Just 21 Days until Oshkosh 2014. As always, we will be there in booth 616 in the North aircraft display area (where all homebuilt companies are) I always have people ask the same questions, so here are the answers that you can always count on:
Are you going to Oshkosh?
Yes, I always do, I go every year, I am there the whole week, I am always in the North Aircraft display area. I have not missed a year since 2001, and I only missed that year because I was in the hospital in critical condition, on a ventilator. Until you read my obituary, and have it confirmed by two independent sources, you can count on me going to Oshkosh, I am planning on being there the next 20 years.
Will you have manuals and parts to sell?
Yes, we will have most of our catalog of parts on hand to sell. It is fun to go to Airventure, but the booth costs the better part of $3,000 for the week and we have about $1,500 in travel expenses. We are there to meet friends and talk about planes and engines, but primarily I am there to do business and sell parts.
Will you be giving forums?
Yes, I have done so 19 our of the last 20 years. (see “on a ventilator” above). You can just check the program for the forum times and dates. Look under all titles, William Wynne, Flycorvair and Corvair engines. Compared to any other airshow, Oshkosh has excellent forums run by their chairman Mark Forss. Over the years I have given more than 75 forums at Airventure, they are well attended and lively.
Will you look at my core engine? Can I drop of core parts with you?
Yes, I do after hours parking lot tours, and we have a hand truck and a cart you can borrow to move any part or engine. Bring it, we will make it happen, I llok at 20 engines during Oshkosh. It is a good way to confirm you are on the right track, or make a plan for the next college.
Can people come to your booth and say negative, pessimistic things about politics, America, the world and the future?
Yes, but they will not get to the end of their first sentence. For people who watch too much tv news, I gently remind them that being at the greatest airshow in the world, among friends. on a sunny day in a free country makes ‘the sky is falling’ a tough sell, and it makes them sound like Eeyore the negative donkey from Winnie the Pooh. We have too many good things to cover to waste time on negative talk.
In 10 years I have had 4 people test the theory that they paid to be at Airventure and they can stand any place, say anything they like and be as offensive as they like. What they all learned is that I am leasing the spot, and I didn’t drive 1,300 miles and spend $750 a day to be tolerant of very poorly behaved people. I know that real builders didn’t drive to Oshkosh to hear it either. Other business tolerate poorly behaved people, I have limits. Count on our booth to be an oasis of positive ideas and attitudes.
Is it really true that you made 3 young men apologize for talking during the National Anthem?
Yes, but they were not just speaking by accident, they were jerks standing just outside my booth in 2005, loudly yammering in four letter words on their cell phones during the Anthem. Each of them were bigger than me, but they were smug, about 20, very well dressed, and had evidently never been called on the carpet to answer for stupid behavior. They quickly understood that the choice was to offer a genuine apology to people within earshot, or suffer the embarrassment of having a middle aged guy with a ponytail kick their ass in front of their girlfriends. I have since been through mildly successful voluntary anger management training, but I would probably still fail under the same conditions. I know some of my old friends thought the moment was ‘classic’, but I not really proud of it.
Read about last year at this link:
comments from Corvair builders:
Tammy Duckworth, above center, and her husband Bryan Bowlsbey, left, with the Corvair All Stars at our booth at AirVenture 2009. From the right, Mark Petniunas from Falcon Machine, Dan Weseman from Fly5thBearing.com, my wife Grace Ellen, myself, and Roy Szarafinski from Roy’s Garage. Tammy and Bryan are old friends. Tammy had recently accepted a post as Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C.