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Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

St. Louis Aviation Community Salutes Retiring Instructor Pilot Ken Kellogg 

By Carmelo Turdo
Members of the St. Louis area aviation community gathered at St. Louis Downtown Airport on Sunday to salute Ken Kellogg, a favorite CFI and mentor to many aviators over the decades, to commemorate his retirement from active flying.  A large number of guests were at Ideal Aviation, where he instructed part-time, as he arrived with his family around 1pm.  Those awaiting his arrival included former students, fellow CFIs, experienced pilots and airport staff who have come to know Ken Kellogg and learn a thing or two from his vast experience and common-sense approach to flight instruction.  Always prepared, Kellogg gave a show-and-tell presentation featuring some of his early flight gear as he visited with well-wishers crowding the Ideal Aviation lobby.     


After some socializing time and refreshments, Craig O'Mara, a CFI at Ideal Aviation and Boeing 747 Captain, announced that he "needed some pointers" in flying the Cessna 172, and that flying some patterns around the airport with CFI Ken Kellogg would get him back on track.  Reluctantly going along with the gag, Kellogg accompanied O'Mara to the apron where one of Ideal Aviation's aircraft was awaiting them.  Kellogg and O'Mara flew a touch-and-go and then taxied back after the second approach under the spray of a water cannon salute provided by the St. Louis Downtown Airport Fire Department Engine No. 61.  Following the flight, Ken Kellogg was met by family and friends congratulating him on a long and meaningful aviation career.

About Ken Kellogg: 

The following is an excerpt from the March 24, 2013 The Aero Experience story featuring Ken Kellogg as the Greater St. Louis Flight Instructors Association 2013 Flight Instructor of the Year.

CFI Ken Kellogg
Ken Kellogg is an experienced CFI who was appreciative, but otherwise unfazed by receiving what may be characterized as a “Lifetime Achievement Award.”  In a genuinely modest fashion, to the point of understatement, Mr. Kellogg surmises that he was recognized essentially for his flying and instructing career.  He doesn’t concern himself with status or statistics – he has had “lots” of students and “Oh, about 12,500 (flight) hours.”  He currently instructs 3-4 hours/week at Ideal Aviation and St. Louis Flight Training, as well as with individuals needing taildragger and instrument training or flight reviews.  Best of all, after a distinguished military and civilian professional flying career, he remains a CFI for a very good reason: he likes it.

As a self-described farm kid from Ohio, Ken Kellogg experienced the quintessential boyhood discovery of aviation.  “My first association with airplanes was a ride at a county fair.  Somehow a friend of mine and I got $5 together each and went for a ride.  That hooked me.”  He later attended Ohio State University in the Army ROTC program.  Following graduation, he taught school for a year, then went on to receive a commission in the U.S. Army in 1955.  At the time, the U.S. Army was building up an aviation branch at the Fort Sill, Oklahoma Artillery School, where young forward artillery spotter 2Lt. Kellogg served, and was looking for volunteer pilots.  He started flight school in January, 1956 and flew actively for 17 of his 30 year military career. 

1950’s era U.S. Army aviation training was generally the reverse of current methods: initial flight instruction began in fixed-wing aircraft and later conversion to helicopters was attained as needed by operational demands.  Ken Kellogg began flight training at Gary Air Force Base in San Marcos, Texas in the Piper L-21 Super Cub, and later went on to fly and give check rides in the DeHavilland Beaver and Otter and the Beechcraft U-8D/F Seminole.  He later went to helicopter conversion flight school and flew the Hiller H23 Raven, Bell H13 Sioux, Sikorsky H19 Chickasaw and the Bell UH-1 “Huey” series during 2 tours in Vietnam.   

Mr. Kellogg continued to develop his civilian flying skills after retiring from the U.S. Army.  He worked for Beechcraft Corporation as a Marketing Representative to federal agencies and the military until 1997.  He came to the metropolitan St. Louis/southwest Illinois area, joined the local group at Flying Dutchman Airport and bought or partnered in several planes.  Kellogg became friends with local aviation legend the Late Rainey Bell: “Rainey was my mentor in that area for years.  He got me involved in the Illinois Pilots Association, and he was one of the principles in getting Aero Estates going just like I was.” It was just a matter of time before he became a CFI in the civilian world of flight in 1994.  “I became an instructor thinking my kids or grand kids or someone would want to learn to fly, but they really didn’t.”  But getting students interested was not too difficult, and Kellogg spent 300-400 hours/year teaching at the Scott AFB Aero Club for nearly 12 years – some students were getting their ratings in preparation for the U.S. Air Force undergraduate pilot training course.  The Scott AFB Aero Club closed in 2012, but he continues to teach at Ideal Aviation and St. Louis Flight Training at St. Louis Downtown Airport.

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