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, March 4, 2017

Youth Experience Flight at St. Louis Area Young Eagles Rally

By Carmelo Turdo Aero Experience team assembled together today for our first combined coverage event of 2017 at the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum, host of the year's first local EAA Young Eagles rally.  Due to the extensive overlap of aviation events and projects throughout the year, we often find ourselves in different locations each weekend.  We thought it would be great to gather at our local base at St. Louis Downtown Airport to help make the Young Eagles event a success.

Today's Young Eagles rally was conducted by EAA Chapter 64, also located at St. Louis Downtown Airport not far from the museum.  The chapter recently celebrated its fiftieth anniversary, and has flown many Young Eagles over the years.  Young Eagles flights are given free of charge to youth aged 8-17 through local EAA chapter rallies, and Young Eagles are also offered educational materials, first flight lesson vouchers and flight scholarships to encourage the development of the next generation of aviators.  Those who have received Young Eagle flights from EAA Chapter 64 have discovered that there are a variety of aircraft involved, flown by very experienced and enthusiastic pilots.  Young Eagles flights from St. Louis Downtown Airport offer a great view of the St. Louis skyline and neighboring sites such as the large rail yard north of the airport.       

Mark Nankivil
Fred Harl
Jack Nankivil

The Aero Experience team members Fred Harl and Mark Nankivil, along with our Youth Ambassador Jack Nankivil, were among those assisting with the flight line safety as the Young Eagles made the short walk to the aircraft from the museum hangar.  The afternoon was clear and warm as the operation began following the pilot briefing by EAA Chapter 64 Young Eagles Coordinator Bob McDaniel.  Local youth groups, including Cub Scouts, were represented.  While some were being flown, others were touring the museum and trying out the full-size and kid-size aircraft cockpits and trainers.  A variety of aircraft were used, including Cessna 172s, a Piper Cherokee and John and Elizabeth Schaefer's pristine Cessna 305A/O-1A Bird Dog.  Here are some views of the flights:

Jack Nankivil was given a ride in the Schaefers' O-1A Bird Dog, and we have coverage of his flight, including a few views from the aircraft:


The Aero Experience team is proud to promote activities like the Young Eagles flights featured here today.  Special thanks to the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum, EAA Chapter 64, pilots and ground crews, and Ideal Aviation FBO services. 

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