Oshkosh 2018

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Oshkosh, Part II!  For the 2nd year in a row, I had the opportunity to attend the world’s largest general aviation airshow and expo; EAA AirVenture at Oshkosh, WI (i.e., Oshkosh).  The EAA (Experimental Aviation Association; the hosts of AirVenture) claim that 601,000 people attended this year and I believe it!

This year, I had the opportunity of having a booth promoting both Great Commission Aviation and gyroplanes.  I had 5 shirts just like the one in the picture above that I wore to the show everyday.  I walked around 601,000 people from 6AM until approximately 7PM for 5 1/2 days.  Many people asked about the meaning of the shirt and I was able to discuss ministry and mission several times a day.  I was also privileged to meet several church leaders and mission leaders and discussed micro-aviation and Great Commission Aviation at length with several of them.

Of course, I also get to fly demonstrations at the Ultralight field.  I am extremely blessed that not only do I get to attend Oshkosh each year, but that I get to FLY at Oshkosh each year.

Each morning, all pilots must attend the daily briefing to discuss any safety issues, weather and scheduling changes.  Once this is complete, we prepare our aircraft for the daily flights, including preflight and fueling.  At 11:30 each day, rotorcraft, including gyroplanes, were given the airspace at the Ultralight field.  I either flew, or assisted as ground crew, each day from 11:30 – 2:00, when the flying was terminated for the daily afternoon airshow.

When not flying, I was manning the booth and discussing mission aviation and gyroplanes.  We had several hundred people stop and talk over the 5 1/2 days of the show.  It was a great place to promote mission aviation and especially micro-aviation!

While I walked a couple of marathons and was hoarse from all of the talking, I did get to roam around the show during a couple of afternoons.  Oshkosh is way too big to see in that short of time but I tried!  I was even able to get a picture of a WWII gyroplane from Great Britain.

Now that I am sufficiently rested from Oshkosh 2018, I get to prepare to follow-up on the conversations started during the week.  I am also preparing to attend several Fall fly-in events to continue to promote micro-aviation and to continue my ministry as the “Preacher-Pilot.”

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Aviation Camp

During the first week of July, the family got to spend part of our vacation staffing the Mission Aviation Camp at the College of Missionary Aviation in Keystone Heights, Florida.  Michael was able to attend as a camper.  I helped teach ground school and flew the College’s American Ranger AR-1 gyroplane.

We stayed at Lake Swan Camp in one of the motel rooms.  Michael, of course, stayed in a bunkhouse with the other boys.  Each morning, the students were transported to the Keystone Park Airpark where they attended ground school and were given flights in several aircraft; 2 Cessna 172’s, a Robinson R44 helicopter, the AR-1 gyroplane, and a Cessna 310 twin-engine airplane.

Liani and Marissa were able to stay at the camp, as well, and Liani assisted wherever needed.  She mainly helped organize the students and helped me with preflight and other logistical matters for the gyroplane.

The students flew from 8:30AM to around noon each day.  They had the afternoon free for swimming and other activities.  During the evening, we all met for a worship service and heard speakers concentrating on mission aviation.  I was able to speak on Thursday about Great Commission Aviation.  It was a great time and we look forward to being able to attend again in the future.