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

  1. #11
    Mayhemxpc's Avatar
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    Good: with the notable exception of Saturday night (which I missed, waiting it out on the ground at DPA) the weather was great. A tad windy sometimes, but overall, great.

    I greatly appreciated the lifetime member pavilion. It replaced the former lifetime member dinner and a tent on the flight line that you had to have reservations for and could only use one day. I think this is a real winner (if you are a lifetime member. If you are not, it's existence doesn’t hurt you.)

    plenty of trams. Although I didn’t use them much, preferring the exercise (22 thousand steps some days). They were plentiful and it seemed like people should have to wait long for a ride.

    EAA staff. All those in encountered were friendly and as helpful as they could be (but see bad entry below).

    shout out to staff from PS Engineering and Aircraft Spruce, who would go out of their way for great customer service.

    Bad. I might as well mention supply issues. Phillips running out of 20W50 was a surprise. On the plus side, it was extra weight I didn’t need to load in the plane.

    new hire EAA staff. Reports from others in my group are that the new hires did not get an orientation of the grounds before AirVenture started. For example, one didn’t even know where the blue barn was. That said, she was still helpful and happy to take directions to assist an older chapter member in getting there.

    Cell phone coverage was strange. I use Verizon. There were places on the grounds where coverage seemed unavailable, although my phone showed at least three bars. Texts wouldn’t go out and phone calls went straight to voicemail. Other places were fine. Based on previous years, I never even tried to access the WiFi.

    Ugly. I got nothing
    Chris Mayer
    N424AF
    www.o2cricket.com

  2. #12
    Mayhemxpc's Avatar
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    Todd, does Vintage have its own marshallers? Since Vintage has such a great reputation, it would surprise me that anyone working vintage would do that. I park in Warbirds and the flight line staff there is always first rate, friendly, and helpful. In fact, as I have told them, it is the only place I go where I am confident that they will always use the right signals and where I follow the signals without hesitation.
    Chris Mayer
    N424AF
    www.o2cricket.com

  3. #13
    Auburntsts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mayhemxpc View Post
    Todd, does Vintage have its own marshallers? Since Vintage has such a great reputation, it would surprise me that anyone working vintage would do that. I park in Warbirds and the flight line staff there is always first rate, friendly, and helpful. In fact, as I have told them, it is the only place I go where I am confident that they will always use the right signals and where I follow the signals without hesitation.
    Chris, no idea as I’ve never parked in vintage but I assume they do. I’ve always been in either home built camping or parking. These guys did their job perfectly from a technical standpoint, just not as friendly as I was expecting. I’m sure it was an anomaly. Had I been able to speak first, I’m sure it wouldn’t have happened at all.
    Last edited by Auburntsts; 08-01-2022 at 08:38 AM.
    Todd “I drink and know things” Stovall
    PP ASEL - IA
    RV-10 N728TT - Flying
    WAR DAMN EAGLE!

  4. #14
    Gary.Sobek's Avatar
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    Been communicating with several friends as they travelled home and after they arrived home.

    The Ugly:
    Got one friend / pilot that put 38-hours on his airplane round trip to Oshkosh. He is home sick and the at home COVID test is reporting POSITIVE. He has had the two COVID vaccine shots and one of the boosters. Two of our friends that he had contact with (a few days after I had seen them) are also reporting POSITIVE. I have had contact with all three and feel fine. I know the at home COVID test have a high false positive result so I do not trust them.

    Would be interested in learning if any others are sick after their trip.
    Gary A. Sobek
    EAA Lifetime Member
    A&P, Homebuilder, Pilot

    When once you have tasted flight,
    you will forever walk the earth
    with your eyes turned skyward,
    for there you have been,
    and there you will always long to return.
    - Leonardo da Vinci

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by colifis View Post
    The Bad:
    - As someone above stated, half the museum is closed off every year. My son has been wanted to see that area for a few years now, and we don't get to Oshkosh any other time.
    It's closed, but most of the planes that were in the Eagle Hangar are out side if you want to see them. They have that hangar setup for the large fundraising banquets.

  6. #16

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    Disclosure: I volunteered all week (8-5 daily) at the Member Center (Four Corners), and I write this from my travels around the show as an attendee/the perspective of an attendee.

    The Good:
    - The weather! Probably one of the best (recent) years I can remember where it was not blazingly hot and ridiculously humid.

    - The people/other volunteers were all great! Even the ones that stopped in the Member Center to offer their feedback on things they didn't like were respectful about it.

    - I'm a big Warbird fan, so the amount of planes I got to witness and photograph on Wednesday morning was fantastic! I'm happy anytime there's 3+ Corsairs onsite, and I saw at least 5.

    - WomenVenture getting its own, large tent finally. I'm glad EAA continues to invest and expand that.

    - Food options, as someone else mentioned, the food trucks in a few new spots were welcomed additions to the typical offerings like A&W, Benvenutos, etc.

    - The app and the new framework design within whole "EAA Events" concept. I only had one "bad" item for this below, but I thought it was MUCH more functional and versatile this year with neat features like a quick-scroll feature to the schedule based on the current time, the food vendor map, and the various filters to weed out what you didn't want.

    The Bad:
    - The whole 75th Anniversary of the Air Force seemed a little over-hyped. I guess my own expectations were higher thinking they'd have some more elaborate or impressive involvement in the air shows, at least the expanded shows. Anything involving Air Force wasn't really different from previous years except for maybe the C-17 "demo" flight. The C-5 making a visit was cool, but that's not "75th anniversary" cool by itself. The C-5, C-17, KC-46, and F-15 that left Sunday could have at least made one pass before heading onward. As for static display in Boeing Plaza, there's been a number of those same aircraft almost every year (including the fighter jets), so I don't really see what the impact was of the Air Force "...supporting three or four civilian shows for the anniversary..."

    - Traffic on Knapp St. was probably the heaviest I've ever witness at OSH. Non-stop, and especially at non-controlled intersections that lacked Security directing traffic there were definitely some near misses. To be fair, there were a lot of folks just aimlessly wandering down the center of roads or drifting across them, too. The intersection at Celebration Way was definitely the busiest, that being the main thoroughfare.

    - Definitely an uptick in vehicles/golf carts traversing Celebration way that shouldn't have been.

    - No GPS feature of the app. Unless I just didn't figure it out, it seemed like the feature to show your position on the map was gone this year. This is mostly a carry over from feedback I had from some attendees, as I know where stuff is but I agree it was a handy feature.

    - The "Wall of Fire" on Saturday night's air show seem like a real let down. I remember that being a lot larger and more intense. I wasn't at Wednesday night's show to compare, but definitely from previous years and photos from others it seemed underwhelming. Minor gripe, tho, as I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the show/performances!

    - I also miss Ford. A lot of people missed Ford. They were way more interactive and exciting than Boeing was, which seemed to just be all static info displays and the merch shop. It's great they're a top sponsor, but I really hope they up their game in the coming years.

    - WiFi was definitely hit or miss. It wasn't so much that I could not find a hotspot, it was more that the quality of the connection was sporadic. Even in the Member Center tent, sometimes it was slower than 5G on my phone, and other times I'd try using it, it was pretty fast. Interesting about the comments regarding cell service. I have Verizon and didn't have any overall issue other than 5G at times was slow due to saturation, but another volunteer one of the days during the week had major issues with T-Mobile. Early in the day he could only get incoming calls but not make outbound calls. Then in the afternoon he lost full service entirely. A few others who had T-Mobile we learned later had the exact same problem and it wasn't rectified until later that night.

    The Ugly:
    Not really anything which was that bad to list here.
    Last edited by thellmer; 08-01-2022 at 02:55 PM.

  7. #17
    mazdaP5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krw920 View Post
    It's closed, but most of the planes that were in the Eagle Hangar are out side if you want to see them. They have that hangar setup for the large fundraising banquets.
    I understand why, I just think it's a bad way to treat your guests. They do not after all, park the 1/72nd scale Enterprise model outside. Nor the Corsair that the EAA JUST featured in Sport Aviation.

  8. #18

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    I'm a little more focused on the air show part of Airventure, so my comments may be a bit weighted towards that end, but here we go:

    The Good
    The MiG-29 and Polaris demo
    The United 777 demo early in the week
    F-35C and Growler teams (these made up for the lack of USAF participation, more on that below)
    Express camping entry
    The volunteers in Vintage are the best group and we love sitting to watch the shows in that area.

    The bad
    Scholler really needs some love and attention:

    The shower houses that AREN'T the one at the South end on Stits. They have needed an upgrade years ago and they are continually getting worse.

    After the Saturday night storm and deluge, many of the roads west of Stits became mud holes. It seems if you were east of Stits the areas were rolled dry, but there were many areas west that were just left muddy and wet with huge ruts.

    The cell service is atttrocious for all providers. If the providers aren't going to help out, build out a bigger wifi infrastructure.


    It seems like there was a huge increase in golf cart traffic on the grounds inside the gates. I can't count how many times I saw an exhibitor almost ran people over.

    Can we get the airshows to start earlier? I can understand the argument that earlier in the week, a 2:30 start time helps get arrivals in, but I think later in the week you could easily start at 11 or Noon and have the shows done by 4. This would allow people to go back to camp, eat, refresh, then come back for evening events such as the STOL field, movie, Theater in the Woods, etc.

    Ugly
    Whoo boy. The airshows. So much of what was advertised, promised, hyped, etc. simply didn't happen, along with the absolutely anemic participation of USAF assets.

    The F-100 didn't make it, with several reputable sources saying that the owner was upset that EAA only scheduled him to fly ONCE during the entire week. The F-100 was prominently featured on several items of merchandise and posters/etc. Not a good look, EAA.

    The USAF Aggressors from Nellis were a no-show, after being continuously hyped during pre-show webinars. With Red Flag happening and scheduled during the same week, how was that ever going to happen?

    The warbirds shows were pretty bare, with Friday and Saturday particularly being bad. These, again, were hyped during pre-show webinars. They simply didn't live up.
    Last edited by RhinoIA; 08-01-2022 at 01:06 PM.

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by thellmer View Post
    The Bad:

    - WiFi was definitely hit or miss. It wasn't so much that I could not find a hotspot, it was more that the quality of the connection was sporadic. Even in the Member Center tent, sometimes it was slower than 5G on my phone, and other times I'd try using it, it was pretty fast. Interesting about the comments regarding cell service. I have Verizon and didn't have any overall issue other than 5G at times was slow due to saturation, but another volunteer one of the days during the week had major issues with T-Mobile. Early in the day he could only get incoming calls but not make outbound calls. Then in the afternoon he lost full service entirely. A few others who had T-Mobile we learned later had the exact same problem and it wasn't rectified until later that night.

    The Ugly:
    Not really anything which was that bad to list here.
    T-Mobile user here…I got to camp Thursday night and left after the show Saturday night. Service in Scholler was almost non existent the entire time beyond the occasional iMessages and sporadic web browsing activity. Service improved modestly inside the show grounds and the WiFi was semi usable. That being said it was a nice break from the constant being tethered to the social media world for a few days. I’m not sure there’s a good way to rectify this going forward short of putting up a ton of temporary towers

  10. #20

    Join Date
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    The Good:

    - The overall convention/show. Incredible as always.

    - The volunteers. Great people - all of them.

    - Walking by a tram on the North/South line and hearing a guy telling cornball jokes. Just to be sure, I made a point to check ChicagoRandy's name badge. He was busy, so I didn't make introductions.

    - The overall friendliness of the crowd. We bummed several rides in everything from golf carts to big 'ol pickups, were never in danger of getting run over, and (as always) enjoyed talking to a variety of people.

    Things that Could have been Better:

    -Arrivals and departures. On arrival and departure days (I'll call Saturday and Sunday arrival days, and Thursday morning a departure day - there may be more.), someone needs to find a way to discourage "out and back" flights by various groups, primarily the warbirds. You've got hundreds of airplanes inbound (or holding on a taxiway to depart) and various warbird groups cut to the front of the departure line repeatedly, do time consuming runway hogging full length departures, and cycle repeatedly giving rides. EAA has to put a bigger focus on getting airplanes in and out rather than letting the warbirds monopolize the runways. I sat on the taxiway for over an hour on Thursday waiting to depart while cycling warbirds repeatedly derailed the departures.

    - Food - blaargh. The items I bought on site were mediocre at best. I can deal with high prices, but high prices and mediocre food are a poor combination. Maybe there's a food truck park onsite and I missed it. It seems like Airventure would be food truck heaven, drawing in every truck from 50 miles around.

    - I kinda felt burned by the camping fees. Four of us arrived in one airplane and camped under the wing in two small tents. We had to pay two camping fees @$300 ea since we were not all directly related. The rule around that is probably published somewhere, but was an unexpected money grab at what's already a fairly expensive event. Next year, I'll bring the 6 person tent that occupies acres of territory and will only pay one "site" fee.

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