As we collectively get back into the skies after a long spring, there’s still something missing for a lot of pilots: the promise of Oshkosh to anchor the summer’s aviation activities. But with lingering state and local restrictions pre-empting EAA AirVenture 2020, the association seeks to evoke the spirit of general aviation with a week full of many of the elements of the fly-in that we’ve come to know and love. EAA Spirit of Aviation Week will run from July 21 to 25.
“Nothing can replace the Oshkosh experience in-person during AirVenture week, as that event personifies the common passion we have for flight, in all its wonderful ways,” said Jack Pelton, EAA’s CEO and chairman of the board. “As unfortunate as it was that the cancellation of AirVenture 2020 took away that personal experience, countless people and groups have stepped forward to ask what they could do to virtually create something from Oshkosh that brings us together as aviators and aviation enthusiasts. We’re going to incorporate as many of them as possible during a full five-day event.”
Flying talked with Kyle Ludwick, manager of partnership development for EAA for more detail. “We’re looking at Spirit of Aviation to fulfill that inspirational slot that we’re all looking for during that week in July. Workshops, forums—but with the ability to hit a bigger demographic than we’re normally able to achieve. A lot of people have heard about it, but don’t get to be there,” said Ludwick, and EAA is taking this opportunity to spread that love of aviation a little further.
With all of EAA’s divisions involved—such as Vintage, Warbird, Homebuilts, Aerobatics, and Ultralights—plus outside entities ranging from the FAA to NASA, EAA will offer up to 24 hours of streamed content each day in parallel, with several “tracks” available, plus on-demand video to highlight special interest areas. Topics range from learn to fly and pilot proficiency to presentations and demos from aviation leaders—and airshow performances from the top-flight pilots we normally enjoy at the show.
“The people of EAA make The Spirit of Aviation and that’s what we’re celebrating these five days,” Pelton added. “All we’re missing are tents and campfire aroma, but perhaps that’s something you and your EAA chapter can add wherever you are with your local aviation family.” It may not be Oshkosh—but it’s the next best thing until #OSH21.