Greetings from The Aero Experience Team


The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Monday, October 25, 2010

Lend-Lease P-39Q Aircobra, Recovered from Russian Lake, Returns to New York for Restoration

(EAA Photo)

A P-39Q-15BE, serial number 44-2911, has been sent to the Niagara Aerospace Museum (NAM) for restoration.  The aircraft, crew - Lt. Ivan Ivanovich Baranovsky (22), and vital log books were discovered by divers from UK Warbird Finders in 2004 in Lake Mart-Yavr, Russia, and were acquired by NAM in 2008.  Ironically, the museum now resides within the building that housed the factory in which the aircraft was originally built.  The story of the aircraft and its current restoration can be found at the EAA Spirit of Aviation page:

Boeing Paints First Production A160T Hummingbird Unmanned Rotorcraft

(Boeing Photo)

Boeing [NYSE: BA] recently returned the first production A160T Hummingbird unmanned rotorcraft, A020, to the assembly line after applying the aircraft's final, light-gray coat of paint.

Last week, Boeing submitted a bid that offers the world record-holding A160T in response to the Naval Air Systems Command's Request for Proposal for Cargo Unmanned Aircraft Systems Services.

Boeing is building the Hummingbird at its facility in Mesa and expects to complete A020 by the end of this year.

(Boeing Press Release)

Year In Review - Odd Shots 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Landings in Portugal Book Provides Unique Look Into World War II Aviation

(Carlos Guerreiro Book Photo)

Mr. Carlos Guerreiro, author of Landing in Portugal, writes to The Aero Experience:

During WWII, more than 100 aircraft from belligerent countries crashed or landed in Portugal.  More than 600 men, that crewed those aircraft, had to finish their missions in a neutral territory because of mechanical failure, lack of fuel or enemy action.

All those stories can be found in a new site – in Portuguese and English - that was recently published:

Dozens of Commonwealth men (British, Australian, New Zealanders, Canadians etc), Americans, Germans, Austrians and even French and Belgians were interned in this neutral country during the period of 1939 to 1945.

Many others lost their lives in consequence of the event’s they were involved.

The site brings you about 140 individual files with information about the events, dates, aircraft and men involved in these incidents.  The site is based in the material collected for a book I published in 2008 named “Aterrem em Portugal!” (Land in Portugal) , where I interviewed about 15 crew members that were in Portugal during that period, besides Portuguese witnesses and others.

Documents from many archives around the world were also searched for this publication that displays more than 150 pictures in 300 pages.

In the next months I will update the information contained in the site with information and pictures. This updates will be announced in a blog were you can find also stories related with WWII and Portugal.  You can find the blog in

For any questions or contacts please send one e-mail to

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Marine One Pilot, EAA Member Lindy Kirkland Shares Experiences During EAA Webinar

(White House Photo)

EAA Member and former Marine One pilot Lindy Kirkland shared his experiences as a pilot for President Bush from 2001-2006.  If you missed it, you can check back tomorrow for the audio portion of the webinar.  I highly recommend it!

Helicopter Emergency Lifeline Project Underway at Spirit of St. Louis Airport

The Helicopter Emergency Lifeline Project (HELP) continues to raise funds for the purchase of a state-of-the-art Bell 407 that will be based in St. Louis, and will be employed to assist in disaster response in under served communities.  This non-profit organization was founded by Board Chairman / Executive Director Scott E. Luttrell, who has been in the aviation business for 26 years and has accumulated more than 10,000 hours of flight time.  His dream of establishing HELP is coming closer to fruition, but he still needs your HELP!  Please visit the website and consider a contribution to further this humanitarian endeavor.

Monday, October 18, 2010

EAA Webinar Series Announced - Sign Up Today!

EAA Webinars Fall Schedule - Register Now!

EAA Webinars are free to all aviation enthusiasts, but pre-registration is recommended since space is limited to the first 1,000 registrants.

Upcoming webinars, scheduled for 7 p.m. Central:

October 19
"Flying Marine One"
Lindy Kirkland

October 27
"AvGas: The Path Toward an Unleaded Future"
Doug Macnair

November 3
"Kermit Weeks Q&A"
Kermit Weeks

November 9
"Just Say No to Useless Maintenance"
Mike Busch

November 16
"AeroVee Engine and AeroInjector"
Jeremy Monnett

December 2
"Owning and Flying a Homebuilt - What You Need to Know"
Joe Norris

December 7
"Earn Your A&P Certificate Through Practical Experience"
Jim Moss

December 16
"Flight Before the Wright Brothers"
Adam Smith

January 5, 2011
"Building a Blériot XI"
Fred Stadler

Audio speakers and a broadband internet connection are required to participate in the webinars. Visit the webinars page for more information about EAA's webinars.

EAA gratefully acknowledges the support of Aircraft Spruce and Specialty Co. for their generous sponsorship of our webinar programs.

(Source: EAA Message from Charlie Becker)

Bonanza! Collection of Beechcraft Bonanzas from Recent Events

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Remembering Missouri Highway Patrol Pilot Sgt. Joseph Schuengel

Visitors to last weekend's helicopter display at Spirit of St. Louis Airport were privileged to meet Sgt. Joseph Schuengel and check out his Bell 206B helicopter.  Here is a photo salute to our hometown hero:

(Carmelo Turdo)

(Carmelo Turdo)

(Carmelo Turdo)

(Carmelo Turdo)

(Mark Nankivil)

(Mark Nankivil)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Missouri Highway Patrol Hero Pilot Loses Life in Chopper Accident

Sgt. Schuengel and his Bell 206 on display Oct. 9 at Spirit Airport (Carmelo Turdo)

Missouri Highway Patrol pilot, Sgt. Joseph Schuengel, a 17-year veteran, lost his life today in the line of duty while returning to Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield around 11am today.  After dropping off two troopers in Jefferson County, Sgt. Schuengel reportedly encountered possible rotor separation and managed to aim the Bell 206 towards a tree-lined roadway at Horseshoe Ridge and Kehrs Mill Road.  Although no official statements on the cause of the accident were released, it appears from the early video of the accident site that Sgt. Schuengel heroically avoided nearby houses and saved many more lives on the ground.

We extend out deepest sympathies to the family of Sgt. Schuengel. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Where is the X-37B?

Boeing X-37B Before Launch (Boeing Photo)

The cat & mouse game between the orbiting X-37B and amateur astronomers continues after 173 days in orbit.  It was reliably tracked until recently, prompting speculation that the vehicle may be preparing to land (or may have already landed).  It has another 97 days of designed orbital capability, so it may be another 3 months before confirmation of landing may come.  Keep your eyes on the skies!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Missouri Aviation Historical Society Holds Meeting Tomorrow

Message from the Missouri Aviation Historical Society:

The Missouri Aviation Historical Society is an informal group of folks with a love of aircraft, and we are striving to record and document the rich aviation history that has been a part of the great state of Missouri for the past century. From Benoist to Zenith, the aviation industry in the "Show Me" state has always been at the forefront of technology, and has produced some of the world’s best known aircraft. Famous pilots, from Jimmy Doolittle, to Slim Lindbergh, all called Missouri home for a portion of their lives, and made significant contributions to the advancement of aviation. One of our goals is to establish a Missouri Aviation Hall of Fame.

While our initial focus is on Missouri aviation history, we do welcome all regions of the country, as well as International interests. We meet six times per year at 190 Carondelet Plaza, Suite 600, St. Louis, MO 63105. We also send out a quarterly newsletter. Our next meeting will be on Wednesday, October 13th at 7 PM, and will feature a presentation on the Lockheed P-38 Lightning.  Hope to see you there!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

SpaceShipTwo Makes First Glide Flight

 Credit: Virgin Galactic, Mark Greenberg

The Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo made its maiden glide flight today after being released from mother ship, WhiteKnightTwo.  Test pilots Peter Siebold and Mike Alsbury put the new commercial space plane through test maneuvers during its 11-minute flight from 45,000 feet to a landing at Mojave Spaceport.  It's not the Jetsons - but real life!  For more details on the flight, go to

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Spirit of St. Louis Airport Hosts Gathering of Service Helicopters

Here are some of the amazing service helicopters on display today at Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield, MO.  Special thanks to Spirit of St. Louis Airport, TAC Air, and the service and first responder organizations represented:

Air Evac Life Team with their Bell 206 air ambulance

Missouri Army National Guard Apache and Blackhawk 


 Missouri Highway Patrol Bell 206

St. Louis County Police Hughes 369E (MD-500E) 

U.S. Marine Corps Bell TH-57C from TAW-5 

U.S. Coast Guard MH-65C Dolphin from New Orleans 

Vietnam Memorial Wall - Never Forget these Heroes