Friday, November 3, 2023

Annual Pumpkin Drop Features MO CAF B-25, Youth Aviation Displays at St. Charles Smartt Field

By Carmelo Turdo
The Annual Open House and Pumpkin Drop was held October 28 at St. Charles County (Smartt Field) Airport. The event, sponsored by St. Charles Flying Service, the Missouri Wing of the Commemorative Air Force and Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 32, drew a good crowd despite the cool and overcast conditions that prevailed. This year's event provided the opportunity for aspiring bombardiers to hurl pumpkins at the retired airport courtesy car before the MO CAF Wing B-25 made a final run on the target.

The Youth Aviation Area display was provided by the Gateway Youth Aeronautical Foundation (GYAF) and the St. Louis Flight of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), both based at nearby Creve Coeur Airport. The Foundation's mission is to inspire youth interest in aviation by providing an aviation experience that impacts a young person's life. In the display area, visitors boarded a fully-restored F-4 Phantom jet cockpit to view for themselves what a fighter pilot sees through the canopy. Young children had their own pumpkin drop game, throwing foam pumpkins from their pedal planes at a target before collecting their bag of candy. The Civil Air Patrol is the USAF Auxiliary, offering a Cadet Program, Aerospace Education and Emergency Services training for members. The GYAF and the CAP work together to inspire youth to pursue aviation careers and develop skills needed to be productive and patriotic citizens.

Here we feature the MO CAF Wing B-25, Show Me, making her bombing run along with some junior pilots participating in the pedal plane pumpkin toss. The Aero Experience thanks our friend Larry Titchenal for providing the photos for this story.

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