What Brings People to AirVenture?
by ANN Correspondent Rose Dorcey
It's fun to roam the AirVenture grounds, stop people by
surprise, and ask them if they're willing to talk to the press.
Most will; some refuse. Others just keep on walking.
Midweek of aviation's greatest spectacle, we're seeing a whole
lot of enthusiasm. We talked to first time visitors, like Richard
Olson from Beaumont, Texas, who said, "We don't know anything about
airplanes, we're just here to look at 'em."
Ron Prosser, Kalamazoo, Michigan, is in Oshkosh for his
twentieth time. A pilot, he was impressed by the B-1 Bomber and to
see the Cessna 172 on its 50th anniversary. He comes to see what's
"That little Honda jet flyin', that's pretty nice," Prosser
said. "I like to walk out there and see what people got and how the
fixed them up."
Mark and Lynn Langenfeld, from two hours away in Madison,
Wisconsin, said they come up every year.
"I've been going to EAA Fly-ins since they were in Rockford,"
said Mark. "We hit the vendors. As far as what's on the flight
line, I have a short list of airplanes I want to see."
Lynn comes becomes she loves aviation. She loves to fish, too,
so they often visit the Seaplane Base. She and her husband own two
aircraft. She has also been to Oshkosh for several years. The one
time they missed, they felt "awful, like there was a big hole in
Ed Wilkinson, Wurtsboro (NY), and Walt Finkle, Summitville (NY)
came to Oshkosh with three other pilot friends. Wilkinson had been
coming since 1992, only missing a few years. He and Finkle are
partners in a Cessna 140.
Wilkinson said that AirVenture is a nice outing for their group.
"It's a wonderful vacation for us, and for our wives, who we leave
home. Believe me," he laughed, they enjoy us going away for a
Finkle brings his bicycle along and rides 30 - 45 miles every
other day. The others bring motor scooters to get around. They
enjoy the beautiful Wisconsin countryside, the clean AirVenture
grounds, the friendly people, as well as learning what's new in
"We're going through quite an evolution with the Light Sport
Aircraft," said Wilkinson. We like to look at the latest aircraft,
and attend the forums."
Milo Schindler, Rapid City (SD) also expressed interest in the
LSAs at AirVenture.
"Light Sport Aircraft are interesting at my age. I'm still able
to pass my flight physical, but you never know. If I go to an LSA,
it'll be a Vans."
At 70 years old, Schindler flies an RV-9. His son-in-law is a
current Army helicopter pilot; his daughter is a former Army
helicopter pilot. They bring their two children to the event. They
use AirVenture as a family vacation, and to visit friends and
acquaintances from other EAA chapters. Every afternoon, Schindler
takes a break from the Oshkosh heat to relax in the shade of his
fifth-wheel camper in Camp Scholler.