Our trip to the Aerodrome started out well. Bill flew there in the Tiger Moth, and Mark flew there in his L-5. Three road vehicles made the trip, and everyone arrived within ten minutes of each other. The weather couldn’t have been better with sunny skies and light winds.
A tour of the museum was held shortly after we arrived so we were able to get some detailed information on the planes no longer flying or restored for display.
They were able to put quite a few more planes in the air than during our last visit two years ago. A couple of the more temperamental planes were only hopped down the runway, but there was a good selection of aircraft.
This is the last season for Stanley Segala’a Flying Farmer routine. I’m glad I got to see it one more time. Stanley takes the Piper Cub and does a high performance (Well, as high as you can get in a Cub.) takeoff. Then he performs loops, rolls, and finishes with a engine-off landing where he stops the plane at the center of the runway to pick up the had he forgot to get when he left.
The show concluded on a tragic note though. The Nieuport 24 bis and Fokker DR1 tri-plane were doing a mock dogfight routine. They were going to do a head-on pass, but the Nieuport appeared to stall in the turn coming back to the field. The routines performed there are quite low, so the pilot was unable to recover and was killed in the crash. I was watching the Fokker at the time, so that is what I’ve heard from people watching the Nieuport. The pilot’s name is expected to be released tomorrow. According to NTSB records, there have been 10 accidents at, or near the Aerodrome in its history. This was the first one that was fatal.
The crowd was reported as very large yesterday.
At the EAA annual meeting EAA President Tom Poberzny announced that a program will be starting next year that will bring AirVenture to the members all year long. No details were provided. He also said that besides the airshow and vendors, there were 1,200 events scheduled during the week.
Earlier this week, the Cirrus Jet made its public debut.
The site change plan will start to be implemented over the winter.
International visitors were up this year from last 1,657 vs 1,333 from 64 countries vs. 56 last year. The declining value of the US dollar is making the trip to Airventure more affordable for people outside this country.
Significant events were that John Travolta’s 707 had a compressor problem on takeoff last night which caused quite a commotion, but nothing besides an aborted takeoff. The plane taxied back and took off about 15 minutes later.
The old tower will be coming down probably in September, so get your photos of it now.
I heard that a couple years ago they started a new rule when removing porta-potties from the grounds to knock on the door first.
400 Warbirds were registered this year, an increase over last year.
Last night was the Gathering of Eagles dinner/fundraising event for the Young Eagles program. 1,060 people attended including Arnold Palmer, Harrison Ford and John Travolta. Mr Ford also attended the chapter presidents’ reception at the Ford pavilion.
The V-22 Ospry tilt-rotor aircraft arrived and did a demo at the show.
On a sad note, two people died in a Lancair Legacy while on short-final to runway 27.
The changes to the Experimental Aircraft Builder rule is getting a lot of attention this year. While the stated purpose of the change is to ensure that the builder has actually put the plane together, the exact wording includes the separate terms of assembly and fabrication. These aren’t clearly defined. Right now we are in the extremely short 30 day comment period, so we need to comment on this rule now. It doesn’t need to be too technical. Just read the summaries provided by EAA and AOPA. Then put your thoughts into writing and get it out to help preserve your ability to build your own plane.
I’ve been listening to EAA Radio, and Glen and Harrison Martin, developers of the Martin Jetpack have said that they won’t be flying the unit again this week. Initially they said that there were insurance issues, but currently they say they’ve been working very hard this week, and along with the jet lag from traveling from New Zealand, they are quite fatigued. Therefore they won’t be risking an accident at the show.