Aviation Events Gearing Up For Hopeful Season

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U.S. Navy Blue Angels

U.S. Navy Blue Angels

Sun 'n Fun launches for the 40th time, in Lakeland, Fla., on April 1 -- less than four weeks away -- and with aircraft sales back in positive growth mode, the mood is expected to be upbeat. The event will host its first-ever Job Fair, on Wednesday, April 2, at the Florida Air Museum, with recruiters in search of pilots, engineers, mechanics, flight ops personnel and more. The U.S. Navy Blue Angels will fly Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and the popular night airshow is back for Saturday night. The Notam is posted (PDF) with details for those flying in. Aero Friedrichshafen launches in Germany the following week, April 9 to 12. The popular show continues to expand, now with more than 600 exhibitors, including ultralights, drones and electric aircraft, along with the full spectrum of GA pistons, jets and helicopters.

EAA AirVenture is gearing up for their big event, set for July 28 to Aug. 3, and this week announced commitments for the afternoon airshows. Patty Wagstaff is back, flying an Extra 300, along with Sean D. Tucker, Chuck Aaron, Kirby Chambliss, the Red Bull Skydive Team, and a long list of others. "Logistics work continues," EAA said noncommittally, to bring the full performance of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds to the show for the first time. EAA also is reprising their "One Week Wonder" project, inviting thousands of visitors to pitch in and build a Zenith CH 750 kit airplane over the seven days of the show. EAA also appears to be giving up on its long-suffering campaign to get everyone to call the event "AirVenture" -- this year's logo gives top billing to "Oshkosh 2014" with "EAA AirVenture" in smaller type.