Office of Aviation

Russell Zangger had passion for aviation
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PlanesRussell G. Zangger, age 90, of Larchwood, Iowa died Monday, September 24, 2012.

Russ and his wife Dolly threw all of their energy into aviation and are the only couple inducted into the Iowa Aviation Hall of Fame for their contributions to aviation in Iowa. Zangger shared his enthusiasm with his wife and friends, some who purchased planes and were able to store them at Russ's airport in northwest Iowa as he built new hangars. The airport grew and Russ began instructing full time. Between Russ and Dolly, the two of them they literally taught hundreds of people to fly in the Sioux Falls and surrounding area.

His career as a primary and instrument flight instructor endured for fifty five years using the venerable Taylorcraft as his aircraft of choice. The Taylorcraft was readily available for a modest cost, maintenance was affordable and the aircraft could demonstrate any characteristic needed for the lesson. In spite of only having heel brakes on the pilot's side, Russ never felt any disadvantage as long as the tail wheel was in good condition. A new Cessna 150 was purchased in 1959 for instrument training and Russ used a Tri-Pacer for charter flights.

A Celebration of Life will honor his achievements and be held after the annual fly-in at the Larchwood Airport in July of 2013.