B-1 Bomber Roars Into EAA AirVenture 2006 on July 24-28
EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. - (June 15, 2006) — For the first time in a decade, a B-1 "Lancer" bomber from Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, will be participating on AeroShell Square during EAA AirVenture 2006. The 54th annual EAA fly-in convention, The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration, is July 24-30 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh.
The U.S. Air Force bomber, officially a B-1B model, which has not been part of the ground displays in Oshkosh since the mid-1990s, is a must-see for AirVenture visitors. Its power and versatility make it one of today's most capable bombers in the U.S. arsenal. Once thought to be on its way out, the B-1 made a promising comeback in recent years due to the conflicts in the Middle East. Piloting the B-1 will be Capt. Kyle Wilson, a native of Niagara, Wis., and member of the Air Force's 34th Bomb Squadron. "The minute I started pilot training I always thought about how I could get a plane back to Oshkosh. It's always been a dream of mine," he said.
Five years ago, Wilson's dreams seemed to be dashed, as he was diagnosed with colon cancer and underwent surgery on Sept. 26, 2001, the same week his fellow squadron members were deployed overseas. Wilson's chemotherapy treatment suspended him from flying for the Air Force and made his future uncertain. Fighting an uphill battle, Wilson decided to begin building his own plane, a RV-7A, turning the love of aviation into a therapeutic process.
"It was probably the most rewarding year of my life, seeing the progress and knowing I was building something I could fly," he said. Now cancer free, Wilson has been cleared by the Air Force to fly again, and is eager to share this unique aircraft with AirVenture attendees.
The bomber will be on display from July 24-28 at AeroShell Square.
"Having the B-1 return to Oshkosh is a great addition to this year's event," said Tom Poberezny, EAA president and AirVenture chairman. "Adding Kyle Wilson's story of determination and perseverance, however, makes it a truly special occasion this year at Oshkosh, as he returns to his home state."
EAA AIRVENTURE OSHKOSH is The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration and EAA's yearly membership convention. EAA members receive lowest prices on admission rates. For more information on EAA and its programs, call 1-800-JOIN-EAA (1-800-564-6322) or visit www.eaa.org. EAA AirVenture information is also available through the World Wide Web at www.airventure.org.