Sunday, December 23, 2012

St. Louis Aerospace Community Mourns the Passing of Albert J. Morgan, McDonnell Douglas Machinist

(Dignity Memorial photo)
Albert retired from McDonnell Douglas after approx 30 years as an All-Around machinist for aircraft in Building 27. He trained machinists for getting upgraded to the All-Around Classification, and at one time or another he operated every machine from the smallest to the largest, from the most simple to the most complex, in his Department, as well as working in the EC room many years on all contracted programs and special projects.

Albert was given the exclusive task to machine all the miniature Arches for incoming VIP's. He drilled all the holes in the hatches for the first manned spacecraft, also machined the brackets for their fire extinguishers.  When he retired, he was given one of the Arches fixed onto a wooden stand with an inscribed nameplate. Albert took great pride in his work and chose "Quality first above Quantity". He received numerous recognitions for his excellent standard of perfection.

There will be a Military Funeral with Honors. Doing the Honors will be Albert's son-in-law Terry Moorman and friend Joe Cylbalski, both Veterans and employee's of Boeing.

Albert J Morgan: February 5, 1929 - December 21, 2012
Albert J. Morgan passed away on Dec. 21, 2012. he was the beloved father of Richard (Kathy), Thomas (Jean), Roger E, and James Morgan, and Katherine (Terry) Moorman; Dear grandfather of Rebecca, Christine, Thomas Jr., Timothy, Wendy, Amanda, Kelly, Erica, Melissa, Melanie, James Jr., Anastasia, Trinity, Jessica and Kelly; beloved great-grandfather of Haley, McKenzie, Gabrielle, Elijah, Matthew, Eliana, Morgan and Logan.
SERVICES: Funeral Service 9:30 a.m., Mon. Dec. 24, 2012, Alexander-White-Mullen Funeral Home, 11101 St. Charles Rock Road, St. Ann, Mo. 63074. Visitation at the funeral home 1 p.m. 5 p.m. Sun. Dec. 23.

(Information for this posting provided by Ruth Trammel and Dignity Memorial).

Friday, December 21, 2012

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2012: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Airport

By Fred Harl
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2012 was a great destination for thousands of pilots and aviation enthusiasts, but sometimes the travel to Oshkosh, especially when taking the RV ground route, can be an adventure in itself.  On a fuel stop during our trip from southeast Missouri, we noticed a crop duster doing his thing over a nearby field, and had to capture the moment.  This Air Tractor AT-502B, one of over 600 manufactured with a 500 gallon capacity, made multiple runs as we watched the gas pump meter spin out of control.  Here are some views of that Air Tractor:

Monday, December 17, 2012

Flying With The Aero Experience: Air-to-Air with Citabria and Swift

By Fred Harl
This flashback episode of Flying With The Aero Experience brings us back to a flight in December of 2012. We took off from Farmington, MO Airport and formed up with Mr. Larry McCormick of Mac Air for a local flight on a beautiful Indian Summer day.  The Targets for today's photo session were a Champion 7ECA Citabria and a Globe GC-1B Swift, both the pride of Farmington. These stunning aircraft were showing well in the clear blue skies we enjoyed that day.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2012: KC-135 Tanker From Wisconsin ANG

By Fred Harl
A KC-135R Stratotanker from the 128th ARW, Wisconsin ANG based at General Mitchell Air National Guard Base in Milwaukee was another "heavy" on hand at this year's AirVenture.  The importance of the air refuelling mission is self-evident in the age of fuel-thirsty jets.  The KC-135 featured here is 62-3512, converted from an "A" to re-engined "R" model, and now in its 50th year of service.  

(128th ARW graphic)


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Physics of Santa's Flight Confirm Annual Sightings

(Simon Howden/ image)

Have you even wondered about the physics behind Santa's annual round-the-world flight? Check the link below, and you may be surprised at how he pulls it off! (OK, a little magic may be needed to get things rolling). Enjoy! Merry Christmas!

He might also get little help now and then!

( photo)

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2012: Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano

By Fred Harl
An interesting aircraft on display midweek was a privately-owned Embraer EMB-314B1 Super Tucano operated by Tactical Air Support, Inc. of Reno, NV.  This Super Tucano, a civil variant of the sophisticated trainer/armed   reconnaissance aircraft from the Defense and Security division of the wildly successful Brazilian Embraer aerospace company, is used for close air support simulation for U.S. military forces.  Tactical Air Support Inc. purports to have 14 weapons school instructors with experience in all aspects of military air operations, also flying the L-29 Super Delfin with P&W J-60 engines to simulate the A-10 class of attack aircraft.  For more information on Tactical Air Support, Inc. please visit


Friday, December 7, 2012

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2012: Blue Angels Leader F/A-18C Hornet

By Fred Harl
The U.S. Navy Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Squadron leader's plane was on display early in the week near the "heavies," the C-17 and Orbis International DC-10.  The legacy McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C Hornet was at the time assigned to Captain Greg McWherter, leader of the 2009 and 2010 teams, who returned to lead the remainder of the 2011 and 2012 seasons after Commander Dave Koss resigned from the team lead position in May 2011 after performing a formation maneuver below minimum altitude at a Lynchburg, Va airshow.  The teams led by Captain McWherter have been featured in previous posts, including an appearance at the St. Louis Science Center at the dedication of a Blue Angels F/A-18B No. 7 display in 2010.  The 2012 team schedule can be seen at

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Aero Experience Recognizes The Value of Teamwork At Mount Vernon Outland Airport

By Carmelo Turdo
The management and staff of Mount Vernon Outland Airport, IL were recognized Tuesday  for demonstrating outstanding teamwork in 2012.  Chris Collins, Airport Manager, was given a framed print of "Teamwork," a photo depicting the pilot and crew chief atop their P-38 Lightning fighter preparing for an early morning flight, on behalf of The Aero Experience.  The image captures the dedication of one crewman to another in support of a larger objective, and thus reflects the relationship between Mount Vernon Outland
Airport management, businesses at the airport, and the numerous volunteer organizations that make it possible for the airport to contribute nearly $19 million to the local economy.  During the annual holiday celebration, Collins reviewed the many accomplishments of the airport team in 2012, and recognized members of the team with certificates of appreciation for outstanding service. 

For more information, please visit  

In recent years, The Aero Experience has provided media support for events at Mount Vernon Outland Airport, and we again thank Chris Collins and the airport staff for the opportunity to contribute to their success. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2012: Orbis International DC-10 Flying Eye Hospital

By Fred Harl
One of my top priority assignments in covering EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2012 for The Aero Experience was to visit the Orbis International Flying Eye Hospital, a 1971 McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10 airborne eye health training and surgical center.  The importance of this feature to our team stems first and foremost from the use of aviation to perform humanitarian work around the world, a service everyone should perform sometime in their aviation career.  Add to that the use of a legacy McDonnell Douglas  (formerly St. Louis-based "Mac") DC-10 and a stop at "The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration" in Midwest Wisconsin, and you have an ideal Aero Experience.  

Orbis International, a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization, brings eye care to developing countries through direct care by volunteers and by educating local professionals to carry on the medical care for future generations.  Since 1982, Orbis International has treated nearly 19 million people around the world, and currently has about 500 active volunteer faculty members and 100 partner organizations committed to projects of at least three years in duration.  Volunteer pilots from Fedex and United Airlines fly the DC-10 to destinations such as Indonesia, China, Philippines and Vietnam, to name a few. 

Orbis International graphic
The aircraft contains a combination of classroom, operating room and recovery area.  Students in the classroom at the front of the cabin and in local hospitals can observe the surgery performed in the aircraft's operating room via data link.  For a dynamic tour of the aircraft, please visit, and for a great video, please visit

Here are some views of my tour of the DC-10:


Aircraft Update: Orbis International will transition to an MD-10, an updated aircraft and airborne medical facility that will continue to be supported by Fedex (the DC-10 is no longer in the service fleet).  For more information on the new aircraft, please visit

Special thanks to the Orbis International ( team for being at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh and for all the work they do.  For more information on what local air medical services are doing, please visit a previous post,