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

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Flying With The Aero Experience: Photo Session With the Blue Demon

By Carmelo Turdo
The Aero Experience was back in the air Wednesday for a project featuring several members of our team: an air-to-air photo shoot featuring Patrick McAlee Airshow's Pitts S1-GT, the Blue Demon. Our goal was to capture some new images of the Blue Demon featuring this year's added over-wing ExtremeFlight wrap from Vinyl Images and the new three-bladed wood composite propeller from GT Propellers. The photo plane was flown by Paul Voorhees, owner and operator of Big River Aviation, a sponsor of much of our flying time this year. The Aero Experience provides media support for Patrick McAlee Airshows throughout the year, including frequent features on this site, Facebook and related publications.

As mentioned above, the Blue Demon has undergone some aesthetic and performance improvements, necessitating some time off from the airshow season last year. Now the updated Pitts S1-GT has emerged as a potent aerobatic machine that demands an even more energetic show sequence. Both plane and pilot have delivered on these high expectations, bringing a new look and new excitement to each event. The Aero Experience has covered this transformation process in previous feature stories, such as this recent test flight:

Patrick McAlee was a featured participant in exhibits at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018 for GT Propellers and Republic Airline, where he serves as captain of an Embraer E175 regional jet. 

Wednesday's activities began with a flight from St. Louis Downtown Airport to Washington Regional Airport, Patrick McAlee's St. Louis-area base, in Big River Aviation's Cessna 172 sans right side door. There was still some light cloud cover and haze remaining from the previous weather system, but we were hopeful that we would get clear flying weather for the midmorning photo flight (it stayed hazy). Following arrival and mission briefing for the local flight, we went to the apron for some photos before launch:

Our Cessna 172 photo plane and Patrick McAlee took off in quick succession, and the Blue Demon easily joined us as we climbed out for a local flight around this Missouri River town. Since the sky remained hazy, we opted for a scenic approach contrasting the blue Pitts S1-GT with the rural landscape. Through excellent crew coordination, we were able to conduct a safe, productive photo flight that highlighted the new look of the Blue Demon to promote upcoming events and update the Patrick McAlee Airshows website. Some of the photos from the flight are featured below:

The airshow season continues for Patrick McAlee Airshows with his next appearance at the Union City, TN Great American Airshow. McAlee brings more than just high-energy aerobatic entertainment to each event. He also takes time to connect with the local community and airshow audience between flights, showing appreciation for their interest and encouraging the development of next generation of young aviators. Contact Patrick McAlee Airshows to secure your 2018 and 2019 Midwest Aviation event appearance dates.


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