Dreams are able to fly through MOSASP

Dreams are able to fly through MOSASP

Two decades after September 11, youth’s interaction with air travel began to degrade. No longer were non-flying passengers allowed in certain sections of the airport, let alone to see the plane. Gone were the days when the general public interacted with airports without tickets in hand. When Joe Steimann saw that a whole generation had experienced a disadvantage to other generations to air travel, he knew that he had to do something about it.

As an air travel enthusiast, and former military, he decided to form an organization dedicated to teaching youth about aviation. Located in the St. Louis area, he cleverly named the organization the Gateway Youth Aeronautics Foundation. Garnering support from donors, he obtained an airport hangar at Creve Coeur, Mo, where he was able to house a small museum and simulators for youth interactions.

Joe was no stranger when it came to surplus property. In fact, he had been involved with other organizations who utilized the Federal Surplus Property Donation Program. He knew that the Missouri State Agency for Surplus Property would be a great partner with the foundation.

“We have utilized it for tools for our organization, a heating system for our building, a go-kart that hauls individuals around the airport, a helicopter for display, and most currently, a working helicopter,” Joe said.

Steimann’s eye was towards property that would further the foundation’s mission. Furthermore, he also obtained simulators that would bring a richer learning experience.

In early 2023, Joe was able to obtain the most recent helicopter through a federal property reimbursable program. While the helicopter obtained was not in total working order, he had plans to not only get it operational, but also use it for training purposes. After paying a service charge of $150,000, he, along with the organization mechanic Faith Ortega were able to get the Bell Aircraft Model B flying again.

“The organization was fortunate enough to include an aviation mechanic that was able to get the helicopter operational,” Joe said regarding Faith.

With an operation helicopter, the organization can offer a wider range of experiences and learning opportunities, especially for youth who have no other way to be introduced to flying.

“We are trying to be that missing puzzle piece to bridge the gap,” Faith said.

Joe introduced Faith to MOSASP, who instantly began to reap the benefits. Yet, the benefits are really for the youth.

“Everyone is sharing the love of aviation with the kids,” Joe said.