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, June 5, 2019

Elite Aviation 2019 Open House, Part 2: Wide Variety of Aircraft on Display and Salute to First Responders

By Carmelo Turdo
Elite Aviation, the premier flight training and aircraft service provider in St. Louis, held their annual open house at Spirit of St. Louis Airport on Saturday. Visitors were treated to good food, an apron full of aircraft (see the previous story for a sampler) and the Midwestern hospitality that is shown to guests and customers of Elite Aviation on a daily basis. During the day, Elite Aviation flew thirteen "Test Flights," or introductory local flights for those interested in pursuing flight training, in their fleet of  late-model Cessna 172 Skyhawks. Those interested in purchasing aircraft were treated to a look at the latest Skyhawk and Baron aircraft from our friends at Textron Aviation.

In Part 2 of this series covering the Elite Aviation 2019 Open House, we feature some views of the wide variety of aircraft on static display. We begin with the Icon A5, the light sport amphibian flown in by Icon Regional Sales Director Rick Rief.

Three experimental aircraft were on display from different eras in aviation design. Roger Moore brought in his Hatz CB-1, a 1960s-era biplane design completed in 1992. The fabric-covered aircraft has a welded steel fuselage and wood wing structure. The aircraft won Best Hatz at the 2009 Antique Aviation Association Fly-In.

Two other, more exotic looking experimental aircraft were also on display. John Murphy's SubSonex personal jet has a different paint scheme on each side, and Dave Adams' LongEZ is a staple at area fly-ins.

Several more conventional, factory-built aircraft were also on display including John Marchall's Bellanca Citabria, a Cirrus SR22 and Cessna Citation CJ3+.


Service and first responder aircraft were included in the day's displays. Wings of Hope, located within the line of sight from Elite Aviation at Spirit of St. Louis Airport, brought one of their Medical Relief and Air Transport Program aircraft. The twin-engine Piper Seneca is used to transport patients in need of medical treatment at Midwest medical facilities, and comes complete with medical station and room for a stretcher. First responders were well represented by an Air Evac Lifeteam crew in their Bell Long Ranger III air ambulance and officers flying their MD-500 from the Metro Air Support unit also based at the airport. 

The Aero Experience thanks everyone who brought their aircraft for display at Elite Aviation's 2019 Open House. In Part 3 of this series, we will feature warbirds and vintage aircaft, including those from the Missouri Wing of the Commemorative Air Force

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