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Wed, Aug 03, 2005

Poberezny Says AirVenture 2005 One Of Best Ever

"This One Stands Out"

"Wow!"

That was EAA President Tom Poberezny's initial reaction to the 2005 EAA AirVenture Oshkosh convention. "One of, if not the best conventions we've ever had," he told reporters during his Sunday afternoon media briefing.

"I've been to all but one (EAA convention) going back to 1953, and people ask me which ones stand out in your mind and why," Poberezny said. "Next year, I can tell them that this one stands out."

Two others that had stood above the others for specific reasons were 1985, the first year the Concorde came, and 1994 when EAA had its Salute to Apollo program for which all the astronauts--the men who made space history--came to Oshkosh.

"Those were singular events that took place at the convention and both had an impact.," Poberezny continued. "This year we had multiple events that truly related to the event itself, whether it was White Knight/SpaceShipOne, Glacier Girl, GlobalFlyer, and the list goes on and on. We never had the depth of programs that we had this year."

Poberezny said a buzz was started well before the convention and EAA was able to keep building on the momentum heading into the July 25-31 event.

"It started before the convention with the inquiries, the interest, the announcements that were made, but you could feel it peak yesterday when White Knight/SpaceShipOne and GlobalFlyer both flew on the same day. People who were here were a part of history; they saw history."

Poberezny did not have attendance figures, but said, "There's no question we were up in attendance." Poberezny attributed to three factors: the switch to a Monday-Sunday format, which better suited people's travel patterns; ideal weather; and the depth and the variety of the programs.

"That's what ultimately brings the people here, and I've got to tell you, there's something at Oshkosh for everyone in aviation. Every day there was something new--a new announcement, an unveiling-and it makes me proud to know that the industry looks upon Oshkosh as the place to be to make their announcements, to unveil their innovations. It's truly become aviation's premiere event."

Other highlights: 2,892 showplanes registered, about 300 more than 2004. Of that total a record 1,267 homebuilts were on the grounds. About 900 media representatives were on site, compared to about 700 last year.

FMI: www.eaa.org

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