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Theater in the Woods – An Evening With Champions

July 24, 2021 – For the 35th year, AviationSpeakers.com brings you a captivating lineup of enlightening and entertaining speakers. For his ninth year, your master of ceremonies will be pilot Tye Mortensen. Tye has been an EAA air show regular since age 4.

The following speakers are scheduled to participate:

7 p.m. Ryan Campbell
In 2013, this Australian pilot became the youngest pilot and first teenager to fly solo around the world. A mandatory stop on his around-the-world flight before crossing the Atlantic Ocean was AirVenture. “It was simply a really long trip to Oshkosh,” Ryan said. In 70 days and 24,000 nm, Ryan logged 180 hours of flying with 35 stops in 15 countries. Two years later, flying a Tiger Moth, Ryan was involved in a serious accident following a low-level engine failure on takeoff. He survived but was diagnosed as a paraplegic.

Ryan went from fundraising $250,000, preparing, planning, and flying around the world at age 19, to having to learn to walk and fly again. Nothing can keep this man down, as can be attested by his recent commercial helicopter certificate. This year he’s camped under a Super Cub on the flightline.

7:45 p.m. Capt. Brian Udell
This supersonic survivor tells a compelling story of survival, rescue, and personal success. An F-15E instructor pilot and decorated combat veteran, he holds the record for surviving a Max Q (highest maximum dynamic pressure) ejection from a U.S. fighter aircraft at Mach 1.2 (780 knots). Brian’s riveting story is about surviving with a crushed body and crippling injuries for four grueling hours, 65 miles off the North Carolina coast in 60-degree, 5-foot seas and 15 mph winds. After six surgeries and extensive physical therapy, he triumphantly returned to flying the Strike Eagle and served three additional deployments to Iraq. Now a 20,000-hour airline captain, he also flies his rebuilt 160-hp Super Cub.M.o<

8:30 p.m. Dick Rutan
The Next Five Minutes is the name of Dick’s new book available for the first time at Oshkosh — and the name of tonight’s fast-paced presentation. Dick recollects stories about his various projects, his many adventures, and his misadventures. There will be confessions of cowboy flying, projects that worked spectacularly, and others that didn’t make the grade. Learn what it was like on some of the incredible first experimental aircraft test flights that Dick flew. His unique wit will soon have everyone laughing. Kick it up with Dick Rutan and you’ll soon learn why some call him the Indiana Jones of aviation. Dick’s presentation will be followed by an opportunity for questions from the audience.

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