The Pine River Regional Airport has been lacking a compass rose ever since a recent paving job covered the old one - that is, until five volunteers with the Ninety-Nines North Central Chapter arrived to paint a new compass rose.
“We had done the original one here, I think close to 15 years ago,” said Patti Sandusky, of Maple Lake. "Since they put down the new tar they wanted us to come back and paint another one.”
Two members of the group - Trudy Amundson, of Breezy Point, and Tracy Davenport, of Champlin -were present for the painting of the original compass rose.
The group has also done jobs in Brainerd, hosted a race in Bemidji and painted other logos at the Pine River Regional Airport, which have since been maintained locally.
The compass rose in Pine River is a 12-pointed star with other unique features. It is one of four the group has painted this year and they are booked through 2021.
“This one's a little different. We do up to 24 points and we did another 12-point last weekend. That one didn't have a blue ring in it,” Sandusky said. “We're one of the few chapters in the United States that will do different compass roses at different airports. Most chapters do the same design when they do do it. Most chapters only do one a year.”
Also with the group during this trip were Brianne Kroupa, of Anoka, and Cheryl Daml, of Blaine.
The Ninety-Nines are an international women's pilot group founded in 1929 and once headed by Amelia Earhart. They focus on mentoring women interested in flight. They also volunteer to paint at airports across the country, fund scholarships and transport dogs cross country for special projects. Among their members are commercial pilots, instructors and student pilots.
“It's mainly mentoring and letting young girls know it's an option for them to learn to fly,” Sandusky said.