AirVenture 2017 Facts and Figures

"What an incredible year it was at Oshkosh. From the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and Apollo reunion, to new aviation innovations on display and two B-29s flying formation as part of 75 years of bombers on parade, it was a week filled with 'OnIy at Oshkosh' moments. You could feel the energy as thousands of airplanes arrived early and stayed longer, pushing aircraft camping to capacity for most of the event. The aviators and enthusiasts who attended were engaged, eager, and passionate, demonstrating how Oshkosh is the best example of why general aviation is so vitally important to the country. I believe it's the best AirVenture week that I've ever seen."

-- EAA Chairman Jack Pelton

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The Trip Home

Over Vetterman's Shoulder

One of the great things about flying your own airplane to AirVenture and back is that you get to fly a bunch of cross-country, especially if you live 1500 miles away across the great western United States. I have made the return journey in a single day--its long, but it works because you gain two hours--but this year I had a stop to make in Hot Springs, South Dakota to visit old friend and homebuilder Larry Vetterman. I wanted to take a look at his new O-320 powered Panther, and it is gorgeous - but not quite ready to be demonstrated. So instead, we hopped in his homebuilt Javron Cub (Larry has built fourteen aircraft so far...) and toured the Black hills. Continue reading "The Trip Home"

Early Start Thwarted

Eric B, the Good Samaritan.

The show is over and I need to be back to work in California on Monday morning, so I'm up at the crack of dawn to get an early start. Get to the plane and it is really hard to get the chocks out from under the right wheel, and even harder to push it out into the center of the row for start. A flat tire will do that to you. Continue reading "Early Start Thwarted"

AirVenture in the Mirrors

As I pushed the throttle in, lifted off of Wittman Field's runway 36(L) and pulled in to a right turn for a heading of 150, I caught a glimpse of AirVenture 2017 in the glare shield mirrors. Vibrant, full of airplanes, and crawling with people, the festivities would last two more full days, but my head and memory cards were full, and it was time to head west. Looking ahead, I picked out the three cub-like airplanes between me and the seaplane base, leveled off at 500' AGL and felt the acceleration that made those cubs look like stars in a special-effects hyper-speed sequence as I went by them on the right. It was another beautiful morning in Wisconsin!

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Remove Before Flight

Walking the grounds at AirVenture this afternoon, I ran across this pitot care flag that obviously came from our neighbors to the north! Interestingly enough, it was protecting an N-numbered aircraft. Continue reading "Remove Before Flight"

Airplane Tracks

Yes, I believe it was a light single, a tail dragger. Spent at least a week sitting in the same spot at Oshkosh to make a depression that deep. Probably ended up sitting on its wheel pant. Part of a large flock, judging by the number of similar divots in the surrounding fields. Continue reading "Airplane Tracks"