EAA AirVenture Forums is Where Flying Friendships Form

By Scott Spangler on July 24th, 2008

JetWhine_EAA AirVenture_Forum Six months out of the Navy I attended my first trip to Oshkosh in 1978. I went for the airplanes. Not one of them now stands out in memory. Not so with the people I met. Sitting in side-by-side booths in the old exhibit shed were Pappy Boyington of AVG Flying Tiger and VMF-214 “Black Sheep Squadron” fame and Ensign George Gay, VT-8’s only survivor during the Battle of Midway.

Both were selling books I’d already read,  Baa Baa Black Sheep  and Sole Survivor. That I could meet and talk with these aviators at Oshkosh, and listen to them recount their experiences in forum tent talks took me by surprise. Such unexpected encounters is what has drawn me to EAA AirVenture every year since. This year, my 31st, is no different.

Few of the people I’ve met over the decades are aviation celebrities like Boyington and Gay. Most of them are like me, ordinary people interested in airplanes. Many of them have become friends, and I’ve learned something from each of them. We connect each year at Oshkosh, and during the week I’ll introduce you to some of them here in JetWhine.com.

AirVenture forums is where I’ve made most of my new friends. Even for the shy, starting a conversation is easy because everyone there shares an interest in the topic presented. Over the past decade I’ve also had the opportunity to present some forums, another excellent way to turn strangers into friends, which is why I’m eagerly anticipating this year’s Aviation Blog forum, Monday, July 28 at 4 p.m. in the GAMA Pavilion (No. 2). I hope to see you there. — Scott Spangler

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2 Responses to “EAA AirVenture Forums is Where Flying Friendships Form”

  1. Cole & Kittinger: Hearing History First Hand - Jetwhine: Aviation Buzz and Bold Opinion Says:

    […] my first trip to Oshkosh in 1978 I met Pappy Boyington and George Gay (see EAA AirVenture Forums is Where Flying Friendships Form). This year I met Dick Cole, Jimmy Doolittle’s copilot on the flight over Tokyo, and Joe […]

  2. Cole & Kittinger: Hearing History First Hand | RENT-A-PLANE Says:

    […] my first trip to Oshkosh in 1978 I met Pappy Boyington and George Gay (see EAA AirVenture Forums is Where Flying Friendships Form). This year I met Dick Cole, Jimmy Doolittle’s copilot on the flight over Tokyo, and Joe […]

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