Sketches of Adventure – Plane & Pilot Magazine | Aviation

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I thought I was prepared for my first EAA AirVenture experience in Wisconsin.

By mid-July, I had a dance card filled, with interviews and media events blocked for every one of the seven days I would be in attendance. I had read everything I could about what to pack and wear to stay comfortable walking from one end of the venue to another in search of the next story. I had talked to my sister and other friends who had been there. I was ready.

I knew I would have some time between events and interviews, so I planned to take in the daily air shows and spend some time visiting the museum to get out of the heat. I had starry-eyed visions of leisurely conversations with the owners of fabulously restored vintage birds and plenty of time to people watch. But I didn’t know about the Oshkosh vortex.

The trouble started on day one, Sunday, after I picked up FLYING Media Group technical editor Meg Godlewski from Appleton International Airport (KATW) and then innocently tried to get us into the event. We spent 45 minutes touring at least three of the campgrounds, off-roading on terrain my low-clearance Honda wasn’t designed to handle. I’m still not entirely sure how we managed to get into those areas, much less out again—arguing like an old married couple over which way to go.

Panchito, a glistening B-25, is just one example of amazing warbirds to be seen at AirVenture. [Photo: Stephen Yeates]

And it wasn’t the last time during the week my navigational skills departed, which was disconcerting because they are usually decent at worst. I’m going to blame it all on the fact that the event map wasn’t oriented to the north. Godlewski may be skeptical about that.

Meanwhile, FMG travel editor Jonathan Welsh was having an even more frustrating experience. Weather forced him to abort his Sunday flight into the event, and the next day he made the difficult decision to return home in light of the low visibility conditions because of smoke.

FMG editor-in-chief…

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