EAA AirVenture Oshkosh - The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration

 for Mon, July 28, 2008

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EAA AirVenture Today is published by the Experimental Aircraft Association for EAA AirVenture from July 27 - August 3. It is distributed free on the convention grounds as well as other locations in Oshkosh and surrounding communities. Stories and photos are copyrighted 2008 by EAA AirVenture Today and EAA. Reproduction by any means is prohibited without written consent.


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The official daily newspaper of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh

Volume 9, Number 2 July 28, 2008     

Growing up AirVenture
By Allison A. Reineck

Joe Honeck. Photo by Rose Dorcey

Having attended EAA AirVenture Oshkosh every year for as long as heís lived, Joe Honeck, 17, said itís more than a tradition; itís "just natural."

Honeck flew solo from his hometown of Iowa City, Iowa, to Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh on Wednesday afternoon in a 1948 Ercoupe. The trip took two and a half hours with no trouble at all. "It was smooth, and I had a bit of a tail wind coming up," Honeck said. "I was a little off course for a while, but I looked up and was able to find it."

After arriving, Honeck parked the plane, pitched a tent, purchased a bicycle from Goodwill, and was ready for the excitement of AirVenture to begin. "This [camping alongside his aircraft] is just normal for me," Honeck said.

Honeck grew up with AirVenture and aviation. His parents, Jay and Mary, have flown to AirVenture since 2001, but they have been attending the convention since before he was born. He sat on top of phone books in the cockpit and experienced his first love for flight. He received his private pilot certificate last November and got checked out in the Ercoupe two and a half weeks ago. "I flew in here, but I was so nervous for the last few days," the 100-hour pilot said. "Flying here is like living a dream for me, but I didnít think it would happen before I turned 18."

His parents and two other couples purchased the Ercoupe after the airplaneís wings were damaged on the way to another buyer in Texas. "The original owner was going to sell it to a guy in Texas, but on the way there it was in an incident, and the metal wings crumpled," Honeck said. New fabric wings were installed just three weeks ago. Before the trip, he logged about 15 hours in the airplane.

Honeckís parents, both pilots, will arrive on Sunday to continue their family tradition. Until then, the University of Iowa freshman intends to "chill out" by his vintage airplane. "I work so hard back home at my parentís aviation-theme hotel, that Iím really enjoying this."

FUTURE AIRVENTURE DATES: 2014: July 28-Aug. 3; 2015: July 20-26; 2016: July 25-31; 2017: July 24-30
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