Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame

Francis W. Einarson
1927 -

Francis took his first air ride in 1939 and became a member of the U.S. Army in WWII. He learned to fly after the war. When International Falls Airport came up for sale, Francis and his brother, Jim, bought the property and its business. They ran the FBO offering flight-training, fuel, maintenance and sightseeing over the North Country. He flew many humanitarian missions in the wilderness, aided the University of Minnesota’s cosmic ray research program and lobbied the State and Federal governments to improve International Falls Airport.

I n the 1970s, Einarson purchased an aircraft and installed an incubator to transport premature infants.

Inducted 1998

Curtis O. Erickson
1928 - 2008

Born on a farm near Montevideo, Minnesota, Erickson had his first airplane ride at age nine. He served in the US Navy as a navigator and navigator instructor at Pensacola, Corpus Christi and in the Hawaiian Islands. After the war, in the Naval Reserve, he continued teaching instrument flight to naval cadets. In 1951, he purchased a Link Trainer and opened his own training facility at Minneapolis Airport, Instrument Flight Training, Inc. He trained military, airline and corporate pilots and operated the school as a full-service FBO. He sold IFT to Van Dusen Air and acted as president of Van Dusen’s operations around the country. He served on the boards of the MATA, MBPA, NBAA and NATA.

Inducted 2006

Edward I. Erickson
1930 – 2014

Born in Annandale, MN, Erickson soloed on his 16th birthday and acquired his Private license while serving in the US Army. Moving to the Twin Cities after the war, he instructed for Lakeland Skyways at Crystal Airport. He flew as a corporate pilot for the University of Purdue and Watkins Products of Winona. He became co-owner of a flight school at Flying Cloud Airport in the 1950s and helped develop the airstrip at Waconia, MN. In 1956, Erickson was hired by North Central Airlines and moved on to Republic, then Northwest. After retirement in 1990. He flew airshows in a Pitts aircraft and became chief pilot for Wally Fisk's AmJet Corporation at Anoka County Airport. He flew anything and everything and his logbook listed over 140 different aircraft flown in his career. In 1993, for over fifty years of safe flying, he earned the FAA Wright Brothers Master Pilot's Award.

Neuman’s students remember him as a thorough instructor. Rochester medical people saw him as a caring and dependable pilot with a reputation for safety who never injured a passenger or damaged a plane.

Inducted 2016

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