By Mary Grady, Contributing editor
Canada's first-ever EAA fly-in drew about 15,000 visitors for the inaugural event just over a week ago, but turnout was disappointing at a light sport aircraft expo in southern Illinois last week, according to the organizers of both events. Nearly 15,000 visitors turned up for the Wings Over Gatineau/Canadian EAA Convention/Fly-in in Ontario, EAA said. The event also featured a 70th anniversary commemoration of the Battle of Britain. About 100 aircraft showed up despite foggy conditions that canceled some arrivals. The second annual Midwest LSA Expo was "wonderfully run," according to a report at ByDanJohnson.com, but the hoped-for crowds failed to materialize; and while serious shoppers turned out to look, few seemed ready to buy. Challenging weather didn't help, with stiff winds and 95-degree temperatures for the show start. However, the organizers plan to try again next year, perhaps shifting the dates from Thursday-to-Saturday to Friday-to-Sunday.
At the Ontario event, the Vintage Wings of Canada museum sponsored the Victoria Cross airshow on Saturday, followed by a Battle of Britain re-enactment and a ceremony honoring World War II veterans, EAA said. At the LSA event, the venue got high marks for user-friendliness and the pattern was busy when the weather cooperated. "It's easy to do a demo flight here," show organizer Chris Collins told AOPA, noting that aircraft in the static display could easily be moved to the ramp. "[AirVenture] and Sun 'n Fun are such big shows that [visitors] can't experience the airplane and make the best purchasing decision," he said.