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, May 30, 2011

Martin "Jetpack" Apparatus Reaches 5,000 Feet in Latest Test

Memorial Day Ceremony in Hecker, IL Included Local Pilots

Joe Wapelhors In His T-34 and Paul Cornelius and Fritz Knoll In Their CJ-6 Nanchangs Performed a 'Missing Man' Formation

Dave Renner Flew In His SNB-1 Kansan
Mat Conrad and Pat Kesler Flew the MO CAF B-25J Mitchell From an Event in Columbia, MO
Local RVs Also Joined in the Air Parade
Bob McDaniel and Diane Earhart In a C172 Skyhawk and Bob Ochs in the C120 Flew in Close Formation 
This Fly Baby, Flown by Paul Voorhees, Followed the Faster Planes
Denny Schwandt Flew His Super Cub in Strong Headwinds

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Gone West: Airshow Performer Amanda Franklin Succumbs to Injuries from March 12 Accident

Kyle and Amanda Franklin Perform in Cape Girardeau, MO June 19, 2010

Franklin Flying Circus Facebook Page Reports:

Amanda 5-27-11 Day 76

By Franklin's Flying Circus on Friday, May 27, 2011 at 10:59pm.  It is with a broken heart that I tell you that my beautiful girl Amanda passed away at 10:10 central time this evening. Beside her was her adoring husband Kyle, her mother Jeanie, her brother Matt, her sister-in-law Michelle and her devoted mother-in-law Audean.

Thank you all again for your love,

Goodnight and God bless Amanda,



Funeral services will be held 10:00 Tuesday, June 7 at the First Baptist Church in Fayetteville, AR. Interment will follow at the Fairview Memorial Gardens Cemetery also in Fayetteville. There will be a reception at the Fayetteville Country Club to follow. An online RSVP is requested for those wanting to attend the reception, please go to for more information. 

Nearest airline airports are Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) and Tulsa International (Tulsa, OK). 


It was a privilege to meet Kyle and Amanda Franklin at the Cape Girardeau Air Show last June.  God bless and God Speed...AE

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Memorial Day Ceremony in Hecker, IL to Include Aircraft

How about something a little different this year  - a large Aircraft fly-over to celebrate the ultimate sacrifice given in defense of our country!

Who--The town of Hecker Illinois would like to invite everyone to observe Memorial Day with them at St. Augustine Cemetery on Monday may 30th.  This year's speaker is from Scott Air Force Base, Colonel Mark Whinnery, Commander, 375th Mission Support Group.

What-- A multi-aircraft Fly-Over during the ceremony including B-25 J Mitchell Bomber, Grumman TBM Avenger Torpedo Bomber, Nanchang CJ-6, T34, Cubs, SNB 1 Twin Beech Navy Bomber; Champs, Cessna 172 Sky-hawks, Fly-Baby's, Cessna 120 & 150, RVs, Stearman.  Aircraft are privately owned and operated.  Many of them are members of EAA Chapter 64 which meets at Historic Curtiss-Wright Hangar #2 Downtown St Louis Airport every 1st Tuesday of the month at 7P.M.  The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) has an international membership of 170,000 and is for both pilots and non-pilots who are interested in the world of flight.

Where-- St. Augustine Cemetery, Hecker IL, Hwy 156 east of Waterloo then just West of town on Hwy 156 about 1.3 miles then north on Cemetery rd. about a quarter mile.

When-- 10 am Monday May 30th.

The program will feature:

Soloists Jason & Tracie Heuring and Steve Davis;

Cub Scout Pack #323 from Waterloo; 

St. Augustine’s Choir;

and special recognition of local veterans, firemen, ambulance & EMT crews.

Military Medal & Helmet Display; Display of Jeep M151-Vietnam Era, Deuce & A Half N35, and Army Half Track.

Complimentary Shuttle service provided by Monroe-Randolph Transit from Gregson Trucking on Route 156 to/from Cemetery.

Be sure to bring your lawn-chairs and umbrellas!

Salute to Veterans Airshow Underway in Columbia, MO

The Salute to Veterans Corporation Airshow is underway in Columbia, MO.  Aero Experience contributor Mark Nankivil provided these awesome photos of participating aircraft:

(Mark Nankivil Photo)

(Mark Nankivil Photo)

(Mark Nankivil Photo)

(Mark Nankivil Photo)

(Mark Nankivil Photo)

(Mark Nankivil Photo)

(Mark Nankivil Photo)

(Mark Nankivil Photo)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Super Hornet Makes 400,000th Landing on USS Enterprise

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alex R. Forster/Released)

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Michael Croft, USS Enterprise Public Affairs

USS ENTERPRISE, At sea (NNS) -- An F/A-18F Super Hornet from the Red Rippers of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 11 became the 400,000th aircraft to land on USS Enterprise's (CVN 65) flight deck May 24.

Lt. Matthew L. Enos and Weapon System Officer Lt. Cmdr. Jonathan Welsh manned the Super Hornet for the historic landing. Enos said he is honored he was the pilot to put Enterprise on the short list of aircraft carriers with 400,000 landings.

"This is a day I will never forget," said Enos. "This has been a great deployment even without this feat. Being able to do this is just the icing on the cake."

Enterprise is only the fourth Navy aircraft carrier to have more than 400,000 carrier landings, and is the only carrier still in commission to surpass the number.

Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, Enterprise's embarked air wing, was honored to be a part of this great achievement.

"I'm glad we were able to be here to pull this off," said Capt. Jeffrey L. Trent, commander of CVW-1. "I give thanks to everyone involved in this landing. Many people don't understand how many people are involved in landing a jet on a ship. This made everyone's day."

Below the flight deck Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) 3rd Class Joseph R. Naval was manning the number two arresting gear engine when the 400,000th arrested landing was made.

"It's a great feeling to be able to say you had a hand in making the history books," said Naval. "It's not a big surprise though, working on a ship as old as Enterprise means all of us on board are making history everyday."

Enterprise's achievement falls on a historic year for naval aviation. One hundred years ago marks the birth of naval aviation, only eight years after the Wright brothers flew their historic flight.

"U.S. naval aviation has been at the forefront of our national destiny, and has become an unrivaled maritime force," said Rear Adm. Ted Branch, commander, Naval Air Forces Atlantic. "Our forces are doing amazing work every day, around the world, and they are making a crucial difference in the ongoing operations."

U.S. Navy aircraft operate from nearly every ship in the fleet, as well as from bases around the world, providing uniquely capable, forward presence and giving naval air assets access nearly anywhere in the world.

"One of the greatest strengths that carrier aviation brings to the table is 'presence,'" said Capt. Gregory C. Huffman, Enterprise's executive officer. "Simply by moving into an area of operation, we play a part in shaping world events and defining national strategy.

In many parts of the world, the carrier and air wing dwarf the capabilities of entire air forces. That is a powerful tool."

In her 50 years of service, Enterprise has wowed many people and set many records. She is the first nuclear-powered carrier and the first nuclear carrier to transit the Suez Canal. Enterprise was the first carrier to fly F-14 Tomcats and is the longest warship in the world. This achievement of 400,000 landings is one more record added to the list.

"I think it's only fitting that a squadron with the impressive history of the 'Red Rippers' is the one to make this landing," said Capt. Dee L. Mewbourne, commanding officer of Enterprise. "We are witnessing history."

The other three carriers with more than 400,000 traps are USS Lexington (CV 16), USS Independence (CV 62) and USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63).

Enterprise and Carrier Air Wing 1 are in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting close-air support missions as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Skillful Crosswind Takeoffs at Flying Dutchmen Airport

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

MO Aviation Historical Society Meeting TBA

The next meeting of the Missouri Aviation Historical Society: July 14, 7pm.  
As a primer for the upcoming visit to Spirit Airport of the CAF's restored Boeing B-29, "FIFI", we are honored to have MAHS member, Dick Windler, relate to us, what it was like to fly this giant airplane, as he recalls his 35 missions over Japan. Please see below for directions to our meeting place in Clayton. Refreshments will be served.

Missouri Aviation Historical Society Meeting Directions:
We meet in the first hi-rise, located on the south side of Carondelet Plaza, just east of South Hanley Road, between Forsyth, and Forest Park Parkway. From Hanley, turn east onto Carondelet Plaza. The building will be on your right, and you will see 190 Carondelet Plaza in gold on the side of the building. Just past that, will be a slightly arched entryway into the parking garage. If you go to mapquest and pullup a 360 view at that address, you can see the entrance.  Turn right into the parking garage in the photo, drive across the garage to the other side, turn  into parking by the attendant's station, take a ticket from the dispenser and bring it with you to be validated. Park in the Visitor parking on the P2 level, or in any convenient space. Take the garage elevator to the lobby, and take the building elevator to the Husch Blackwell reception area on the 6th floor. We will escort you to the conference room. Soda and junk food will be provided. If you have any questions at all, please let me know. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Salute to Veterans Corporation Airshow Coming Up This Weekend

Don't Miss Tonight's EAA Webinar: World War II Fighters, A Performance Comparison

Tonight's EAA Webinar in brief:

Presenter: Sid Siddiqi
Host: Charlie Becker

The designs & operational effectiveness of American & German fighters and their engines will be presented. Ace pilots performance records and their tactics will be discussed. The daylight air offensive against Germany in 1944 will be discussed to evaluate their performance effectiveness. US production and the role of the wing and drag reduction technology developed in NACA (former name for NASA) will be described.

Decades Old A-12 Court Case Ruling in Favor of Boeing and General Dynamics

(Federation of American Scientists Image)

Boeing Press Release on A-12 Case

CHICAGO, May 23, 2011 -- J. Michael Luttig, Boeing Executive Vice President and General Counsel, issued the following statement today after the Supreme Court released its opinion ruling in favor of Boeing and General Dynamics in the long-pending A-12 litigation:

“We are pleased with today’s win in the Supreme Court and the Court’s unanimous decision to overturn the government’s default termination of the A-12 program. It has always been our view that the default termination was improper.”

At issue in the litigation was the manner in which the government terminated the A-12 military aircraft program in 1991. The A-12 was to have been the Navy’s next-generation, carrier-based advanced tactical aircraft using low observable “stealth” technology.

Monday, May 23, 2011

CAF's B-29 "Fifi" Scheduled to Visit Spirit of St. Louis Airport August 1-4

Commemorative Air Force B-29 "Fifi" is scheduled to stop at Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield following AirVenture at Oshkosh.  For more information, visit

Marine Week St. Louis Detailed Schedule of Events Available

Marine Week St. Louis detailed schedule has been released!  Plan on attending events during the June 20-26 Marine Week!  Visit for a complete listing. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Saturday, May 14, 2011

EAA Webinar Highlights New Young Eagles Flight Plan

(EAA Graphic)

This week's EAA Webinar addressed the new Young Eagles Flight Plan, the program designed to move today's youth "from the right seat to the left seat."  In brief, the path to pilot success includes the following steps:

1. Young Eagle Flight - youth aged 8-17 are given their first flight, after which they receive a log book recording the flight and follow-up materials for registration for additional training opportunities

2. Free Student Membership in EAA (through age 19), which includes "Sport Aviation" electronic version, member discounts, and free membership in Academy of Model Aeronautics

3. Sporty's Complete Flight Training Course access, including interactive training  for Recreational and Private Pilot licensing requirements, along with EAA reimbursement of FAA exams when passed

4. First Flight Lesson - Young Eagles who complete Recreational Pilot training course are eligible for a voucher to pay for a first flight lesson, up to $120 at the FAA approved flight school of their choice

5. Scholarships - 3 $7,500 flight scholarships are awarded annually, and 1 $1,500 flight scholarship is awarded monthly; academic scholarships are also awarded annually

Sponsors of the Young Eagles Flight Plan include Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Global Aerospace, Phillips 66, Sporty's Pilot Shop, Rolls Royce Engines, Lightspeed and the Jim & Angela Thompson Foundation.

Since the program began earlier this year, about 9,200 EAA Student Memberships have been added, and over 7,200 students have begun the flight training course.  Congratulations to the EAA Young Eagles team for a great start on training the next generation of pilots!   

For more information about the Young Eagles program, please visit

Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology Pilots Make Stop at St. Louis Downtown Airport, Visit Museum

Student Pilots from Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology in Tulsa, OK flew their 4 Cessna 152s to St. Louis Downtown Airport Friday and stayed for a few hours before taking off in formation late in the afternoon.  It was a pleasure to speak with one student at the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum before an impressive 4-ship takeoff.  Blue Skies, Spartan. 

For more information about Spartan, see the video below and visit

Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-134 Crew Readies for Monday Launch

Image above: The STS-134 crew members arrive at Kennedy's Shuttle Landing Facility in preparation for Monday's liftoff of space shuttle Endeavour. From left are, Commander Mark Kelly, Mission Specialists Greg Chamitoff, Andrew Feustel, European Space Agency astronaut Roberto Vittori, Mission Specialist Mike Fincke and Pilot Greg H. Johnson. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett (NASA photo and caption)

NASA mission profile includes a 16-day mission to deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) and spare parts including two S-band communications antennas, a high-pressure gas tank and additional spare parts for Dextre (robot arms aboard ISS).  After the mission, Endeavour will go to the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

For more information about the upcoming flight or other NASA projects, visit