WE'LL SEE YOU AT EAA AIRVENTURE 2016 Learn More
Click on the people below to read their bio and find out why they like working at AirCorps!
It all began in 4-H. One of the projects Erik had involved aerospace. You could build model rockets, plastic models, and radio-controlled airplanes. That’s what really got him interested in aviation. His oldest brother, Shawn, went to the United States Air Force Academy. He’s now an airline pilot for Delta. His younger brother, Chad, also is a part-time airplane mechanic at AirCorps Aviation.
Erik was so interested in airplanes and aviation that by the time he got to high school he figured out how to get a job at the airport as a mechanic the summer before his senior year. Then he worked the on-the-job training program, so the second half of the school day he spent out at the airport getting high school credit and working toward his airframe & powerplant license. Very few people go that route today because it takes 30 months of on-the-job experience before you qualify. Then you take the same FAA test that technical school students do. He got his A&P license when he was 20, and at that time already had three years of experience.
So where did the love of Warbirds begin… After working for Bemidji Aviation, Erik worked for a charter company in Minneapolis for about four years. Through connections he was contacted by by Ron Fagen (a Warbird enthusiast with a love for P-40's.) In 2004 he moved to Granite Falls and started Warhawks Inc. During his time there he restored and worked on a couple P-40's, P-51, and P-38. The P-40 Aleutian Tiger won Grand Champion at Oshkosh!
In 2008 Erik and his wife, Sarah, moved back to Minneapolis to start AirCorps Aviation. They had a baby, Gavin, then moved the company to Erik's hometown of Bemidji! Erik is also heavily involved in the community and likes helping other entrepreneurs.
Vice President of Fabrication
Dan grew up on a farm south of Wahpeton, ND. He was always in the shop whenever he could be. His first airplane project was an rc airplane that he built at the young age of 14! He's been flying them ever since.
Dan went to college in Wahpeton for Machine Tooling. After his first year he went to the airport and begged for a job at Tri-State Aviation working for Gerry Beck. Dan got the job and worked there while finishing school and continued to work there until March of 2011.
He made the big move to Bemidji and is now part owner at Aircorps Aviation. In 2005 his dad, brother and he started the build on a Vans Aircraft RV-9A. Exactly 3 years later they had a test flight, and now have about 200 hours on it.
Vice President of Restoration
Mark lived on a small farm in western Washington working with machinery and had great interest in aviation. He graduated from Eatonville High School in 1983, attended Washington State University, graduated with a BS in agricultural mechanization in 1987. By then he had acquired a great interest in WWII aircraft.
Mark received his private pilot's license in the fall of 1985. He wanted to find an opportunity to restore WWII aircraft so he went to A&P school in Fargo, ND. While finishing school, he learned that Gerry Beck had started a collection of WWII aircraft in Wahpeton, ND. He spent several weekends there working on the Grumman Avenger. On my last weekend before Mark was finished with school he asked Gerry if he could work on his F4U-4 Corsair for the summer because he told him, “I didn't like the winters in ND. He asked when I could start and I said Tuesday, He walked out the door and got into his Thrush spray plane and that was my job ”. Mark worked for Gerry at Tri-State Aviation from June 1988 to April 2011, it was a great experience for him and he met many people in the Warbird industry. In those 23 years he was involved with the restoration of the Corsair, TBM, T6, Seafury, 9 P -51’s, and many other aircraft and parts.
Mark has now moved on to work with AirCorps Aviation. He built and flies a Van’s RV-8 kit plane and have a Boeing N2S-3 Stearman biplane project that he started 12 years ago. His other hobbies include gun collecting and gold mining.
Best part of working here?
Being able to work at my dream job
Something you're looking forward to?
Finishing a project and starting the next one
Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing
Born & raised in Minot ND, the seasonal home of the Texas Flying Legends Warbird Collection. Graduated from the University of North Dakota College of Business; was introduced to warbirds by Gerry & Cindy Beck of Tri-State Aviation where I was able to spend four years.
Favorite memory while here?
The opportunity to tell the Finding Loren story and assist with the excavation of the P-47 Thunderbolt in Italy.
It will always be the people and team we have.
Seeing the continued transformation of our business and people.
Maintenance Restoration Specialist
Started in 2015
B.S. in Aviation Maintenance Technology from Pennsylvania College of Technology
Parts Production Manager / FAA-PMA Quality Manager
Started in 2012
Bemidji State University - Engineering Physics
When Sierra Sue II flew for the first time. Or Oshkosh.
The challenge of balancing modern fabrication techniques w/ authentic production processes. "Keeping history in the air."
The P-47 project flying
Teacher and speech & track coach for 34 years
Return trip from Washington D.C. Arsenal of Democracy Flyover. I got to ride in a ?
The people I work with
First flights of our current projects
Restoration Restoration Specialist
Started in 2011
Employee #1. Aviation line tech - fueler (Bemidji Aviation). Aviation mechanic - A&P (Bemidji Aviation)
Seeing/speaking with family members about SSII and hearing their stories at Oshkosh 2015.
Speaking with people post-project completion and enjoying hearing what they say
Seeing more projects done!
Fabrication CAD Designer
Started in 2014
Degree in Art from Moorhead State University; Design Engineer for Diamond Spas in Colorado
Tye took me for a ride in a float Super Cub at company party
Working on warbirds!
Seeing Lope's Hope fly.
parts Facilities & Project Support
Graduated from Bemidji State University with a B.S. degree in Engineering Technology with an emphasis in Manufacturing Management. Avid hunter & fisherman, and play guitar & sing.
Working together on projects as a team and completing in efficient way.
The flexibility for taking time off.
Watching the warbirds we work on as a team fly for the first time.
Restoration Paint Lead
12th grade education/raised on a small farm, auto body & painter for 21+ years, Mill Wright & Welder/Fabricator 2 years; 1.5 years wood working building cabinets and installing tile & flooring
Painting the Bush Stearman biplane and seeing it take flight after restoration!
There is always a learning curve with new projects, never mundane, nice equipment to use, great coworkers you want to be around every day
Finish my private pilot's license
Started in 2016
A restoration specialist, moved to Bemidji from Kenosha, Wis., where he was employed as an airframe and powerplant mechanic by Amphib Inc.
Farming, tractor restoration, construction worker, I graduated Dunwoody College of Technology with an AAS degree in Engineering Drafting Design
Being able to be a part of history and putting that little smile on someone's face
The staff is a fun group of people to work with. Make the work enjoyable to the point it doesn't feel like work
Seeing a finished plane fly again and knowing I was a part of making that happen.
Parts Purchasing Coordinator
Attended University of North Dakota and Everest College in Seattle, WA. Worked at the Boeing Company in Seattle and Wells Technology in Bemidji.
P-51D Sierra Sue II
Watching the P-51C Red Tail test flight.
Being around vintage aircraft and the AirCorps team.
The completion of the P-47 project.
Fabrication CNC Machinist
Prototype machinist, recreation, avid ind, 20yrs welder/fabricator
Watching company grow, working on old warbirds, learning new skills
Carpentry for the last 12 years prior to AirCorps
P-51 Mustang, but the P-47 is starting to grow on me
Watching Sierra Sue II take flight. It's something I'd never experienced before up close.
The people interaction, the chance to learn a new trade and continue to grow as an individual.
Seeing a project that I was a part of fire up its engines and take flight.
Art Markings & Creative Specialist
Son of a jeweler, studied at Minneapolis College of Art & Design. Worked as a welder & timberframer. Recently spent 7 years designing signs.
Oshkosh 2016 - Forming new relationships while attending the world's largest airshow.
Working with & alongside pilots, owners, fabricators, & aviation enthusiasts.
Working on & with clients with rare aircraft & design ideas. Hangar design. Motoart, wall plates, general aviation experiences.
Parts Sales Coordinator
Restoration Restoration Shop Manager
B.S. in Industrial Technology from Bemidji State University. 14 years construction management experience
Doing barrel rolls in the "Bush" Stearman was very memorable
Working at AirCorps is challenging. There are always new skills to learn and new problems to research. The team here is always positive which makes work fun!
I am definitely looking forward to being able to focus on Texas Flying Legends' P-47 project.
Trade School DAVTI; 15 years FMC/United Defense as Machinist/Assembly Test Machinist; 1 year at TimeSavers as Machinist; 16 years Master Machine as Machinist/Supervisor
Watching Sierra Sue II take flight
Something new almost every day
P-47 taking flight
Administration Business Coordinator
My education at BSU in Community Health and Environmental Studies led to early work with local nonprofits, as well as a water treatment company. I came to AirCorps from the NW MN Association of Realtors.
Tye flew me through a 360 degree rainbow on my first ever non-commercial flight; Oshkosh was a ton of fun and a great time to get to know the others who were there.
Knowing that so many people share in the excitement of the projects and the stories behind them
Seeing the P-47 completed
Administration Administrative Assistant
I had been in bookkeeping & office management the majority of my career, mostly in traditionally male-based industries where I was the only female. This was the first job I applied to after moving back from Florida where I had been for 22 years.
F-82 Twin Mustang
There is far more than one! Waching the transformation/restoration of SSII was such a proud moment for all of us. I am honored to have been a part of that! My 1st ride in a warbird was pretty fantastic! B-25 Miss Mitchell. Being able to meet true heroes such as Ed Shames, the last living officer of the real Band of Brothers
I tell random people every day that I have the best job. What we do here is so unique & rewarding. We are literally a part of history! Watching a project from start to finish is crazy cool!! Not to mention we have such an awesome team!
Where we will be in 5 years from now - we have grown so much this past 5 - the possibilities are endless! Watching that one thing that will make Library explode! And maybe, just maybe, we will get a chance to assist Pat Harker in restoring his F-82.
Reverse Engineering Reverse Engineering Lead
Fluid power (hydraulics) - sales; Architecture - drafting
Working with people who are genuine & passionate about doing good/great work
Seeing the P-47 fly! And the Reverse Engineering department grow
Maintenance Aircraft Maintenance Manager
Went to college at Spartan College of Aeronautics, worked at Bemidji Aviation maintaining freighters, worked at Park Rapids Aviation maintaining and modifying float planes
Being involved with the aircraft and the people of the warbird community
Started in 2013
Staples Machine Trades degree. Machining and fabricating for 25 years. Everything from medical devices to drag cars and airplanes
B-17 (Grandfather was a B-17 pilot in WWII)
Watching Sierra Sue fly the 1st time
I'm always doing something different and learning new things everyday
Watching the P-47 fly
Maintenance Mechanics Assistant
I grew up in Grand Forks, North Dakota and spent the weekends in Bemidji at my family’s cabin. I got my pilot's licence my junior year in high school in Bemidji driving here every weekend. While in high school I worked line at the Grand Forks International as well as working as a serviceman for an apartment company. I came to Bemidji to study business administration at Bemidji State University. I found AirCorps and thought it would be a great place to work and so far I was right!
The B-29 Superfortress is by far my favorite. The B-29 was the pinnacle of technology at the time and it’s a beautiful aircraft to look at.
Watching the CAF P-51C Redtail go for its first flight after restoration. It was a majestic sight to behold.
Working here is like working in a candy store. My passions in life are flying, working on aircraft, and learning about WW2 and AirCorps is the only place I can indulge all of my passions.
Eventually working on the P-38. I’ve never even seen a P-38 in person and being able to work on one will be a dream come true.
Library Data / Library Specialist
B.A. in Art Conservation with a minor in Art History. Wide range of work experience in museums and library collections.
Watching the Red Tail fly for the first time
Being in an environment where everyone cares about history and learning new things
Increasing my working knowledge of WWII aircraft
Started in 2017
Attended NDSU for Engineering & Construction Management; graduated with AAS degree in Design & Drafting Technology from Northwest Technical College (Moorhead); worked 17 years as Design Engineer for wind tower manufacturer; and last 4 years as Tooling Engineer for large fabrication company building agricultural and industrial equipment.
Seeing a completed aircraft roll out of the shop...hearing the engine start up...and then watching it take off and fly!
Alexandria Technical College and 15 years machining experience.
Working with a skilled and driven team to complete projects
CAD Designer for a disposal manufacturer, a truck body manufacturer, and workstation manufacturer.
Going out to Bemidji for the company parties.
Getting to tell people I work on restoring WWII-era fighter planes.
Seeing the P-47 fly.
AirCorps Aviation specializes in the restoration, maintenance, and rebuilding of vintage WWII aircraft. We bring forth experience, dedication, passion, and award-winning detail that shows in every project we take on.
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