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

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Giles Henderson Memorial Challenge Aerobatic Contest at Salem-Leckrone Airport, Day One

By Carmelo Turdo
The Giles Henderson Memorial Challenge Aerobatic Contest was held June 9-10 at Salem-Leckrone Airport in Central Illinois. This 2018 event, previously known as the IAC Chapter 61 Salem Regional Aerobatic Contest, was the 43rd edition of the longest continuously running competition in IAC history. The fifteen aircraft that arrived on Friday were rolled out to the apron from two airport hangars before the early Saturday morning briefing. Additional crews from the University of South Dakota (UND) Aerobatic Team were scheduled to fly multiple Primary and Sportsman Power sorties in their Super Decathlon. Results of the contest can be found on the IAC Chapter 61 website.

The morning session was off to a good start, but before the lunch break a storm front moved into the area and the aircraft were quickly repacked into their hangars. It rained for several hours, and the aircraft were back on the apron by about 3pm. Flying resumed, and the remaining scheduled flights were accomplished before the break for the dinner banquet held at the nearby Salem American Legion Post 128. Below are some views of the ground activity before the morning session and during the weather break prior to resumption of flights.     

Flying activity began only after the judges briefed and lined up to score the contestants. The judges have experience flying and judging previous contests, and each station included a judge, caller and recorder. The caller narrates the known routines as they are flown to give the judge additional aural reference to each maneuver. The recorder marks the judge's score and comments as each maneuver is completed. Each score sheet is collected after each flight before the next pilot is cleared into the aerobatic box.


Aerobatic Contest Pilots and Their Aircraft:

University of North Dakota Aerobatic Team, Super Decathlon - Primary and Sportsman

John Strong, Super Decathlon - Primary

Robert Hamilton, Pitts S-1C - Sportsman

David Schmitz, Vans RV-8 - Sportsman

Karl Icenogle, Pitts S-2B - Sportsman

Cameron Grossl, Christen Eagle II - Intermediate

Justin Hickson, Pitts S-2B - Intermediate

Bruce Ballew, Extra 300L - Intermediate

Corey Johnson, Pitts S-1C - Intermediate

David Underwood, Extra 200 - Intermediate

Wayne Buescher, Staudacher S-600F - Intermediate

Doug Bartlett, Sukhoi SU-29

Steven Johnson, MX2 - Advanced

John Housley, Pitts S-2C - Advanced

Steven Grohsmeyer, MXS - Unlimited

Check back soon for The Aero Experience coverage of Day 2, including a surprise visit by members of the USA Aerobatic Team!

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