Entrepreneur points Kestrel Aircraft to Superior skies« Back to Search Results
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Superior - He was 25 years old, then, piloting his dad's single-engine Cessna, doing instrument training out of Sauk Prairie Airport.
"I still get goose bumps as I think about it," Alan Klapmeier says, recalling an incident from what seems like more than half a lifetime ago.
The sun was low on the horizon as Klapmeier and a flight instructor took off. They never saw the other plane, the one that was below the nose. They hit wing to wing and the other plane spun to the ground, killing the pilot. But all Klapmeier could do was get control of his plane, remain calm, and bring it home.
"That was a Friday night," Klapmeier says. "We went flying on Monday. The instructor and I said, 'We have to go flying.' "
Aviation is Klapmeier's passion and his business, to make flight safer and easier for those who yearn to take to the sky. He's 53 now, and embarking on his biggest air venture yet.
Nearly four years after leaving Cirrus Aircraft, the Duluth-based firm he founded with his younger brother, Klapmeier has returned to a corner of northern Wisconsin to start up yet another airplane company, Kestrel Aircraft.
Kestrel Aircraft Co. CEO Alan Klapmeier sits in a mock-up plane fuselage under development at Kestrel’s offices in Duluth, Minn., in April. In return for state, county and city financial assistance, Kestrel is moving its offices to Superior and hopes to c
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