EAA AirVenture Oshkosh
EAA AirVenture is almost upon us. During the last week of July each year, hundreds of thousands of aviation enthusiasts gather in Oshkosh, WI for EAA’s annual gathering. According to EAA, about 650,000 people participated in last year’s celebration!
If you’ve never been to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, you don’t know what you’re missing. I’ve been to 20 AirVenture shows. Every year brings something new and exciting for the many visitors that flock to Oshkosh for this annual aviation event. There’s something for everyone at AirVenture!
If you would like to learn about some of the activities that will be happening at this year’s show, contributing writer Mario Pierobon talked to EAA staff and shares some of the things to look forward to at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2023 on page 12 of our July issue.
If you’ve been to EAA AirVenture, chances are you’ve seen the Goodyear blimp at the show. It has made appearances at Oshkosh many times. I was invited to ride on the Goodyear blimp a few years ago. Unfortunately, a typical Oshkosh summer storm rolled in when my flight was scheduled, and I was unable to make up the flight since all remaining slots were filled up.
Fortunately, I had the opportunity to see the Goodyear blimp up close and personal. Greg Napert and I flew to Akron, OH in May to visit Jim Crone, the manager of airship maintenance for the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. While there, we toured the airship hangar. There were two airships in the hangar at the time. One of them, which is based in California, was in the hangar for a major phase inspection that included removing all the helium and inspecting the interior of the ship’s envelope. The other one was the airship based in Akron. When you stand next to a Goodyear blimp, it is amazing how large they are. You just don’t get that perspective when you see them in the sky covering events throughout the year.
It was fun touring the airship hangar and meeting some of the maintenance team. One takeaway from our visit is that truly is a team effort. Maintaining the airships on a regular basis takes teamwork. When the airships are traveling, it’s a whole other story. If you are in a corporate flight department, a team may travel with your aircraft on some flights. That team could include the pilot, copilot, flight attendant and maybe a mechanic. When the Goodyear blimp travels, seven vehicles and 20 team members go with it. A lot of coordination also takes place — meals, hotels, ensuring airports have adequate room to moor the blimp on the field — the list goes on and on. The airship team takes teamwork to a whole other level! You can read our profile on Jim Crone on page 8 of our July issue.
Once again, the D.O.M. magazine team will be at AirVenture Oshkosh this year. If you are going to be there, feel free to reach out to me. The best way to contact me during the show it to text me at (920) 747-0195.
Hope to see you there!
Thanks for reading.