Straight and Level – August 2017
VAA 5721, EAA 55229
AirVenture 2017 is now a thing of the past. For those of us who made the annual sabbatical it was a magical time spent with family, friends and all things aviation. AirVenture 2017 was also one for the record books. It was a monumental statistical success with approximately 590,000 attending, an increase of five percent over 2016. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 aircraft flew into Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh where ATC adroitly handled 17,223 aircraft operations in a ten- day period. Wow!
And Vintage! We certainly did our part in making AirVenture 2017 such a gigantic success with over 1150 showplanes flying in for the show. Our 2 mile flight line was jam packed. I never ceased to be amazed by the dedication and talents and skills of our Vintage family of volunteers who as usual did a masterful job in organizing and then putting their plans into action. Our 560+ volunteers put in over 30,000 hours of work on behalf of our members and guests.
Vintage Village was certainly well attended. This year we renovated our flagship building, the Red Barn, and added a mini museum to the new expanded area. We added newer and larger bleachers which not surprisingly, proved to be a crowd favorite at both the Vintage Interview Circle and during the airshows. We expanded our forums hours this year. The Vintage Tall Pines Café served over 4000 breakfasts during the week. I have just touched on a few areas in Vintage. As you can well imagine there was much, much more happening in what I have always called a 100-ring circus. There will be expanded reports in upcoming issues of Vintage Airplane.
In closing, I’ll just say that Oshkosh is a time when we totally immerse ourselves in airplanes and everything associated with airplanes. It’s our passion. We wouldn’t have it any other way.