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, May 3, 2016

The Aero Experience Mid-West Tour 2016: Salina and Fort Riley, Kansas

By Fred Harl
By Mark Nankivil
home to the Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus with its large flight training facility and an Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) program, complete with a large netted area to fly various drones on the airport grounds. 

On the north end of the ramp stood the primary purpose of our visit, a Lockheed L-749 Constellation.  Originally acquired by the U.S. Navy as a PO-1/WV-1, the Connie was later surplused and taken up by the FAA before ending its government career and being flown to Salina in 1967 where it has resided (or been stuck!) ever since. Maybe one of these days she'll fly again. The Aero Experience thanks David Surrell for granting us ramp access to photograph the Connie.

Eastbound for home, our last aviation stop was Fort Riley, home to the 1st Infantry Division "Big Red One" and the 1st Army Aviation Brigade.  We had the opportunity to visit with the C/2-1 Air Ambulance who fly the UH-60M Blackhawk.  Fred Harl met members of the unit when they were swapping their previous L model Blackhawks with a unit at Fort Campbell and making stops at Farmington, MO for fuel, food and a pit stop.  The C/2-1 is famous for its time in Vietnam, and as you can see from their unit logo, working with the Aussies.  Chief Warrant Officer Michael J. Novosel earned the Medal of Honor for his actions on October 2, 1969 flying a UH-1 medevac, saving 29 South Vietnamese soldiers while under heavy fire from the North Vietnamese units in the area.  He was also wounded during the extractions.  Novosel later wrote the book, Dustoff - The Memoir of an Army Aviator.

The Aero Experience thanks the members of the C/2-1 for allowing us to visit the unit and to take these photographs.

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