Greetings from The Aero Experience Team

Greetings!



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












Tuesday, April 30, 2013

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2012: QF-4E Phantom II

By Fred Harl
Over the last decade, aviation enthusiasts and history buffs have been given the opportunity to share a timeless experience: the raw power and performance of the F-4 Phantom II more than two decades after its retirement.  Thanks to U.S. Air Force Ltc. Jerry "Jive" Kerby, then Commander of the 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron and first Heritage Flight F-4 pilot, the manned QF-4E is now a regular participant on the airshow circuit.  There's nothing like feeling the earth rumble under the power of the J79 jet engines spitting fire and smoke as the Phantom rolls and rolls and rolls then pops up and speeds out of sight.  The QF-4E at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2012, s/n 74-1638, was fittingly from the 82nd Aerial Target (Detachment 1) at Tyndall AFB, FL.  Here are some views of the aircraft:










          

FedEx Express Boeing 727 Walk Around: Donated Aircraft Shines in the Midwestern Sun

By Carmelo Turdo
A little over a week ago, a FedEx Express Boeing 727 was delivered to St. Louis Downtown Airport as the first installment of a future regional emergency services training center.  The overcast conditions that day made it difficult to fully appreciate the gleaming white jet as it landed and parked in front of the airport fire station for the acceptance ceremony. The sun has finally appeared, making the classic 727 shape stand out among the other aircraft at the Jet Aviation ramp.  The Aero Experience is privileged to bring you continuing coverage of the aircraft as it is transformed in the coming months.  Here is a walk around tour as it appeared yesterday in the morning sunshine:








 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Gateway Area Ultralight Club Will Hold Second Carburetor Seminar

Mark Smith returns to St Louis venue all the way from Posey Patch, Indiana.

World Renown aviator, instructor and social butterfly, returns to conduct class at KCPS, Downtown St. Louis Airport
. 


Saturday, 11 May,  9am - 1pm Carburetor Seminar

Explore the world of the BING carburetor and all its complexities


Location: The new home of EAA Chapter 64, located at the foot of the old Air Traffic Control Tower at CPS across the runway from the Fire Station Media Room where we met previously.

CHAPTER 64 HAS A NEW HOME!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Donated FedEx Express Boeing 727 to Become Part of Regional Emergency Services Training Center

 
(Carmelo Turdo)
By Carmelo Turdo
FedEx Express delivered a retired Boeing 727-2D4 freighter to St. Louis Downtown Airport last Friday amid an atmosphere of great anticipation by airport management and invited guests from the greater St. Louis aviation community.  The jet taxied to the Jet Aviation ramp in front of the airport fire station following its final landing at 10:33am local time as Flight 9041 from Indianapolis.  Shortly thereafter, the crew exited the aircraft and a ceremony was held inside the fire house garage due to unusually brisk weather conditions.  The aircraft, which has a unique relationship to the St. Louis area, will become the centerpiece of a new regional emergency response training center that will be developed at St. Louis Downtown Airport in the coming months.  The Aero Experience team coverage of the delivery flight will bring to you the final landing and the unique history of the aircraft that will soon be prepared to live out its retirement years training the next generation of emergency responders and aircraft crew members.

 
Director McDaniel (Mark Nankivil)
Bob McDaniel, St. Louis Downtown Airport Director, gave credit to Fire Chief Mike Mavrogeorge for the vision and hard work leading up to the delivery of the FedEx Express Boeing 727 as a first step toward establishing the regional emergency response training center.  "We're standing here today because of one person (Chief Mavrogeorge)," he said in his introductory remarks following the arrival of the aircraft.  "A few months ago, the Fire Chief came to me with a wild idea and a dream to obtain an airline-type aircraft for emergency response training...I said if you think you can make it happen, go for it.  And then I stepped back out of his way.  And here we are today."  Director McDaniel is always quick to give credit to those on his team who accomplish great things, and with his continued leadership, the training center will flourish as another success story at Illinois' third busiest airport.

Fire Chief Mavrogeorge in 727 cockpit (Mark Nankivil)
Fire Chief Mike Mavrogeorge described his vision of the 727's purpose following its delivery flight. "This is the first component of a dream to develop a regional training site that will be available to police, fire and EMS personnel.  The best training is realistic training, and you can’t get any better than that (the B727).”  He added that firefighters and EMS personnel could conduct rescue training, and police and SWAT teams would focus on counter-terrorism.  “As a Fire Chief," he continued, "I am very fortunate to have the support of my agency (Bi-State Development Agency/Metro) that allows me to pursue these types of opportunities and my aggressive vision for our fire department.”


President/CEO of Bi-Sate Development Agency/Metro John Nations (Carmelo Turdo)
President and CEO of Bi-State Development Agency/Metro John Nations thanked FedEx and praised the progress the airport is making in the region. Turning to Fire Chief Mavrogeorge, he said, “I am proud to acknowledge our airport fire department that has been in operation here since 2008.  Under the guidance of a tremendous Fire Chief, Mike Mavrogeorge, it continues to lead the way in safety and training initiatives."  He continued, "Because of our relationship with Fedex and your donation, our people will be better trained, our public will be safer, and the quality of life in our region will be greatly enhanced.  They (airport management) will lead the effort to refurbish the interior of the Boeing 727, working with the staff of the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum and our colleagues at Jet Aviation.  Jet Aviation has a history of doing maintenance and repair work for the Fedex corporate fleet at its facilities here and their team has agreed to assist in preparing the aircraft for its new mission.  We greatly appreciate the role they will play.”

FedEx Advisor, Aircraft Acquisition and Sales Beth Rush (Carmelo Turdo)
Representing FedEx Express was Beth Rush, Advisor, Aircraft Acquisition and Sales.  "Today, we’ll talk about our fuel efficient airplanes, which is the reason we are here," she said.  "We are replacing our 3-engine, 3-person cockpit with the 757 which is a 2-engine, 2-person cockpit.  This will allow for fuel savings, improve our environmental footprint and have aircraft to donate to educational training programs such as the one here at St. Louis Downtown Airport."  Rush described the many community outreach programs in place at FedEx Express, and made the direct connection to the Boeing 727 donation.  Another 'right thing' that FedEx does is help our communities, specifically organizations that help drive training and education for aviation careers. This includes St. Louis Downtown Airport for its influence that helps drive young people to our industry; the community of St. Louis is making a positive difference for our profession."  Following her remarks, Rush presented John Nations with a model of the FedEx Express Boeing 727. 
 
President and CEO of Bi-State Development Agency/Metro John Nations receives a model of the FedEx Express Boeing 727 from FedEx Aircraft Acquisition and Sales Advisor Beth Rush (Mark Nankivil)
Illinois Division of Aeronautics Director Dr. Susan Shea (Mark Nankivil)
Illinois Division of Aeronautics Director Dr. Susan Shea was also present at the delivery of the aircraft.  “Fedex brought in the most important piece of safety equipment at an airport – a real plane…This is real time, real life, hands-on,” she said.  Dr. Shea  explained how the usual emergency training is conducted in a fairly static environment, using props and stand-ins.  She went on to describe how using the  FedEx Express Boeing 727 will lend unparalleled credibility to the training that will be conducted at the new training center for emergency service agencies from surrounding Missouri and Illinois counties.

"Captain" Jack Nankivil and Mark Nankivil in 727 cockpit
The potential for educational use of the FedEx Express aircraft is very promising.  Mark Nankivil, President of the Greater St.Louis Air & Space Museum, has been an early advocate of obtaining a transport aircraft for education and aerospace advocacy programs.  "The Museum is excited to be partnering with the airport to use and take care of the 727.   This is a special event for all of us, and we look forward to making the most of the opportunity we've been presented with her arrival.  We are offering a number of airliner seats for installation in the forward cabin education center, and the museum is also assisting in the search for a permanent set of stairs to access the jet.  Work on educational programs will accelerate as time nears for relocating the aircraft."     
 
The FedEx Express Boeing 727-2D4 cargo jet arrived at St. Louis Downtown Airport in biting cold and cloudy weather.  The aircraft, one of the few remaining in U.S. service with a three-person flight crew, was flown by Captain Bryan Pender, First Officer Robert Dittman and Second Officer Jason Redenius.  Following the landing, the aircraft was given a water cannon salute by the pumper crew of the St. Louis Downtown Airport Fire Department as it taxied to the Jet Aviation ramp across from the fire station.  Following the acceptance ceremony, the Boeing 727 was available for tours by those in attendance.  Here are some views of the landing and aircraft tours:

(Jack Nankivil)


(Mark Nankivil)



(Mark Nankivil)



(Carmelo Turdo)


(Carmelo Turdo)


(Carmelo Turdo)


(Mark Nankivil)


(Carmelo Turdo)


(Carmelo Turdo)


(Carmelo Turdo)


(Carmelo Turdo)
 
(Carmelo Turdo)
 

Captain Pender, First Officer Dittman, Second Officer Redenius (Carmelo Turdo)

(Carmelo Turdo)

(Carmelo Turdo)

(Carmelo Turdo)


(Carmelo Turdo)


(Mark Nankivil)


(Mark Nankivil)
N362PA at Boeing Field, Jan. 17, 1980 (Jon Proctor)
The FedEx Express Boeing 727 donated to the St. Louis Downtown Airport, the 70th such donation since 2000, has a connection to the St. Louis area.  The aircraft was first delivered to Ozark Airlines in October 1979 as N721ZK, s/n 21850.  The third iteration of Ozark Airlines emerged after Parks Airlines failed to begin operations from Parks Metropolitan Airport (now St. Louis Downtown Airport) near St. Louis as directed by the Civil Aeronautics Board in 1947.  This Ozark Airlines began operations in 1950 using four former Parks Airlines DC-3s.  According to Jon Proctor, Aviation Journalist and Historian, N721ZK had been sold to Pan Am by Ozark prior to delivery, then leased back by Boeing for flight testing.  Interestingly, in Proctor's photo, the aircraft, now designated N362PA and owned by Pan American World Airways, appears in Ozark Airlines colors but with Pan American registration.  Pan American operated N362PA as "Clipper Frankfurt" from 1980 through 1991, and then it was acquired by FedEx Express in 1993 as N288FE.  The aircraft is currently name "Michelle."  Beth Rush from FedEx Express explains:  "At FedEx we have the tradition of naming our aircraft after the children of employees, and that is why you will note the name 'Michelle' on the side of the aircraft.  Michelle is the daughter of Martin Angell, who was a package handler in the Heathrow Gateway Operation in Great Britain. Michelle has completed her degree in Child Care and works for a nursery; she is continuing her education."   
 
The Boeing 727 will now undergo interior modifications for the future education and training roles it will assume as part of Fire Chief Mike Mavrogeorge's vision of a regional emergency response training center at St. Louis Downtown Airport.  It will be an exciting time for Midwest Aviation as this initiative gains momentum and becomes a model for other metropolitan areas.  Special thanks to St. Louis Downtown Airport management, Bi-State Development Agency/Metro, FedEx Express, Illinois Department of Aeronautics, and Jet Aviation for their assistance in the acquisition of the aircraft and the preparation of this article.