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, October 8, 2020

St. Louis Aviation: Mid-Week Airport Visit Update

By Carmelo Turdo
The Aero Experience visited Creve Coeur Airport and Spirit of St. Louis Airport this week as part of our regular coverage of Midwest Aviation. Work continues on current and future aviation programs that show the inherent strength of the St. Louis general aviation community. In this post, we present a mid-week update featuring a variety of activities and observations over the last several days. 

Creve Coeur Airport

Our sponsor, Gateway Flight Training, recently added a Piper Cherokee and Cessna 310 to their training and rental fleet. Gateway Flight Training provides pilot training from first flight to air transport pilot, and everything in between. They also provide aircraft management, flight crews, aircraft maintenance and related services at multiple airports. Here we include a look a their fleet and some heavy maintenance being performed on twin-engine aircraft. 

Also at Creve Coeur Airport, the Gateway Youth Aeronautical Foundation continues restoration work on the Bell OH-58C Kiowa helicopter that will be part of their youth outreach program. The helicopter, along with the restored F-4 Phantom cockpit and skills-based activities, will be used in support of the the non-profit organization's mission to spark youth interest in pursuing opportunities in the aviation and aerospace fields. Here we feature a visit from Vietnam veterans in the F-4 cockpit and the current status of the helicopter structure. Please consider donating your time and financial assistance to the foundation.

Spirit of St. Louis Airport

Our sponsor, Elite Aviation, continues their robust flight training program using late-model Cessna 172S Skyhawks with conventional and G1000 configurations. They also provide advanced flight simulation training using the Redbird MCX full-motion simulator in partnership with the Alpha Flight Simulation Proficiency Center. Elite Aviation also provides aircraft maintenance services for their fleet and customers from around the region in their Spirit of St. Louis Airport facility. Here we feature fleet operations and a look at the Redbird MCX simulator with John Keich.

On Wednesday, Juan Velasquez from Frasca Flight Simulation visited both Gateway Flight Training and Elite Aviation to demonstrate the Frasca RTD flight simulator. This model offers popular Cessna 172 and Piper Archer/Seminole configurations with available Garmin G1000 software. The self-contained unit includes a tablet-based interface from which the instructor may monitor the flight, introduce weather or add mechanical failures. The instructor can also freeze the flight and provide guidance as needed. CFIs from both flight schools evaluated the RTD and gave it favorable reviews. The demonstration tour will continue through the western and southern states throughout the fall and winter.

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