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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, January 31, 2013

EAA Chapter 64 Meeting Features Program Director for the Center for Aviation Safety Research

By Carmelo Turdo
EAA Chapter 64, based at historic Curtiss-Wright Hangar 2 at St. Louis Downtown Airport, hosted Dr. Damon Lercel, Program Director for the Center for Aviation Safety Research at Parks College of St. Louis University ( at the February 5 meetingDr. Lercel has extensive experience with the FAA on Surface Movement Advisor ( SMA ). The FAA just approved more that 10,000 civilian Unmanned Aerial Vehicles ( UAV ) to be flown in our national airspace system.  Dr. Lercel  has exceptional knowledge of the forthcoming ( UAV ) introduction to our airways. Further, he has significant experience in commercial and corporate aviation and maintains interest in Safety Management Systems ( SMS ) and Next Generation Aviation Maintenance. 
Dr. Lercel has earned his FAA Airframe and Power plant Certificate, FAA Private Pilot Certificate and Federal Radio Communications Commission's General Radiotelephone Operators License. He holds a Masters in Business Administration and Bachelor of Science in Aviation Operations and just completed his Ph.D. in Aviation from Saint Louis University.

Dr. Lercel discussed FAA-funded Center for Aviation Safety Research, including current projects in the areas of safety management, development courses and research including Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS).  In the coming months, St. Louis University will receive Taurus and Zagi UAS vehicles and a simulator (to be integrated with air traffic control).  Partners in UAS research include Williams Aerospace, General Dynamics, and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency.  A major part of the UAS research project involves the integration of UAS vehicles into controlled airspace.  Flights at the Cannon Range at Fort Leonard Wood have been performed, and the search for additional airspace for testing in Missouri or eastern Illinois continues.

More on the Center for Aviation Safety Research will be forthcoming in a future post.

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