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

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

New Midwest Airshows Strengthen Aviation Community: The Jesse James Fly-In/Airshow and Smithville Lake Airshow

By Carmelo Turdo
The Aero Experience was on site for two new events held in western Missouri Saturday, August 1st. The Jesse James Fly-In & Airshow was held first at Midwest National Air Center in Excelsior Springs, MO, and then the same performers flew a show later in the day over nearby Smithville Lake.  We were privileged to cover both performances, and had our first chance at photographing performing aircraft from boats in the lake during the show. We would like to thank Lee Crouch for putting this great event together, which for such short notice was well attended. Thank you also to the volunteers and the law enforcement community who supported our coverage of the day's events.

By Leo Cachat
Heartland Airshows provided their professional brand of production and commentary for the day's events keeping everyone "in the loop" (pun intended) on the aerial action.  The weather cooperated and the performers were on point with their flying, which made for a great Saturday of aerial excitement. 

The Aero Experience coverage features the performances from both the ramp side and the action-packed airshow line from Midwest National Air Center.  We then proceeded to Smithville Lake, where we captured the lakeside airshow.

Jesse James Fly-In & Airshow, Midwest National Air Center 

Performers included Team Vortex, featuring Brian Correll and Bob Richards flying their solo routines along with their combined routine that includes opposing maneuvers and high- power aerobatics.  It was really a treat to see them again a month removed from their performance in Cameron back in late June.


Lee Crouch also took to the sky in his beautiful new red Super Stearman, which really puts out some smoke. He provided us with several nice low passes.  


Sam Graves was also back in his beautiful P-40 Warhawk. He showed us what a well maintained WWII fighter could do in skilled hands, including a small glimpse of what it might have looked like at Midway as he brought it down low over Smithville Lake (see next section).

The KC Flight Formation Team performed with 4 RV's, showing us several different formations and the smooth transitions the small RV's can make.

Greg Colyer flew his T-33 "Ace Maker" in a dynamic demonstration showing the speed and grace that the T-33 possesses, making high arching passes and high speed, low passes that awed those in attendance.

The boating community was also able to view the airshow two hours later when the performers launched again from Midwest National Air Center and flew over Smithville Lake.  The Aero Experience was there to provide this coverage:


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