Jamestown man wins airplane in raffleLittle did Jamestown resident Jason Hill realize that a trip to the Fargo Air Museum last winter would eventually lead to winning his own airplane.
Little did Jamestown resident Jason Hill realize that a trip to the Fargo Air Museum last winter would eventually lead to winning his own airplane.
Hill, 34, was in Fargo at the time visiting family when his 5-year-old niece Kahlea told him that she wanted to see the airplanes at the museum. He obliged and, while touring the museum, he bought a $50 raffle ticket for a contest which had a top prize of a refurbished 1964 Cessna Skylane 182.
“He was pretty nonchalant about buying the ticket, not thinking he would actually win,” said Barb Hill, Jason’s mother.
The plane has a new paint job, a new GPS radio system in the panel and an almost completely new interior. It is able to seat three passengers in addition to the pilot.
The Cessna was donated to the museum about two years ago and raffle proceeds will go toward expanding the museum, according to Rex Hammarback, chairman of the Fargo Air Museum Board of Directors.
After selling 2,480 tickets for the raffle at $50 each, the Fargo Air Museum held its drawing on June 30, and Jason was the big winner — something he was not expecting to hear.
“I was able to speak with him on the phone and he was speechless to start with,” Hammarback said. “He’s very excited about it, though, and we were glad to hear that.”
Benjamin Hill, Jason’s father, said that Jason happened to have his phone on him while he was out canoeing on his day off of work at the time of Hammarback’s call.
“He told me it was a pretty unexpected call, but the timing worked out great,” Benjamin Hill said.
Hammarback said the raffle was an all-around success because it not only was a great fundraiser, but it also gave an opportunity to a local North Dakotan.
“We’re ecstatic a local boy from North Dakota won the top prize,” he said. “And now it seems he wants to take flying lessons and get his pilot’s license, so that’s just wonderful to hear.”
The Cessna was flown into Jamestown Regional Airport on Friday by Hammarback with retired North Dakota Air National Guard Gen. Darrol Schroeder flying a plane that the two men used to travel back to the museum in.
“It’s a fun day to give away an airplane,” Hammarback said.
Unfortunately, Jason was not present due to his work schedule. Jason is a smoke jumper with the National Forest Service.
Jason’s parents and grandparents were there on his behalf to accept the plane.
“It’s going to be a really good opportunity for him. He’s really excited to get back home, see the plane and start the process towards getting his pilot’s license,” Benjamin Hill said.
Jason’s parents said he is currently in Idaho and they only hear from him in short increments on the phone from time to time.
Barb Hill said she expects him to return home around October.
For now, the Cessna will be stored at a storage hanger adjacent to Jamestown Regional Airport.
For more information on the Fargo Air Museum and its raffle, visit http://far goairmuseum.org.
Sun reporter Brian Willhide can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org