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

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Plane & Pilot Midwest LSA Expo is “The Place to be for Sport Aviation This Fall!”

The Plane & Pilot Midwest LSA Expo is “The Place to be for Sport Aviation This Fall!” See over 40 Light Sport Aircraft, including Part 103 and Gyroplanes on one easily accessible and demo friendly flightline. Shop for the latest in aviation gadgets in the Wicks Aircraft & Motorsports Exhibitor Hall. Sit in one or many informative seminars/forums presented by the best in the industry. It’s all here. It’s September 6 - 8, 2012. And it’s at Mt. Vernon Outland Airport (KMVN), Mt. Vernon, Illinois!
The debut of the ultimate bushplane, the “Superstol” by Just Aircraft
The world’s first fully aerobatic LSA, the Lycoming Powered FK-12 “Comet”
Arion Lightning LS-1, new tail feathers and all
“FlyCool” air conditioned LSA - Alto, Tecnam, and Sport Cruiser
Rotax 582, 65hp, Challenger Light Sport
A one-time entry fee of $5 allows access to the fun for all three days. Great prizes will be raffled on the hour, every hour, with winners notified via text or e-mail courtesy of ProjectResourcesIT, LLC.
Visit , call (618) 315-5462, or e-mail for more information.
Description: cid:image001.jpg@01CD86E9.2ECC1100

Monday, August 27, 2012

Red Tails Art Exhibit Opens at Jefferson Barracks Heritage Foundation

By Carmelo Turdo
The Jefferson Barracks Heritage Foundation opened an art exhibit this weekend honoring the service of the Tuskegee Airmen, the famous "Red Tails" of World War II.  The artist, Mr. William Curtis, was on hand to explain the images on the various panels that tell the story of the African-American 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group.  Several Tuskegee Airmen were present for the exhibit opening day: Captain Christopher Newman, Lt. Everett Bratcher, and Clara White, wife of the late Hugh J. White.  In addition to the art exhibit, memorabilia from Mr. Myron Lane was on display, along with several large models and uniform items on loan from the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum.  The exhibit will be at the Foundation Museum through November.  Here are some scenes from the preview:


Front: Clara White, Lt. Everett Bratcher; Back: Myron Lane, William Curtis (artist), Capt. Christopher Newman(Myron Lane photo)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Missouri Aviation Historical Society Meeting August 30 Will Feature Guadalcanal Veteran

Missouri Aviation Historical Society Meeting on August 30

The Missouri Aviation Historical Society is a group of folks with a love of aircraft, and we are striving to locate 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 created 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.
 Please plan to join us, on Thursday, August 30th at our new west county meeting location at Creve Coeur Airport. Kirkwood veteran Tom Mohan, who was a gunner with the "Red Devils" of VMSB-232, will take us back to the early days of WWII, on Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, and give us his view from the back seat of a Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless. The meeting starts at 7 PM, admission is free, and refreshments will be served. For driving directions please visit the Creve Coeur Airport website at:  We will be meeting in the hangar which adjoins the airport terminal. If you have any questions please let me know. Hope to see you there! Dan O’Hara President Missouri Aviation Historical Society 573-529-2539

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sightings: Rare PZL M28 Skytruck Special Operations Aircraft Makes Stop in St. Louis Area

By Carmelo Turdo
A rare PZL Mielec (now Sikorsky) M28-05 Skytruck, one of nine operated by the USAF Special Operations Command 318th Special Operations Squadron at Cannon AFB, Clovis, NM made a stop at St. Louis Downtown Airport recently for a series of weekend training missions.  The aircraft, manufactured at the Sikorsky plant in Poland, is a modern derivative of the Russian AN-28 that provides a rugged, turbo-prop transport and resupply capability for small teams operating behind enemy lines.  Interestingly, the ten M28s are civil registered to USAF Special Operations Command headquartered at Hurlburt Field, FL.  After an overnight stay, the two crew members were preparing for a training flight when mechanical trouble forced the return of the aircraft to the ramp after engine run-ups.  The aircraft later moved on to its next destination, but not before providing the local aviation community with an interesting Sighting!


Sunday, August 12, 2012

EAA Chapter 32 Gives Young Eagle Flights In Variety of Aircraft at St. Charles County Smartt Airport

By Carmelo Turdo
EAA Chapter 32 provided Young Eagle flights to area youth at St. Charles County Smartt Airport this weekend.  The Young Eagles program offers first flights to those aged 8-17 years old and a student membership in EAA that provides additional training towards obtaining a private pilot's license.  A variety of aircraft were available for the flights, including a 1942 Stearman biplane, homebuilt RV, Cessna 172, Piper Cherokee, Beechcraft Bonanza, R22 helicopter, among others.  EAA Chapter 32 is very active in the Young Eagles program, and provides flights monthly during the summer.  Check the EAA Chapter 32 website at for the next Young Eagles flight date.

F-84F Thunderstreak Display Receives Facelift and Commemorative Marker

By Carmelo Turdo
The F-84F Thunderstreak on display at Wilson Park in Granite City, IL is looking good after being repainted by Granite City Park District employees last fall.  Last October, the display received a commemoraive marker as a result of an Eagle Scout project completed by Jonathan Kersten, 18, a member of Boy Scout Troop 1046 in Pontoon Beach.  The F-84, manufactured by General Motors for Republic Aviation, was flown from Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio to nearby Scott AFB, and then airlifted to the site by a Skycrane helicopter. The aircraft was dedicated on October 30, 1971 and is sponsored by AMVETS Post 51.  For more information on the restoration, please visit

Here are some views of the aircraft and the marker:

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Flying in a 1941 Waco Biplane Over St. Louis Is Unforgettable Experience

By Carmelo Turdo
Exciting things are happening at St. Louis Downtown Airport, home of the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum and a new attraction - Kevin Kegin's 1941 Waco UPF-7 biplane.  Kevin and the museum are teaming up to invite you to take a flight in his beautiful Waco.  The Aero Experience recently flew in the Waco with Kevin, a 10,000 hour pilot, A&P mechanic and good old fashioned barnstormer.  There's nothing like a tour of the St. Louis riverfront in an open cockpit biplane, gently banking for a closer look at the Mississippi River and surrounding areas.  Contact Kevin at for your reservation.  While you are at the airport, visit the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum Friday-Sunday, 10am-4pm.  Here are some scenes from a recent flight in the Waco: