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, June 30, 2013

St. Louis Area Is Ready for Week of Aerial Activity to Celebrate Nation's Birthday

By Carmelo Turdo

Patty Wagstaff
The St. Louis area will be a center of aerial activity as our nation celebrates its birthday in grand fashion this week.  Fair St. Louis activities in downtown St. Louis will run from July 4-6, and include the 136th annual Veiled Prophet Parade, concerts under the Gateway Arch, and of course the incredible air show over the Mississippi River.  The Fair St. Louis US Bank Air Show lineup has just become even more impressive with the announcement that three-time U.S. National Aerobatic Champion and National Aviation Hall of Fame Member Patty Wagstaff will be performing in her home town again.  Other air show performers include:

Aeroshell Aerobatic Team
Red Bull Helicopter aerobatics flown by Chuck Aaron
Tuskegee Airmen P-51C Mustang and Rise Above Exhibit
F-4U-5 Corsair flown by Dave Folk
Jet-Powered Super Salto Sailplane flown by Bob Carlton 
Air National Guard MX-2 flown by John Klatt
RV-8 flown by former A-10 pilot Joe "Rifle" Shetterly                  
Lucas Oil Pitts S1-11B flown by Mike Wiskus
Beech 18 aerobatics flown by Matt Younkin
Liberty Jump Team

Along with the airshow activities St. Louis Downtown Airport will host aviation activities July 1-6, including:

Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum will be open all week, 10am-4pm

EAA Chapter 64 hosts the B-17, "Aluminum Overcast," available for flights at the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum July 1-3

Fly in a 1941 Waco biplane from St. Louis Biplane Rides at Ideal Aviation (reserve your flight now)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Cape Girardeau Regional Air Festival Is Midwest Aviation Airshow Success Story

By Carmelo Turdo
The Cape Girardeau Regional Air Festival has emerged as a Midwest Aviation success story this weekend.  Facing some difficulty following the cancellation of military demo teams and aircraft static displays, airshow organizers went to the Midwest Aviation community for assistance.  The result is a family-friendly event that honors our nation's veterans while providing aerial entertainment from leading regional and nationally recognized airshow performers. 

The Friday evening and Saturday  afternoon airshows featured incredible aerobatics from Kent Pietsch in his Interstate Cadet, Wayne Roberts in his Extra, Patrick McAlee in his Pitts Special, the Aerostars, Randy Ball in the afterburning MiG-17, Bill Leff in his AT-6G Texan, and fiery blasts from Paul Stender's jet School Bus as he drove it like a dragster down the runway.  Aircraft static displays included AZ CAF B-25 "Maid in the Shade," Eric Downing's EA-1E Skyraider and T-6 Texan in South African colors, and the Radial Rocket.  Activities on the ramp included the USTA SmashZone Mobile Tour, U.S. Air Force Rapid Strike Simulator and the Tuskegee Airmen Exhibit, among others.  In this first of a series of features, we present an overview of this weekend's event.  Future posts will present individual performers and insights from Airport Manager, Bruce Loy.

The Aero Experience thanks Airport Manager Bruce Loy, the airport Public Information team and all those who produced this event for their hospitality, professionalism and helpfulness during our visit.   

Here are some views from Friday's practice and evening show:

Cape Girardeau Regional Airport and Ramp Displays:

Cape Girardeau Regional Airport Terminal

Lobby and Restaurant space inside the terminal

Airport Manager Bruce Loy with Carmelo Turdo

U.S. Air Force Rapid Strike Simulator
USTA Smash Zone Tour
AZ CAF B-25 "Maid in the Shade"

Vintage military vehicles from the SEMO Military Vehicles Group

North American AT-6D Texan

Douglas EA-1E/AD-5 Skyraider

Practice Sessions:

Wayne Roberts and his Extra 300/LC

Patrick McAlee and his Pitts S-1-E

The Aerostars Team with their Yak-52TW trainers

Kent Pietsch lands his Interstate Cadet on the camper

Kent Pietsch "loses" his aileron during comedy routine

Kent Pietsch flies slow-speed aerobatics

Bill Leff flies his North American AT-6G Texan

Randy Ball flies his MiG-17

Paul Stender's Jet School Bus

Night Show: