AirVenture veterans know to expect the
unexpected when it comes to their week in Oshkosh. After so many years,
it can be difficult to be surprised.
On the other hand, newcomers can often be
so overwhelmed by the experience that it can be difficult to pick out
any single thing. Nonetheless, we went out and asked people the newest
question of the day:
What were you surprised by this week?
This is Betsy Haley’s first year at
AirVenture, and she traveled from Montvale, New Jersey. She was
surprised by how well everything was organized.
“It’s so big, and there are so many
people,” she said, “but they manage to have everything run on time,
and keep the visitors informed.”
Dave Viviano has been coming to Oshkosh
for the past eight years, and the Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, resident
said he’s always surprised by EAA’s ability to organize.
Jim Matthews from Seattle, Washington,
hasn’t been able to come to Oshkosh for the past few years. He was
surprised by the upgrades to the field. “We really like the Internet
hot spots,” he said.
Of course, all of the planes at
AirVenture are always fun to see. Jim and Brody Clark and Patrick
McEligott immediately started to list off their favorite aircraft. They
enjoyed seeing the DC-7 take off, walking through the DC-2, and all of
the “big iron” parked in AeroShell Square.
The question often received knowing
chuckles, followed by a word about the weather. “We were coming here
expecting Oshkosh,” said Glenn Cruz from San Diego, California, “and
instead we got Sploshkosh.”
This year was the first time Bill
Willyard, from Grand Rapids, Michigan, is camping. He said that with the
weather improving, he has been able to stay “fairly dry” this week.
Even if it wasn’t the weather itself,
many people were surprised by all of the changes that had to happen
because of the rain.
“The North 40 was bare,” said Dave
Landis from Amarillo, Texas. He’s been coming to Oshkosh for more than
20 years and said that he’s never seen anything like it. “Normally
they’re parked wingtip to wingtip.”
The rain also brought unwelcome guests:
Ben and Cliff Northrop from North
Carolina said the pests have been particularly bad this year. Rick
Sullivan from San Diego has also been working to battle the pesky
On the other hand, things were not as bad
as they could have been. “I’m surprised by how good a condition the
field is in, considering the weather,” said Jim Clark.
The weather also brought some pleasant
surprises. Many felt that the way that the volunteers and staff along
the flightline rallied to overcome the conditions deserved recognition.
Steve and Katie McGreevy from Plainfield,
Illinois, arrived on Sunday and parked along Taxiway Papa before moving
to the Antique/Classic camping area on Monday. “We were amazed by how
well everyone handled everything.”
Finally, some surprises came from being
After hearing about all of the weather
issues Wisconsin has been having, Kurt Landis was expecting a poor
turnout. “But there are still people coming,” he said.