As aircraft and visitors spill in, everyone
has a story to share about navigating the wet weather. Now that the sun
is shining, spirits are high as visitors look forward to the week ahead.
We went around the field asking people two questions: How are you coping
with the Wisconsin weather? And… What are you looking forward to this
week? We received a variety of responses.
Barbara and Steve
Colby from Salt Lake City, Utah.
Forrest Klies with
his “crew” Mark and Pam from Basin, MT.
Volunteer Al Hartline navigates the
Warbirds area in his homebuilt Jeep. Hartline arrived last Monday, so he
experienced the week’s weather firsthand. “It’s a swamp,”
Hartline said. “I’ve got water in my tent, but everyone is taking it
in stride.” For the week ahead, Hartline said he is looking forward to
seeing all the different types of aircraft, especially the B-51s. “It’s
the big, round engines that, to me, make the show.”
Also in the Warbirds area, J.D. Daniel is
in from Texas with his T-34 Mentor for the 20th year. Like many
visitors, Daniel is hoping the rain holds off. “This whole rain thing—I
can’t believe it,” Daniel said. “It could turn into a disaster
with one more rain.” But he’s coping as well as most. And looking
ahead, Daniel said he is looking forward to formation flying and seeing
Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band.
Jon Angell made his way from Florida in
his Focke-Wulf 149. “We got grounded in Pontiac, Illinois, because you
guys were getting hammered,” Angell said. Once they got to Oshkosh,
Angell said he was taken in by some people in the North 40.
After contemplating whether to fly in,
Erin Shuttleworth arrived Saturday in a Yak-52TW, one of only 33 with a
tail wheel. “We were afraid about not having someplace to park,”
Shuttleworth said. “When we landed, we asked if this was the Seaplane
Base.” Camping, despite all the water, however, wasn’t an issue for
Shuttleworth; she said her camper came in Wednesday—with no problems.
For the week ahead, Shuttleworth said she was most looking forward to
seeing all her friends. “This is the one spot you see everybody,”
Getting here Saturday, Joe Smith hauled
an electric helicopter from Virginia. “The helicopter came out of the
shop at 3:30 and they said, ‘Go.’” Smith said he hit a storm on
the way that made driving the tractor-trailer difficult. “It was
picking the whole darn tractor-trailer up,” Smith said. “I was
thinking, ‘They’re going to be upset if this thing goes on its side.’”
In his week at EAA AirVenture, Smith has his days packed. “I’m
looking forward to seeing the whole thing,” he said. “I want to see
In the Homebuilders area, Chuck Moore
from Houston, Texas, said he “waded in” Saturday afternoon. On the
flight in, Moore decided to stop for fuel in Iowa in case he couldn’t
get into Oshkosh. Once things cleared up, Moore said he marveled at the
views in Wisconsin. “This is just the most beautiful country in the
summertime,” Moore said.
Moore, who comes to EAA AirVenture every
year, said he’s looking forward to talking to other visitors. “The
fun thing about coming to Oshkosh is the assemblage of all people of the
same mind,” Moore said. He also said he likes to think about
improvements to his own aircraft while here.
Also in Homebuilders, Mike Hilger came in
Sunday afternoon from South St. Paul, Minnesota. He originally planned
to come in yesterday, but the field conditions delayed his trip. Hilger
said he is impressed with the volunteers, and he hopes everyone
appreciates their hard work. Most of all, Hilger said he was looking
forward to the night air show on Saturday.
After flying his homebuilt with a group
of four through the storms, Harry Crosby arrived at Oshkosh Friday
afternoon. “We saw a brief break in the weather here and made a run
for it,” Crosby said. Overall, Crosby said he is most looking forward
to the Oshkosh adventure.
Steve and Barbara Colby said that the
volunteers at AirVenture meant that there was “no coping involved”
because of the weather. Volunteers helped them move their tent and plane
to the aircraft camping area after they arrived in their Cessna 172 from
Salt Lake City, Utah. They are looking forward to relaxing for the week
and seeing the planes that are finally being parked along the flightline.
Jordan Rosen and Cammi and Brandon Haines
flew in together from Oklahoma in a Cessna 310 and an AC-100. Their trip
on Thursday was “tail winds and clear skies”—until, that is, they
reached Oshkosh…and the weather came in. The weather meant that they
had to park across the field at Basler and bring their camping gear over
to the Vintage camping area. They are looking forward to nearly
everything, from getting airplanes together to the air shows, forums,
and the entertainment at Theater in the Woods.
Forrest Klies’ Noorduyn
Norseman is parked next to the Hangar Café where it’s been since
Wednesday, after waiting at Basler since last Saturday. The flight from
Basin, Montana, was clear all the way, getting him to Oshkosh before the
storms rolled in. Then his plane sat parked on the other side of the
field for four days because of the soggy conditions. Now, some planks of
plywood sit under the wheels to keep them from sinking in. Forrest says
he is looking forward to Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band performance at
Theater in the Woods and the Harrier performance. “I’m almost deaf,”
Forrest said, “so I like hearing the noise.”
Dave Williams’ bright yellow Dyke Delta
sits tied down in front of the Homebuilders registration. His weather
coping includes staying in a friend’s motor home, instead of camping
in the tent he brought. He is excited at the prospect of meeting old
friends and looking for new ideas.
Shona Hirota says that she comes to EAA
AirVenture knowing the weather can do anything. She flew her Glasair
from Vancouver, Canada, on Friday—after having to wait a day for the
weather to clear. She is looking forward to the fields drying out. “Then
the airplanes can come back,” Hirota said.
A group of seven Wittman Tailwinds flew
in Sunday morning, making Jim Clement’s goal of sitting and talking to
friends an easy one to achieve. The group has a friend in Oshkosh who
checked the weather for them—first-hand. The Tailwinds had to dodge
some clouds on the way here, but all seven arrived safely.
Keith McQueen landed his Cessna 182
Saturday evening after leaving Utah at first light that morning. He said
things were going pretty well, considering the conditions. They were not
planning on parking in the Vintage area, but the rain meant that it was
the easiest place to get to. This is his first EAA AirVenture, so he
says he is looking forward to the “Oshkosh experience.”
In the Ultralight area, Tim Johnson flew
in from Omro, Wisconsin on Sunday morning in his Challenger. He said the
weather didn’t cause any problems and the trip was a “beautiful
flight.” He is looking forward to the forums, especially those on the
repair and maintenance of Rotax engines—the type that he has in his