Teams: Doug & Lynn, Karen and Michelle... Dornink International... Roy and Roy... Runway 18L... Tiger Moth for Dad.
First time's a charm. Doug Macallister and Lynn Daffron flew to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh '98 from Naples, Florida in their blue, gold & white Bonanza N35. They're regulars at Sun 'n Fun but this is their first time to the Oshkosh fly-in. Lynn's a longtime pilot but Doug's only been flying for three years.
Were they intimdated by the Oshkosh arrival procedure? "No, says Lynn, "it's just like Sun 'n Fun."
"We make a good team," says Doug. "Lynn does the flying and I do the talking."
The grounds and facilities here at the EAA AirVenture are always in tip-top condition. That's due to people like the mother/daughter team of Karen and Michelle Lamb. We found them one evening, after dark, after the crowds had left, driving around the convention grounds in their John Deere Gator, watering the flowers and tending to the plants.
"Before the fly-in starts we can do our work during the day. But when the crowds arrive we do part of our work early in the morning and continue in the evening."
Karen is a year-round EAA employee who works the rest of the year on things like decorating the Museum for the holidays and creating displays. Michelle is a sophmore, studying elementary education, at Martin Luthor College. She works for the EAA during the summers.
Sitting in the shade under the wing of his 1950 brown & tan Cessna 182, Al Plapp watches the arrivals on runway 18. Between landings he reminisces about the days when he learned to fly.
"I worked for Ron Dornink at his airport in Illinois. I painted fences, and shoveled, err, stuff, in exchange for flying lessons. It's called Ronald K. Dornink Airport, but we called it Dornink International. I stop back there as often as I can. It's still a grass strip.
"Someone has taken all the old first solo shirt tails and stitched them together into a quilt that is now on display. There must be 80 to 100 shirt tails. Mine is there.
"I think he's still got a couple of kids working for him, learning to fly."
Roy and Roy are neighbors at Waunakee Airport, a fly in community near Madison, Wisconsin. Here at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh '98 they've set up their lawn chairs under the wing of a Piper Cub and are keeping an eye on the crosswind landings.
They drive to the fly-in so as not to take up space that can be used by attendees from further away. Roy owns two Cessna 150s, a 195, and a one-third finished Tailwind.
Cleared to land runway 18L. "They see that narrow little taxiway and near to have a heart attack," says the man with the big sunglasses from Niles, Michigan.
"That little thing would be just about right for my airplane." His plane is a 1946 Taylorcraft that he's owned since 1965. "I bought it from the only other guy who ever owned it."
The sunglasses man and his wife come to the fly-in every year. They drive around the lake real early, this year "a week ago Saturday," and stay until after it's over. They do day trips in their car until the show starts, "then I look at airplanes and my wife reads books."
Son, can I borrow the airplane keys? Harry Julian and his son David are admiring the Fisher Tiger Moth on display in the outdoor exhibits area. This plane is modelled after the legendary, original Tiger Moth.
Many years ago, Harry learned how to fly in a Tiger Moth. Years later, David inherited his father's appreciation for the old classic biplane and wished he could one day own one. "I love the way they sound," he says, "the way they fly, the sense of history in them."
A few years ago David bought a classic biplane kit. His plan was to build it, and sell it to raise part of the money for the plane of his dreams. Then fate stepped in. David suddenly had the chance to buy a fully restored Tiger Moth. Of course he jumped at the chance, but, "I didn't tell dad I bought it. I just flew down and surprised him."
David, with some help from his dad, has put about 40 hours on the plane since getting it in February. And he still plans to finish the kit biplane.