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, October 27, 2015

SAFECON Region VI Competition in St. Louis: Friday Awards Night

By Carmelo Turdo
St. Louis University's Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology was proud to host SAFECON Region VI competition last week at St. Louis Downtown Airport.  The week-long event was sponsored by the National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) to encourage college student aviators to interact with fellow students at other institutions while sharpening their flying skills and aviation knowledge.  Thanks to the perfect weather all week and the excellent teamwork shown by staff and competitors, Friday's scheduled makeup schedule was not needed.  All that remained was the awards ceremony held Friday evening at St. Louis University's DuBourg Hall.  Though the official results are yet to be published, the awards reflect the scoring submitted by the NIFA judges following all events.

The participating teams and NIFA staff gathered in the beautiful arched plank and panel Sinquefield Stateroom on the fourth floor of DuBourg Hall for the awards banquet.  The team members formed a buffet line that snaked around sculptures of Native American icons, including Geronimo, as photos of the week's SAFECON activities from The Aero Experience were shown on a screen at center stage.  Anticipation filled the hall as the banquet progressed and pleasantries were expressed by several speakers.  The event was emceed by Amy Preis, SAFECON Region VI competition coordinator representing St. Louis University.






Amy Preis from St. Louis University Opens the awards ceremony

Chief Judge Eric Barton congratulates participants and awardees

Several members of the St. Louis University Flying Billikens earned multiple medals and trophies:
 



Members of the Oklahoma State University team accept the Overall School Team Award:
 

SAFECON Region VI competition coordinator Amy Preis is honored:
 

Several Teams remained for group photos:
 
St. Louis University Flying Billikens



Overall Top Performing Team Oklahoma State University
 The Aero Experience thanks NIFA, St. Louis University Flying Billikens, Ideal Aviation, the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum, St. Louis Downtown Airport, and the participating teams for their hospitality during our week-long coverage of the SAFECON Region VI competition in St. Louis.  Check back soon for a wrap-up, including exclusive cockpit views of practice spot-landings with St. Louis University Flying Billikens Coach, Jack Schwarz.  

Thursday, October 22, 2015

SAFECON Region VI Competition in St. Louis: Message Drop and Pre-Flight Events



By Carmelo Turdo
St. Louis University's Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology is proud to host SAFECON Region VI competition this week at St. Louis Downtown Airport.  The week-long event is sponsored by the National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) to encourage college student aviators to interact with fellow students at other institutions while sharpening their flying skills and aviation knowledge.  Today's activities included the Message Drop Event and Pre-Flight Event, again held at St. Louis Downtown Airport. 

It was another early start Thursday for the young pilots as they gathered for the Message Drop Event.  Throughout the morning, 3-4 aircraft flying in nine heats approached two targets on the ground near Runway 12L/30R.  As the aircraft passed overhead at about 200 feet, the Drop Master tossed a message box with a streamer attached toward the target.  A few came close to the target, though most were a hundred feet or more away when they landed.  It was a very challenging event, and The Aero Experience was there for the morning briefing, the weighing of the message boxes and on station near the second target to catch the action.  As can be seen in this sequence, some of the message boxes landed in the marshy area near a running stream to the north of the runway.
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The second scheduled activity on Thursday was the Pre-Flight Event.  Three contestants per college were given fifteen minutes each (in separate sessions) to find as many safety discrepancies on an aircraft as possible.  The aircraft used was one of the St. Louis University Flying Billikens Diamond DA20 Eclipse trainers seen flying daily over the airport.  Featured here are the representatives from Oklahoma State University and Parks College of St. Louis University during their sessions.
 
 
 
 
 




















Thanks to exceptional weather and great teamwork from all of the colleges and event staff, the SAFECON Region VI 2015 official events were completed a day early.  Tomorrow evening will be the awards banquet at the St. Louis University academic campus.  The Aero Experience will be there and report the results this weekend! 

The Aero Experience thanks Parks College of St. Louis University, NIFA staff, The St. Louis University Flying Billikens, and the visiting teams for being extremely helpful and for making The Aero Experience feel welcome during their competition this week.  We also thank the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum for hosting Wednesday evening's open house and Fly-In featuring Trans States Airlines.  More comprehensive coverage of the week's activities will be featured in our wrap-up feature story coming soon!  

SAFECON Region VI Competition in St. Louis: Precision Landings and Museum Open House

By Carmelo Turdo
St. Louis University's Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology is proud to host SAFECON Region VI competition this week at St. Louis Downtown Airport.  The week-long event is sponsored by the National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) to encourage college student aviators to interact with fellow students at other institutions while sharpening their flying skills and aviation knowledge.  Today's activities included the Power Off Landing Event, Short-Field Landing Event, and an evening social event held at the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum.
 
The Day began with another spectacular sunrise at St. Louis Downtown Airport, just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. Competitors from the St. Louis University Flying Billikens and the visiting college teams assembled early Wednesday morning to prepare for the precision landing events.  The first, the Power Off Landing Event, tested the pilot's ability to fly an approach to land on the target line with the engine at idle power from the downwind entry into the pattern.  Next came the Short-Field Landing Event, which like the previous event, tested the pilot's ability to land on the target line using some engine power, though it can not be increased during the approach.  Both events use a target area marked 100 feet before and 200 feet after the target line, and pilots are graded as to where the right wheel touches and remains on the runway in relation to the target line.  Nine heats of 3-4 aircraft flew for each event throughout the day: 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
On Wednesday evening, the collegiate teams and other guests visited the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum and aircraft on static display nearby.  Trans States Airlines brought in an Embraer ERJ-145LR from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, and the flying team members enjoyed touring the aircraft and discussed career opportunities with Trans States Airlines.  Also on display were Beech T-34 and Nanchang CJ-6 warbirds, Robinson R44 helicopter, a powered parachute, and Garmin-equipped Cirrus SR22.  The museum exhibits were well received, especially the restored F-4 Phantom II cockpit and the Lockheed Jetstar.  Here are some scenes from a great evening with our friends in aviation:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Aero Experience will continue our coverage of the SAFECON Region VI Competition Thursday as the teams compete in the Message Drop Event and Preflight Event.