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

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Stearman Flight Formation Training Clinic Attracts Iconic Warbirds to Creve Coeur Airport, Day Two

By Carmelo Turdo
The skies over St. Charles County were filled with the sights and sounds of World War II-era Stearman trainers earlier this month when over a dozen of the iconic warbirds were in the air throughout the first weekend in June. A Stearman Flight Formation Clinic, hosted by Creve Coeur Airport, attracted Stearman pilots from around the Midwest. From June 1-3, pairs of aircraft launched throughout each day to hone their formation flying skills - the lead aircraft flown by an instructor and the other flown by a student/instructor crew. Creve Coeur Airport, home to several Stearman aircraft owners and the distinguished Historic Aircraft Restoration Museum, regularly hosts similar clinics, aircraft club reunions and antique aircraft events each year.
By Fred Harl 
The Aero Experience was privileged to cover the June Stearman Flight Formation Clinic on Friday and Sunday (Saturday was a marginal weather day). Crews gathered early on Friday for breakfast and thorough briefing on the day's crew assignments and flights. Flights and elements met together then and throughout the day as flight operations continued. Details of the flight were recorded on the Stearman Flight Briefing Card, and each point was debriefed after each flight. Maneuvers such as left/right wing formation, cross under, close trail and break/rejoin were flown and evaluated. FAST formation proficiency certification was also available to those who qualify.

Sunday again began with an early morning briefing:

Crews received their assignments and began flight operations again at 7:30 a.m. The aircraft were lined up and ready as each 2-ship element prepared for a staggered departure:

Flight operations continued until around noon, when all objectives and make-up flights were completed. Our friend, Anne Lee, flew with John Ladley in 518:

The Aero Experience thanks the Stearman Flight organizers and crews for allowing access to their flight operations. Check back soon for coverage of our flight in John Ladley's Stearman!

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