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, August 28, 2017

St. Louis Aviation Community Has Active Weekend, Plans Fall Events

By Carmelo Turdo
The Aero Experience team visited several locations around the St. Louis area over the weekend, and we captured some images of the local aviation community in action.  These were but three of the many aviation activities underway in the area, with many more to come in the region through October.  Today we feature visits to Creve Coeur Airport, the 131st FW MO ANG annual picnic and St. Louis Downtown Airport.

Creve Coeur Airport, Maryland Heights, MO 

Saturday morning found us at Creve Coeur Airport in St. Louis County.  Known for its vintage aircraft collection at the Historic Aircraft Restoration Museum, the airport services the general aviation and warbird communities as well.  The Airport is planning a vintage aircraft fly-in, sponsored by EAA Vintage Aircraft Association Chapter 39, on October 14.

Progress is coming quickly at the recently formed Army Aviation Heritage Foundation and Flying Museum Gateway Chapter located at the airport.  The chapter has an OH-58 Kiowa under restoration, and a UH-1 Iroquois is scheduled to arrive soon.  These aircraft will eventually join the current national fleet at events around the Midwest.  The Gateway Chapter will have a fundraising event at their hangar on October 21.

An interesting array of general aviation aircraft can be seen on a beautiful Saturday morning.

Another highlight of a weekend visit to Creve Coeur Airport is the rumble of the Stearman Flight.  Two, four or more Stearman A75/PT-17 trainers can often be seen in the air over the local area as the crews practice formation flying or give pilot transition training in these classic warbirds.  Our friend, Boeing 747 pilot Craig O'Mara, was getting some Stearman time when we captured these images.     

131st FW, MO ANG Reunion Picnic, Wapelhorst Park, St. Charles, MO

The alumni of the 131st Fighter Wing, MO Air National Guard, formerly based at St. Louis-Lambert International Airport, held their second annual Lindbergh's Own Reunion Picnic Saturday afternoon at Wapelhorst Park in St. Charles.  The unit's roots go back to the formation of the 110th Observation Squadron in 1923, and Charles Lindbergh was one of the unit's pilots prior to his historic 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean.  The wing served in World War II and supported operations throughout the world until the unit's F-15C Eagles were redistributed in 2009 and remaining unit members became part of the 131st Bomb Wing at Whiteman AFB.  The Aero Experience team member Fred Harl served in the 131st FW following his active duty tours.  Mark Nankivil was also at the picnic, showing photos of the unit's aircraft and scanning prints for the archives.  Special thanks to Chris Boehlein for his work in making the reunion a great success.  Also, thanks to Joe Steimann for providing his amazing F-4 Cockpit display. 

St. Louis Downtown Airport, Cahokia, IL 

Sunday was spent at St. Louis Downtown Airport in nearby Cahokia, IL within sight of the St. Louis Gateway Arch.  The airport is the third busiest in Illinois, and often serves as the preferred destination for those participating in activities in the heart of St. Louis.  Flight activity included aircraft based at the airport along with transients and executive jets serving those attending the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at Gateway Motorsports Park on Saturday or the St. Louis Cardinals MLB game at Busch Stadium Sunday afternoon.  The public is invited to visit the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum (Fri-Sun 10am-4pm) and take a ride in a 1941 Waco biplane with pilot Kevin Kegin of St. Louis Biplane Rides.   The airport will host an open house event on October 7. 

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