EAA AirVenture Oshkosh - The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration

 for Fri, Aug 1, 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 6 August 1, 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: I hear pilots talking about "fizz doe." What is that, another Wisconsin beer?

D.S., Cleveland, Ohio

A: No, but thatís a good idea. Heaven knows, we can use one more beer with a funny name. But, no, itís actually "FSDO." That stands for flight standards district office, which essentially, and in plain English, means that it is your friendly neighborhood FAA office.

You can find the nearest office on the web, and there report such things as low-flying aircraft accidents or discuss aircraft modifications and permits, certification and surveillance of air operators, air agencies, and airmen. They are responsible for enforcement and investigation and for aviation safety education and training.

Q: Is the North 40 airplane parking and camping area really 40 acres? It seems like more.

G.A., St. Louis, Missouri

A: To those of us city born and bred, an acre is an indistinct measurement. But Peter Moll, director of Wittman Regional Airport, said that it is actually something over 50 acres. "North 40," he said, is an "agricultural euphemism" for that space. It is unlikely that the EAA folks will start referring to the "North 50."

Q: What is the deadline for having your homebuilt plane judged? And when do they announce if you have won an award?

M.S., Grinnell, Iowa

A: According to Lory Powell, co-chairman of the judging, you have to have your aircraft judged by noon today. Before that, of course, it has to be registered and "mugged" at Homebuilders Headquarters. That is a process that involves receiving a commemorative mug. The winners will be announced Saturday night at one of the forum buildings, at this point, still to be determined. Good luck.

Q: Why does that hurricane simulator in the Federal Pavilion only go up to 72 miles an hour? I know that hurricanes can blow harder than that.

H.K., San Diego, California

A: Hurricanes, depending on their category, can whip up winds of a couple of hundred miles an hour. Thatís way more than you need to style your hair. The truth is, any more than 72 miles an hour, and you could be hurt. The real thing is bad enough. Just imagine how you would feel with a simulated injury from a simulated hurricane.

Q: EAA supports the Young Eagles program, and I agree with that. But if Iím providing the time and the fuel for young people to be introduced to aviation, why canít EAA allow the Young Eagles in free to AirVenture?

B.H., Shell Knob, Missouri

A: Dick Knapinski, spokesman for the EAA, said, "Young Eagles is a program to introduce young people to flying and to encourage them to fly, mostly in their hometowns. AirVenture is a celebration of aviation. You can have one without the other. Both are wonderful things, but they are separate." In other words, youngsters can be Young Eagles back home for free. There are numerous requests, Knapinski said, for people who want free admission, and EAA simply cannot honor them.

Q: I have searched the EAA website and have found absolutely no mention of the two fighter jets that flew over my house Tuesday evening between 6:30 and 6:45, headed toward the EAA grounds. Can you tell me what they were?

H.E.B., Oshkosh, Wisconsin

A: I canít tell you, but I know people who can. Those were F-18s from Oceana Naval Air Station, Virginia, painted in "bad guy" colors. Either that or something else.

Q: Do Harrison Ford and John Travolta use the same famous Port-O-Lets that the rest of us do?

J.B., Marshall, Wisconsin

A: Youíre disgusting. The truth is, we donít know. We donít follow them there, but we can presume that like the rest of us, celebrities or not, when they gotta go, they gotta go.

Q: Do you wear that pencil every day?

A.O., Johannesburg, South Africa

A: Readers seem preoccupied with my pencil, and Iím not quite sure why. In any case, I wear it all the time. I believe that it keeps me from rolling out of bed at night.

Q: Why does the border patrol, working on the southern border, where itís really hot, wear those black uniforms?

M.L., Cheyenne, Wyoming

A: It sounds like a kidís answer, but the reason is because. They arenít really black; they are a really dark navy blue. Thatís the uniform designed and assigned by the agency. "It does get a little warm sometimes," said one agent.

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