Thursday, July 26, 2012

Oshkosh is AMAZING!

     Oshkosh 2012 was absolutely astounding. It was a pilot's dream. If you went this year, you know there were tons of airplanes, great people, and unique experiences waiting for you to arrive. EAA AirVenture 2012 was an amazing experience.

     Day 1 - I left my house with my mom and dad at about 9AM and drove up to Chicago. We couldn't drive through without trying some famous Chicago style deep dish pizza, so we were recommended to go to Gino's East by a friend. It was delicious. After leaving Chicago, we took a quick detour to drive by O'Hare and continued up to Oshkosh. We got our wristbands for Sunday/Monday and Tuesday, then went through the entrance to see what we could before the actual event begun. We looked around the booths for each company that were being set up and planned for the next day. Next, I just stood out at the flight line and watched the unlimited amount of airplanes arrive at Oshkosh. I was stoked for the next day!

     Day 2 - On our second day at Oshkosh, we woke up at 5:30AM and got to the Airshow at 6:45AM. I'll go ahead and say, this was way too early. The temperature quickly rose to a solid 101F, making it unbearably hot. Everyone there was seeking out shade or air conditioning where they could find. First thing that day, we went over to the Ultralight runway to watch some powered parachutes and ultralights there. After quickly growing bored of that, we went to check out all of the piper cubs(all 181 of them there). It was a truly amazing sight to see! Never in my life have I seen that much cub yellow. We checked out some of the booths and really took an interest in the Bose tent where they had an excellent Bose A20 headset setup for anyone to try them out. After taking a look at some booths, we headed to the Honda tent where I had the first highlight of my day. The new Honda jet was in there, so we looked around in there for a bit. Then, I was shocked to see Sean D. Tucker standing just a few feet away from me getting ready to be interviewed on stage along with the Honda chief test pilot. After that, I got to meet and get a picture with Sean D. Tucker! He was really an inspiration for me after seeing this video. We wondered around and enjoyed Oshkosh for the rest of the day until the airshow. It was pretty good, but I have to admit I expected a bit more excitement from Oshkosh. After that, we went straight to the Steve Miller opening concert. Next comes my second highlight of the day. As the President of the EAA stepped out onto the stage, my dad realized he was a friend of his. We got backstage and met Rod Hightower, the president! Today was probably my favorite day.

     Day 3 - Our third and final day at EAA AirVenture started about 3 hours later than the first. We were completely worn out after the first day and had realized that it just wasn't worth it to be out in the hot sun that early that day. Thankfully, we were blessed with about 85F weather that day. We got a quick breakfast that consisted of the famous EAA donuts and started our day. We begun by waiting to get up in the cockpit of a C-17 that just happened to be from Wright Patterson AFB which is close to my home. This was a pretty cool experience. Next, we waited in yet another line to tour the Orbis "MD-10." This is basically a name for a DC-10 that was upgraded to MD-11 avionics and such without the MD-11 body. The plane was a flying, mobile eye hospital that travels around the world to treat people in need. After this, we spent the rest of the day in the Vintage Warbird section of Oshkosh until the Airshow.There were a ton of old warbirds over there! After lunch, it was time to go the airshow. This one was much more exciting than the first day. We got to see Kirby Chambliss in his Edge 540 from Red Bull and Sean D. Tucker Perform. The piper cub comedy act today also ended with a successful landing atop a moving truck. Although it was such a great day, it was time to head to home.

     Possibly one of the saddest moments of my summer this year was driving away from Oshkosh that evening. I could have spent all week there, but it was time to head home. Nonetheless, it was a great trip. We are already planning for next year!

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