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

Sunday, December 23, 2012

St. Louis Aerospace Community Mourns the Passing of Albert J. Morgan, McDonnell Douglas Machinist

(Dignity Memorial photo)
Albert retired from McDonnell Douglas after approx 30 years as an All-Around machinist for aircraft in Building 27. He trained machinists for getting upgraded to the All-Around Classification, and at one time or another he operated every machine from the smallest to the largest, from the most simple to the most complex, in his Department, as well as working in the EC room many years on all contracted programs and special projects.

Albert was given the exclusive task to machine all the miniature Arches for incoming VIP's. He drilled all the holes in the hatches for the first manned spacecraft, also machined the brackets for their fire extinguishers.  When he retired, he was given one of the Arches fixed onto a wooden stand with an inscribed nameplate. Albert took great pride in his work and chose "Quality first above Quantity". He received numerous recognitions for his excellent standard of perfection.

There will be a Military Funeral with Honors. Doing the Honors will be Albert's son-in-law Terry Moorman and friend Joe Cylbalski, both Veterans and employee's of Boeing.

Albert J Morgan: February 5, 1929 - December 21, 2012
Albert J. Morgan passed away on Dec. 21, 2012. he was the beloved father of Richard (Kathy), Thomas (Jean), Roger E, and James Morgan, and Katherine (Terry) Moorman; Dear grandfather of Rebecca, Christine, Thomas Jr., Timothy, Wendy, Amanda, Kelly, Erica, Melissa, Melanie, James Jr., Anastasia, Trinity, Jessica and Kelly; beloved great-grandfather of Haley, McKenzie, Gabrielle, Elijah, Matthew, Eliana, Morgan and Logan.
SERVICES: Funeral Service 9:30 a.m., Mon. Dec. 24, 2012, Alexander-White-Mullen Funeral Home, 11101 St. Charles Rock Road, St. Ann, Mo. 63074. Visitation at the funeral home 1 p.m. 5 p.m. Sun. Dec. 23.

(Information for this posting provided by Ruth Trammel and Dignity Memorial).

Friday, December 21, 2012

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2012: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Airport

By Fred Harl
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2012 was a great destination for thousands of pilots and aviation enthusiasts, but sometimes the travel to Oshkosh, especially when taking the RV ground route, can be an adventure in itself.  On a fuel stop during our trip from southeast Missouri, we noticed a crop duster doing his thing over a nearby field, and had to capture the moment.  This Air Tractor AT-502B, one of over 600 manufactured with a 500 gallon capacity, made multiple runs as we watched the gas pump meter spin out of control.  Here are some views of that Air Tractor:

Monday, December 17, 2012

Air-to-Air with Citabria and Swift

By Fred "Ho Ho Ho" Harl
Today we will take a short break from EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2012 coverage to bring you some air-to-air shots from a recent flight with Santa.  We took off from Farmington, MO Airport and formed up with Mr. Larry McCormick of Mac Air for a local flight on a beautiful Indian Summer day.  The Targets for today's photo session were a Champion 7ECA Citabria and a Globe GC-1B Swift, both the pride of Farmington.  Of course, Santa had to get his photo taken as always, and we obliged him (although he's looking a little peaked and thin these days).  We'll give him enough donuts to get up to peak sleigh weight by Christmas.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2012: KC-135 Tanker From Wisconsin ANG

By Fred Harl
A KC-135R Stratotanker from the 128th ARW, Wisconsin ANG based at General Mitchell Air National Guard Base in Milwaukee was another "heavy" on hand at this year's AirVenture.  The importance of the air refuelling mission is self-evident in the age of fuel-thirsty jets.  The KC-135 featured here is 62-3512, converted from an "A" to re-engined "R" model, and now in its 50th year of service.  

(128th ARW graphic)


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Physics of Santa's Flight Confirm Annual Sightings

(Simon Howden/ image)

Have you even wondered about the physics behind Santa's annual round-the-world flight? Check the link below, and you may be surprised at how he pulls it off! (OK, a little magic may be needed to get things rolling). Enjoy! Merry Christmas!

He might also get little help now and then!

( photo)

U.S. Navy Blue Angels Headline the Return of the Spirit of St. Louis Airshow in 2014

Press Release:

Navy Blue Angels to highlight return of Spirit of St. Louis Air Show

ST. LOUIS, Dec. 11, 2012 – The Blue Angels, the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, will perform in St. Louis on May 3 & 4, 2014, the team recently announced.
The Blue Angels performances will headline the first air show to be held at Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield since 2007.
The year 2014 marks the fiftieth anniversary of Spirit of St. Louis Airport, and there is no better milestone for which to bring back one of the most popular air shows in the Midwest, and there certainly is no better flight demonstration to feature than the Blue Angels,” said John Bales, president of the Spirit of St. Louis Air Show committee and Spirit of St. Louis Airport director. “We are incredibly excited for St. Louis to be able to experience the breath-taking, inspirational experience the Blue Angels deliver whenever they perform.”
During the 2011 season, more than 11 million spectators watched the Blue Angels perform.  Since its inception in 1946, the Blue Angels have performed for more than 484 million fans.
In addition to the Blue Angels, the two-day air show will feature numerous flying and ground aircraft displays, in addition to a “Aspire and Achieve Pavilion” that houses displays and activities to spotlight local and national efforts to advance science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) initiatives, as well as those to serve active-duty military personnel and veterans.
For more than a century, St. Louis has been the birthplace and home of some of our nation’s greatest heroes of aviation and space,” Bales said. “The 2014 Spirit of St. Louis Air Show salutes not only those military veterans and pioneers of industry who founded that aerospace legacy, but also those who sustain it today and those who will carry it forward by leveraging the rich STEM resources that fuel our community. We believe they are tomorrow’s heroes.”
Proceeds from the not-for-profit Spirit of St. Louis Air show will be donated to local charities. More details regarding the air show will be announced in upcoming months.

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2012: Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano

By Fred Harl
An interesting aircraft on display midweek was a privately-owned Embraer EMB-314B1 Super Tucano operated by Tactical Air Support, Inc. of Reno, NV.  This Super Tucano, a civil variant of the sophisticated trainer/armed   reconnaissance aircraft from the Defense and Security division of the wildly successful Brazilian Embraer aerospace company, is used for close air support simulation for U.S. military forces.  Tactical Air Support Inc. purports to have 14 weapons school instructors with experience in all aspects of military air operations, also flying the L-29 Super Delfin with P&W J-60 engines to simulate the A-10 class of attack aircraft.  For more information on Tactical Air Support, Inc. please visit


Friday, December 7, 2012

Missouri Aviation Historical Society Meeting December 20

Commemorating Pearl Harbor Day: CAF's Tora! Tora! Tora! Team

Thank You World War II Veterans for Preserving Our Nation!

December 7, 1941...

Four Years Later...

(Mark Nankivil photo)

Fifty Years Later...

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2012: Blue Angels Leader F/A-18C Hornet

By Fred Harl
The U.S. Navy Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Squadron leader's plane was on display early in the week near the "heavies," the C-17 and Orbis International DC-10.  The legacy McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C Hornet was at the time assigned to Captain Greg McWherter, leader of the 2009 and 2010 teams, who returned to lead the remainder of the 2011 and 2012 seasons after Commander Dave Koss resigned from the team lead position in May 2011 after performing a formation maneuver below minimum altitude at a Lynchburg, Va airshow.  The teams led by Captain McWherter have been featured in previous posts, including an appearance at the St. Louis Science Center at the dedication of a Blue Angels F/A-18B No. 7 display in 2010.  The 2012 team schedule can be seen at