Surviving the Storm

Osh storm
Photo taken by Homebuilt Camping volunteer Jerry Folkerts at 5:30 AM on Saturday – just before a line of severe weather moved in.

Early arrivals at AirVenture generally get a chance to see the calm before the storm – and this year, they got to survive the storm as well! The laid-back attitude of Friday evening gave way to a few frantic moments grabbing tent poles this morning as a line of severe weather moved through with the dawn. Most of the Port-a-Potties in Homebuilt Camping ended up on their sides – the good news being that no one was in any of them at the time. There were a number of waterlogged tents, someone reported an unconfirmed sighting of a tipped over concrete bench, and a few safety cones may be on their way to Michigan – but we had no reports of human casualties – just a waterlogged iPad or two. The volunteers at Homebuilt Camping were quick to check on everyone, and the best news about the Port-a-Potties was that most of them had not yet been used.

First airplane to arrive in Homebuilt Camping this year!  Builder Jerry Folkerts reports that it is comfortable, but its hard getting the tent packed in there.
First airplane to arrive in Homebuilt Camping this year! Builder Jerry Folkerts reports that it is comfortable, but its hard getting the tent packed in there.

The weather moved swiftly through, and arrivals began around 0800, with a steady stream of airplanes shuffling down the Fiske arrival all morning. The clouds have given way to sunshine, and the afternoon skies have continued to deliver airplanes as the annual migration of airplanes begins to fill the grounds.

Behind the scenes, exhibitors are preparing their displays, booths, and tents across the Airventure campus. Those looking to scope early deals should watch out for vehicular traffic as airplanes, tugs, carts and delivery trucks are moving in all directions to get ready for opening day.

For those headed inbound on the arrival, remember – be at altitude and on speed BEFORE reaching Ripon – help keep everyone safe by following the NOTAM and staying predictable.

See you at the show!

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Paul Dye
Paul Dye, KITPLANES® Editor at Large, retired as a Lead Flight Director for NASA’s Human Space Flight program, with 40 years of aerospace experience on everything from Cubs to the Space Shuttle. An avid homebuilder, he began flying and working on airplanes as a teen and has experience with a wide range of construction techniques and materials. He flies an RV-8 and SubSonex jet that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra and an electric Xenos motorglider they completed. Currently, they are building an F1 Rocket. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 6000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, FAA DAR, EAA Tech Counselor and Flight Advisor; he was formerly a member of the Homebuilder’s Council. He consults and collaborates in aerospace operations and flight-testing projects across the country.


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