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, June 23, 2016

2016 Year In Aviation Service: Pekin Municipal Airport 2016 Wings and Wheels Part 3 - JAARS Shares Passion for Aviation

By Carmelo Turdo
The 2016 Pekin, IL Municipal Airport Wings and Wheels event last Saturday was a model fly-in that attracted local residents to experience aviation at their community airport.  The sixth annual event featured about a hundred classic cars and motorcycles along with unique aircraft on display and flying throughout the day.  As always, aviation people were happy to talk to the visitors and encourage them to learn about flying and their aircraft.  

In Part 3 of this series, The Aero Experience will focus on one of the main activities of the day - helicopter and airplane rides - provided by JAARS (Jungle Aviation and Radio Services).  Several hundred visitors took rides in the organization's Robinson R44 helicopter and Helio H-295 Courier short takeoff and landing (STOL) aircraft.  There was a steady lineup of riders for each aircraft throughout the day, many of whom were taking their first flight ever.  The experienced JAARS crews provided a well organized and safe way to share the joy of flight and informed those who were interested in their mission field work.

Michael Bunn and Daryl Bussert
Prior to the morning flights, The Aero Experience visited with JAARS instructor pilot Michael Bunn.  Bunn has spent three years in Africa and seventeen years in the Amazon flying float planes.  He currently trains pilots at the 400-acre airport facility in Waxhaw, NC.  "It [JAARS] was founded to support Wycliffe Bible Translators, he said.  "We train mission pilots for about 15 different mission organizations.  We have eight on staff who flew overseas from between 15 to 30 years experience, and then we came back to mentor missionary pilots."  JAARS prepares for service the aircraft uniquely suited for accessing remote areas, including the Helio Courier, Cessna 206, Pilatus Porter, Robinson R44 and Kodiak Quest.  Flying in one of these aircraft is often the only practical way for staff and supplies to reach remote settlements, and the only way for the transportation of patients to medical facilities.  Those who were interested in supporting JAARS were able to learn more about the organization, and those who did not still had a great flying experience.

The JAARS crews were busy all day giving flights in the Robinson R44 helicopter and the Helio Courier.  The Aero Experience brings to you some views of the flights as seen from the flight operations area:



The Aero Experience thanks the JAARS staff for their hospitality and for setting the example for Aviation Service.  Thanks also to the staff and volunteers at Pekin Municipal Airport for producing a great Midwest Aviation community event.

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