|The #avgeek crowd at #CampBacon enjoys spirited talk|
no doubt centered around airplanes, technology,
beer or bacon. Photo: Ron Klutts
Airplanista Blog Editor
(Eugene, OR) You notice from the dateline at left that I have not yet departed for the aviation world's annual family reunion at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. I won't go wheels up until Sunday, when I blast off out of KEUG on a United regional jet flying a "Dawn Patrol" flight to KDEN. With the WX Gods on my side, I should make it through KORD unscathed and arrive in the land of cheese and airplanes a little before 4PM to catch the shuttle bus from KATW to the show grounds.
My readers who have been lucky enough to attend Oshkosh know that once your boots (OK, technically really good walking shoes) hit the ground, you are running constantly, and no matter how much you try, plans go haywire all day, every day. The veteran AirVenture attendee knows that pivoting is one of the best skills you can bring with you to this massive show.
Knowing that this will no doubt change, here is a look at my Plan "A" before, of course, it deteriorates into "Plan B" and finally goes completely off the rails and no longer even resembles a plan:
MONDAY:Yes, this is my published "Plan A" but you can be assured it will change. In fact, as I write this, it is currently changing. All I know at this point is I will be in Oshkosh for a few days to see my friends and indulge in a sea of airplanes, drinking in all the joy that is flying, in whatever form it comes at me.
After a sumptuous breakfast at Blackhawk Commons next to the luxury dorm room I have rented at the University of Wisconsin, I plan to be escorted to the show on a $659,000 (just guessing here) Go Transit Oshkosh City Bus before swooping through the Media Hut to grab my Airplanista media credentials.
First planned stop at the show is Boeing Plaza at 930A where Honda will be introducing us to their first production HondaJet. They are planning a "hat giveaway" and if their hats are of the same high quality as their jet, I MUST get one of those onto my dome.
Next I will swing by a couple of donor's booths to pick up swag and visit with some of the cool aviation companies donating door prizes to #Oshbash. That is followed by a hike over to my first visit to #Campbacon to meet up with @LarryOverstreet, my anointed Guardian of the Swag at the show. He's offered to hold it all so I do not have to hoof it on my back for two days. Larry is also jumping in to support #Oshbash by bringing chilled bottled water for the Panelists. I love #avgeeks like Larry, he just "gets" what it means to belong to this aviation family.
After a few hours baking in the sun watching the afternoon air show, I will migrate back to Boeing Plaza for the Opening Day Concert featuring Kenny Loggins. His music (with Jim Messina) was on constant loop when I was a younger lad, and my step-son, Michael, even played "Danny's Song" at my wedding 27 years ago (with a broken arm). But of course, like everyone else in the audience, I will be waiting for him to hit the first few notes of "Danger Zone" from the "Top Gun" movie soundtrack. I'm not the only one that hopes EAA has arranged for an F-14A Tomcat (flown by Tom Cruise, a.k.a Pete "Maverick" Mitchell) to blast over the show grounds at warp speed at treetop height right about the time Loggins sings "right into the DANGER ZONE" for the first time. That happens and it would forever be remembered as one of Oshkosh's most epic moments...ever.
Another breakfast of bacon, waffles and coffee at Blackhawk precedes my biggest day of the show for 2014. I have a confirmed 930A interview on EAA Radio to discuss #Oshbash and the GA Power Collective, followed by another interview at the Announcers Stand out on the flight line to also talk about growing the pilot population to 1,000,000.
After a lunch of brats and a couple of gallons of water, I will stroll the halls and grounds sniffing out stories for all the magazines that are currently buying my work. With Cessna Flyer Magazine, Piper Flyer Magazine, Rotor Magazine, EAA Sport Aviation Magazine and AOPA Pilot Magazine throwing ink my way - plus this blog - my main goal at OSH14 has shifted from finding ad agency clients to finding interesting people to write about. This follows a path forward for me towards eventual retirement from advertising so I can focus 24/7 on my writing.
Around 4P, I will "move into" the Press Tent for #Oshbash, helping to set the stage and coordinate with Dave Allen and his TV crew from otherpeoplesairplanes.com, who will be broadcasting the event live on their youtube channel. That means even those on mobile (non-Flash capable) devices will be able to watch Oshbash from anywhere on the show grounds...or even in Hong Kong, where Lynda Meeks will hopefully be tuned in.
From 530P to 730P, I will moderate the GA Power Collective Panel Discussion at this blog's #Oshbash event. This is going to be a day "filled with surprises" as my wife likes to say, because nobody knows what's going to happen. After the lights go out and the crowd is gone, I hope to find a great meal with some #avgeeks that may or may not involve bacon.
This is going to be a full day, but I have purposely left my schedule wide open just to search out some #avgeeks and chill...of "chilling" is possible when the "feels like®" temperature of a Wisconsin summer approaches what feels like 212 degrees. This is my day to go left if I feel like it, or go right...no set course, just wander and have fun in airplane wonderland.
In the morning around 10A, I might run into one client, Field Morey of Morey's West Coast Adventures, who is driving up from the family airport in Middleton, WI to attend a LOP seminar by Teledyne Continental. His 2013 Cessna Corvalis TTx has one of their engines, and it will be put to the test in September when Field and a friend depart on their "Capital Air Tour" to fly the TTx to 49 state capitals...in TWO WEEKS. My team at the agency will be handling PR for this aggressive flight, and Field's goal is to show the non-aviation media along the way that GA airplanes are capable of such a flight, while telling them that the local GA airport is an asset that should be used to increase tourism into their area.
Before heading out to the flight line for the afternoon air show, I will catch Ramona "Skychick" Cox's presentation on backcountry air camping at 230P in Forum 6. I wrote about her for an upcoming magazine story, and this ought to be time well spent.
Ramona Cox and her TU-206
After the acts are done bringing their "A" game to "The Box" in the afternoon, I hope to hook up with Neil Reagan (@NTR_09) and a bunch of other young #avgeeks for a run over to Ardy and Ed's for burgers and a malt. It is always cool to listen to their enthusiasm...it re-kindles my own passion for aviation.
Before watching the night air show, I hope to wander back through #Campbacon for the Bacon Party 6P - 8P, where @AirPigz will be using his new modified Kenmore kitchen stove to cook up a mess of his signature Sus scrofa domesticus. This is a must-attend event for me, it is the epicenter of all things #avgeek at #OSH14. ()
My flight home is not until the afternoon out of KATW, so I get a bonus four hours at #OSH14. On the last day of this trip, I will have my roll-aboard with me, so dragging it all over the grounds is always a challenge. I usually stay within dragging distance of the Bus Park.
From there it is a shuttle ride back to Appleton's Airport, and a jaunt through ORD and Portland before arrive back in Eugene at midnight.