Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Special Guest Feature: Mount Vernon Outland Airport Recognized Nationally, Establishes Aviation Explorer Post

A Message from Mount Vernon Outland Airport Manager, Chris Collins

Mount Vernon Outland Airport was recognized on a national level on multiple occasions in 2017. Events such as the Midwest LSA Expo and EAA AirVenture Cup Race garnered attention from the aviation community, and additional public exposure came from this summer’s total eclipse. In 2017, a relationship between the airport and the Boy Scouts of America led to an increased number of events at the airport for area youth, and the airport established this region’s only Aviation Explorer Post.

The remarkable November 2017 AOPA Pilot cover shot, titled “Total Eclipse,” captured by AOPA Senior Photographer Chris Rose, was connected to Mount Vernon Outland Airport through Eric Whyte, ONE Aviation Chief Demo Pilot. Whyte and AOPA’s Dave Hirschman conceived the idea of the total eclipse in the background of the Eclipse 550 Jet at Sun ‘n Fun in April. The pair chose Mount Vernon Outland Airport due to its close proximity to totality, and the nine page article mentions the airport on nearly every page. The November edition of EAA Sport Aviation also featured an article covering the total eclipse, with several southern Illinois airports mentioned. 

The 9th Annual Midwest LSA Expo, held in early September, generated articles in the November 2017 Powered Sport Flying magazine and the December 2017 edition of EAA Sport Aviation. Mount Vernon Outland Airport Manager Chris Collins remarked about the recent media attention: “With so much going on in the aviation industry, it is a rare occurrence to be featured once in a national magazine. To be mentioned this many times in a single year is truly special!”

Mount Vernon Outland Airport officials recently reviewed their 2017 partnership with Boy Scouts of America. The airport hosted a five day Bug Hunter Day Camp for Cub Scouts in July, provided training and Young Eagle Flights for nearly 60 Aviation Merit Badge candidates in September, and introduced aviation careers to several youth through the newly established Aviation Explorer Post #1155. Visits to SIUC, Boeing, the St. Louis-Lambert International Airport Control Tower, and the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force were just a few of the trips made by the region’s only Aviation Explorer Program.

Mount Vernon Outland Airport looks forward to many more activities in 2018, including Balloons over Mount Vernon/Veterans Fly-In and the Vietnam Veterans Run for the Wall Lunch Stop, both in May, and the return of the Midwest LSA Expo and the KR National Gathering, both in September. New and exciting opportunities await the Aviation Explorers as well. Slots are always available in the program for high school-age youth interested in an aviation career.  For those older than high school age, the airport always welcomes visitors - flying or driving!   To see more, visit

The Aero Experience is proud to support Mount Vernon Outland Airport. Thanks to Airport Manager Chris Collins and his staff for all they do to make the airport an outstanding Midwest Aviation resource.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Gateway Jets Provides Aircraft Management Services For St. Louis Aviation Community

By Carmelo Turdo

Gateway Jets continues to provide customer-centered aircraft management services to the St. Louis area aviation community. Company President Corey Tomczak and his staff combine professional expertise and personalized service to ensure that their clients acquire and utilize the best aircraft suited to their mission.
"Our business is to provide a mission-ready, safe, clean aircraft while looking out for our client's best interests," Tomczak told The Aero Experience, noting that this mission statement is posted for all to see on the company's web site, and thus, they are accountable for living up to that standard.  "We take care of the whole operation so that they (aircraft owners) can just arrive and fly knowing that their aircraft is in good hands."  Gateway Jets serves St. Louis Downtown Airport and Spirit of St. Louis Airport, and manages all aspects of the flight operations, including scheduling, cleaning, maintenance inspections and contracts, fueling, crew assignments, FAA regulatory compliance and more.  Aircraft may be stored at the owner's hangar, at the Spirit of St. Louis Aero Charter hangar or in the newly available Gateway Jets hangar at St. Louis Downtown Airport.  
Gateway Jets specializes in the most efficient aircraft in each mission category: Beechcraft Baron, Socata TBM single-engine turboprop, the King Air 90, 200 and 350, as well as the Citation jet series.  Custom management options for other aircraft types are also available.  Here are some views of the St. Louis Downtown Airport facility and aircraft described above:
Corey Tomczak, President of Gateway Jets


Gateway Jets is ready to help with your aircraft acquisition, crewing and operations management needs.  Contact Gateway Jets today and put your aviation assets in good hands!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Physics of Santa's Flight Confirms Annual Sightings

Have you even wondered about the physics behind Santa's annual round-the-world flight? Check the link below, and you may be surprised at how he pulls it off! (OK, a little magic may be needed to get things rolling). Enjoy! Merry Christmas!

He might also get little help now and then!

( photo)

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A Short Visit to St. Louis Downtown Airport

By Carmelo Turdo
The Midwest region relies on high-quality airports for its air transportation needs, and St. Louis Downtown Airport is the destination for many general aviation pilots and business travelers.  The airport is the closest one to downtown St. Louis, and so it becomes a beehive of activity when visitors arrive for events at the nearby Gateway Motorsports Park, baseball and hockey games, conventions and concerts.  The airport is also host to charter aircraft for visiting professional sports teams.  

Along with the daily and peak air traffic, St. Louis Downtown Airport is host to organic aviation assets.  The Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum is located in an historic 1929 Curtiss-Wright hangar on the west apron, and FBO Ideal Aviation is the museum's neighbor.  Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology (St. Louis University), founded in 1927 and the first federally certified school of aeronautics, maintains their flight training fleet at the airport.  Jet Aviation St. Louis provides maintenance, refurbishments and completions for business jets as well as FBO services on the north apron.  Flight training schools on the airport include Ideal Aviation, St. Louis Flight Training and Midwest Rotor.  Also based at the airport are Fostaire Helicopters, Helicopters, Inc., and Gateway Helicopter Tours.  Also during the summer, St. Louis Biplane Rides offers scenic flights in a 1941 Waco open cockpit biplane.          

Even on a gloomy winter day, there can be some interesting aircraft operating from the airport, including some military aircraft.  Here is one short period of traffic from Tuesday afternoon.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

World Bird Sanctuary Releases Bald Eagle Into the Wild After Treatment

By Carmelo Turdo
The World Bird Sanctuary released a bald eagle into the wild today at Cliff Cave County Park along the Mississippi River south of St. Louis. The eagle was being treated at the World Bird Sanctuary's hospital and rehabilitation facility in Valley Park for an injury, and he was given a clean bill of health to return to his natural environment. The eagle is still fairly young, as shown in his juvenile brown plumage, and will develop the characteristic white head and tail feathers at about four years of age. During his treatment, he had to show his ability to fly in a large enclosure and feed himself. Following the release, the eagle flew out over the river and circled back, landing in a nearby tree.  After a short time, he took off and flew north up the river and out of sight. The Aero Experience salutes the World Bird Sanctuary for their efforts to keep eagles and other raptors healthy and thriving in the Midwest.