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

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

St. Louis Aerospace Institute Open House Attracts Aircraft Builders

By Carmelo Turdo
Program Manager Becky Epps
The St. Louis Aerospace Institute, a collaborative effort between St. Louis Community College, industry partners and the Department of Labor, recently hosted an open house at its Florissant Valley Center for Workforce Innovation. Several staff members - Paul Voorhees, Robert Weaver and Jack Beetz - along with Program Manager Becky Epps, provided an informative display and a tour of the facility.  Groups of visitors, many actual or potential experimental aircraft builders, took great interest in the aviation workshops that will begin in March.  These workshops, held in the state-of-the-art laboratory, will cover measurement and layout, blueprint reading, composite fabrication and assembly, sheet metal assembly, electrical wiring and mechanical-hydraulic line installation.  These workshops are condensed versions of the technical training courses offered through the St. Louis Aerospace Institute.

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

Display containing sample projects 

Instructor Robert Weaver discusses an electrical project

Instructor Paul Voorhees explains construction techniques

Composites fabrication projects

Torque project

Students complete their projects

Instructor Jack Beetz in the composites laboratory

Instructor Jack Beetz demonstrates the dust vacuum

Instructor Jack Beetz at the composites vacuum work bench 

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