Thinning The Herd

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Walking the AirVenture grounds of Wittman Field on Friday afternoon, it was apparent that the departure process of homebuilts has begun – and in fact, is well underway. There are quite a few holes in the rows of airplanes in both Homebuilt Parking and Homebuilt camping, and a quick demo flight we took had us about tenth in line for departure, with more airplanes building up in the line behind us.

Despite the rocky weather at the start of the week, quite a few airplanes seemed to have made it in to the show, with a non-scientific overview showing about as many airplanes as in past years. In fact, while the fought weather (and soggy ground) slowed arrivals over the weekend, the early arrivals by Friday night exceeded counts of previous years by a considerable number.

Homebuilt departures traditionally begin on Wednesday of the week, and accelerate until the field is pretty thin on EAB aircraft by Saturday. This year appears to be following the trend, and we wish everyone on their way home good weather, and safe travels!

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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 that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra they completed. Currently, they are building a Xenos motorglider. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 5000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, EAA Tech Counselor and Flight Advisor, as well as 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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