|By Carmelo Turdo|
We arrived at the Hoosier Aviation terminal around 11:00 A.M. (one-hour forward change from St. Louis) after parking on the main apron. The marshallers and lobby staff were professional and courteous, and made our visit very pleasant. The terminal displays illustrated the history of the airport, then called Hulman FIeld, since it's opening in 1944. The waiting areas were clean, comfortable and stocked with amenities, creating a welcoming environment.
General aviation aircraft gathered throughout the day on the fly-in apron in front of the terminal, while aircraft belonging to the flight crews and warbirds were parked around the corner. Several North American Texans and Mustangs were present, along with a T-28A Trojan, three Beech 18 variants, a TBM Avenger, a Douglas Skyraider, two Cessna O-1 Bird Dogs and an L-39C Albatros jet. Some of the warbirds, including those featured in a previous story from the Northwest Iowa Regional Airport fly-in last weekend, flew photo flights during the day. Here we have a selection of fly-in and warbird aircraft seen during our mid-day visit.
For The Aero Experience and St. Louis-area aviation community, the star of the day was the restored Douglas C-47A that has undergone an incredible transformation since arriving in Terre Haute in May of 2017. Vintage Wings Aircraft, based on the airport, has restored the aircraft to regular flight status in pristine Canadian Air Force colors over the polished aluminum skin. During our afternoon visit, the C-47 hauled the U.S. Army Special Operations Command Black Daggers for their team jump. Among the jumpers was Vintage Wings Aircraft owner Jordan Brown's son, Jordan Ray, seen here in the tandem jump at the end of this sequence. Some history on this 1942 C-47 can be found in The Aero Experience story about this aircraft.
The Aero Experience thanks the event organizers mentioned above and the individual warbird crews participating in this great Midwest Aviation event. We also thank Aaron Tarlow for flying us to Terre Haute and back to St. Louis in his beautiful Piper Comanche.