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Thread: AirVenture 2022 - The Good, Bad, and Ugly

  1. #21
    Mayhemxpc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Manassas, Virginia
    I definitely agree about the USAF’s 75th being the main event. You would never know it from what was displayed, flown and otherwise shown. From my perspective, no difference from previous years.

    Regarding warbirds being notable for their absence on Friday and Saturday. Departure of aircraft if all types, including warbirds, is typical starting on Thursday, with Sunday being VERY sparse. There was an additional factor in that the Dayton AirShow was this past weekend. I volunteer at the Warbirds tower, and most of the warbirds departing on Friday announced that they were on the way to Dayton.
    Last edited by Mayhemxpc; 08-01-2022 at 03:38 PM. Reason: Typos
    Chris Mayer

  2. #22
    Mayhemxpc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Manassas, Virginia
    Out and back flights, I agree with the sentiment, but there are some practicalities. Most notable is that the formation flights have to be rehearsed. The morning is rehearsal time. There are also sponsor flights. Not sure what I can say about that, it is what it is…but most of those are actually flown from Appleton (where the B-17 flies from). You might as well ask the Tri-Motor not to fly in the mornings, either.

    From my perch in the Warbirds tower, I did not notice any preferential treatment being given to the warbirds for departure. Maybe the FAA tower was doing that, but it didn’t seem to me that they were bumped ahead in line for departures.

    Food trucks. They were around, at different places throughout the grounds, or at least North of Boeing Plaza. (I didn’t get south of the Vintage display circle this year.) I was surprised at their presence and they seemed to offer a variety of food and were popular.
    Chris Mayer

  3. #23

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Marietta, GA
    Quote Originally Posted by Mayhemxpc View Post
    Out and back flights, I agree with the sentiment, but there are some practicalities. Most notable is that the formation flights have to be rehearsed. The morning is rehearsal time. There are also sponsor flights. Not sure what I can say about that, it is what it is…but most of those are actually flown from Appleton (where the B-17 flies from). You might as well ask the Tri-Motor not to fly in the mornings, either.
    I mentioned one morning (Thursday) which is a big departure morning. I didn't suggest morning flights be banned, what I did suggest is to discourage out and back flights at peak arrival and departure times. I sat in the departure line for 36 for over an hour on Thursday morning watching as the Aeroshell team was moved to the front of the line and cycled twice, the Rapid Rabbit went from parking to the front of the line (and requested full length), and an Albatross did the same. Same for T-28's, Mustangs, and other warbirds (plus the Trimotor). I'm sure that traces back to the TBM eating the RV-6 on the parallel taxiway a few years ago, but cycling the warbirds to the front of the line every time isn't the answer either.

    I love warbirds. But it makes no sense that they get vastly better treatment on arrivals and departures than everyone else who flies into the show.

  4. #24
    Reiterating some of what's been said, all the workers and volunteers I encountered were very friendly and helpful.

    Until some of you mentioned it, I had completely forgotten that the USAF 75th anniversary was celebrated this year. I didn't see much difference in the show lineup or onsite presence.

    The variety of food options on the grounds was pretty decent; the expanded presence of food trucks is a welcome addition. There was definitely a noticeable increase in prices though. Three chicken tenders and a small basket of cheese curds from the Hangar Cafe set me back $21.

    I'd really like to see more water fountains or water bottle filling stations on the grounds. There are only a few, widely scattered, and the bottle filler at every single one did not work. It's nice that they keep the bottled water price at a reasonable $2, but I'd rather just refill my Nalgene somewhere.

    Visited the Seaplane Base for the first time in several years and it was a pretty smooth process. About a 20 minute wait for a bus down by Ultralights (with a South 40 bus, I don't know how many Seaplane buses they had in circulation), and then a 15 minute wait for a bus to leave the base. A little busier down there than I remember, but still pretty quiet.

    I keep saying it every year, but EAA really needs to expand Camp Scholler in a major way. We're one of the midweek arrivals, and we always expect to be out by the highway somewhere, but man, just when I think the previous year is as far away as we'll ever camp, there we are, camped right across the ditch from Ripple Rd, at the end of 3rd St. We didn't have a tenter this year, but that end of the campground is now 24-hr generator area, supposedly no tents allowed, but what does EAA expect? All the other camping areas are full by the weekend before. If you arrive during the show with a tent, you have no choice but to camp in the 24-hr generator area. We had numerous tents in our neighborhood.

    The crowd for Top Gun: Maverick was by far the biggest I've ever seen at the Fly-In Theater. I understand putting your chairs out early to save a spot, but if you do that, then you still need to show up pretty early and physically sit in your chairs. Someone had several bag chairs laying on the ground a couple rows ahead of us, and as the crowds continued to pile in, eventually someone just shoved them aside and sat there. The chair owners didn't show up until 9:00 pm, in the dark, as the movie was starting. They grabbed their chairs and presumably left, because I don't think there was an open patch of grass left anywhere. Also some folks just down from us, with chairs waiting, also arrived pretty late and had to cram themselves into the row, only for two of them to leave the movie early. Just some bad etiquette from several attendees. Overall though, a good crowd.

    The weather was absolutely phenomenal. Comfortable during the day, nice and cool at night. Usually my camper stays too warm and I don't sleep well at Oshkosh, but this year was a refreshing change of pace.

    Overall, a great way to spend my 25th convention.

  5. #25

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    I think the general theme for 2022 can be summed up as “Why should we make an effort? You’re going to come anyway.”

    The good
    Wednesday night fireworks. Some of the best we’ve ever seen.

    The bad
    Wednesday night airshow. Most of the performers were phoning it in. Can’t say I looked up once during the daytime shows.

    The whole show itself. There seemed to be no big draw this year. Boeing square was like an afterthought, nothing worth the walk. Seaplane base was almost empty. No Monday concert. No Ford. The usual excitement was missing his year. Lots of empty vendor space, and the ones that showed up were downsized. (except the massage chair people)

    Trams. When it’s busy, they need to kick people off when it gets to the end. Too many people going in circles while others are waiting in the heat mid route only to be passed by.

    The ugly
    Food. Prices seemed to be even more outrageous than normal. Portions smaller. More names but less selection. And what’s up with tram conductors shilling for the food carts? Kickbacks? Chapter pancake breakfasts shutting down early.

    Scooters and golf carts. I swear I’m the only person there without one. Kids riding one-wheels through vintage. Electric bikes and trikes everywhere. Slap a handicap sticker on your Harley and they’d probably let you do donuts around the brown arch. How are there so many families in vehicles at the night airshow?

    Dirt bikes and ATV’s in Scholler. Licensed drivers my pasty white a==. A big side by side driven by pre-teens into bike parking with their parents in the back. Two kids on dirt bikes doing high speed laps through the non-generator area every night. It’s the same every year, yet nothing gets done about it. As the primary focus of the show is money, start fining people.

    The after fly-in theater / night airshow crowd. These are the most ignorant, entitled people you’ll ever come across. Anybody trying to move faster gets deliberately blocked. Bicycles, buses, and god help you if you end up close to the area in a car, get swarmed and will not be allowed to exceed walking speed. These people would block an ambulance just to share their misery.

  6. #26

    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    "Trams. When it’s busy, they need to kick people off when it gets to the end. Too many people going in circles while others are waiting in the heat mid route only to be passed by."

    To this one I can speak. I conducted 9 straight days of the morning Blue tram. I ALWAYS tried to leave both terminals (the Yellow-Blue and the Blue-School buses) with one empty bench on my tram, regardless of the line at the terminal. That way at least 5 folks waiting at the first stop were guaranteed a seat. Tram management IS aware of the concerns and in the future will be sending an empty tram out from the terminals to help clear the down-route stops after 2-3 full trams leave. ALL the tram conductors are aware that the trams are to be run as point-to-point conveyances. They are to be emptied at each end pont before new passengers may board. I can assure you that NONE of my trams moved up for new passengers before they first were completely empty. The tram terminal safety officers also worked hard to assure the policy was enforced. We are well aware that 'some' folks would like nothing better than to just sit on a tram for hours and go round and round.

    Bottom line? Some 50-70 THOUSAND attendees are on the grounds EACH day. A tram can carry 35-40 at a time. Dang, we gotta make a whole lot of trips to keep everyone happy. I'm also pretty doggone sure EAA and Wittman are NOT gonna install a mile and a half of moving sidewalks anytime soon. So about all we can do is the best we can do and hope everyone understands.

    COMMERCIAL MESSAGE - VOLUNTEERS are always welcome and necessary to the tram operation. It takes two volunteers per tram to put one on the street each 6 hour shift, plus extra relief drivers and conductors. Minimum age for a tractor driver is 21, conductor is 18. YOU could be part of the solution next year. They welcome ALL volunteers who can work as many days as they can.

    Here is their e-mail address to reach out to tram management -
    Last edited by CHICAGORANDY; 08-02-2022 at 10:41 AM.
    "Don't believe everything you see or read on the internet" - Abraham Lincoln

  7. #27
    mazdaP5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Just outside of Grosse Ile NAS
    I actually wasn't too bothered by food prices this year. Yes they are high, but food prices are high across the board, and the Airventure prices were closer to outside prices than they had been the last few years.

    As for the after airshow crowds heading back into Scholler, I would love a 20-30 minute no vehicle traffic time so that the pedestrians can safely walk back to camp without fear of being run over by vehicle folks trying to drive faster than the speed of the surrounding traffic.

  8. #28
    FlyinAdamBadger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Davenport, Iowa

    Please tell your chairperson that I liked all the tram routes and bus stops this year that were in the admission gates. The new stop at Vintage and the Flightline was a great addition and I used that stop a lot. I also used it to get to the the air shows, Boeing Plaza and the Vintage area.

    Quote Originally Posted by CHICAGORANDY View Post
    Back home to my Chicago 'hood - sigh - after a near 4 hour drive following my 8-4:30ish tram conducting shift today. THANKS Milwaukee for shutting down a stretch of the VITAL North-South expressway, forcing ALL traffic to divert to surface streets. Oh joy, oh rapture. But I'm safely home none the less.

    This year I worked the Blue tram route all 9 days on the morning 8:00-2:00 shift. The dedicated 'road preservationists' at Wittman were able to keep ALL the prior big potholes and heavy bumps and even added a few new ones, just to keep one's internal organs from getting complacent staying in one spot. The weather IMHO was PHENOMENAL and was the longest stretch of nice conditions that I can remember. Airplane people are good people, the crowds were substantial and as always 99.99% of the attendees with whom I had the pleasure of interacting were a treat. As I expected there were of course two or three unpleasant souls, but I think that for those few the worst thing that hurts their happiness is that everywhere they go, they bring themselves along.

    I now begin counting down the days till next AirVenture, and oh yes indeed, I've already secured my motel room reservatiuons for next year.
    Last edited by FlyinAdamBadger; 08-02-2022 at 02:19 PM.

  9. #29

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    No ugly for me. I love going every year, despite some annoyances...

    The Good
    - Meeting many new people on EZ Street and sharing info about my VariEze and other canards onsite. They are slowly being brought back to life and increasing in numbers each year!
    - Being around all the planes
    - Great volunteers, happy and helpful

    The Bad
    - The "E" in EAA is slowly deteriorating. Walk down the main entrance path and only see multi-million dollar planes you will NEVER fly. Seems confusing to new people.
    - Just ONE homebuilt showcase flyby the entire week (Tuesday with 12 planes). EAA is forgetting their roots. Sad.

    The Annoying
    - I am hoping next year's theme is "The Year of the Ultralight or Sailplane". The jets everyday doing 50 afterburner passes is a bit much.
    - EAA Security expecting 20,000 people to exit through one 5' wide gate opening after the night show to the campgrounds and not one car using the 30' wide "Autos Only" gate.
    - Daily airshows were very weak, bad planning and lengthy delays between acts. 5 flip-flop plane acts are too many in one show. More homebuilt flybys please. Remember, E-A-A!
    - EAA claiming we were lucky to still get free popcorn at the Fly-In theatre without the major sponsor (Ford). Not making enough with $30/$75 campsites in an overloaded campground?

  10. #30

    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Franklin, NE
    The Good

    All of the learning opportunities, both presentations and workshops. Hands on learning is hard to beat. Listening to someone who has done something like a first flight before likewise. I heard Paul Dye for the first time, really valuable information. Commercial classes such as Garmin's also valuable.

    Volunteers, I am very thankful for all of the folks who give of their time to make this event a success. As mentioned elsewhere, you're going to have some misses, but by and large we all do pretty well. Looking forward to doing more in the future.

    Sunday service before show in the chapel near Pioneer Airport, always awesome worship here!

    Camp check-In was as fast as I have ever experienced, as was the refund for unused days when we left on Thursday.

    Red One camp stores, EAA needs to be commended for their efforts here, most of your basics covered and with the exception of sunscreen, (and maybe alcohol, I didn't check) at prices lower than Target down town for like merchandise. Many $2 items and quick checkouts from friendly folks.

    I got to meet chicagorandy and hear some of his catalog. An ambassador for the fly in for sure. Thank You Randy.

    I finally got to see the Wednesday night show. It was neat to see something new, the Mig was a highlight. The fireworks were phenomenal! The crowds and getting out and back to camp was not pleasant, as others have mentioned, there needs to be a way to let pedestrians flow out more easily.

    The Bad

    The EAA App may have been improved in some ways but the mapping is almost useless. Previously you could use the GPS to see where you were in relation to where you wanted to be. If it is there, I couldn't find it.

    Cell service, pretty predictably was good Thursday before show and down to almost unusable by Sunday evening. I'm with Verizon but it sounds like all of the carriers share the problems. Thousands upon thousands of phones and devices all wanting data, and I'm not sure if any of the carriers realize just how big this event has become.

    The Ugly

    Camp Sholler needs some way to enforce the motorized vehicles running all night. As someone else mentioned, the policy of only licensed drivers is not even remotely enforced. Someone is going to get hurt eventually and the lawyers will have a money making opportunity. The idiots riding the unmuffled minibike(s) around the campgrounds like a race track need to be followed back and evicted with NO REFUND of fees. No one is going to miss these kinds of folks, and maybe they would quit coming. It wasn't kids in this case either, mid 40's delinquent, I was ready to throw a trash can at him.

    There were also numerous other ATV's running all hours of the night. If a generator is too loud after 10:30 p.m. why are ATV's still alllowed to run? If you need to take a motorized set of wheels to showers do it before 10:30. A bike will get you there pretty easily and in near silence.

    These issues would probably require hiring some security with teeth to do something, it would be money well spent. Perhaps a few years of culling the bad apples might improve things long term. There is obviously no shortage of people wanting to come in.

    It was a big crowd, and a good time, Thanks EAA for getting it done again.

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