Major Dave Vangsnes, USAF Retired

As a young college graduate, Dave Vangsnes began his aviation career with the U. S. Air Force in Undergraduate Pilot Training, Reese Air Force Base, Lubbock, Texas.  He transitioned into B-52D heavy at March Air Force Base, Riverside, CA,  before moving on to Grand Forks AFB to fly the B-52H.  While stationed there, he upgraded to Aircraft Commander, Instructor Pilot and was an evaluator in StanEval.  He was then reassigned to Castle Air Force Base where he served as an IP in the B-52G and B-52H.  He also was a controller in the Command Post and eventually became its training officer.  He was then reassigned to the Joint Strategic Target Planning Staff at Offutt AFB where he was involved in developing the SIOP war plan and spent time on the Admiral's briefing team.  He then went home to Castle AFB to once again be an IP in the CCTS.  While there, he was selected to be the first chief pilot for the 328th Bomb Squadron and was responsible for ensuring that new B-52 pilots received the best training possible.  He retired in 1992 as a command pilot with over 4000 hours in the all models of the B-52.

He began working in civilian aviation with the UND Aerospace Foundation, Grand Forks, ND, as manager and chief pilot of their Beech Jet program where he trained first officers from China Air Lines, Taiwan, and Xinhua Airlines from mainland China.  He moved on to become their Director of Standardization, while also participating in their weather research program in conjunction with NASA in Brazil, as a Captain in the Citation II.  Dave wore many hats in his tenure at UND, also serving as a stage check pilot for issuance of FAA certificates in the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences, as well as an adjunct lecturer and academic instructor, developing their curriculum for Crew Resource Management.  He then accepted a position as manager of UND Aerospace Foundation’s flight training facility at Williams Gateway Airport, Mesa, AZ where he also served as an adjunct lecturer for Chandler Gilbert Community College and was selected by the FAA as a Designated Pilot Examiner.

Dave has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of North Dakota and a Masters of Public Administration degree in Administrative Organization and Management from Golden Gate University, San Francisco, CA.  He holds an ATP rating as well as a Certified Flight Instructor Instrument rating for both single- and multi-engine aircraft.  He is a Master CFI and a Designated Pilot Examiner for the FAA.  Dave has over 11,000 accident and injury-free flight hours and has flown the T-37, T-38, B-52 D, F, G & H, CE-550 and 560, Beech Jet 400A, and numerous single- and multi-engine propeller-driven aircraft.

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