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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedWarbirds wait while wet weather wanes wonderfully
By Frederick A. Johnsen
 

AirVenture 2010 visitors amble past a bright yellow T-6G Texan trainer reflected in a rippling pool at the warbirds area. Photo by Frederick A. Johnsen

Moist? Maybe. Negative? Never! The unusually wet weather at Oshkosh prompted some adaptations in the Warbirds area, where heavyweight bombers and light liaisons were generally kept on the pavement over the weekend.

Warbirds of America Director Jud Nogle said Saturday, “We can’t put anything on the grass right now,” due to standing water and soft sod conditions. While a few warbirds found high ground, most were being parked on pavement. Nogle said Warbirds officials were discouraging large arrivals for a few days.

Twenty T-28 trainers scheduled to fly in the Monday show have paved parking earmarked for them; some other warbirds are banking on drying conditions over the next several days. “We’re hurting for parking spaces,” Nogle said, but friendly forecasts are expected to improve the situation. “Twenty-four hours may make a big difference in what we can do,” he said.

It’s a double-whammy for some warbird operators, who bring recreational vehicles to live in while at AirVenture. Inundated campgrounds have taken a number of parking places out of the equation temporarily. But Nogle notes everyone remains in good spirits, adapting to the conditions. “We’re so fortunate to have the volunteers we have,” Nogle said. “In 40 years, this has never happened.”

EAA is taking proactive steps to reduce standing water, employing pumps and long runs of fire hose to drain water into runoff ditches, he added. There’s an electronic window on this world at http://AirVentureSiteUpdate.blogspot.com where updates on airfield conditions are posted. Pundits are hoping for an overcast of a different kind—an aluminum overcast—as hundreds of warbirds darken the skies.

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