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Making Lemonade Out of Lemons

By Christina Basken

July 23, 2019 - Jack J. Pelton, EAA CEO and chairman of the board, kicked off the first day of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh with opening day comments highlighting special "50 Years in Oshkosh" events and themes, aircraft anniversaries, and how EAA continues to follow in Paul Poberezny's footsteps, making lemonade out of lemons even when the weather gets tough.

"The 50th anniversary of Oshkosh is really a chance to thank our volunteers, whom we couldn't do any of this without," Jack said. "We had quite a bit of rain on Friday, and we were optimistic that we could pull through, but then on Saturday we were hit with another wave, reminding us of the 2010 'Sloshkosh.' But, our volunteers really modeled Paul's can-do attitude and worked tirelessly to get the grounds together."

Jack also mentioned all of the exciting new events and themes for 50 Years in Oshkosh, including airplanes that were here in 1970 being parked in front of the Brown Arch, a new spin on the Brown Arch, with one side being blue to bring a touch of the '70s back to Oshkosh, and the special Rock Your Wings beer crafted by the Fox River Brewing Co. to honor our time in Oshkosh.

In addition, Jack also mentioned highlights for this year's lineup and what to expect.

EAA isn't the only one celebrating. To honor the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, Michael Collins will be speaking Friday night at Theater in the Woods. EAA will also be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Boeing 747. On Wednesday a UPS 747 plane crewed by female aviators will taxi onto Boeing Plaza to help celebrate WomenVenture.

"We are also celebrating the 75th anniversary of the commemoration of D-Day, by adding a personal touch by welcoming EAA member Bud Anderson and his Old Crow," Jack said.

Jack also said he is anticipating this to be the heaviest military fighter show EAA will have had in a long time.

"We've got almost everything in the current military fighter arsenal from F-85s, F-82s, F-16s, F-15s, A-10s. They're all going to be here this week," Jack said.

EAA is also welcoming the University of Northwestern to collect data and help us be able to optimize larger numbers of people more efficiently as AirVenture grows bigger and bigger each year, he said.

Jack ended the conference on a high note, noting that EAA is 227,000 members strong.

"This will be a good year, a good week, despite a rough start. We are very excited for the many things we've got planned," Jack said.

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