AirVenture 2020 Canceled


The 68th annual Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture Oshkosh fly-in has been canceled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The event was scheduled to take place on July 20-26, 2020, at Wittman Regional Airport (OSH) in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Wisconsin is currently under a stay-at-home order until May 26. Grounds preparation for the fly-in was due to start on May 1.

“We looked at every possibility over the past six weeks as to how EAA could move forward with AirVenture this year, because it is such an important reunion for the aviation community,” said EAA CEO Jack Pelton. “Ultimately, preserving the health and safety of all who would attend—and all the varying guidelines between states and countries from where our participants arrive—along with the massive commitments needed now for an event to meet EAA’s high standards, made cancellation the only option for this year.”

According to EAA, it will be contacting individuals who purchased tickets in advance or made camping reservations to offer rollovers to 2021 or refunds. Last year, approximately 642,000 people attended AirVenture, more than 40,000 of whom camped on site. The 2019 show hosted 863 exhibitors and OSH saw 16,807 aircraft operations from July 19-29, 2019. AirVenture 2021 will be held July 26-Aug. 1, 2021.

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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    • Agreed, the safety of all involved is paramount. Glad they made the right choice and cared more for their members than their profits. Here’s to next year!

      • Just note the this virus has affected 0.306% of the US population and you are making decisions for 99.694% based on that… This information is from the CDC.

        • I’m with you Keith. It’s about time we give choices back to the people, enuf government rules. With the minuscule amount of affected people, the economic cost and inconvenience is a WAY greater issue. We have gone through the bulk of this issue and it’s peaked in most places.

          We should be educating the people on how to reduce risk and how to protect ones self. If one is high risk, they can choose not to participate, just like they would for other venues and risks.

          The vast majority of the US is smart enough to make their own choices.

        • You have a curious definition of “affected”, Keith. If you are going off the CDC’s count of 1,062,446 observed cases (as of 1 May, count increases daily), then you are saying the medical staff being run ragged caring for the ICU patients are not “affected”. The 2x-10x number of cases which haven’t been officially tested and observed are not “affected”. The people who want to avoid getting sick, because it might kill them, are not “affected”. The relatives who had a family member die from the disease are not “affected”. The people (me included) whose hospital care or surgery is put off due to COVID-19 filling all available beds are not “affected”.
          And don’t base decisions on an instantaneous number, look at the trend. The CDC website says there were “30,787 New Cases” between 30 April and 1 May. Your small percentage is getting larger by the day. The purpose of all the restrictions is to slow down that trend.
          If you are at MEA in zero visibility over mountains, and your VSI reads -3000 feet per minute, do you say, “altitude is at or above MEA, no worries”?

        • The top 3 things to focus on here are “It’s not all about me.”

          Even if you’re personally willing to take the risk of picking up the virus in a crowd, the point of minimizing personal encounters is to reduce the spread of the virus in the general population. When you and 500,000 of your closest friends get together to swap pathogens (and some will – count on it), you all go home, the bug hitches an airplane ride to a whole bunch of places it doesn’t need to be, and ends up infecting people who didn’t go anywhere near Oshkosh. While the “personal choice” argument has some surface appeal, if you become a carrier you’re making “personal choices” for others as well – and they probably aren’t going to like the choice you made for them, especially if it’s fatal.

          If you get sick, you’re also putting healthcare staff at risk – and many of them have died after contracting the virus in treatment settings. If you could figure out a way to do whatever you want without affecting anybody else, I’d say go for it and adios – but that’s not how epidemics work. Stay home, stay safe, protect others as well.

          I go to Airventure most years, and I’m disappointed that it can’t operate safely in 2020 – but EAA made the responsible choice from a public health standpoint.

          • Excuse me, SB … “No facts or science.” WHAT!!

            Didn’t the Chinese shut down their own Country and then allow residents from Wuhan to … FLY … all over the world? Now look what we have. Politics aside, didn’t our President ignore the ‘facts and science’ that was presented to him by “experts” in late January and shut down travel from China? That’s all the “facts and science” I’d need to hear if I were Jack Pelton.

        • Yes, the numbers are low, as you point out… BECAUSE we are staying apart. I live in forest fire country out west, and fighting this thing is very much like fighting a forest fire in the way you have to contain it. To stop a fire you cut fire lines to separate the rest of the forest from the fire, and just because you are doing a good job of containment doesn’t mean you go home and stop holding the line. We are fighting a fire of epic proportion here and have to fight it as a team, Team USA. In order it kick this thing’s ass we have to keep working as a team to win. I know as Americans, and pilots in particular, we like being independent and don’t like people telling us what to do. But sometimes we have to be a team, and we are a strong team when we want to be. Think World War Two, we teamed up and kicked ass. It sucked but no one complained. I know if you all are smart enough to be pilots, you are smart enough to understand this. No one is trying to take our liberties away here, just trying to get the team together. The sooner we get the fire out, the sooner we get back to business, but not if we keep letting it jump the fire lines.

        • An outdoors event cancelled due to a virus that dies in less than 19 seconds in the sun.

          • Need I point out four very crowded exhibition halls, the seminar tents, classrooms, the FAA auditorium, eating facilities, and all the other “out of the sun” places the attendees frequent?

      • You think Reno will be open since it’s in mid-September? If the airlines are up by then I could satisfy my need there.

    • Following that level of public concern, maybe the governor in Wisconsin should announce a permanent ban on experimental aircraft altogether; for the good and safety of it’s pilots? At some point people need to take control again and live their own lives.

  1. Given what we know, it was a prudent decision. I will miss the gathering though.
    Thanks for making the call now!

    • ..Would not be prudent – not at this juncture!
      Shouldn’t be doin’ that airshow thing.

  2. I see a silver lining to what we are going through. One of those is that when all this is over EAA will not be able to return to the mob scenes of the past few years and we will return to the civilized AirVentures of 20 years ago. Bigger is not always better.

  3. Let the people make their own dissensions. Go if you want… Stay away if you want. You chose…

    • The problem is that Wisconsin is under a stay-at-home order until 5/25, and preparations for the show usually begins on 5/1. So quite literally EAA can’t even start making grounds preparations for the show in time. And postponing it wouldn’t be any better for a large event like AirVenture.

      They really had no choice but to cancel. Even if they hadn’t, as much as I was *really* looking forward to going this year, I wouldn’t have gone if for no other reason that it would have been so scaled back to not make it worth attending for me.

  4. The world is opening up for business again and for some reason, someone feels the virus will be deadly in July. Please tell me what the virus will be doing in June, July, August? Someone must know it’s going to remain highly contagious/deadly in the summer so, please, tell us how this will survive when other viruses have never been able to spread during past summers.

    Fearmongering is strong in WI and with those in charge of AirVenture…

    • I reside in PA. It appears those states that were flipped in 2016 are somehow being impacted the hardest.

  5. AIRVENTURE is not just about airplanes and other flying machines that we all love. More than anything it is a time each year to meet and socialize with old friends, and a time to make new friends in aviation as well. We are part of a very special community, with common values. The requirements of social distancing, avoiding large gatherings of people, and in particular preserving the health of older people makes it essentially impossible to hold anything resembling AIRVENTURE. If it were nothing more than coming and watching an airshow, it could happen. But AIRVENTURE is far more than that. Yes, the media has created this panic mentality over a fatality rate not that much greater than the annual flu. But until there is an effective vaccine or other means of “herd immunity,” AIRVENTURE will not be a marketable event.

    • The “requirements” what makes them requirements? Seriously, this has all been over blown, as Science and facts show. Just another org running scared and not defending their right to assemble and let their members decide. Don’t go

  6. Please… let’s not let our preferred TV networks or our politics divide us on this, fellow pilots! Flying around in your airplane is fine. But… Gathering more than half a million people from all over the world in one tight place for a week is a stupendously bad idea. It just defies logic. Not to mention that attendance would be decimated because all reasonable people would stay away. Large events aren’t being canceled all around the world (including Sweden) because of any left or right wing conspiracy. They are being canceled because organizers understand that it’s the only smart thing to do. We are all disappointed by what’s happening. I am in the hospitality business. My business is dying. It hurts. But I can’t deny facts to soothe myself. Until treatment and prevention are realities, no large gatherings. Feel free to agree or disagree. But please don’t question the motivations of those of us who know this to be true. Thank you. Enjoy your plane. You are lucky to have it. I just has to sell mine this week due to my personal Covid19 economic strain. And I’m one of the lucky ones.

    • I agree. Airventure is one of many, many events that have been cancelled this year. Does anyone remember the Olympics? A large international gathering is just not tenable this year.

  7. Hi folks. As we’ve said in the past, everyone is welcome to comment but please keep responses respectful and on-topic. Posts that don’t follow those guidelines will be deleted.

  8. Non Sequitur. However as was stated, “it’s the most politically correct decision.” Sooner or later we will have to attain herd immunity, the longer we wait the longer this will continue. Simply the manner in which all viral epidemics evolve every season. I’ve been flying in my high intensity UV light/fresh air flooded cockpit still the safest place you could be (or perhaps the mountains or beach). Be well.

    • You are spot-on correct. This sh*t has go to stop. First, they close the White Mountains in New Hampshire, and now my other favorite to-do activity is gone.

    • Ray, you mentioned the beach and the mountains. This week the White Mountains National Forest in NH was closed. All trailheads, shelters, and AMC Huts are shutdown until 2021.

  9. Jack J. Pelton said in a statement:

    “Ultimately, preserving the health and safety of all who would attend – and all the varying guidelines between states and countries from where our participants arrive – along with the massive commitments needed now for an event to meet EAA’s high standards, made cancellation the only option for this year.”

    Sensible decision.

    • And I will not renew my EAA nor AOPA dues this month.
      What’s the logical point if both organizations are telling me not to fly nor come near them?
      Another sensible decision.

  10. Please DO NOT make statements between the numbers of deaths of flu and Covid 19. The first ones are reported to an all year. The second ones are only known for a period short than two and half months. On the other hand, the proliferation of infection of Covid is, by far, more dangerous, fast and with a more elevated ratio (R0) compared with flu, and it’s worth to remember that one of main causes of infection of the SARS-CoV2 is the gathering of people. As a MD I can attest that. The freedom of people, just by itself, can’t justify causing put the others in risk of death.
    That’s why I think that the decision of cancellation was the most correct one

    • Thanks Doc. I only trust the statements of physicians on this one. All of you are educated and trained unlike most of the commentators.

    • “The freedom of people, just by itself, can’t justify causing put the others in risk of death.”

      “the freedom of people” naturally includes an increased risk of death, even in the best of times. It’s just another version of the old “freedom verses security” conundrum. You want to be more free? Then you must accept more risk along with it. Where shall we draw the line?

        • Perhaps what you meant was “KNOWINGLY taking an innocent person down”. If that’s the case, then I agree with you completely. But the flawed logic here is that neither you nor anyone else can say with absolute certainty that WILL happen – you are just surmising that will happen. The day-to-day world we all live in is always a risky place, pandemic or not.

          • Robert,

            Every day people get behind the wheel of their car under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and 99.999% of them reach their destination without incident – none of them planned to hurt another person and (almost) none of them did. Still, society has laws against DUI and neither of us would argue for their repeal.

            In the past 8 weeks more people have been killed by COVID-19 than by drunk drivers by an order of magnitude. I doubt any of the responsible parties killed their victims “knowingly” but that shouldn’t prevent institutions from placing constraints on their activities.

    • As a retiree from health care I am very familiar with government control. You should be as well and should be one of the last to be okay with this. Life is a risk. Grow up and face it.

  11. Thank you Jack Pelton for not only making a wise decision, but a timely one. As an exhibitor, pilot, aircraft owner, 40+ year Rockford/Oshkosh participant, and over all airplane nut, I am deeply disappointed we will not be able to meet the last week of July,2020. However, making that decision now vs kicking the can down the road till the end of May, will help many make better business decisions for the remaining portion of 2020 now that Airventure 2020 is now officially cancelled. Many companies were in a holding pattern to determine the next course of business decisions, including marketing and sales, waiting to see if Oshkosh was going to happen this year. Many aviation company’s profitability largely comes from participating at Oshkosh. My employment, or lack of it right now, is determined by participating at Oshkosh.

    Yeah it really hurts financially…a real understatement. But there is no question that a disease that shuts down the global economy killing 65K+ and climbing in the US alone in less than 7 weeks, will be far from over by the end of July. Even if we “flatten the new Covid-19 curve of new infections by the end of June, I am sure we will have a fatality rate exceeding 100,000 US citizens by the end of July.

    Under those circumstances, putting 600,000+ people together would be medically ludicrous, and politically. financially, litigation-wise, and publicly suicidal for the EAA organization itself.

    • It shut down the economy but didn’t need to. Power hungry POLS decided to suspend our rights to take power form us and scare you.

  12. Well said, Jim H. We can be sad. We can be mad. But we can’t really question the business decision Mr Pelton announced on behalf of EAA. Which is what the article was principally about. People are drawn to opine on all kinds of other things and to throw mud at each other. But keeping responses to the substance of the article is probably wise.

  13. Can’t belive they “caved in” to the pressure from Nancy to keep our people locked down and dependent on government handouts instead of jobs. It’s time to get this country back to normal! The government knew when the national speed limit was raised from 55 to 70 that tens of thousands more people would die as a result, but the did it anyway. More people are dying from suicide in my county now than Covid-19 because they’ve lost their jobs, retirement and homes. The risk to the general public at Airventure would have been minimal. Certainly less than the risk of driving there in an automobile! I thought the aviation crowd had more sense. Evidently not.

  14. As Jack stated, the first volunteers typically arrive in early May. At this time the situation is still in flux in many areas of the country and the world. Airventure needs all its volunteers and to expect them to start work while being uncertain of who may or may not develop life-threatening symptoms from exposure is not reasonable. At this time, I think the decision to cancel was the appropriate one. If the event was later in the year and the volunteers started working later as well, a different decision would likely have been appropriate.

  15. Brothers and Sisters in Aviation: 1) Please please please stop using emotional arguments, bad mathematical examples (especially if you don’t understand basic statistics), and especially your political persuasion in your judgements pertaining to the covid crisis. I would hope we as aviators put our highest trust in science and engineering. If you didn’t, you would never get in an airplane let alone attempt operate one. The thing about science is that it is the closest we have to the truth as humans can get, and can only be refuted by better science. Science is not refuted by your favorite politician, cute analogies or stirring sound bites, and will affect you whether or not you believe it, or like it. OK? 2) I’m just as big a personal freedom guy as the next, and also view any government, any authority, or anyone with perceived or real power with a great deal of skepticism. We all should. 3) No political party has a monopoly on good or bad people. We should not judge each other on our personal politics. We should judge each other on our acts. 4) now to the wisdom/stupidity of Canceling Airventure or anything related to covid for that matter, flying your airplane, wearing a mask, going to a rally, etc. The good Dr. commented above on the R0, which is the rate of infection for this virus. It is the highest rate that we have seen in modern times. There is no vaccine yet. Covid 19 is deadly, not so much from the statistics of mortality for a single individual, but because of the high R0 and the long time (relatively for other viruses) that people are infected and can spread the disease, before anyone can even realize it. That where the deadly part comes in. May not be as deadly to one individual as say ebola, but infects WAY more numbers of people. So even a small fraction of a number can be a BIG number when it’s the fraction of a REALLY REALLY REALLY BIG number. As such, it requires the COMMUNITY to act together to defeat it. There are things more important than the individual, rugged as though we all may image ourselves to be, independent as we all want to be, smart as we all think we are. If you think this is a mass conspiracy, how feeble we all must be as a group. The facts just don’t add up to a conspiracy at any level, and until we become a pure dictatorship, I don’t think any party could pull of ANY reasonable conspiracy given our distrust of each other. So my suggestion is to try to think, like a scientist, but stay calm, try to keep in mind that the greatness of our country is our basic goodness and most people’s dedication to something bigger than themselves. 5) So go! Enjoy all your toys, your life as you see fit, just please try not to needlessly put others at risk based on the best scientific knowledge, not the blue or red channel PLEASE, and certainly not on your own calculations, unless you are an epidemiologist, OK? We all have friends and family that may be impacted by someone else correctly, however very selfishly, exercising their rights! Taking care of each other and just being old school “neighborly” is not weakness.

    • That’s just a lot of words to say, “Shut Up, be scared and do what they tell you to do, if you don’t you’re a bad person.”

      Yea, no thanks. I recently came into pass that allows us to make our own decisions. The US Constitution. This idea that the world is going to end if we go to EAA AV is a pathetic joke, period. Stats and science have now shown that. But you all run scared and pretend to be so noble and a good citizen. Because you have given up your rights and so has EAA.

      Oh to the constant “do gooders” who pretend that they are so holly because it’s a good idea, then stay home. Don’t EVER EVER go outside again, ever. There may never be a vaccine for this so you must obey. Wake up folks, OR just extended their stay at home order until July 6th. This is about power and control and not medicine and science. PERIOD

      • S B. Wow! Please don’t try to summarize or characterize my post, because your first line summary couldn’t be more misconstrued and off target. Did you actually READ my post? Do you know how to read critically? Fair question, based on your summary and your vocab, and sentence structure. Brother, it’s only your opinion that the world is going to end if we go to EAA, and all of the other simpleton conclusions you came to, certainly those were not any of my posits (basis of argument). I’m not anything you concluded and accused me of, and I have no idea how to be “holly-er” than anyone other than adorning myself with too much Christmas holiday fauna, and I CERTAINLY don’t consider myself any HOLIER (is that what you meant?). This is because, now get ready for your head to explode, because I’m an atheist, and don’t believe that holiness is even possible in the biblical sense. Uh oh, now because I revealed one particular personal belief, I guess the next step will be a typical moron response. I bet you now have spring loaded me in all other kinds of lame minded classifications without any shred of evidence. But never mind, I called upon everyone to use thoughtful reason, and to maybe defer to science, NOT Authority as you claim, and this is apparently WAY beyond your capacity based on your response. So please, go in peace. I just respectfully ask that you stay at least 6 ft from me. Thanks. And thanks for proving that this was a waste of time, which was my biggest fear when deciding to respond, NOT the fear of the world ending. My biggest fear is ignorance, and the ignorant, ignorant of their ignorance.

  16. EAA PLEASE READ: As a flying FDM, I need to work for a living and miss out on many of the alphabet group’s conventions. I do enjoy streaming the events when possible. I challenge EAA to stream some of the great events (Theater in the Woods, maybe some performances, sell commercials to sponsors…) and move this event in some form to the web. Who knows, maybe AirVenture will get exposure to people who wouldn’t normally attend.

    EAA already streams many of the events. I know because I have watched much of AirVenture from my hotel rooms while on the road. Give (sell) the world something, you may be surprised by what you learn.

    • Like an EAA satellite tv program. “Aviation Education Channel“. How to build X planes and more. Great idea.

  17. “Gathering more than half a million people from all over the world in one tight place for a week is a stupendously bad idea. It just defies logic.” Agree. Following that logic, we should evacuate New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut!

    Actually, I applaud Pelton for making the call. There is just no place available to keep “social distance” with that many people crammed into one place–and it doesn’t take many infected people to not only infect attendees–but to have THOSE recently infected spread it throughout the U.S. and the world.

    What I WOULD HAVE LIKED PELTON TO SAY would be something like “Airventure is not EAA. Founder Paul Poberezny recognized that this is a “bottom up” organization–where builders and pilots could learn from each other–and meet each other–that’s why he created “Chapters.” A lot of work can be accomplished safely at local chapters, and that’s why we are creating programs and videos for those local chapters. Our mission will be to continue the work of EAA and its Divisions through “work from home” videos for the next year–“UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN!”

  18. Cancelling Air Venture is the sole right of the EAA. Personally I think it is a good idea, but, I like everyone else commenting on this thread don’t get a vote.

    Where you do get a vote is how you as an individual, want to support sport aviation going forward. Personally I hope to be part of the rebuilding of recreational flying at my home airport where I can again introduce when safe and appropriate, new people, especially young people, to the joys of flying and attend a great Air Venture next year

  19. Hopefully the ‘evacuate the tri-state area’ comment was a dumb joke. There is a big difference between choosing to invite a half million people to a week-long party at an airfield in WI and disbursing tens of millions of tri-staters from their homes to…. ummmm…where exactly? Huh? John C. had it right. I’m as skeptical of govmint malfeasance and incompetence as anyone. But not everything fits into a neat little red or blue box. This is one of those things that doesn’t. Try to ignore the politicians and TV talking heads on BOTH sides—from the prez on down—trying to make hay on this. Just use your logic and do the right thing to keep yourself and your community safe.

    • Thank you so much for the shout out. I just couldn’t believe the direct response to my post from an S B. You have reaffirmed my faith in humanity as I read this after a rebuttal.

  20. Does anyone remember exactly why Jack Pelton is the head of EAA? Huh? The outfit was on its way out and needed decisive leadership not only financially but also as an organization. He volunteered and stepped in and help right the ship with a change of leadership at the board level. He was criticized and in some places pilloried but he was right then and absolutely right now. Good decisions are made with good information and when you simply don’t have it you have to stop digging the hole deeper. Any real leader knows this. Can any of us say he knows how many people would come this year? Knows how many are infected (and there will be people coming who are infected and don’t know it or know it yet) and from where they are coming from? How many members or the public that will later leave and will be taking infection home with them? Are members from NYC, Georgia, Italy, or China coming and what does that mean? Can EAA get liability insurance for this or what about any insurance at all under the present circumstances? Would any of us run an event like this with NO insurance? How many military and what aircraft are coming while nearly every base is quarantined right now? Boeing, Airbus, and Aeroshell don’t have a dime right now so what airplanes are going to be in Boeing Square? How many show acts are coming and what happens if they cancel? Are the type groups officially showing up and in what numbers? How many FAA controllers can you come up with while tower hours are being reduced? How many vendors are showing up when most are continuing to work from home? How much food do you plan on buying when too little creates problems and too much can kill the event budget? Where are you going to cook it and how close is everyone going sit from each other? What medical services do you provide to folks while they are there? Do you have testing available for the volunteers when you don’t have enough for the medical staff at the local hospitals? Do you measure temperatures at the seminars? Make everyone use Purile if they touch anything? How many wash stations do you have throughout the field? Mandatory masks? How might this event harm the local community if things go wrong? How many volunteers can I get and when and how do I protect them as well? These simple logistics alone could harm the event and lets not even talk about what might happen later by EAA pulling a big financial loss and what that means to running EAA programs throughout the year especially if markets take big losses which is more than likely. EAA would be burning up its reserve funds which are just as finite as any of ours are. Screw up badly like a lot of people are doing right now and EAA the way we know it will simply go away. I can’t explain it any clearer than this.
    The Captain and officers on a well run ship don’t make decisions that only the engineering section or the mess likes but for the whole ship and its survival. That means all of us. Jack seems to know this better than most and I will cut him all the slack he and the board needs to make absolutely certain that this organization and this important event that everyone is so worked up about happens in the way that all of us are used to next year. I’ll buy the first beer at sundown in the North Forty in 2021.

  21. Most of you people are watching too much CNN!
    There is more risk of death driving out onto a public highway than from going to an airshow!
    Can’t believe there are so few people who think for themselves!

  22. Wow .. 60 comments … don’t think I’ve seen that many ever?

    This woulda been my 40th “Oshkosh” since the mid-70’s. Like most, I’m deeply disappointed. Like many commenters here, I’m VERY skeptical about the statistics being thrown at us by supposed ‘experts’ and bummed out by the overreaction to same by many politicians. I wish there was an alternative way to hold the show while keeping some semblance of social distancing. Alas, there ain’t. Anyone who’s been there knows that in their heart of hearts. As someone above said, the “Captain” has to make a decision for ALL of the crew and for the safety of the “ship” known as EAA. And that WAS done. That it was done early helps some.

    I attend the EAA business meeting in the Theatre in the Woods most years. When the financial status is discussed, it’s obvious that the number one generator of revenue for our Organization IS Airventure. So I think it’d be fair for me to say that EAA — itself — will be greatly and negatively impacted by the loss of revenue in 2020. On the flip side, someone emailed me just this AM and told me that he knew of one group that was going to have to pay $52K to participate. Who in their right mind would bet that much on an event that they know will be negatively impacted. Employees of EAA and Programs they provide may also be impacted. So in the end, don’t think Jack or anyone else in management took this decision lightly. Making it now — in early May — probably saved some revenue, as well.

    Someone above said they were not going to renew their AOPA and/or EAA dues. But I’ll bet you want to continue flying? That’s like biting off your nose to spite your face because you’re mad. Both organizations insulate us all from the zealots on Independence Ave in DC. Give us a break, here. I, for one, am going to recommend to EAA that they figure out a way to have members voluntarily donate a few bucks to help out with the revenue loss. I may — in fact — pay to become a life member.

    Revenue is the practical side. The important thing is the safety side of the decision. How do ya’ll think EAA or Jack would feel if someone came down with the virus and passed away because they attended Airventure? OR … picture yourself slobbering on some airplane when a guy walks up and sneezes and coughs. Everyone would be running away. Or, picture yourself on a shuttle and someone does the same thing. And how the heck could you enjoy hours and hours a day wearing a mask? This was a mighty big decision negatively impacting many, many people but correctly made and that’s that.

  23. Spot on, Larry. Mr Pelton doesn’t take orders from anyone, least of all Don or Nancy. As big a bummer as it is for all concerned, he had no real choice.

  24. Larry, I’m with you. Let’s get a fundraiser going. I’d guess $4 million in donations would cover the 2020 EAA loss, and we can keep our social distancing (10 ft for old gizzards) while doing it.

    • Good idea, Raf. although I think the number is a lot larger than $4M. And you bring up another very apropos and salient point. We ALL know that most people who fly these days and belong to EAA didn’t graduate from high school in the last five years. So since we know that the target population MOST at risk for the virus is the senior citizens — who likely fly on BasicMed 🙂 — that’s another point likely considered in the final decision by EAA.

      When I heard that everyone who pays taxes was going to get a $1,200 check, I mentioned to my wife that I wish there was a way to turn that off. Now that I think about it more in THIS context, I think I’ll turn it into a lifetime membership I don’t need and — to help the vendors — I”ll buy some piece of avionics I don’t need, too. Everybody wins. The rest of you … give that a thought if it’s something you could do. Help out.

      I just looked up the number of Covid cases in WI. There are still some ‘up north’ Counties with no cases while the majority of the cases are in Milwaukee, Dane and Brown Counties … the three places most likely to be used by people who fly in commercially. Conversely, Winnebago, Fondulac and Outagamie Counties (the three in the area around the Lake) all have less than 100. So the point is that half a million EAA’ers could potentially bring IN Covid and send those numbers skyrocketing. The flip side of the coin, if you will. In Waushara County (just west of Oshkosh), there are only two cases yet Highway 21 that passes through it is the very road most people coming in from the west use to get to Oshkosh. Stop for gas and a bite and drop off your Covid on the way in from La Crosse and Interstate 39 … see the problem here?

      One of the primary reasons that I have steadfastly renewed my membership in EAA for almost half a century while biting my tongue and holding my nose when I sign the check for the other org is that EAA epitomizes “professional.” Anyone who has ever met or shaken the hand of Paul Poberezny knows what an amazing organization he founded. Imagine what He’d be saying in his soft spoken quiet voice about this problem. I still remember talks by Paul Harvey in the Theatre in the Woods at night where he said just that many times. Or, one specific talk by the author Martin Caiden (pilot of ‘Iron Annie’) when he said he wouldn’t want to be a commie in the crowd after he jacked everyone up about 10 feet.

      So — in the end — lets ALL be good EAA’ers, suck it up and commit to redoubling the fun of Airventure 2021 … God willing and the creek don’t rise … and the darn virus is somehow ameliorated.

  25. Well, there’s still Reno. Being in mid-September, it might be okay to proceed as usual. Air Venture cancellation could provide a boost in their attendance, if there are those with a pent up desire to attend an aviation event. Although you really can’t fly into it like at Oshkosh, unless you are in a racer. Transients have to land at Reno-Tahoe International Airport and get ground transportation to the event up at Stead field. So it’s a vastly different event in many regards. It is pretty far west for the east coast crowd. And it’s hard to say how much of the airline industry will be flying by then. Long cross country from the east.

  26. I have watched the comments here with interest. So many have been unaffected by Covid. Derogatory statements regarding politics, lack of faith in professionals on the front lines, etc..
    I turn 60 this year. I have not had a friend killed in an auto accident since high school. No family member ever die of the “normal” flu… much less, stepping off a curb. Multiple high time pilots in my family and yet we’ve been blessed with safety.
    In the past three months, I’ve lost two friends in two different states to Covid-19. In my small Indiana town, 2 miles down the road from my house, 12 residents have passed in the same time period due to this virus.
    Dismiss my experience as someone who can’t think for myself… but thank your lucky stars you have been so fortunate. I’ll never convince some of you this isn’t a conspiracy theory or political plot. But, find some place in your heart for the folks who HAVE been personally affected.

    • Jonmark, that’s terrible, truly. But, life moves on, as it should and no matter what it has to.

      • S B, yes life will move on. We just don’t know enough yet to have Oshkosh go as normal. We still have no real figures on the asymptomatic population. We don’t know what kind of immunity the recovered have.
        What I didn’t say in my initial post is that I’m a hardcore EAAer.
        It’s the best week of my year. I camp at Scholler. How could we possibly keep the showers safe?
        At peak times of day, the shuttle busses are SRO. If you were to apply distancing, after a night airshow or Theater In The Woods event, busses would run until the wee hours.
        And the busses to the seaplane base… parking lots…
        Food lines… always long… add spacing, they’d stretch to the flightline and beyond. And, speaking of food, how many do you plan for this year… porta-potties, too. Subtract 100,000 from last year… 300,000? What if only 20,000 showed up.
        Same with the vendors. My airport sent three aircraft, a flatbed of supplies and two travel trailers last year. After a devistating 1st quarter, would it be worth the gamble for this year?
        This was an impossible catch-22 for the EAA.
        As dissapointed as I am, I certainly don’t blame them.

    • Jonmark, so sorry to hear the affects of this mess have affected you so closely. Everyone’s a bad ass until the bullets start flying… Seriously, it’s really hard to put one’s self in other’s shoes, and act as though there are more important things than the individual, but that’s the only thing that will defeat this nasty bug. I tried to solicit the notion that thoughtful, critical, reflection is needed, as well as deferring, not absolutely, to science and real experts, and the first response I get is an completely off base emotional constitutional bunch of BS. Your personalization of this matter might help others to consider others, that’s all. And just because you might be thinking about the greater good, don’t make you a dang communist, or whatever lame label the simpletons want to use. Cheers!

  27. Those who’ve brought intelligence and grace to this discussion have impressed me. Jonmark, you have touched me. Thank you.

  28. Oshkosh is a public use airport. Why don’t a modicum of people who are close enough to fly over do just that on the weekend that woulda been Airventure? EAA could figure out some sort of way to police their area to the south of runway 9-27 such that people could walk around and oogle airplanes and hob knob from behind their masks. All that would be required would be some port-a-putty’s. Overnight stays would be prohibited so it’d be a day time even for a couple of days. I think I’ll recommend that to them to see what they think.