Monthly Archives: August 2019

On edit: the final AirVenture numbers are in.

The last two posts summarized various aspects of this year’s Experimental Aircraft Association “AirVenture” gathering in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. A recent article in Flying magazine details the record-setting statistics for that event: “The Numbers Are in For AirVenture 2019.” Just to highlight a few of the most unbelievable metrics:

  • Total attendance was 642,000, an increase of 7%.
  • More than 10,000 aircraft were flown to the the event, resulting in 16,807 aircraft operations, an average of 127 takeoffs/landings per hour! [Compare this to Atlanta Hartsfield airport, which averages 91 operations per hour (2236 per day), and it’s supposedly the “busiest airport in the world.” Sorry, but not during the week of AirVenture it’s not!]
  • Besides the thousands of plain ol’ general aviation aircraft, there were 1,057 home-built aircraft, 939 vintage airplanes, 400 warbirds, 188 ultralights and light-sport aircraft, 105 seaplanes, 62 aerobatic aircraft, and 7 in an “other” category.
  • There were 12,300 camping sites (tent-, RV-, and airplane-sites), which together accounted for 40,000 visitors.
  • At one point, when I was grousing about the shortcomings of the camper registration process, I thought to myself, “If I were a decent person, I’d quit complaining and get out and help.” I should have. AirVenture relied on 5,500 volunteers who contributed more than 250,000 hours of volunteer time!

When we were talking to friends about what to expect at Oshkosh, I would often say, “Well, I’ve been to lots of airshows before…,” to which the response was always something like, “No, you don’t understand. This isn’t an ‘airshow.’ It’s an aviation experience in a completely different category from anything you’ve ever seen.” Truer words were never uttered.