Thursday, November 26, 2020

Elite Aviation Food Drive Makes Impact on St. Louis Area Community

By Carmelo Turdo
Elite Aviation's pre-Thanksgiving food drive has concluded, and not surprisingly, the community answered the call: 10 barrels of non-perishable food and household supplies, along with $400 in monetary donations, were collected and received by the St. Louis Area Foodbank! The food drive was organized by Jason Donovan, Elite Aviation's Flight Operations Manager, shown below during our visit a few days into the effort last week and during the final pickup. The Aero Experience thanks everyone who participated in the food drive, and we encourage others to sponsor their own during the remaining holiday season. 

(Elite Aviation photo) 

(Elite Aviation photo)

(Elite Aviation photo)

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Gateway Youth Aeronautical Foundation OH-58 Helicopter Makes Test Run

By Carmelo Turdo
The Gateway Youth Aeronautical Foundation reached a significant milestone this week: the ground testing of the newly installed turbine and rotors on the Bell OH-58C Kiowa helicopter. The Kiowa restoration to flight began in earnest in August following the completion of the mobile F-4 Phantom II cockpit exhibit, and the work has progressed to the ground run conducted last Thursday. All systems functioned perfectly, and work continues toward a first flight. 

The week's activities are highlighted below. Some of the photos and the video were provided by Joe Steimann. Special thanks to Kurt Mungenast, Will Farwell, Joshua Allison, Tim Ogan, Jimmy Johnson, Lando Rivera, Nick Hisserich, Curt Croy, Robert Leeling, Dennis Norris and all the other people involved with making this a reality.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Texas Swing - Visiting Aviation Sites in the Dallas Area

By Fred Harl
The Aero Experience visited the Dallas/Fort Worth area again this year, making several stops during the fall southern sojourn to Texas. Here we feature six T-38C Talons from Columbus AFB, MS parked at Fort Worth Alliance Airport; the new Commemorative Air Force National Airbase campus under construction at Dallas Executive Airport; and exhibits at the Aviation Unmanned Vehicle Museum at nearby Caddo Mills Municipal Airport. Early unmanned vehicles on display at the museum include the Teledyne Ryan BGM-34B Strike version of the Firebee and Gyrodyne QH-50 DASH anti-submarine helicopter.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Fly Twins Offers Affordable Cessna 310 Training and Flight Packages

By Carmelo Turdo
The Cessna 310 continues to be a staple aircraft type in the multi-engine training and light twin transport markets, offering good performance and economical operation in today's cost-conscious environment. The C310 is an excellent platform for gaining a multi-engine rating and flight time, combining the solid feel of a larger plane with the precision handling of a sporty twin. Successful employment of the aircraft for training and time-building, though, takes a great deal of planning and organization best performed by a professional aircraft management and flight instruction provider.

Fly Twins, a new program from Gateway Jets, provides a streamlined way for current pilots to obtain their multi-engine rating and build time in their St. Louis-based C310L. The Aero Experience met with Gateway Jets President, Corey Tomczak, to learn more about the Fly Twins program and the aircraft during a recent visit to St. Louis Downtown Airport.

"The primary uses of our Cessna 310 are for multi-engine time-building, rental and instruction," Tomczak said. "The Cessna 310 is Cessna's flagship twin-engine aircraft and a great multi-engine trainer," he added. The aircraft is protected in a modern hangar, and it is serviced by the airport's FBO, Jet Aviation. It is clean and meticulously maintained, as are all aircraft managed by Gateway Jets.

The Fly Twins C310L cockpit has a standard instrument and throttle quadrant arrangement with HSI, S-TEC 30 autopilot and Garmin GNX 375 GPS Navigator/ADS-B Transponder updates. This combination of conventional instruments and digital flight avionics provides continuity from other aircraft types while adding the safety margin offered by the latest technology.  

The time-building and rental package provides for up to 5 Hobbs hours at $1000/day, excluding fuel and instructor. Solo flights under this plan are included, providing the pilot meets minimum requirements. 

Fly Twins also offers the Fast Track Multi-Engine Flight Training Course for qualified private or higher-rated pilots. The $4,995 package includes up to 8 Hobbs hours, fuel and instructor. With prior self-study of the course materials, the training can be accomplished in as little as three days. Several pilots from around the Midwest have already taken the Fast Track Multi-Engine Flight Training Course and have successfully achieved their multi-engine (MEL) certificates.

In the video featured below, Corey Tomczak introduces the Fly Twins program and the Cessna 310L. Contact him at Fly Twins for more information.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Gateway Youth Aeronautical Foundation Project Update: Helicopter Restoration, Flight Simulators and Pedal Plane

By Carmelo Turdo
The Gateway Youth Aeronautical Foundation continues to grow, adding more fun and educational resources to inspire youth interest in aviation. In recent days, the GYAF has installed a three-axis flight demonstrator and two flight simulators - conventional desk-top and a virtual reality system with airplane and helicopter simulation capabilities. The new P-51 pedal plane has been in nearly continual use this week, and work continues on the OH-58 helicopter restoration to flight project. The impressive F-4 Phantom cockpit mobile exhibit resides in the Foundation hangar when not at another event site, and visitors can sit in the fully-instrumented cockpit (a rare opportunity in any museum). Planning for spring and summer 2021 events and appearances are now underway. Please contact the Foundation for more information, and we welcome your year-end, tax-deductible contributions to support future programs.