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, March 5, 2018

Aviation Safety Experts Share Their Experiences, Wright Brothers Master Pilots Named at 2018 St. Louis Super Safety Seminar

By Carmelo Turdo
The 2018 St. Louis Super Safety Seminar, held last weekend at St. Louis University, once again was the area's premier aviation safety and FAA Wings Credit event of the year. A variety of safety experts, active practitioners in the aviation industry, led interactive sessions focusing on the safe operation of aircraft from Cessnas to 747s, in good and poor weather, and through all types of airspace. The breadth of the experience and expertise of the presenters ensured coverage of as many aviation safety-related scenarios as possible in the main hall and in breakout sessions for VFR, IFR and CFI tracks. On Saturday afternoon, the FAA Wright Brothers Master Pilot Awards were presented to Esther Grupenhagen and Robert McDaniel.

Awardees Esther Grupenhagen and Robert McDaniel with FAA Program Manager
Phil Dixon (center)

The venue, Tegeler Hall's T.A. Carlo Auditorium, is located on the campus of St. Louis University, home of Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology. Many attendees were current or former students of Parks College, the first federally certified school of aviation. The Parks College flight training program is conducted at their facility at St. Louis Downtown Airport.

The Super Safety Seminar featured an exhibit area in the hall outside of the auditorium. Attendees networked with St. Louis area aviation organizations, including Parks College and Trans States Airlines shown below. There was also room in the lobby to enjoy complimentary breakfast and lunch provided by event sponsors.

Students network around the Parks College table

Trans States Airlines Pilot/Recruiter Captain Lee Moseley and Recruiter Kasia Segieda

Trans States Airlines First Officer/Recruiter Patrick Russell meets with a young pilot

FAA Safety Program Manager Phil Dixon (left), a principle coordinator of the event, introduced the presenters and also conducted several sessions himself each day. Other speakers represented aviation safety investigation, operations and maintenance, regional and major airlines, flight instruction, ADS-B avionics and air traffic control among other critical aviation industry segments. Most of the sessions were scenario-based, group discussions guided by a subject expert to the recommended solution or outcome. The exercise of thinking through a challenging situation helps to implant the lesson learned as if the participant was part of the solution, not the problem. 

Some of the presenters included:
Fred Harms, Former FAA Safety Program Manager

Jeff Edwards, President of AvSafe

Kase McDonald, St. Louis TRACON Air Traffic Control Manager

Captain Craig O'Mara, United Airlines and NASA SOFIA pilot 

William Hopper, Director of Training for Helicopters Inc.
Keith Mueller, Former Central Region Division Manager for American Airlines 

John Ladley, Certified Flight Instructor and Stearman Owner
The FAA Wright Brothers Master Pilot Awards were presented to Esther Grupenhagen and Robert McDaniel following the Saturday sessions. Both awardees were recognized for their 50 years of safe flying experience. 

Sponsors for the 2018 St. Louis Super Safety Seminar were:

Federal Aviation Administration FAAST Safety Team
Greater St. Louis Flight Instructors Association
Greater St. Louis Business Aviation Association
Missouri Pilots Association
Southwestern Illinois College
Trans States Airlines
GoJet Airlines
Emerson Electric
Elite Aviation
Ideal Aviation
St. Charles Flying Service
Women In Aviation

The Aero Experience will have more reporting on the 2018 St. Louis Super Safety Seminar in future posts.

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