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

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Memorial Mass Celebrated Today for Rainy Bell, Belleville, IL Area Resident and Aviation Icon

Lorraine "Rainy" Bell (right) and Carl "Chub" Wheeler,
Greater St. Louis Area Aviation Icons (Photo by Jack Abercrombie)

Rainy A. Bell (1922 - 2010)

Rainy A. Bell, 88, of Belleville, Ill., born Feb. 19, 1922, in O'Fallon, Ill., passed away Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010, at home with wife, Carol and faithful companion Buddy at his side.

Mr. Bell retired from Army Aviation Systems Command as weapons systems manager and served in the Illinois Air National Guard. He was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church. He received the Wright Brothers Master Pilot and Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Awards, and a War Department Commendation for exceptional civilian service. He was a member of Quiet Birdmen, Illinois Pilots Association, St. Louis Soaring Society, Greater St. Louis Flight Instructors Association, Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum, Exchange Club, Thermaleers,  Masons and Shriners. He was a commercial pilot, aircraft and power plant technician, ground instructor, flight instructor, accident prevention counselor, aircraft inspector and glider pilot with a Silver Badge.

Rainy was a good and unselfish person, generous with his time, passionate about aviation, and had many life long friends.  He and Carol spent many happy days flying and at the Flying Dutchman and Aero Estates Airstrips.

(Above biography provided by

1 comment:

Unknown said...

My biological father, Dale Burgess, and Rainy were very good friends. I remember the dirt air field south west of Belleville where they both flew out of. Rainy had a Piper Cub, if I remember correctly. Dale married Rainy's sister Carol.

Deb (Burgess) Amburn