The droves of aircrafts have returned to their hangars, the grounds are swept, and the population at Whittman Regional Airport is once again down to its normal size. Though weeks have passed since EAA AirVenture’s conclusion, many of our team have continued to reflect upon the “World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration.”
What struck me most at AirVenture was not the enormity of the show or the variety of aircraft, but the multitude of individuals whose personal passions for aviation—along with their accompanying stories—fueled the entire week. The people we met certainly captured the “spirit of aviation,” each embodying the Experimental Aircraft Association’s tagline in unique ways. We met aviators of all ages from all over the world eager to share their love of the skies and the crafts that brought them to Oshkosh. My favorite conversation was with a father-daughter duo whose passion for rebuilding vintage warbirds has led to participation in many airshows around the country. Dave was quick to show me dozens of pictures of his A-26 Invader named Lady Liberty.
The show attendees I observed proudly displayed their own distinctive spirits of aviation with wind-sock adorned hats and vintage EAA apparel from the show’s early years. It was certainly incredible to hear all the stories of what brought them to Oshkosh. Ultimately, each trade show or aviation expo gathers thousands of individuals with their own unique stories, so we look forward to hearing more at our upcoming shows as well. Visit us at the Asian/Pacific Airline Training Symposium (APATS) or the European Airline Training Symposium (EATS) if you’re planning on attending—we’d love to hear your story too.