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, February 14, 2018

Sponsor Announcement: Big River Aviation Joins The Aero Experience Team!

By Carmelo Turdo
The Aero Experience is proud to announce that Big River Aviation has joined our team as a sponsor and advertiser! In the coming months, The Aero Experience will work closely with Big River Aviation to provide increased coverage of Midwest Aviation activities from the air and from more locations throughout the region. We will feature Big River Aviation regularly in our story rotation as we work together to promote Midwest Aviation!
Big River Aviation provides aircraft maintenance and inspection services, pilot training, aircraft rental and aircraft sales support from their new location at St. Louis Downtown Airport. The owner of Big River Aviation, Paul Voorhees, has transformed his business from a mobile service and inspection operation to a growing fixed-base, full-service maintenance and inspection provider. He and his highly experienced staff also provide maintenance support for aircraft located at various airports in the St. Louis area, and have a Cessna 172 available for pilot training, rental and for flight operations in support of the business. Big River Aviation has also participated in maintaining aircraft for non-profit organizations such as Aero Careers and Wings of Hope.   

Paul Voorhees applies paint to the Hornet fighter at the St. Louis Science Center

Paul Voorhees with Missionary Pilot Jud Wickwire at Wings of Hope

The Aero Experience recently visited Big River Aviation at St. Louis Downtown Airport to begin our regular sponsor feature story coverage. We picked an excellent time to visit over the last few weeks as there were several interesting aircraft being serviced. We were invited to accompany the delivery of a special Cessna 172A that had undergone restoration work after the aircraft sat idle for decades (see previous stories on The Aero Experience for details). The product of a cooperative effort between Ambassador Certification and Consulting Services of Lee's Summit, MO and Big River Aviation, the aircraft became the first "Plane Jane" success story. The early model Skyhawk was transformed into a beautiful and smooth flying aircraft following a thorough inspection, repair and customization process. She was delivered to her new owner, Mr. Griffith Pickett, during a flight from St. Louis to Lee's Summit, MO Municipal Airport January 24th.

Here are some views of the aircraft, the flight to Lee's Summit Municipal Airport and the visit with the new owner following delivery of the aircraft: 

Last week, The Aero Experience again visited Big River Aviation as they were preparing to deliver several more aircraft following maintenance work completed at the St. Louis Downtown Airport facility. One aircraft, an experimental RV-4 named Gunfighter, was being cleaned following an annual condition inspection before delivery to a customer whose hangar is located at the airport. The engine run-up was performed on the apron outside of the Big River Aviation hangars, and then the beautiful RV-4 was taxied to the customer's hangar. The aircraft is available for purchase - contact Big River Aviation for details.

Another aircraft, a late model Cessna 182 Skylane, was also ready for delivery following the installation of an ADS-B transponder in the cockpit. The ADS-B unit is needed for aircraft flying through controlled airspace after January 1, 2020 as part of the FAA's NextGen air traffic control (ATC) system update. The ADS-B transponder sends and receives data on aircraft flying in an area, providing ATC and pilots with vital information to keep aircraft safely separated. The system also provides essential weather information and notices to airmen (NOTAMs) about airport/runway closures and temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) over sensitive areas. Following the completion of the work, The Aero Experience accompanied Paul Voorhees on the Cessna 182 delivery flight to the owner's hangar at nearby St. Louis Regional Airport. 


Big River Aviation is also assisting in the reconstruction of a Piper Cub being prepared for aerial banner-towing duty by Nate Sorenson of Airspace Aerial Media. Paul Voorhees is providing guidance and inspection services during the rebuild process. The Cub's airframe was strengthened and covered, the wings were covered and fitted with modified wing tips, and a more powerful engine was installed. During our visit, Voorhees and Sorenson performed an engine run-up. 


Big River Aviation continues to support the Midwest Aviation community by providing aircraft maintenance and flight support services from their facility at St. Louis Downtown Airport. The Aero Experience will continue to work closely with Big River Aviation as we progress through the year, and we encourage our audience to contact Paul Voorhees for your next aircraft service needs.

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