EAA AirVenture Oshkosh Day Three

By Jaco Pitout


Our third day at EAA Airventure started with a weather warning of a severe storm that would move through the area between 0600 and 0645. Needless to say, the whole camp, including Camp Plakkerfontein, was getting ready to weather the incoming weather. The storm did strike and brought some wind and quite a bit of rain. The storm lasted for about 30 to 45 minutes and all of the campers sought refuge in various areas.

After the storm had cleared, I made my way down to the flight-line, I was also offered a ride to my destination by kind passers-by, from my drop off point I walked past some of the wide variety of aircraft on display. The remnants of the earlier storm were still clearly visible.

The main purpose of my walk in this direction this morning was to visit Sling Aircraft, at their impressive display stand, aptly named, Sling Island. Their display included several of their aircraft including the new high wing models in tri-gear and tailwheel configuration. An interactive mock up panel, equipped with Garmin Avionics, also gives customers the opportunity to explore what is possible and available to equip or upgrade their aircraft.

Adjacent to Sling Aircraft you will find the EAA Airventure Workshops area. Here you can learn about various skills from aircraft covering to metalwork, essential skills for every aircraft builder.

No walk to this side of Wittman Regional airport would be complete without a stop at the famous EAA Airventure arch. It is such an iconic place!

I then made my way to the opposite side of the airfield to sit down and speak with some of the volunteers that make EAA Airventure work. I met with Geoff Downey, who Directs Rotorcraft Operations at the Fun-Fly Area. In speaking with Geoff, he said that he has been volunteering for over 30 years. His role is about bringing the rotorcraft team together, which is about 12 people. They ensure the safety of the rotorcraft operations at the Fun-Fly Park and also present information about the pilots flying as well as the aircraft that they operate. He also said that he hardly ever asks for volunteers, they stream in, and they are ready to be of service. He believes that teamwork is very important as the leader of the Rotorcraft team. When I asked him what brings him back time and again, he answered without hesitation; "camaraderie". In my interactions with his team, I could see that the volunteers certainly shared his vision. I spent a little time with Geoff and his team at the Fun-Fly Park. Geoff also informed me that he has a special connection with South Africa, especially the Mocke family from Upington, who he fondly referred to as warm and kind people, which he wishes to visit again in the not-too-distant future.

On my way back to camp to charge my electronics, I noticed that the Boeing Dreamlifter was being pushed back onto the runway. I stopped to take a picture of its' departure.

The afternoon heat was intense and many of the members of the tour group elected to take a break from the heat at camp. I took the opportunity to take some pics of unsuspecting "victims".

While being at the camp, the afternoon airshow continued. I was fortunate to capture the following of the F22 Raptor and the Legacy Flight formation.

Wednesday nights at EAA Airventure brings out the heavy hitters that have no equal when it comes to aerobatic displays in the dark. Other than that, the fireworks display is unparalleled, it is spectacular!

I cannot wait to bring you more of the action tomorrow! I will be heading out towards the warbird area and will have a closer look at the older side of aviation. Be sure to log on to
www.pilotspost.co.za again tomorrow!

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Oshkosh 2023

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