Osh19 Memorable Moments

C1C17990-2FC8-49E2-B2EA-DD07C2196DB2Airventure is not a sprint – it’s a marathon. This year was no exception. I walked over 60 miles in 7 days. Every muscle in my body is sore. Even my eyelashes are exhausted. But it was so worth it! Here are just a few of the many memorable moments from the past week.

Visit to the upper deck of the UPS 747-8

The 747-8 has long been one of my favorite airplanes. Several fly into the cargo airport every week, but somehow I’ve never been able to see one up close… until now. UPS brought one of their brand-new 747s to Osh. Mike from the Flying and Life podcast interviewed the captain, after which we were not only able to tour the cargo area, but we were allowed to visit the upper deck, including the cockpit! Yeah, I freaked out a little. OK, a lot. I couldn’t help it – after all, she’s THE QUEEN!

Proficiency Center and Redbird Sim visit

Members of the media were given special access to the Pilot Proficiency Center on Thursday morning. I had never been in there before and was eager to check it out. I was impressed by the variety of simulators that were available, especially the crosswind simulator which my friend Glen was using when we arrived. Each of the pilots in my group were assigned to different instructors and selected different scenarios to try. As a non-pilot I really enjoyed watching them. I found I understood more than I thought I did about what the different gauges and readouts are for.

The Airventure 5K

I am not a runner. The only time you’ll catch me running is if there’s a plane flying over that I really want to see. Or if I’m being chased. Yet somehow I found myself signing up for the Airventure 5K. Needless to say, I walked. So did Pilot Pip and Captain Al from the Plane Safety Podcast. Not only that, we detoured for donuts mid-race. Despite our best efforts, we didn’t finish last. We’ll have to try harder next time! (I did, however, manage to be the slowest finisher in my age group.)

Planes, planes and more planes

EAA does a wonderful job of including all aspects of aviation at Airventure. From hot air balloons to model airplanes to drones – you can find them all at Osh. But let’s face it – airplanes are the stars of the show. And this year there was an exceptional number of amazing planes to see, including surprise visits from the Thunderbirds and the Blue Angels. Even one of the Canadian Snowbirds stopped by. It is impossible to choose a favorite air show performer, but the A-10 demo team is near the top of my list.

This really just scratches the surface of my Airventure experience this year. I could write thousands of words and still not cover all the things I got to see and do. However, there was one Osh moment so special that it deserves a post all its own. I won’t spoil the surprise but let’s just say it involves good friends, an airplane and the words: “Rock your wings.” Details coming soon – stay tuned!


Osh Love for a Lifetime


My birthday is in September. However, for as long as I’ve been coming to Airventure, my mom sent my birthday check early.  She knew I’d like to have a little extra money to spend on my trip to Osh. My mom passed away a couple months ago, so there was no birthday check this year. However, she did leave me enough money to do something I’ve been wanting to do for some time now: become a Lifetime Member of  EAA.


I’m not a pilot and I’ve never built a plane, so you might be wondering why on earth I’d want lifetime membership. At Airventure 2016 I got to see an A-10 fly for the first time. They are one of my most favorite planes and although I’d seen them on static display, I had never seen one in the air. I was so excited I was nearly in tears over it. I expected ridicule or funny looks from the people around me. What I got instead was complete understanding. I knew right then that I wanted to be a member forever.


So, what are the perks of lifetime membership? Well I got a patch and a pin and a flashlight. I’ll be getting a plaque and a jacket with my name embroidered on it. I also get to have a new membership card with the photo of my choosing on it. Yikes!  How will I ever decide which one to use? Being a lifetime member also enabled me to get a couple of days of access to the lifetime pavilion. It’s a great place to sit in the shade, relax and watch the airshow.


Speaking of which, there have been some great airplanes at Osh so far this year. I got my first look at the KC-46 Pegasus. I also watched a UPS Boeing 747-8 taxi into Boeing Plaza. The wingtip went right over my head! I got to take a look at a prototype flying car. I have to admit that I am a bit skeptical about whether it can actually fly, but the company says they are close to the first test flight. It will be interesting to see what happens.


Of course, Osh isn’t just about planes – it is about the people as well. I’ve gotten to see so many old friends! It truly is an aviation family reunion. I especially enjoy watching new attendees take in Osh for the first time and fall in love with it just as I did. Who knows – maybe some of them will end up becoming lifetime members too.



Show before the Show – OSH19


It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not Christmas. I’m talking about Airventure Oshkosh, of course! It’s my happy place. The place where everyone understands me. The place of 10,000 airplanes. It is so much better than Christmas!

I arrived early once again this year.  Unfortunately, so did the rain in the form of a series of intense thunderstorms. It halted all arrivals and turned the Airventure grounds into a marsh. Needless to say I spent quite a bit of time in my car, waiting out the deluge.


Once the rain stopped I made the first of what are sure to be many trips deep into the heart of Camp Scholler. Why? I have friends who are staying there in a rented RV. More importantly, they have my beer  And my cookies. My observations of Camp Scholler thus far:

– It’s huge.

– The people are super-friendly and will give you rides on their golf carts.

– Like the rest of Airventure currently, a good portion of it is under water.

– Did I mention that it’s huge?

15D1999E-DED7-4757-B8CA-86BD39920EB3Sunday I started off visiting the actual airport terminal. After all, this blog is called Tales From the Terminal so it seemed like a good idea to stop by. It was quiet. And small. But there’s an airplane hanging inside which automatically makes it excellent. I ran into a group of Airventure newbies who needed some advice on how how to get their wristbands and I was happy to point them in the right direction.


The rest of the day was spent wandering the Airventure grounds watching airplanes. The arrivals have been much quieter this year because of all the rain – the aircraft camping areas are under water so none of the GA aircraft were allowed in until very late in the day. Thankfully there were still lots of amazing airplanes to see.


The day ended at the Redbird Preflight Reception which was held at their exhibit tent just off the main plaza.  I got a chance to take a peek inside some of sims, which are all very nice. I also got a chance to catch up with many old friends who were also at the event.


On Monday Airventure officially begins. I am super excited to see the A-10 and F-35 demo teams. I’m also looking forward to seeing the new KC 46 Pegasus tanker which is scheduled to arrive in the evening. Of course some of the best moments at Oshkosh happen completely unexpectedly.  I don’t know what adventure will come my way, but I’m ready so bring it on!