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

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

EAA Webinar Gives Good Advice on How to Save on Aircraft Maintenance Without Reducing Safety

Tonight's EAA Seminar featured Mike Busch, President of Savvy Aircraft Maintenance Management and "EAA Sport Aviation" magazine columnist, gave his expert advice on how owners of general aviation aircraft can be more discerning about what maintenance to perform as a result of the annual inspection.  He emphasized reliability centered maintenance, which centers on item condition upon inspection and aircraft care as leading factors over manufacturer maintenance intervals alone.  Many components are redundant or designed for much longer lifespans, since manufacturers use worst-case scenarios to calculate maintenance intervals in a liabilty-intense environment, Busch said.  Cooperation between qualified inspectors and owners can reduce the annual maintenance costs by at least half in many cases, even though safety is not reduced in the process.

For more information and another chance to view this webinar, please visit:
EAA Sport Aviation site
Savvy Aircraft Maintenance Management site

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

EAA Webinar Celebrates the Legendary Piper Cub

In tonight's EAA Webinar, "Buying, Flying and Owning a Piper Cub," Steve Krog gave his expert advice to anyone interested in owning or flying the legendary Piper Cub.  Over 19,800 were manufactured primarily between 1937 and 1947, most using a Continental 65hp engine.  About 5500 remain in service, with many more found in various stages of disrepair in hangars, shed and fields across the country.  Mr. Krog spent much of the webinar time describing in detail how to inspect a Cub before one decides to purchase one.  He also demonstrated proper piloting techniques for safely handling the aircraft, especially during ground operations.  

More information on Piper Cubs can be found at Steve Krog's Cubair Company website: and the Cub Club website:

The EAA Webinar schedule can be found at

Boeing Receives $19 Billion Order from Chinese Government for 200 Commercial Aircraft

(Boeing Photo)

(Boeing Photo)

Statement on Chinese Approval of 200 Boeing Aircraft  

Boeing is pleased to have received final approval today from the Chinese Government confirming a $19 billion aircraft agreement.

China's approval of airline contracts for 200 orders covers aircraft to be delivered over a three-year period, 2011-2013. The approval helps Boeing maintain and expand its market share in the world's fastest growing commercial aircraft market. Comprised of 737s and 777s, the agreement positively impacts more than 100,000 jobs including those at Boeing and with its thousands of suppliers throughout the U.S.

"We value China's support for our products and its confidence in Boeing," said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "With the outstanding support provided by the United States Government, this deal is a win-win for the Boeing-China partnership, which is approaching its 40th anniversary."

Today, Boeing jets are a mainstay in China's air travel and cargo system, representing more than 50 percent of all commercial jetliners operating in China. Over the next 20 years, Boeing projects that China will need 4,330 new airplanes, worth more than $480 billion, and will be Boeing's largest commercial airplane customer.

Monday, January 17, 2011

St. Louis Once Again on Aeroshell Team 2011 Airshow Schedule

It would not be a St. Louis Airshow without the Aeroshell Team, and July 2011 should be no exception.  Fair St. Louis is once again on the Aeroshell Team schedule, which so far looks like this:

26-27 Mar Tyndall AFB, FL
29 Mar - 3 Apr Sun N' Fun, Lakeland, FL
9 Apr Birmingham, AL
16-17 Apr Wilmington, NC 7-8 May Temple, TX
21 May Charlotte, NC
2-4 July St Louis, MO
25-31 July AirVenture, Oshkosh, WI
20-21 Aug Chicago, IL
10-11 Sept Winston-Salem, NC
1-2 Oct Sheppard AFB, TX
8-9 Oct Birmingham, AL
15-16 Oct Peachtree City, GA
29-30 Oct Lafayette, LA
11-13 Nov Stuart, FL

Sunday, January 16, 2011

2011 Midwest Aviation Conference and Trade Show Day 2 - More Safety Reminders and Learn to Fly Sessions for Families

Day 2 of the 2011 Midwest Aviation Conference and Trade Show provided a variety of activities for veteran and a future pilots.  The trade show, silent auction benefiting the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum, safety briefings and the CFI Revalidation Clinic continued through the afternoon.  Guest speakers Ralph Hood and FAA's Al Gorthy emphasized the need for maintaining consistent standards of aircraft operation and continuous aircrew awareness.  A special feature of today's session was the "Learn to Fly" family activity that featured three flight simulator stations and an autograph session with Erik Lindbergh.  

Ralph Hood emphasizes the need for applying consistent standards

Al Gorthy illustrates how lack of awareness can ruin your day...

Flight simulators were available for kids of all ages to fly

Erik Lindbergh meets the next generation of aviators 

Midwest Aviation Conference and Trade Show Features Rod Hightower, Erik Lindbergh, and Gregg Maryniak

Day 1 of the 2011 Midwest Aviation Conference and Trade Show featured local aviation safety experts as well as internationally known presenters.  The two-day event, sponsored by the Greater St. Louis Flight Instructors Association, has become an annual local institution - a combination of trade show, fund raiser, safety panel, national advocacy update, inspirational testimony and recruiting drive.  Today's agenda was well-organized and smartly executed, a tribute to the legendary St. Louis aviation community.  Here are the highlights of today's session:

The Trade Show and Fundraiser Ran Throughout the Day...

Jeremy Cox, President of the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum, prepares auction items at today's fundraiser for the museum.

The Missouri Wing of the Commemorative Air Force was one of the local organizations represented at the trade show, along with Wings of Hope, West County Aero, Ninety-Nines, EAA, Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum, St. Louis University, St. Louis Aircraft Sales, Women with Wings, Air Associates and St. Charles Flying Service.

Several hundred aviation professionals gathered for the annual conference...

The Serious Safety Portion...

Jeff Edwards, founder of Avsafe, is an accomplished pilot, flight instructor and FAA designated pilot examiner.  He used his experience with accident investigation to illustrate how lapses in judgement, inexperience and ignorance can lead to disastrous results.

He then joined the panel of local safety experts that fielded questions from the audience. 

EAA President Rod Hightower Gives the Industry Update...

Rod Hightower gave an overview of the current and probable future of general aviation in America, and enhancements to the Young Eagles program that will answer the critics of its effectiveness.  (Future posts will feature the new program when it is announced).  

Erik Lindbergh and Gregg Maryniak Inspire Future Achievement... 

Erik Lindbergh, grandson of Charles Lindbergh, reflects on his family legacy and his personal struggles with Rheumatoid Arthritis early in his adult life.

Erik Lindbergh tells how he employs the principles of competition for technological goals, or "prizes" as they were once called, to spur measurable advances in various scientific fields.  In the same way the Orteig Prize spurred competition for Charles Lindbergh's historic solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927, current incentives for electric aircraft, fuel efficient cars and youth scientific investigation teams have been implemented.   For more information, go to

Gregg Maryniak, President of the McDonnell Planetarium of the St. Louis Science Center and  Chairman of the X-Prize Board of Directors (among other offices he holds), addressed the issues of risk as they applied to Erik Lindbergh's own solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean, and to aviation in general.  He described his role as Flight Director for Eric Lindbergh's 2002 flight, and how planning for risk in the areas of Pilot, Aircraft, Environment and External Pressures can reduce the risks involved in aviation.

Erik Lindbergh and Gregg Maryniak take questions from the inspired audience.

Gregg Maryniak (left) and Erik Lindbergh (right) pose with St. Louis' legendary McDonnell Douglas test pilot and certified flight instructor, Joe Dobronski.

Check back tomorrow for coverage of Day 2 of the conference, including youth activities.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

2011 Midwest Aviation Conference and Trade Show This Weekend Features Erik Lindbergh, Rod Hightower and Gregg Maryniak

The Greater St. Louis Flight Instructors Association will present the annual Midwest Aviation Conference and Trade Show January 15-16 at the Maryland Heights Centre.  Along with the traditional Super Safety Seminar, other events will include Aviation Trade Show with local business representation and addresses by Erik Lindbergh, EAA President Rod Hightower, and X-Prize Board Member and McDonnell Planetarium Director Gregg Maryniak.  Sunday's activities will include a special youth Learn to Fly program featuring flight simulation.  There will also be a silent auction of aviation memorabilia to benefit the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum.  Below is the schedule for the weekend, provided by GSLFIA:

2011 MACTS/Super Safety Seminar Schedule

Saturday, January 15th
9:00am – 3:00pm Aviation Trade Show
9:00am – 9:50am Aircraft Operational Limitations - Jeff Edwards
10:00am – 10:50am Safety Trends in General Aviation  - FAA/DPE Panel
11:00am – 12:00pm State of the Industry/ Business Aspects of Flight Instruction  - Rod Hightower
12:00pm – 1:00pm Break/Lunch
1:00pm – 1:50pm Crossing the Atlantic: Risk Management/Risk Intervention Strategies  - Erik Lindbergh/Gregg Maryniak

Sunday, January 16th
10:30am – 11:20am Safety is No Accident (Takeoffs/Landings/Low Altitude Maneuvering) -  Ralph Hood
11:30am – 12:20am Runway Incursions - Al Gorthy
12:20pm – 1:00pm Break/Lunch
1:00pm – 1:45pm Learning to fly 8 To 80 - John Teipen
2:00pm – 3:00pm Learn to Fly/Youth Aviation Programs

For more information, visit