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Harvey native to be inducted into ND Aviation Hall of Fame

Harvey native Allen Sauter, Bismarck, has been selected for induction into North Dakota’s Aviation Hall of Fame, according to the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission. The induction ceremony will take place March 3 at the Upper Midwest Aviation Symposium banquet in Minot.

Sauter, 78, developed a love for aviation as a child on his family farm, where he worked as a flagger for a local aerial applicator. On Christmas Day in 1957, he soloed in a 1946 J-3 Cub on skis at the age of 16, beginning an aviation career that currently spans seven decades.

He joined the U.S. Army in 1958 to become a pilot. Too young to begin flight training, he attended helicopter maintenance school. Sauter excelled in his training and by the end of his enlistment he had obtained all Federal Aviation Administration requirements for his Airframe & Powerplant Certificate. In addition, he flew all of the aircraft in the Army base flying squadron, including the L-17, L-18, L-19, L-21 and L-26.

Sauter returned in 1962 to North Dakota and after earning his Commercial Pilot and Flight Instructor Certificate, he began work as a commercial pilot for Combs Airways and Red Baron Lines. During this time, he flew passengers and cargo throughout North Dakota and other Midwest states. He was also active in the Civil Air Patrol, serving as a captain and flight instructor.

Throughout most of the 1970s, Sauter accrued additional qualifications and certifications. He served as the chief flight instructor for Mid-State Aviation in Bismarck, where he wrote the first FAA-approved multi-engine curriculum for private, commercial, and flight instructor pilots in the state. He also wrote and obtained FAA approval for the new GI Bill flight school in North Dakota.

Sauter dedicated his life to raising his family while serving as an FAA-certified Gold Seal flight instructor and as an FAA designated pilot examiner in North Dakota. Within this position, he trained pilots of all levels, from private pilots in Piper Cubs to commercial pilots flying twin-engine jets.

Upon completing his career with the FAA, he began his own Bismarck-based aircraft pilot service company, which employed three pilots. Over 14 years, his business flew doctors and nurses from Bismarck to rural communities throughout North Dakota and other Midwest states.

Sauter received numerous awards, most notably the Orville and Wilbur Wright Master Pilot Award for 50 years of continuous medical certification with no accidents and no violations of FAA regulations. As an FAA Gold Seal flight instructor, he has provided instruction to over 633 certified pilots throughout his career. Sauter has flown 55 aircraft, including Cessna Citation Jets and Convair 240 aircraft as well as three helicopter models. He has accumulated over 32,200 hours of flight time.

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