a group of 32 teenagers from all over the world!


First, let me introduce myself. I am Martin Rottler, a 14-year-old almost-student pilot from Denver, Colorado. I have logged about 7.5 "official" hours of flying, and am an avid flight simmer.


The University of North Dakota is located in Grand Forks. They have an extensive aviation program for both college students and student pilots. Their fleet consists mainly of Piper Warriors, Arrows, and Seminoles, along with a few Decathlon aerobatic trainers, a Beechcraft Baron, a Piper Cub and a few other various airplanes.






This camp would give us the chance to experience everything that UND Aerospace has to offer, including their fleet of about 80 airplanes. We would have the chance to use their sims and planes for flights around Grand Forks. We also had speeches by UND faculty and tours of many locations that play a part in aviation.


While there, we had the opportunity to go on six flights. We had the choice to go on an introductory VFR, IFR, cross-country, night flight, helicopter, and aerobatic flights. I personally chose to go on two VFRs, an IFR, a cross-country to Fargo, and a night flight. On the flights other than the cross country, we would fly to one of UND's 14 designated aerial practice areas, do turns, stalls, descents, and climbs. There were three different airports that I flew to on my flights: Crookston and Warren, Minnesota, and Larrimore, North Dakota. While there, I landed and took off for the first time in real life! All of the instructors were nice, and eager to teach us new things.






The camp was not only based on flying. We also went on various tours in and away from Grand Forks. We went everywhere on the UND campus, and at the airport. We visited Grand Forks Air Force Base, and had the chance to not only board one of the KC-135s there, we got to fly the Flight Safety simulator there, a rare opportunity for civilians. We also traveled to Fargo, to the North Dakota Air National Guard Base, and Winnipeg, Canada, where we toured the airport, as well as Air Canada's maintenance facilities. These tours were interesting, and informational, as well as fun.


Along with these aviation filled activities, we did other "normal" camp stuff like swimming, and sports, Ultimate Frisbee being the camp favorite. While there, we stayed in one of the dorms, and ate both on and off campus. The camp is open to 14-17 year olds, and does not require any flight experience. For more info, go to www.aero.und.edu or e-mail me.






I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I hope I will be able to help other young pilots experience this great camp.


Martin Rottler

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