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, October 22, 2015

SAFECON Region VI Competition in St. Louis: Message Drop and Pre-Flight Events

By Carmelo Turdo
St. Louis University's Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology is proud to host SAFECON Region VI competition this 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.  Today's activities included the Message Drop Event and Pre-Flight Event, again held at St. Louis Downtown Airport. 

It was another early start Thursday for the young pilots as they gathered for the Message Drop Event.  Throughout the morning, 3-4 aircraft flying in nine heats approached two targets on the ground near Runway 12L/30R.  As the aircraft passed overhead at about 200 feet, the Drop Master tossed a message box with a streamer attached toward the target.  A few came close to the target, though most were a hundred feet or more away when they landed.  It was a very challenging event, and The Aero Experience was there for the morning briefing, the weighing of the message boxes and on station near the second target to catch the action.  As can be seen in this sequence, some of the message boxes landed in the marshy area near a running stream to the north of the runway.

The second scheduled activity on Thursday was the Pre-Flight Event.  Three contestants per college were given fifteen minutes each (in separate sessions) to find as many safety discrepancies on an aircraft as possible.  The aircraft used was one of the St. Louis University Flying Billikens Diamond DA20 Eclipse trainers seen flying daily over the airport.  Featured here are the representatives from Oklahoma State University and Parks College of St. Louis University during their sessions.

Thanks to exceptional weather and great teamwork from all of the colleges and event staff, the SAFECON Region VI 2015 official events were completed a day early.  Tomorrow evening will be the awards banquet at the St. Louis University academic campus.  The Aero Experience will be there and report the results this weekend! 

The Aero Experience thanks Parks College of St. Louis University, NIFA staff, The St. Louis University Flying Billikens, and the visiting teams for being extremely helpful and for making The Aero Experience feel welcome during their competition this week.  We also thank the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum for hosting Wednesday evening's open house and Fly-In featuring Trans States Airlines.  More comprehensive coverage of the week's activities will be featured in our wrap-up feature story coming soon!  

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