AirVenture As Economic Barometer: The Recession Is Over
Bright And Breezy
Maybe it's a subtle ticking upward in the economy, or maybe it's the new sport-pilot rule, or maybe it's the weather -- sunny with a breeze, not too hot, not too humid (for Oshkosh). Whatever the cause, the mood here in Oshkosh is inescapably upbeat, the crowds are thick, the campgrounds are full, the aircraft parking grounds are full (or close to it) -- well past the usual for a Tuesday afternoon (and summarily putting last year's showing to shame). "The south lot yesterday was at row 150 of 155," said EAA's media relations man, Dick Knapinski and it was clear just walking by that the "north 40" was by Tuesday filled near (or to) the brim with aircraft. The general feeling is not only are there a lot of people here for so early in the week, but a lot of them are not the traditional diehard faithful -- they are curious newcomers, which of course bodes well for the future of sport aviation. ...Did we mention the first installment of our OSH image galleries? Plus, visitors are giving off the vibe that they are ready and able to part with their cash in pursuit of aviation dreams. As the icing on the cake, there are brand new 350-hp kitbuilt aerobatic designs on the field -- manifestations of a certain extravagance you just don't see when times are tough.