Oshkosh 2015 Day 1
Here I am in Wisconsin again – one year on, minus the Wenzel, but replete with jet lag, sugar rush and completely fogged brain.
2015 sees me with upgraded accommodation – a four man tent courtesy of my friend Jeff Propson, a car, and oodles of experience now I”m a veteran Oshkosher. The show is as appealing as it was last year, but with my vast knowledge and British accent I’m blundering slightly less. There’s something about discomfort though that help you gloss over and soft focus with memory.
That’s the reason I learned to develop a bladder of iron at airshows – a handy skill when you’re camping. I also have a personal mission never to use a portapotty at Osh. I have discovered the whereabouts of most of the useful flush toilets. I’ll let you in to the common knowledge ones in Hangars B and C, but I have some other little hideouts that will remain confidential.
My diet has gone to shit. Sugar, sugar, caffeine and smattering of fat in the form of the glorious American fare that is Donuts, creme, and vegetables that people don’t seem to manage without them being infused with corn syrup. As a person drawn to extremes, this country is right up my street. The nation that gave the world whole foods and gluten free everything, excels at filling my arteries with filthy dirty food.
And Oshkosh is a microcosm of that culture. I arrived on Sunday and am camping with buddy Matt Thurber again (check out his copy at www.ainonline.com for good show stories). Am chatting cats with Steve Trimble of Flight (another great journalist – www.flightglobal.com). I am also on a personal mission to sell my book – the 100 Greatest Women in Aviation – and the good folks at EAA have given me an author’s spot at the Wearhouse today – which drew a small appreciative crowd. Some of whom actually bought copies. God bless you!
Yesterday I spoke with EAA boss Jack Pelton. Big concerns here are the third class medical and potential privatisation of Air Traffic Control. EAA has managed to get FAA administrators to come to the show later in the week, with mixed success. Some are keen on GA, while others are more career politicians and paying lip service to one of the worlds’ most appreciative GA audiences.
The media here is abuzz with flying with the new ICON A5 float plane, which Jack Pelton and Young Eagles Chairman Sean D Tucker are raving about and feel may be the solution to attracting a younger crowd to general aviation.
There’s a ton of other stuff. F22 and A350 have flown. There’s a new Drone cage – I’ll be having a go of one of those I hope during my stay here. F35 is due tomorrow. Warbirds galore. Microlight pilots. Authors – Tom Casey (subject of a great new book by my pal Bill Coleman) is talking next door about meeting Idi Amin on a trip around the world. I keep forgetting which side of my car to get in.
I’m off to go and get some more stories for clients – none of which would suit this particular blog. I nodded off a few minutes ago and was just rudely awoken by the F22. On that note I’ll sign off. There really are worse ways to earn a crust…