AirVenture 2008 was a day to settle into your campsite and relax in your
camp chair along Runway 9/27 to watch the arrivals.
arrived in his 3-year-old RV-7.
He made the six-and-a-half hour flight from Ogden, Utah, on Saturday,
and heís now parked and camping in the North 40.
his fifth year to the fly-in, and he returns each year more for the
overall experience rather than any particular events.
really donít have any special, single-out event. Itís just the total
scheme of things. You know itís kinda gotten to be a ritual."
brings him back each year?
the total experience of the thing that brings you back. And each year
things are just a little better. Smoother.
are just astounded by the logistics of the way things are controlled
here. The tremendous effort that must be going on behind the scenes to
make this thing work. I just have to say itís the total
Tom is a
long-time, highly experienced pilot. Heís been flying for "about
his favorite airplane?
favorite airplane is always the airplane youíre flying at that
time." He then casually launches into a mind-boggling list of
military aircraft, of all shapes and sizes, which heís flown over the
retired from the military in 1979 and then was with McDonnell Douglas
for 12 years.
days his "favorite" plane is a little more modest. He has
about 500 hours on his RV-7.
the Vanís quick-build in a year and a half. "I spent 12 to 14
hours every day for 18 months."
flying this plane compare to the heavy metal he flew in the Air Force?
apples and oranges. This is a fantastic airplane. Itís just a delight
to fly. Itís like a butterfly on a stick. It will do anything you want
it to do. Economical to operate. Inexpensive to own.
that youíll come down from your first flight with your ĎRV smile,í
and thatís absolutely the truth."
Hasselbring and Don Musinski from Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Don have decided that
the only thing missing from the North 40 being paradise on earth is a
roving ice cream vendor. They are from Ann Arbor, Michigan, and made the
relatively quick hop over the lake on Sunday morning.
Musinski has been coming to the fly-in since the mid 1980s.
memories of past AirVentures are not about the airplanes.
the cultural thing. I tell people thereís no place I know of,
anywhere, where you can have like 700,000 peopleÖ. Iíve been to the
Indianapolis 500 where youíre walking around ankle deep in trash. Here
you canít find a scrap of paper. Thatís the culture here that I find
retired and now works exclusively as a flight instructor at Ann Arbor
Hasselbring is one of Donís flight students. She earned her pilot
certificate back in February. Sheís a high school math teacher, and
she uses her passion and knowledge of flying in her classroom.
to pursue her flight training with instrument flight rules(IFR)
certificate soon, but thatís just the start of her aeronautical
applied to be an astronaut two times now. The first time 1,600 teachers
applied, and only three were taken, but I did make the top 100."
second application was just in July, so sheís still waiting to hear
back. "If I donít make it this time, Iím gonna keep
Cindyís second time to AirVenture. She has vivid memories of her first
visit a year ago.
to Julie Clark, talking to Janice Voss, the astronaut. Seeing the air
show. Seeing Patty Wagstaff fly like she did, wow."
also surprised last year to learn about the Women Airforce Service
was one of my favorite things. I never knew their story. You didnít
hear about that in U.S. history class. Hearing those ladies was a true
inspiration, because they didnít do what they did for any recognition
or fame or anything or benefits. They just did it because they love to
was really cool to hear that some of them were still instructing at the
age of 80. And one was in an air race, and she got fifth place out of
male or female, any age group. And that was what was really inspiring. I
hope Iím like them when Iím 80 or 90 years oldóstill flying and
loving life. They just had a sparkle in their eye."
she wants to find some ice cream.
the "Around the Field" archive at www.AroundTheField.net.