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

Saturday, November 17, 2012

St. Louis Community College St. Louis Aerospace Institute Hosts EAA Chapter 64

By Carmelo Turdo
The St. Louis Aerospace Institute, a collaborative effort between St. Louis Community College, industry partners and the Department of Labor, recently hosted EAA Chapter 64 for its monthly meeting and orientation to the facility.  Initially planned as a training program for prospective Boeing Company assembly workers, the program has gained additional partners and has blossomed into an aerospace production training center featuring these current hands-on courses: Mechanical Blueprint Reading, Basic Aerospace SMAR Training,  Intermediate Aerospace SMAR Training, Aerospace Assembly: Electrical, Mechanical and Composites.  A Certificate of Specialization in Skilled Trades Industrial Occupations Technology is available upon completion of required curriculum.  Current industry partners include The Boeing Company, Essex Industries, GKN Aerospace, St. Louis Business Aviation Association, Kemco Aerospace Manufacturing, LMI Aerospace, Jet Aviation, Sabreliner Corporation, Pattonville High School, St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment, St. Louis County Workforce Investment Board, St. Louis Public School District, and Ritenour High School.  The faculty and staff at the St. Louis Aerospace Institute stayed into the evening to host a large contingent of EAA Chapter 64 members (many of which also are members of the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum), providing a tour of the facility and a special discussion of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) that included a power-up demonstration of several scale radio-controlled aircraft built and flown by Mr. Jack Beetz, professor of carbon fiber fabrication and assembly.  During the meeting, it was agreed that the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum would loan its BD-5 Microjet aircraft for display in the lobby, and it was delivered several days later (see last photo below). 

For more information about the St. Louis Aerospace Institute, please visit

Special thanks to Mr. Paul Voorhees, assembly instructor, Ms Becky Epps, Program Manager, Mr. Jack Beetz and the entire staff for hosting the event.  

Here are some highlights of the visit:

Program Manager Becky Epps Welcomes EAA 64 Members

Instructor Paul Voorhees describes metal work projects

Another look at the rivet practice piece

Parts bins are highly organized and well stocked

Aircraft bolt and safety wire project

Mechanical/Electrical Lab project

Jack Beetz discusses carbon-fiber projects in the lab

Carbon-fiber project in the lab

Kiln used in the Carbon-Fiber Lab

Carbon-fiber projects in the lab

Jack Beetz demonstrates his unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)

Jack Beetz shows the group his Skywalker UAV

Jack Beetz demonstrates his control unit for the Skywalker

Jack Beetz gave a presentation on current UAVs

BD-5 Microjet in the facility's lobby (Becky Epps photo)

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