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, October 9, 2011

Youth Gateway to Aviation Day Provides Young Eagle First Flights and Hands-On Experiences for Hundreds of Scouts In St. Louis Area

Hundreds of Scouts descended upon St. Louis Downtown Airport in Cahokia this weekend for Youth Gateway to Aviation Day.  The Event was sponsored by Parks College of St. Louis, along with EAA Chapter 64, The Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum, Wicks Aircraft Supply, Boeing, and many other aerospace organizations.  Only 2 weeks following EAA 64's successful EAA Ford Trimotor weekend event, local EAA chapters again banded together to accomplish the impressive feat of giving nearly 300 Young Eagle flights to scouts encamped at the airport.  Flying over a dozen aircraft, from a 1937 Waco YKS-7 to a Robinson R44 Raven II helicopter, and using the museum's historic Curtiss-Wright Hangar 2 as the operating base, EAA and local pilots were in action all day Saturday providing that vital first flight experience to the next generation of aviators.  Other exhibitors provided hands-on experiences to the Scouts  throughout the day, and aerospace giants, such as former NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz (of Apollo 13 era) and EAA President and CEO Rod Hightower, inspired youth and adults alike to pursue excellence and aviation activities and careers.  Here are some scenes from Saturday's activities:

Local Scout Troops Gather at St. Louis Downtown Airport

Sprawling camp grounds give Scouts a view of St. Louis Gateway Arch

Illinois Scout units were well represented

Excellence in Scouting worn with pride 

The Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum Hosts Scouts and Pilots

Parks College Diamond trainer parked near museum's Jetstar

Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum hosted EAA 64's Flight Operations

Gene Kranz visited the early morning pilot briefing at the museum

Gregg Maryniak of the St. Louis Science Center describes space artifacts to EAA President and CEO Rod Hightower

Scouts fly the latest flight simulator in the museum's hangar

EAA 64's Pietenpole is under construction in the museum's hangar

Exhibitors Provide Hands-On Experiences in Aviation Careers

Parks College Flight School had aircraft on display

Scouts were invited to learn about Parks College Diamond trainers

Rare 1929 Parks P-1 on display in Parks College hangar 

Parks P-1 tail gives away its history

National Aviation Heritage Alliance brought a Wright B Flyer simulator
Scouts gather to fly the Wright B Flyer simulator

Wicks Aircraft Supply founder Scott Wicks, EAA 64 Young Eagles Coordinator Larry Frey, and The Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum President Mark Nankivil visit the Wicks activity area

Model aircraft were constructed in the aerospace education area

A Boeing Engineer demonstrates the construction of a balsa wood model aircraft

St. Louis Challenger Learning Center Flight Director Anna Green hosted model rocket launches 

Scouts experimented with parachute aerodynamics

Gateway Eagles provided a flight simulator (See previous post for Gateway Eagles flights recently held at this location)

The Space Museum at Bonne Terre, MO was well represented

Boeing provided a Hornet/Growler flight simulator

A locally-owned Convair 440 was open for tours

The Illinois State Police displayed a Cessna 182 special mission aircraft

EAA President and CEO Rod Hightower Visits Youth Gateway to Aviation Day

EAA President and CEO Rod Hightower arrives at St. Louis Downtown Airport in an AT-6G Texan

Rod Hightower secures the AT-6G Texan after landing

Rod Hightower is welcomed to St. Louis

Gene Kranz Tops "A-List" of Speakers Providing Inspiration to Scouts

Saturday speaker schedule

The Spirit of NASA Mission Control during Apollo 13 rescue

Former NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz stresses need for leadership qualities  

Gene Kranz was Flight Director during Apollo 13 rescue operations

Gene Kranz receives a challenge coin from the Scouts

Gene Kranz talks with Scouts after his presentation

Gene Kranz speaks with a veteran after his presentation

Gene Kranz poses with St. Louis Challenger Center Flight Director Anna Green

Young Eagle First Flights Were Provided for Attending Scouts

Aircraft gather to begin Young Eagle first flights for Scouts

Scouts register for Young Eagles first flights

A Variety of Aircraft Flew Young Eagle First Flight for the Scouts

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