Richards will answer your questions in AirVenture Today throughout the
Please drop your questions (with your
name and where you are from) off at the AirVenture Today office located
near the old FAA control tower and the First Aid Station or via e-mail
and he will do his darndest to answer them.
Q: Is it true that the
AirVenture air traffic controllers we hear on the tower frequencies are
FAA volunteers? Whoever they are, they should be commended for doing
such a great job. Taking time to say "Welcome to Oshkosh" and
the quick chat makes you feel welcome.
They are so good that I’m not going to make fun of them. Not today,
anyway. The more than 60 FAA people who work in the control tower are
paid for their work here. They are nominated and recommended by their
supervisors, so, as an EAA spokesman said, "They are the best of
Q: Why are military
aircraft named a letter-dash-number? Does the "F" in F-22
stand for "fantastic?"
M.P., Madison, Wisconsin
That "F," and all the others with reference to U.S. military
aircraft, stands for "fighter." B is for bomber, and C is for
cargo. From the World War II era, P is for pursuit. The rest of the
alphabet means very little.
Q: Wow, John Travolta
and Harrison Ford will be around during AirVenture. How super. Do you
have the scoop on any other big name celebrities that will be around?
Those are just a couple of them. We’re up to our ears in celebrities.
Don’t forget comedian Jeff Dunham and Gary Sinise of CSI: New York.
And there are aviation celebrities every way you turn. If you can’t
find them, then you must not be turning. Also, I will sign autographs.
Q: Did that hurt when
you put the pencil through your ear?
M.D., Webster, Minnesota
Not a bit. It didn’t hit anything of consequence.
Q: Why is AirVenture
not working toward being a "green" event? Why are there no
recycling bins? Aren’t we supposed to be taking aviation into the
future? And doesn’t that future entail being aware of our environment
and how we as pilots affect that?
A.T., Chicago, Illinois
"We are working toward being a green event," said Dick
Knapinski, spokesman for the EAA. Knapinski said that in past years,
recycling bins have been placed around the grounds, but they end up
being used as garbage receptacles. "Then there is no recycling, and
we have twice as many garbage cans to pick up," he said. If
you’ve got a way to control the actions of hundreds of thousands of
people, the EAA would be glad to listen. So would a number of political
candidates. For now, EAA is working on a recycling program with the
folks in the Federal Pavilion. See tomorrow’s paper for more details.
Q: How many parking
places are there for airplanes at AirVenture?
D.H., Wichita, Kansas
A: Well, last
year, Wittman Regional Airport and the AirVenture grounds were at
capacity, and that represented slightly more than 10,000 airplanes
parked here. If my math is correct, that means that there are slightly
more than 10,000 parking places.
Q: Why are there so
many people at AirVenture, an event that inevitably requires a lot of
walking, wearing flip-flops?
M.S., Homewood, Illinois
I am sorry to say that there are some questions that have no answers, at
least none that make sense, and this is one of them.
Q: Along the
flightline, there is a raised deck of sorts that has Canon and FLYING
magazine written all over it. During the air show, it’s filled
with people with cameras, and I was wondering if that was for the
general public or media representatives. Do you need a special pass to
use it? It seems the perfect vantage point to watch the show.
Z.S., Oshkosh, Wisconsin
It’s free, and it’s open to the public, according to Elizabeth
Pratt, Midwest regional manager for Canon U.S.A. Inc. Also, she said,
Canon makes free loans of Canon cameras at the Canon Building, and when
you bring the camera back, the staff there will burn you a CD. Also
free. You can’t knock the price, can you?
Q: How can we submit
pictures for AirVenture Today?
I.A., Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Between the two professional photographers who work directly for AirVenture
Today and the EAA staff and volunteer photographers, we feel that we
have it well covered. Unless, of course, you have a current photo of
Amelia Earhart. "We feel that we have everything pretty much
covered," said Ric Reynolds, managing editor.
Q: This is my second
year at AirVenture. My dad and I flew out from California. Last year, I
was amazed at Patty Wagstaff’s performance, and I saw her again
yesterday. I think she is inspirational and cool. Is there any way that
I could meet her?
Anna M., age 13
Cool indeed. Patty will have an autograph session from 1 p.m. to 2:15
p.m. today at the International Aerobatic Club headquarters here at