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Published July 17, 2013, 10:05 PM

Retired NDSU professor sharing love of the skies

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - When longtime NDSU professor Barb North retired from the university, little did she know the teaching would continue. It is quite the combination: Food and flight.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - When longtime NDSU professor Barb North retired from the university, little did she know the teaching would continue. It is quite the combination: Food and flight.

Barb taught in NDSU's College of Home Economics for years. But what many did not know is she always had a side interest: Flying. And now, at 78 she is passing on her love of flight to young people.

Mike Paulson of the Fargo Jet Center loves days like this; blue sky, slight breeze and young people eager to fly.

But today 17-year-old Casey Ricker and 16-year-old Trenton Francis are here at the invitation of family friend Barb North who flew her first plane, a Stinson, back in 1951.

Barb North, Pilot: “51 years ago. I was 15 about the same age as these boys 15 or 16.”

Not many women were flying back then.

North: “I think when I was flying between 65 and 70 I can think of only one woman.”

It never stopped Barb. She flew for years but now she spends her time urging young people to fly. She got bit by the flying bug, and she wants others to learn the freedom of the skies.

North: “Probably because I am a retired educator and they are decent young men.”

And the desire to spark interest in young people in flying comes at a critical time in the commercial and business aviation industry. Retirements are plentiful and right now there is a need for pilots tech and computer experts.”

Darren Hall, Fargo Jet Center: “We are talking to West Fargo and Fargo Public Schools about the chance of doing an aviation class just like there is a welding or automotive class.”

And after the boys had a turn flying over the valley courtesy of the Jet Center, Barb was back in the Ceasna 172; a perfect day to teach others the wonders of wings.

Barb also spends time as a volunteer at Hector Airport.

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