The Spirit of AirVenture:
A Story and Upcoming Events
For the past 50 years, EAA - The Spirit of Aviation - has hosted aviation enthusiasts from around the world for one week in its hometown of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The control tower stands tall, at center field, with a banner reading, “World’s Busiest Control Tower.” But just as pilots and aircraft controllers identify passenger counts as “souls on board,” it is truly the souls - the spirit - that make this event one to remember and one to which to return.
Better than any mobile alarm clock, the buzzing of powered parachutes and ultralight aircraft awoke the campground each morning to signal morning civil twilight and the start of a new day. We stirred in our tent for another hour, before the sun rose above the horizon, begging us to pull off our blankets and step onto the dewy grass.
We spent the early mornings in lawn chairs, sipping coffee. The Ohio in our blood was welcomed by our neighbors from Michigan and Indiana, who graciously hosted us and with whom we enjoyed the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration.
We participated in the One Week Wonder. I learned how to pull a rivet, and we contributed to building a Van’s Aircraft RV-12iS. With the work of 100 core builders and 2500 AirVenture participants, the aircraft took its first flight on the last day of the show.
No photo can do justice to the feeling of AirVenture. If it is your first time at AirVenture, I can only recommend that you do not create a to-do list. Just go. Give yourself as much time as you can. Enjoy it. Do not try to see everything; it is impossible. But you will enjoy everything that you do see.
AirVenture is not just about airplanes. It’s about stories. It’s a story in which we are proud and humble to experience the freedom of flying.
UPCOMING AVIATION EVENTS (edited 29 May 2019):
- 1 - 2 June: 99s New Zealand Spring Section Meeting, Onaka
- 21-22 June: AOPA Fly-In, Livermore Municipal Airport, Livermore, CA
- 15 June: 99s German Section Yearly Meeting, Schoenhagen
- 18-21 June: 43rd Annual Air Race Classic (ARC), McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport, Jackson, TN to Niagara Central Dorothy Rungeling Airport , Welland, Ontario
- Airport Stops: KMKL (Jackson, TN), KLGC (Lagrange, GA), KHGC (Hattiesburg, MS), KSUZ (Benton, AR), KLXT (Lee’s Summit, MO), KFRM (Fairmont, MN), KAUW (Wausau, WI), KCIU (Sault Ste Marie, MI), CYAM (Sault Ste Marie, ON), CYYB (North Bay, ON), CYFD (Brantford, ON), CNQ3 (Welland, ON)
- 16-21 July: 99s International Conference and Career Expo, Dayton, OH
- 22-28 July: EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, Oshkosh, WI
- 22 July at 1730: EAA WomenVenture Social, Oshkosh, WI
- 23 July at 1800: 99s Aviation Appreciate Dinner at Wittman Terminal Building, Oshkosh, WI
- 24 July: WomenVenture events, beginning with group photo. Reserve a t-shirt. Oshkosh, WI
- 25 July: Seaplane Pilots Association Annual Corn Roast, Oshkosh, WI
- 17 August: 41st Annual Okie Derby Proficiency Air Rally, Sundance Airport, Oklahoma City, OK
- 22-26 August: 99s Northwest Section Fall Meeting
- 13-14 September: AOPA Fly-In, Tullahoma Regional Airport, Tullahoma, Tennessee
- 5 October (globally; and various other dates): Girls in Aviation Day, a Women in Aviation International Event
ONGOING EVENTS AND ORGANIZATIONS:
- EAA Young Eagles: Launched in 1992, the Young Eagles program has dedicated more than 25 years to giving youth ages 8–17 their first free ride in an airplane. Join us in offering each child, tween and teen the opportunity to experience the Spirit of Aviation by becoming a Young Eagles volunteer today!
- Girl Scouts: As a volunteer, you’ll introduce girls to new experiences and help them unleash their inner G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to take the lead and change the world.
- Pilots and Paws: The intent of Pilots N Paws is to provide an environment in which volunteers can come together and arrange or schedule rescue flights, overnight foster care or shelter, and all other related activities.
- Pancake Breakfasts: Instead of the $100 hamburger flight, opt for a stack of pancakes. Check with your local and surrounding FBOs for a chance to meet pilots close to you.
- And more! Tell us about events near you and we will be happy to share them with our community.