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Photo by Abbey Haug
Thirty-seven Van's RVs perform a fly-by on
Sunday at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009.

July 26, 2009 - Oshkosh, Wisconsin - With group arrivals by Comanches, Pietenpols, and Van's RVs on Sunday, it can only mean one thing: EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009 is ready to begin.

Sixteen Pietenpol Air Campers were the first group to arrive on the fly-in convention grounds on Sunday, after departing Brodhead, Wisconsin, at 8 a.m. The Air Campers will celebrate the 80th anniversary of the aircraft this week.

Fly-in organizer Bill Rewey said that several of the pilots flew into AirVenture for the first time, and that Pietenpol owners came from throughout the United States, including one from California. The aircraft and their owners had spent the previous several days at the Brodhead Pietenpol Association's annual reunion.

The aircraft are parked just south of Homebuilder's Headquarters, near the original Brown Arch. AirVenture visitors may also visit EAA's Pietenpol Hangar on Pioneer Airport to see a 1933 Air Camper previously owned by its designer, Bernard Pietenpol.

Twenty-nine Comanches flew en masse into EAA AirVenture Oshkosh late Sunday morning.

Why fly into Oshkosh?

"When you come all together, you get to park all together and then in the evening you can swap war stories," said Comanche pilot J.J. Miller.

"We're looking forward to our time at the show," added Robert Fox, of Muskogee, Oklahoma. "We really appreciate all the work the volunteers do."

A group of Van's RVs calling themselves "Van's Air Force Formation Team" came as a flock of 37 Sunday, arriving to fly over the new AirVenture main gate during its dedication ceremony. Afterward, 33 RVs landed.

The group, consisting of RV-4s, RV-6s, RV-7s, and RV-8s (some A models), was led by Stu McCurdy of Round Rock, Texas, in a RV-8 from Whiteside County Airport (SQI) in Rockfalls, Illinois. They gathered there Friday to practice throughout the weekend for this event. Members hail from all over the country and come from a variety of flying backgrounds, including military fighter pilots and private general aviation civilian pilots.

The team regularly performs at national air shows and local parades, and will do formation flybys on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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