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Arguably the Best Oshkosh Ever!

By Jack Dueck, Chairman - EAA Canadian Council, EAA 337912

As I write this it's Sunday, August 4, and I'm looking back on the week that was EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2013. I must say that this has been the "best of the best" in my 33 years of attendance.

The week started out chilly with temperatures around 55°F at night, warming up to about 65F during the day. To some this was dubbed "Frostkosh"! Even us hearty Canadians wore long pants! By Tuesday, milder temperatures arrived, and with the exception of a short squall on Wednesday evening, the weatherman came through magnificently.

This year, for the first time ever, Canadian EAA members had their own real estate. Right next to the International Tent, in the best crossroads of action, you found the Canadian Tent: a 30 foot by 40 foot clear structure with a 50 foot x 40 foot aircraft parking spot in front. Inside the tent were flags from each of the provinces and territories, Canadian flags, and an RCAF ensign. Along one wall, a large map of Canada allowed members to pinpoint their location, and as the week went on, an increasing number of pins showed that visitors were taking in our new digs.

EAA's C-Plan insurance folks had their kiosk in one corner and were doing great business throughout the week. Sandy of Nocora Insurance stated that this was the most successful venue of her experience since the introduction of C-Plan to Canadian EAA members. In addition, Sandy was able to clear up a lot of questions or issues for members.

In front of the tent, we parked a beautifully crafted (put still unpainted) RV-7A as well as a beautiful RV-8A, both bearing Canadian call signs.

EAA's Canadian Council used the tent to full advantage, putting on forums of specific interest to Canadians ranging in topics from EAA benefits to Canadian members to importing an amateur-built aircraft into Canada. By count, 344 people came to the 12 forums, or an average of 29 per session. Since we could seat 25, this would indicate "standing room only" throughout the week. Great attendance and great interest were shown at the forums.

Our Wednesday afternoon Ice Cream Social showed our tent packed with a long line outside. An estimated 150 Canadians got together for an informal get-together, and by all accounts it was a thoroughly enjoyable occasion. A panic call from EAA officials shut down the affair early when we were advised of an imminent and dangerous storm and "to seek shelter immediately". Fortunately the squall passed quickly in time to continue the evening air show and fireworks.

Ice cream social crush

So with fantastic aircraft, creative innovations, good food and beverages, heart-stopping aerial performances, wonderful camaraderie, and great networking, this wonderful week came to an end. Which means it's time to start planning for next year.

To make AirVenture 2014 even better, we at the EAA Canadian Council need your input on displays, forums, activities, etc. What would you like to see or do? Our "real estate" has been promised to us permanently. We can build on this year's experience. Contact any of our council members, or shoot me an e-mail.


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