Bill Gideon and
his Wright-Patterson Flying Club Archer.
Rick Hunt from Columbus, Ohio, with
his 1979 Cessna Skylane.
Bill Gideon is here for his first-ever
AirVenture. It was not your usual Oshkosh experience.
He arrived Monday from his home in
Dayton, Ohio, and due to the soft ground in the North 40, parked on
pavement up in the northeast corner of the field. He pitched his tent in
the North 40, along with all the other planeless, and enjoyed his first
night at the fly-in out there.
Then on Tuesday he was among the wave of
planes able to move over to normal parking in the North 40. Conditions
had improved enough that they were able to taxi most of the way over on
the grass taxiways just off the runway.
“I had to use a lot of power to taxi,”
Bill said, “but I don’t feel like I sank in too much.”
As an Oshkosh first-timer Bill is thrilled with everything.
“I love it. It’s awesome. The
organization of the whole event is very good. The showers, all the
facilities are top-notch. It’s a great group of people, I really
Bill flew into AirVenture 2010 in a
180-hp, club-owned Piper Archer. He’s a member of the flying club at
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where he’s an active duty officer.
The club has about a dozen airplanes.
He came to Oshkosh this year in loose
formation with a buddy flying a Citabria.
Back home, Bill’s flying is mostly
local around the Dayton area. “Every now and then, I take the family
for an overnight thing. But typically it’s just local.”
Like so many other aircraft, the brown
and white 1979 Cessna Skylane finally found its way to parking in the
Rick Hunt is part-owner of the Cessna and
flew it into AirVenture from its home base in Columbus, Ohio.
They flew by way of the shoreline route
past Chicago. Flying the route was uneventful, except for not hearing
from ATC very much. “The controllers were talking to only about half
of us. I called Chicago a couple times, and they never responded.”
Rick and his two fellow campers arrived
at AirVenture Sunday, but they were diverted to Fond du Lac where they
parked the plane for their first two days.
But Tuesday they got word they could fly
into Wittman Field and park on the grass in the North 40.
Like others, Rick found finally taxiing
on the grass to be a little soft but not a problem.
“I could tell it was mushy. I had to
have a lot of power on the aircraft. But I tell you what was very
impressive was all the marshallers. There was no question about where we
needed to go. We just held the GAC sign up, and they pointed the way.”
Rick spent his first two days camping
with friends in Camp Scholler, but now he’s pitching his tent under
the wing, just south of Runway 9, the way Paul intended it.
Rick’s been flying for 38 years, but
this is his first time to the Oshkosh fly-in. In past years, family
obligations made it impossible to be here, but now that the kids are
grown he’s able to make the trip.
He likes what he’s seen so far. “I
think I need to come back many more times to see all of it.”
In addition to just soaking up all the
sights and sounds of the fly-in, Rick is volunteering with a program
called Youth Aviation Adventure. YAA is an educational program for kids
teaching aviation skills. “It’s like the scout aviation merit badge
Throughout the year he volunteers with
the YAA’s programs around the country, and here at AirVenture he’s
helping staff its booth in Exhibit Hangar D.
Rick is a member of EAA Chapter 9 in
Columbus. About 16 of the chapter’s members are in town, and they all
got together for dinner on Tuesday night over at the UW dorms.
In addition to flying the Skylane, Rick
also logs hours in a handful of light-sport aircraft. He regularly flies
a CTLS, a Tecnam Bravo, and a Champ.
He has just two words for what it’s
like to fly these lightplanes: “Pure fun.”