Those ‘Oshkosh Moments’ Stay With You for Life (Part 6 of 10)

2:53 PM

Read previous parts of this series: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

By Dan Pimentel,
Airplanista Blog Editor

O.K., sure, I write about Oshkosh a lot here on Airplanista. I’ve you’ve been to the show, you know why. If you have never been to the World’s Largest Aviation Celebration, you may not be able to understand how this show stays with you all year, and the memories you make there stay with you for life. It got me thinking about some of those cherished “Oshkosh Moments” I have experienced over the years. 

So if you are not yet oversaturated on me writing about Oshkosh, here’s another installment of my Top 10 list:

5. Watching overhead formation with #Avgeeks (2013) – The year Disney’s Planes movie premiered at Oshkosh’s Fly-in Theatre was really special. The camaraderie between #avgeeks was off the charts. There was a large gathering of us on Camp Bacon the night of the premiere, so we all grouped up for a mass walk over to the theatre. There must have been 30 of us, and as we walked, something happened that was one of the “Only at Oshkosh” things I am talking about in this series.

As we walked, one of those giant formations of airplanes we see throughout the week came into view above us. Of course, like all aviators, we all stopped in our tracks and watched it fly by. But this was not just any formation. At the very front of the “diamond” formation was the B-29 Fifi, with a B-17 in close formation off each wing. Behind them were four B-25s, and behind them were row upon row of P-51s, maybe 15 of them. At the rear were a couple of long rows of T-6s, again it looked like 20 or so. I estimated the total number of airplanes at about 40. We all stood there mesmerized, and I was not the only person who mused that there was only one place on the planet where this could have happened, and we were smack in the middle of it. When the formation rumbled off to the east, we again continued our trek to the theatre, every one of us #avgeeks grinning ear-to-ear. That’s the cool thing about Oshkosh, you just never know what is going to happen next. You can be simply walking from one place to another and something this epic happens. 

One thing I clearly remember is that as this massive formation was lumbering by, none of the #avgeeks were talking. Instead, we were all listening to the gorgeous symphony of airplane noise overhead, one that can only be made by several dozen large radial engines cruising by. There is no other sound in our aviation world like that of an old radial engine, but when you put so many together at once, it is glorious, and can make a large group of #avgeeks – a type of aviator known to talk endlessly for hours – to stay silent.

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