Oshkosh 1998 Coverage:
Day One – Tuesday, July 28

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AVweb's OSH '98 Coverage - Day 1

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Latest EAA AirVenture
News & Highlights

Inaugural EAA AirVenture Cup Race

Monday, two days before the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 1998 convention even opened, thesound of airplanes at full fury filled the air at Oshkosh Wittman field. Ten very speedyairplanes wrestled for the finish line on the south end of runway 18-36, ending a 822nautical mile cross country race. Though there have been air races at Oshkosh before, thisis the first year of the EAA-sponsored AirVenture Cup, a race designed to showcaseexperimental airplanes and recreate the excitement of the old Bendix Trophy races thatbegan in the 30’s. Racers started at Manteo, North Carolina’s Dare County airport,swooping down the starting line on the runway at Kitty Hawk, N. C., aviation’s birthplace,then headed north. Hoot Gibson in a Sea Fury crossed the finish line first in 3 hours, 11minutes,and 9 seconds, but the 420 horsepower Lancair IV-P, piloted by Jim Rahm, was only6 minutes behind the Hawker.

NOTE: AVweb coverage includes additional details and the complete AirVenture Cup results.

First Production Micco SP-20 Makes OSH

Micco Aircraft of Fort Pierce, Florida, have their first production SP-20 aircraft ondisplay just inside the main gate this year. A resurrection of the Meyers 145, the newaircraft has received a 12 inch fuselage stretch, huge canopy, a 200 hp Lycoming and a newpropeller. Dewitt Beckett, Micco general manager admits theyre still working tooptimize the speed of the airplane, which is already well above the Meyers typicalcruise numbers.

VisionAire Pocket Rocket?

Interested in a 300 knot personal speedster? The folks at VisionAire, developers of thesingle-engne Vantage business jet would like to talk to you. They are considering thepossibility of developing a 2 place certified “sport jet” projected to costunder $500,000.

Called the VA-12B “Spirit” the tandem pressurized mini jet with a 30 footwingspan will be certified to 30,000 feet with a single, efficient turbofan, possibly the900 lb Williams Research FJX-2. Fuel flows with the efficient fanjet would be in the 20-30gallon per hour range. Empty weight is projected at 1200 pounds with a gross weight ofabout 2500 pounds, offering the two occupants a 200 pound baggage allowance.

If youd like to encourage the company to produce the jet, or would like one inyour very own Christmas stocking at some future date, fill out a questionnaire atVisionAires booth, located in the main aircraft display area just inside the maingate.

Strong And Gusty Winds Challenge OSH Arrivals

Strong wind gusts much of the day provided many landing at OSH an extra challenge tocap the OSH arrival experience, giving controllers an extra bit of excitement as well. AnAeronca Chief from Palmyra, Wisconsin was the first to succumb when it suffered a slightlydamaged and broken prop blade this morning during a ground loop on runway 18. Winds at thetime were 260 at 10, gusting to 15. The pilot had only seven hours in type and was buyingthe airplane from his father-in-law, who occupied the right seat. Most others managed tocope better, but there were more than the usual number of go-arounds.

The ultralight landing strip at the south end of the airport was especially exciting asthe ultralight pilots wrestled with their lightly wing-loaded craft in the gusty winds.Gusts of 20-25 knots were reported much of the day, making for lots of interesting flying.It was a physical thing.

Young Eagle Volunteer To Receive Recognition

On Friday at EAAs Nature Center, Richard Jones will receive the Top Young EaglePilot in Wisconsin award. He will be the first to receive this award for two consecutiveyears. What inspires a pilot to spend his time and money flying youngsters on introductoryflights? In Dicks case it was a nine year old on his first flight. The young man ranup to his father after the flight and proclaimed how great flying was – it was the firsttime this youngster had ever hugged is father. “Kids give you so much in return formy doing something I love to do anyway,” said Dick.

When the opportunity to relocate from the Washington, DC area Jones had his choice oflocations. He choose Oshkosh . He had been involved in the Nations Capital EAAChapter 186 and realized that his passion was to fly and continue his involvement inaviation. He received his private pilots certificate in October, 1995 and flew hisfirst seven youngsters on December 7, 1995. Since that date he has flow 1,079 youngsterswith 507 in 1998.

According to Steve Buss, EAA Young Eagles director, Jones not only flies youngsters,but is one of the volunteers they call on to speak to various youth groups about aviationand the joys of flying. From a four year old little girl to a MS handicapped 24 year old,Jones not only gives a flight but takes the time to inform and dispel the myth thathandicapped youngster cant fly. “It takes a special pilot to deal with disabledand special education youngsters. We are fortunate to have pilots like Dick in our YoungEagles program”, stated Buss.

The EAA Young Eagles program has become the most significant youth aviation programever undertaken. As of July, 1998 more than 400,000 young people have discovered the worldof flight and the possibilities within themselves, more than 21,000 pilot Flight Leadersare in the program with 730 EAA Chapter Coordinators and 88 aviation partnershiporganizations. Buss says that the sharing between pilots and youngsters seems to be thereason most pilots give of their time and money. Youngsters also experience good peoplegiving of themselves with “no strings attached.” Something in this day and agethey may think non-existent.

EAA Fly Mart Opens For Business

As windsocks whirled and waved the EAA Fly Mart opened for business on this preliminaryday. The Fly Mart is host to exhibitors selling everything from windsocks, bears, tools,tee-shirts, books, posters, prints and paintings to steel building systems, routingmachines, and antiques. The exhibitors themselves are a mixed group of entrepreneurs andretirees making the show circuit.

Dale and Linda Roush have attended the last 13 EAA fly-ins and find not only is thebusiness good but they have made many friends along the way. The Roushs militarysurplus business has provided them the opportunity to work together since Dalesretirement from the Air Force 15 years ago.

Ken Vaughn of Carbide Specialties out of Canton, Ohio depends on this and other showsfor his livelihood. This year is Kens fifth year at EAA and, like other exhibitors,is waiting to see if the weeks business is affected by the new placement of the FlyMart. In past years the Fly Mart has been located next to manufacturers row where thetraffic appeared to flow better. Bill Constantinesco of Pacific Coast Aviation who sellstee-shirts, inflatable airplanes and models, is also concerned about the positioning ofthe Fly Mart and its separation from the flow path. Bill has been exhibiting at EAA for 14years. However, like the other exhibitors, he will save his judgment until showsend.

No matter what aviation item youre looking for, military, civil, or commercialits for the picking at EAAs 1998 Fly Mart with good folks to deal with.

No Room At The Inn?

Captain Bob Braithwaite and his wife, Helen are visiting EAA AirVenture this year forthe first time. Bob flies a 747-400 for Singapore Airlines, based out of Singapore. Theyflew from Singapore to New York, on his employers airline, then finished the longtrip to Oshkosh on United. Despite all the stories about “no vacancy” signs allover Oshkosh and its environs, believe it or not, the couple just walked up to the desk ata hotel located right across the street from Oshkosh Wittman field and got a room withoutany reservation whatsoever! Timing is everything, it never hurts to ask, people do cancelat the last minute.

ICOMAVweb’s OSH ’98 communications radios provided courtesy of ICOM America.

OSH ’98 Articles and Features

AVweb Interviews Tom Poberezny

AVweb spoke with EAA president Tom Poberezny a week before AirVenture Oshkosh 1998. Wecovered the convention itself, what makes it tick and what is new. Tom also speaks out onhis vision for EAA and his views on FAA Administrator Jane Garveys record. Thisinterview will show you something of what makes Tom Poberezny and EAA tick.

Hold It And They Will Come

Rick Durden provides a few more valuable tidbits of information for the OSH bound andruminates on what its like to come to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 1998. In the final daysbefore the show, airports all over the U.S. and Canada are host to strange and wonderfulairplanes stopping for fuel as they make their way to OSH. The airplanes flow into OSH,watched by scores of pilots in lawn chairs along the fence, scanners on. It has started,the place is filling up. Folks are walking around, happily looking at the incredible massof airplane nuts and their mounts. Yes, its that time of year again.

The Fisk Funnel

Joe Godfrey visited those intrepid controllers who man Fisk, a temporary ATC facilitylocated in a house trailer about eight miles southwest of OSH. Four controllers withnerves of steel and great spotting skills use a radio and binoculars to sequence theairplanes into a single file line to land on whichever runways are active at OSH. Chicagoand Atlanta may battle it out 364 days a year, but it’s hard to imagine a busier bunchthan the team at Fisk on the day before OSH opens. From 1000 to 1100 this morning, Fisksequenced 149 airplanes. That’s an average of two and a half a minute.

Who Are Those People With The Orange Paddles?

You have just worked your way through the excitement of the Ripon arrival, wrestled theairplane to a landing in the strong, gusty crosswinds at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 1998, androlled out onto the grass as directed by the controller, only to come face to face withsomeone wearing an orange vest and waving two international orange paddles. Who are thosepeople with the orange paddles and why does it take so long to get to a parking spot? RickDurden rode with Fred Stadler, co-chair of Flight Line Operations, as things went fromcalm to hectic Tuesday morning at EAA AirVenture. The time he spent with Fred and otherFlight Line Ops volunteers was eye-opening.

Oshkosh Travelogue

There wasn’t enough time to prepare, but it didn’t matter. I was going to make the tripto Oshkosh, no matter what. Business and family demands created the near-impossiblesituation where I had a half-day to gather camping gear, aviation gear, food, and then topack it all in a way that would fit in the old Skylane. None of that mattered, though. Iwas going to my first Oshkosh! Join Tom Gresham on his first trip to EAA AirVentureOshkosh and share the adventure with him.

OSH ’98 Photo Gallery – Day One

Our Photo Gallery is the next best thing tobeing here yourself. Dozens of photos daily of what’s happening at OSH. Today’s photos feature: arrivals and more arrivals, settingup camp, and related activities around EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 1998.

Don’t forget to visit AVweb again tomorrow for more OSH ’98 coverage!