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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedFlying excitement down on The Farm: The ultralights live!
Story and photos by Earl Downs
Ultralight aircraft is an affordable and fun way to fly.
The variety of flying types in huge down on The Farm.

The crowded traffic pattern, the sound of buzzing two-cycle engines, the roar of burners blasting as hot-air balloons are inflated; it was controlled chaos down on The Farm—and it was a gas!

The perfect weather conditions combined with the resurgence of ultralight activity on Thursday evening created a show of shows at the AirVenture ultralight flying field, affectionately known as “The Farm.”

The addition of the light-sport aircraft category has led to a downturn in ultralight activity over the last few years, but on The Farm, the true home of affordable flying is back on the move.

For less than the price of a small economy car, anyone can fulfill their dream of flying for fun by looking to the “light stuff.”

And The Farm provides a world-away experience for the fliers and spectators.

The AirVenture ultralight field comes alive with flying as dawn breaks each morning, pauses for the daily show, and then surges back to life until the sun sinks to the west.

While the volume of activity may look chaotic, it is actually safe and well choreographed thanks to the group of volunteers and pilots that make it happen.

Each pilot must attend a morning safety briefing if they intend to fly at the field, and air traffic is managed by use of hand signals from controllers on the ground.

The sounds, the fanciful designs and variety of the innovative ultralights and light aircraft, and the enthusiasm of those who fly the light stuff add a special dimension to the AirVenture experience.

Down on The Farm: it’s fun, it’s exciting, it’s affordable.

FUTURE AIRVENTURE DATES: 2014: July 28-Aug. 3; 2015: July 20-26; 2016: July 25-31; 2017: July 24-30
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