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

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

20th Anniversary AirVenture Cup Race Begins at Mount Vernon Outland Airport, Part 3 - Veteran Flight

By Carmelo Turdo
The 20th Anniversary AirVenture Cup Race, the prelude to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017, was launched Sunday from Mount Vernon Outland Airport in central Illinois as a weather front arrived to break last week's scorching Midwest heat wave.  The race is the first official event of the nation's largest annual aviation gathering, and the third race in five years hosted by this airport.  Including support planes, over 100 aircraft were part of this year's race, the largest turnout in recent years.

As in previous years, Mount Vernon Outland Airport held an open house on Saturday prior to the race.  The day's activities included the gathering of the AirVenture Cup Racers and Young Eagle flights.  Another special part of the day was when AirVenture Cup Racer (Vintage Class) Dick Keyt flew local World War II veteran Everett Atkinson in his Ryan PT-22 trainer much like the one Atkinson soloed during his basic pilot training.  Atkinson went on to be a fighter pilot instructor and later fly the B-17 and B-29 bombers during the war, later touring with the Commemorative Air Force of which he is a life member.  His roots remain, though, in Jefferson County, IL where he was raised and worked in agriculture and construction trades.  He can be regularly found at Mount Vernon Outland Airport and at the local historic village where he gives talks on his over ninety years of life experience in the area.  

The Aero Experience salutes Everett Atkinson and those from The Greatest Generation.  We also thank pilot Dick Keyt, also a former military pilot, and his crew for providing this flight opportunity.  Here are some views of his flight on Saturday:



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