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

Saturday, October 17, 2015

SAFECON Region VI Competition in St. Louis: Arrivals and Practice Day One

By Carmelo Turdo
St. Louis University's Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology is proud to host SAFECON Region VI competition next week at St. Louis Downtown Airport.  The week-long event is sponsored by the National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) to encourage college student aviators to interact with fellow students at other institutions while sharpening their flying skills and aviation knowledge.   Right on time, teams from other college aviation programs arrived on Friday and Saturday, and practice flights took place all day Saturday. 

(NIFA graphic)
Aircraft from the NIFA Region VI collegiate flying teams could be seen on the Ideal Aviation apron on the airport's west ramp, not far from the operations facility of the Parks College Flying Billikens. The participants are: St. Louis University Parks College, University of Central Missouri, Kansas State University - Salina, Oklahoma State University, Spartan College of Aeronautics (Tulsa, OK), Southeastern Oklahoma State University, University of Oklahoma (Norman, OK), and University of Nebraska - Omaha.    


The Flying Billikens and the Oklahoma State University Flying Aggies practiced for the  short-field landing and message drop competitions to be held later in the week.  In the short-field landing competition, pilots attempt to land on a line marked on the runway.  For the message drop, a standardized message container is dropped from the aircraft flying at 200 feet to land as close to the ground target as possible.  Here are some views of the practice flights Saturday afternoon:

The Aero Experience will provide continuing coverage of the SAFECON Region VI competition as the week progresses.  Included in our coverage will be exclusive feature stories on the participating teams and the events, including the fly-in social event at the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum on Wednesday. 

We now congratulate the following team members of the St. Louis University Flying Billikens:

Will Aksamit, Bradley Boggs, John Cosgrove, Mark Gerken, Thomas Holmes, Brandon Kauling, Rob Leahy, Jon Martin, Alec Albright, Creedance Chambers, James Colestock, William Gygi, Liz Maddox, Rachel Munger, Daniel Tropp, and Chris Wall.  The team coaches are Jack Schwarz and Kate Benhoff.  Event organizer is Amy Preis.

In our report on the landing competitions, we will feature a special video from the cockpit as St. Louis University Flying Billikens Coach Jack Schwarz talks us through the landing pattern as he demonstrated a short-field landing during a recent flight.  We have a few photos of the flight as seen from the ground:


The Aero Experience thanks St. Louis University and the Parks College Flying Billikens, FBO host Ideal Aviation, the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum, the visiting collegiate flying teams and everyone who has contributed to planning this great Midwest Aviation event. 

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