Oshkosh 2001 Audio Coverage:
Day Five – Friday, July 27

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Friday OSHtalk (July 27, 2001) – At the end of an almost picture-perfect day, host Rick Durden returned to the bug palace under the wing of the Twin Beech next to Runway 9-27 at Oshkosh. His first guest was Doug Rozendaal, an experienced warbird pilot who is flying one of the two P-51C Mustangs that are painted as “red tails” to commemorate the fighters flown by the Tuskegee Airman. Doug’s perspective on warbirds is refreshing as he reminds us that they are just airplanes and that the important thing is the story they have to tell and the people who are and were involved with them. Listen as he tells of his experience of the previous day: During television coverage of the red-tailed airplanes a resident of a nursing home in nearby Appleton became excited and was brought to Oshkosh. He was placed in a Gator and driven to the Tuskegee Airman display. Although the man’s medical condition limited his ability to communicate and he was unable to answer Doug’s questions about the airplanes he had flown during World War II – perhaps as a member of the Tuskegee Airmen – he was able to relate his joy: As he looked at the airplanes, he simply repeated, “So happy … so happy….”

Brian Finnegan, president of the Professional Aircraft Mechanics Association joined OSHtalk for the second year and passed along the insights he has gained in his 18 months with the association into the depth of the mechanic shortage, the pay increases expected as the shortage gets worse and the commitment of PAMA and other organizations to encourage young men and women to enter the aircraft maintenance field. If you are a mechanic, this is a segment that should be mandatory listening. If you are a pilot or aircraft owner, listen to gain a deeper understanding of what is going on in the world of aircraft maintenance and catch some of the hints Brian passes along as to how to help keep your maintenance costs down.

Rick was next joined by Matt Stinnes of OMF Aircraft, one of AVweb’s sponsors. Matt described the Symphony, a new 160-horsepower, two-place, 130-knot airplane his company recently certified. On top of learning about a small, production aircraft with substantial performance, the story of how Matt went from losing the deposit he put down on a new Swift to forming a company to build an airplane is worth hearing.

One of the most popular parts of AirVenture this year is KidVenture. Dana Holladay, Mark Neal and David Gutoski, volunteers at KidVenture joined OSHtalk and told about some of the amazingly large number of attractions for kids (and adults) at KidVenture. A visitor to the site just behind the EAA Museum can build a free model rocket, fly a radio-control model airplane simulator, climb all over real, homebuilt airplanes, get in a DC-3 and make airplane noises, look at birds of prey from the Minnesota Raptor Center or do such things as ride pedal planes around a simulated aircraft carrier traffic pattern. Dana told host Rick Durden a little about the genesis of KidVenture and how very much fun the volunteers have been having working with the kids, while Mark and David explained that they became volunteers (one operating a hovercraft to give rides and the other fixing it when it broke) and how rewarding the volunteer experience has been.