|By Carmelo Turdo
Our extensive coverage on the Saturday fly-in is featured in our previous post, and here we include a few images from that story:
The first thing people see as they drive into the parking lot is a McDonnell Douglas F-4C Phantom II jet on display. The jet, serial number 63-7491, was made in St. Louis and first flew in 1964 before delivery to the U.S. Air Force. It served in Vietnam, trained pilots in air combat tactics and flew interceptor missions with the Air National Guard in Hawaii. It also served as a trainer for ground crews until it was retired and eventually made available for display at the airport. It has been repainted twice, the last time in the summer of 2019, by Joe Steimann and a crew of volunteers. Here we show the aircraft as it appeared last Saturday and Sunday. We also include the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps tent and the Gateway Youth Aeronautical Foundation F-4 Phantom mobile cockpit exhibit that was open to the Young Eagle flyers and their families on Sunday.
The Young Eagle flights were conducted by EAA Chapter 864 members who donated their time and aircraft to fly about 200 young people throughout the day. The Young Eagle Program provides an opportunity for youth aged 8-17 to receive their first flights in general aviation aircraft free of charge during a large rally like this one or on an individual or small group basis as best suited to the local communities. This annual Young Eagle rally is one of the largest in the area, and this year the Gateway Youth Aeronautical Foundation F-4 Phantom mobile cockpit exhibit provided an extra shot of inspiration for a new generation of aviators. The cockpit was meticulously restored by Joe Steimann, and repainted for the 2021 tour. The cockpit and other Foundation exhibits are open daily to the public at their Creve Coeur Airport location. Here we show an overview of Sunday's Young Eagle rally.
The Aero Experience thanks everyone who participated in the Young Eagle flights at St. Louis Regional Airport last Sunday. You have done a great work to inspire the next generation to explore the world of aviation!