Jul 2019 Come on up, the water’s fine!
It was a fabulous first for me, arriving at AirVenture 2019 a whopping 60 hours before it officially begins. There’s plenty happening on the grounds at OSH in the days and weeks before kickoff, high time to see it unfold for myself – not to mention live-it-up even longer than usual!
This lovely little bird, Ray Hegy’s El Chuparosa, welcomes you to the big event at the famous Brown Arch. Its prominent position indicates it made an appearance here 50 years ago, the very first time EAA hosted their flyin at Oshkosh, Wisconsin. In 1969 the event moved from Rockford, Illinois before coming to Oshkosh.
My prize for early Friday arrival was Queen Bee status in IAC parking near show center. Make that my bird, not me! Of course, it was short lived but awesome while it lasted!
My flight up was uneventful, scooting along around 2200′ under a cloud layer most of the way. Dennis Hutchinson and his Davis DA2A were right there with me; behind, ahead, 9 oclock, you name it and a cool view for me for a few hours.
Without a doubt, the big pre-story of AirVenture this year is the rainy weather. The big question is, how quickly will acres of soggy ground that thousands of aircraft are expecting to park on, take to dry out and become accessible? The latest news is the field is temporarily closed to incoming traffic for up to 24 hours. Keep in mind, it’s extremely wet right now but “temporarily” is the key word. Drainage is good here and warm weather and imminent sunshine will dry it out quickly.
In the meantime hundreds of volunteers from EVERYWHERE are taking it all in stride, smiling and working like crazy preparing for your arrival. As I write, the rain has stopped and the sun is already peaking out. Hope you don’t let a little rain dampen your spirits and keep you away.
And last but not least, today Boyd and I are at my favorite place on earth celebrating one very big day with a few favorite aviators. Big day?!