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

Monday, April 18, 2016

First Annual TBM Gathering Exceeds Expectations With 10 TBMS, Warbirds and Great Community Support

By Carmelo Turdo
By Leo Cachat
One of the most anticipated new Midwest Aviation events of the year is getting accolades from the aviation media and the large crowd in attendance during Saturday's free public TBM Gathering event at Illinois Valley Regional Airport.  Event organizer, Brad Deckert, with the able assistance from the airport and warbird communities, brought together a large number of warbirds that included nine flying TBM Avengers including his own.  The gathering crowd could FEEL the rumble of those TBMs as they taxied for a morning pass and review.  An estimated 8,000 visitors were on hand to experience the exhilaration of the mass TBM flight and the later missing man formation salute to fallen veterans.  Formation flights by T-6 Texan primary trainers, T-33 jet trainers, P-51 Mustangs and other warbirds added to the excitement throughout the day.  Visitors could experience flight as well by purchasing rides in an R-44 helicopter, T-6 Texan or the Missouri Commemorative Air Force TBM-3E Avenger.  The airport remained operational, accepting local and fly-in traffic that added variety to the aviation celebration unfolding before our eyes.

The Aero Experience team was there to show our appreciation to the organizers for providing this great Midwest Aviation community event.  We present here an overview of the day's sights, with additional coverage coming throughout the week.  Special thanks to everyone who made the event possible, and we hope that there will be many more TBM Gatherings in the future.


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