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Oshkosh 1998:
My Final Thoughts

What did I take extra notice of while I was attending Oshkosh 1998?

  • A surprising number of people had digital cameras. Perhaps airplane enthusiasts in particular like new technology, but I was sitll surprised to see that many. Probably one out of 15 or 20 cameras I saw there were digital.
  • A surprising absence of minorities. During the first three days, I saw tens of thousands of people...and I saw one black person. Perhaps it's due to the location, where minorities are not prevalent, however I'd say 80% of the people there were from somewhere else. Why are there so few minorities at Oshkosh?
  • Prices. OK, flying is expensive. But why is the EAA gouging the public with ridiculous food prices for not-so-great-quality food?
  • The airshows were great...however, I've seen them done tighter. It seemed that when an act finished, there was a five minute wait while nothing happened (except for the announcers constant chatter, of course), during which time a lot of the crowd grew disinterested and left. Other airshows I have attended keep airplanes in front of the crowd at all times.
  • During the airshow, volunteers with nothing better to do constantly race their scooters and golf carts up and down the flight show line, trying to look busy, and covering the crowd in dust and filth in the process. Come on, guys!
  • After the airshow performers have landed, they are paraded in front of the crowd in a small convertible or other vehicle. What a great idea! I loved it!
  • The showers are well designed, except for the small oversight that there are three times as many showers as there is room to disrobe. There are constant lines to get into the showers, but once you get in there, you realize that most of the showers are vacant, and the line is there waiting to find a place to disrobe.
  • It's too hot.

But did I have a great time?? You betcha!

Some interesting things I saw that don't really fit in any other categories:

Rubber chicken monumentRubber chicken plane

A camp site in the general aviation camping area decided that the theme this year was "rubber chickens," and erected a monument to declare this fact. Later, other airplanes joined in the fun. I wonder if this actually signifies anything?

MU2 in the campgroundFor the most part, the general aviation camping area contained Pipers, Cessnas, Mooneys, Bonanazas, and so on. However, there was the odd exception. A guy came walking past our tent, saying, "Is that an MU2 over there in the campground??? Now I've seen everything!"

EAA BugAll of the EAA guys (or at least the senior guys - the not-so-senior guys and volunteers drive golf carts, little scooters, or these strange "Gator" things that John Deere supplied to the convention this year) at Oshkosh drive around in these weird little modified Volkswagen Bugs, with the tops cut off, the doors removed, strange paint, and sometimes golf-cart style canvas roofs. I couldn't find anyone who could explain the reason for this, other than perhaps someone got a good deal on a lot of Bugs at one time.

This page copyright 1998