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EAA Four Corners - HQ for the Spirit of Aviation
What’s new at the famed AirVenture crossroads
By James Wynbrandt
July 24, 2016 - The EAA Four Corners, located at the intersection of Knapp Street and Celebration Way, is more than the starting point of choice for many attendees here at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 — it’s a place to share the Spirit of Aviation itself, with the pavilions anchoring each corner representing the most exciting aspects of aviation, AirVenture, and EAA membership. This year the four tents at the famed crossroads — also called the Compass Rose for the cardinal point representation painted in the middle of the intersection — have introduced several enhancements, making a visit almost mandatory for first-timers and AirVenture veterans alike.
The EAA AirVenture Welcome Center on the northwest corner serves as the key to quick access for all AirVenture’s activities and points of interest. Staffers here can answer questions about where and when everything is happening throughout the week, and explain all that’s new at this year’s event. Tickets for EAA B-17 and Ford Tri-Motor flights, as well as 2016 AirVenture merchandise are available here, and this year the center features a new EAA virtual reality experience.
On the southwest corner, the EAA Discover Aviation Center is headquarters for learning about pathways to aviation, including information about the Young Eagles and Eagle Flights program, the EAA Air Academy, and the Association of Model Aeronautics. New this year, visitors can create their own take-home souvenirs while learning basics of homebuilt aircraft construction. Another new activity, Passport to Aviation, takes participants on a trip through AirVenture on the way to filling their passports and claiming a prize.
Also new this year, the EAA Pilot Proficiency Center has come to the corner, now anchoring the southeast position. “This is a strategic initiative to encourage proficiency,” said EAA CEO & Chairman of the Board Jack J. Pelton of the Proficiency Center. “The emphasis is to create a training curriculum to keep pilots engaged with learning year-round.” Daily tech talks highlight topics including crosswind landings, situational awareness, and tailwheel flying tips. Visitors can also gauge their instrument flying proficiency and learn about the latest in cockpit technology. A highlight are the one dozen Redbird flight simulators staffed by certificated flight instructors, where attendees can practice skills from basic stick and rudder to instrument flying. This is also headquarters for learning about EAA IMC Clubs, where pilots can hone instrument flying knowledge and skills year-round.
The EAA Member Center is the one-on-one point of contact with the EAA for all members. Here staffers welcome members from around the world, and provide information on EAA programs and member benefits from aircraft financing to ways the organization can enhance members’ aviation experiences, whether he or she is a pilot, builder, or plane spotter. This year the center debuts the EAA Member Pro Line of apparel, featuring the EAA member logo. Wi-Fi and computer access, cool water, and the latest issue of Sport Aviation are also here. These benefits could be reasons enough to become an EAA member here at the show.