Monday, September 30, 2013

Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum Receives Grant from Ameren Illinois for Installation of New Archive System

By Carmelo Turdo
Ameren Illinois presented the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum, located at historic Curtiss-Wright Hangar 2 at St. Louis Downtown Airport, with a $15,000 check to fund the installation of a new archive computer system.  Richard Mark, President and CEO of Ameren Illinois, visited the museum today to deliver the award to museum representatives at a ceremony held in the flight simulator bay of the nationally-registered historic hangar.  Following the grant presentation, Mr. Mark was given a ride in the McDonnell Aircraft factory cart once used by company founder James S. McDonnell to drive President John F. Kennedy on his factory tour in 1962.
“The database will be a cataloging of the museum’s entire collection and library,” said Mark Badasch, the museum’s Director.  ”This will lead to better preservation of artifacts, greater availability to the public as well as, eventually, online browsing of the collection.”  The management of the records associated with thousands of artifacts and many more historic documents and media items is a daunting task.  “Having the information on each item at your fingertips is essential for managing the collection and fulfilling our public education mission,” added Carmelo Turdo, museum 2nd Vice President.  “Implementing this system will be challenging,” Turdo continued, “but I am looking forward to learning a lot more about the collection as we proceed through the installation process.”
The Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum wishes to thank Ameren Illinois for providing the grant needed for this important project.  Members of the community are invited to visit and lend their talents to continuing the mission of the museum:
Serve the public through - preservation and display of historic air and space artifacts and by providing educational programs to foster the spirit of flight in today’s youth and in future generations.

Check Presentation (L-R): Museum Board Member Tom Ahillen, 2nd VP Carmelo Turdo, Director Mark Badasch, Ameren IL President and CEO Richard Mark, Museum President Mark Nankivil, 1st VP Rick Rehg 

 Ameren IL President and CEO Richard Mark rides past the museum’s sign in the McDonnell Aircraft factory cart  

Sunday, September 29, 2013

St. Louis Regional Airport Fly-In Brings Host of Aircraft and Surprise Visit by Canadian Forces Snowbirds Pilots

By Leo Cachat
The Aero Experience was once again privileged to be on site for the annual St. Louis Regional Airport Fly In and Car Show.  Mark Nankivil and Leo Cachat were on the ramp covering the day's activities - and what a busy day it was. The ramp was filled with aircraft of the past like the Stearman (five on hand), the T-6 Texan from Smartt Field, a Nanchang CJ-6, a T-34 Mentor, a Navion, a SF-260, several RV's, a Lancair, and other general aviation aircraft. The car show had well over 100 beautifully restored cars, and some that were not but interesting all the same.
By Mark Nankivil
The shock of the day took place as Leo was leaving for the drive back to his home in Bonne Terre, MO.  As he was ready to make his turn south onto I-255 off of route 111 something caught his eye.  It was such a surprise he had to confirm it with his wife, who was along to take in the festivities. He looked up to see one of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds' CT-114 Tutor aircraft in a hard right bank with smoke on.  Just the day before, he and fellow The Aero Experience contributor Fred Harl made the trip down to Millington, TN to cover the Memphis Airshow where the Snowbirds were performing.  (That will be posted at the beginning of this week.)  At that particular time, a U-turn was made, and it was back to the airport to catch this event.

The Snowbirds pilots explained that they were getting some parts to take to Memphis for the team, for which they will be flying as well next year after they complete their training this off-season. They also stated they needed fuel and saw the event from the air.  They then decided that this would be a fun place to stop.  That's exactly what they did, and everyone on the ramp could not have been more grateful. They talked with the crowd and even stayed to have a bite to eat.  These men were a class act, and really were great ambassadors for the Canadian Forces.  We at The Aero Experience look forward to their return next May when they will perform at airshows in Cape Girardeau and Columbia, MO.
We would also like to thank the staff at the St. Louis Regional Airport for putting on such a great event again this year and for allowing us the access to cover this event from various viewpoints.  We hope more of the public will attend next year's event, and create their own Aero Experience.
Here are some views of the Saturday Fly-In, including the visit from the Canadian Forces Snowbirds Tutor aircraft.
The ramp was filled with all types of aircraft:

General Aviation aircraft were plentiful on the ramp:

Homebuilts and Light Sport aircraft were also popular:

Warbirds are always crowd pleasers:

Canadian Forces Snowbirds Team aircraft visits the Fly-In: