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A Note From the Editor

By Harold Cannon, Editor, EAA Warbirds Briefing, hcannon@eaa.org

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is done for the year, and in many ways it feels like the time right after a great family holiday. Our crew, kids included, had a fantastic time. Sunday began early with the kids leaving in the Baron, piloted by a good friend, Hugh “Uncle Buck” Houston. Hugh makes a living flying 747s for the United Parcel Service, so his piloting credentials are first rate. However, take a six-place twin and pack it with two teenage girls and two 10-year-old girls, and the mission becomes a bit more complicated. Add the OSH arrival and some ground time before the parents get there and well…there you have the “Uncle Buck” part of the story.

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Julie and I pointed the L-39 north about 7:30 a.m. local, just as things started to clear on this end. An Instrument flight rules clearance was the order of the day and saw good use for the first half of the trip to Rockford, Illinois. Things did clear up entirely by RFD, and the hop to OSH was completely clear; now if only the same could have been said for the weather leading up to AirVenture. Perhaps the real adventure in “getting there” this year was getting set up in Warbird camping.

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I’m always amazed at the amount of work that goes into running the Warbird area at AirVenture, and this time it was Herculean. Ground crew had been rearranging parking, pumping floodwater, and shifting camping areas all on the fly. All of this was done with an incredible amount of determination and not a small amount of grace; everyone scrambled for a place to be. By Tuesday everything was beginning to look as it usually does. Even the Warbird store got into the act with “I survived Sploshkosh” T-shirts.

This year saw massive improvements to the Warbird area with the dedication of ScottsMiracle-Gro Warbird Alley, and an expanded Warbirds in Review program. Crowds there seemed to rival AeroShell Square. The Warbird merchandise area was also improved and enlarged, and we gained a marker tower to serve as a landmark and meeting place for those coming to the area. Finally, daily Warbird activity updates were provided to the AirVenture announcers. That made sure the entire convention was up on our goings-on, and the crowds in and about Warbird Alley reflected our efforts.

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All of that plus great times with wonderful friends made leaving to go home a bit harder than usual. Even the kids weren’t ready. The week was capped off with a wait on the ramp while fog lifted downrange, and  an ILS approach awaited us at home. Not a bad way to cap off a great week.

For more on the dedication of ScottsMiracle-Gro Warbird Alley and video links of Warbirds in Review, keep reading this issue of Warbirds Briefing. If you missed AirVenture this year, Briefing will sure to make you start planning for next year now.

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