by Dave Weiman
For all of us who attended EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014, we came away with a lot of memorable experiences in the people we met, the aircraft we saw and flew, and the activities we participated in – many of which you will read about in this issue of Midwest Flyer Magazine. But for me personally, no experience will be more memorable than the day I spent with our 5-year-old grandson.
Saturday was his day at “KidVenture,” and to watch the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds perform in the afternoon airshow, and specially-equipped showplanes with lights and pyrotechnics in the night airshow.
KidVenture celebrated its 16th anniversary this year and was huge with activities for kids of all ages. Located in three hangars on Pioneer Airport across the runway from the EAA AirVenture Museum, KidVenture attracted a record 21,000 kids, parents and grand parents, thanks to the hard work and dedication of 400 volunteers.
There were 30 booths, from manually operated flight simulators to a real Redbird flight simulator that kids could log time towards their pilot certificate, and hands-on training in aircraft building and electronics to earn credit towards their airframe and powerplant certificate. Of course at 5 years old, the space capsule, pedal planes and model-building were the biggest hits with our grandson.
Now in his own words, and through the artwork that accompanies this article, this is what our grandson remembers most about his day at Oshkosh:
“KidVenture… Watching the day airshow by the vintage airplanes… Eating a Subway sandwich… Activities for kids at the Ford tent, especially the pedal cars… Sitting in a real fire truck… The night airshow… Staying overnight in grandma and grandpa’s camper, then waking up in the morning and getting donuts at the Red Barn.”
Sharing the experience of aviation, whether with your kids, grandchildren or friends, is an opportunity to relive the excitement of aviation, and hopefully plant the seed for aviators to come.