EAA AirVenture Oshkosh - The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration

 for Wed, July 30, 2008

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EAA AirVenture Today is published by the Experimental Aircraft Association for EAA AirVenture from July 27 - August 3. It is distributed free on the convention grounds as well as other locations in Oshkosh and surrounding communities. Stories and photos are copyrighted 2008 by EAA AirVenture Today and EAA. Reproduction by any means is prohibited without written consent.


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The official daily newspaper of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh

Volume 9, Number 4 July 30, 2008     

Ask Tom
Tom Richards will answer your questions in AirVenture Today throughout the week.

Please drop your questions (with your name and where you are from) off at the AirVenture Today office located near the old FAA control tower and the First Aid Station or via e-mail to asktom_airventure@hotmail.com and he will do his darndest to answer them.

Q: Is it true that the AirVenture air traffic controllers we hear on the tower frequencies are FAA volunteers? Whoever they are, they should be commended for doing such a great job. Taking time to say "Welcome to Oshkosh" and the quick chat makes you feel welcome.

J.G., Indianapolis, Indiana

A: They are so good that I’m not going to make fun of them. Not today, anyway. The more than 60 FAA people who work in the control tower are paid for their work here. They are nominated and recommended by their supervisors, so, as an EAA spokesman said, "They are the best of the best."

Q: Why are military aircraft named a letter-dash-number? Does the "F" in F-22 stand for "fantastic?"

M.P., Madison, Wisconsin

A: That "F," and all the others with reference to U.S. military aircraft, stands for "fighter." B is for bomber, and C is for cargo. From the World War II era, P is for pursuit. The rest of the alphabet means very little.

Q: Wow, John Travolta and Harrison Ford will be around during AirVenture. How super. Do you have the scoop on any other big name celebrities that will be around?

S.B., Mazomanie, Wisconsin

A: Those are just a couple of them. We’re up to our ears in celebrities. Don’t forget comedian Jeff Dunham and Gary Sinise of CSI: New York. And there are aviation celebrities every way you turn. If you can’t find them, then you must not be turning. Also, I will sign autographs.

Q: Did that hurt when you put the pencil through your ear?

M.D., Webster, Minnesota

A: Not a bit. It didn’t hit anything of consequence.

Q: Why is AirVenture not working toward being a "green" event? Why are there no recycling bins? Aren’t we supposed to be taking aviation into the future? And doesn’t that future entail being aware of our environment and how we as pilots affect that?

A.T., Chicago, Illinois

A: "We are working toward being a green event," said Dick Knapinski, spokesman for the EAA. Knapinski said that in past years, recycling bins have been placed around the grounds, but they end up being used as garbage receptacles. "Then there is no recycling, and we have twice as many garbage cans to pick up," he said. If you’ve got a way to control the actions of hundreds of thousands of people, the EAA would be glad to listen. So would a number of political candidates. For now, EAA is working on a recycling program with the folks in the Federal Pavilion. See tomorrow’s paper for more details.

Q: How many parking places are there for airplanes at AirVenture?

D.H., Wichita, Kansas

A: Well, last year, Wittman Regional Airport and the AirVenture grounds were at capacity, and that represented slightly more than 10,000 airplanes parked here. If my math is correct, that means that there are slightly more than 10,000 parking places.

Q: Why are there so many people at AirVenture, an event that inevitably requires a lot of walking, wearing flip-flops?

M.S., Homewood, Illinois

A: I am sorry to say that there are some questions that have no answers, at least none that make sense, and this is one of them.

Q: Along the flightline, there is a raised deck of sorts that has Canon and FLYING magazine written all over it. During the air show, it’s filled with people with cameras, and I was wondering if that was for the general public or media representatives. Do you need a special pass to use it? It seems the perfect vantage point to watch the show.

Z.S., Oshkosh, Wisconsin

A: It’s free, and it’s open to the public, according to Elizabeth Pratt, Midwest regional manager for Canon U.S.A. Inc. Also, she said, Canon makes free loans of Canon cameras at the Canon Building, and when you bring the camera back, the staff there will burn you a CD. Also free. You can’t knock the price, can you?

Q: How can we submit pictures for AirVenture Today?

I.A., Oshkosh, Wisconsin

A: Between the two professional photographers who work directly for AirVenture Today and the EAA staff and volunteer photographers, we feel that we have it well covered. Unless, of course, you have a current photo of Amelia Earhart. "We feel that we have everything pretty much covered," said Ric Reynolds, managing editor.

Q: This is my second year at AirVenture. My dad and I flew out from California. Last year, I was amazed at Patty Wagstaff’s performance, and I saw her again yesterday. I think she is inspirational and cool. Is there any way that I could meet her?

Anna M., age 13

A: Cool indeed. Patty will have an autograph session from 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. today at the International Aerobatic Club headquarters here at AirVenture.

FUTURE AIRVENTURE DATES: 2014: July 28-Aug. 3; 2015: July 20-26; 2016: July 25-31; 2017: July 24-30
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