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

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Spirits of St. Louis Radio Control Aircraft Flying Club Holds Annual New Year Fly-In Event

By Carmelo Turdo
When New Year's Day arrives each year, you can be sure that a group of radio control aircraft builders and fliers from the Spirits of St. Louis RC Flying Club will be gathered as part of the "Chosen Frozen" at their St. Charles, Missouri airfield.  Fortunately, the first day of 2014 offered clear skies and temperatures reaching toward the 40s, so there was much activity on the ground and in the air.  The Aero Experience visited with club members at the airfield for several hours yesterday morning as the event was getting underway, and we quickly learned why radio controlled aircraft flight is an important part of our celebration of Midwest Aviation.

A variety of radio control model aircraft were resting on tables near the main pavilion as the club members prepared them for flight.  The fixed-wing aircraft, designed for different flight regimes - racing, aerobatics, dogfighting, and training - were joined by highly-maneuverable helicopters and quad-copters.  As with full-size aircraft, a prospective pilot takes into account skill level, available time and budget when deciding to build and fly an aircraft.  And as with any activity, there are many levels of commitment of time and resources.  Spirits of St. Louis RC Flying Club President Vic Bunze put it in perspective, describing a scenario wherein a new member can receive training from the club instructors and later acquire an aircraft and supplies for about $350.  From there, the sky is the limit, with ducted-fan and jet powered aircraft representing a major investment in time, skill and money.  The Spirits of St. Louis RC Flying Club offers opportunities for members to gain basic and advanced skills through participation in flying meets at the club's 12-acre  field.        

IP Bob Gizzie explains
the RC aircraft controller
Following a visit with club President Vic Bunze and other club officers, The Aero Experience Founder Carmelo Turdo was given the chance to receive some dual training with Instructor Pilots Bob Gizzie and Babe Raab.  Using a set of controllers wired together to allow the student to fly with override by the instructor, we were able to successfully burn up a tank of gas without putting the aircraft in danger.  Bob Gizzie performed the takeoff of his beautiful blue and white SIG Kadet Senior and turned over the "stick" to Turdo as he called out maneuvers.  IP duties were then turned over to Babe Raab for the remainder of the flight.  Flying an aircraft from the outside is very different than from within the cockpit, and it took some time to get used to this perspective.  However, with some practice, basic turns and figure eights were performed reasonably well before it was time for a landing.

There were many other aircraft, and here are a few examples:

Combat Gremlin

Club Secretary Greg Bowles and Treasurer Bill Lindewirth with
Bill's Combat Gremlin

Bob Gizzie's SIG Kadet Senior

Tom Foster's Synergy Helicopter

Greg Bowles' Mini Quad-copter

Brendon Weidinger's Multi-Plex Fun Cub

Special thanks to the Spirits of St. Louis RC Flying Club for their hospitality!  Here is a great video that shows what flying radio control aircraft is really about:


Unknown said...

Thank you for taking the time to cover our event. We are looking forward to seeing you again at our other scheduled events!

Sincerely; Bill Lindewirth
Spirits R/C Webmaster

Unknown said...

Great video, Nice job Spirits.