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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [IAC-L:625] [canard-aviators] Access to the Co ...


Thread: [IAC-L:625] [canard-aviators] Access to the Co ...

Message: [IAC-L:625] [canard-aviators] Access to the Convention Flight Line <fwd>

Follow-Up To: ACRO Email list (for List Members only)

From: Larry Walls <larryw at>

Date: Mon, 04 Aug 1997 21:14:50 UTC


 --- Begin Forwarded Message ---
Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 13:54:21 -0400 (EDT)
From: DFinn7971 at
Subject: [canard-aviators] Access to the Convention Flight 
Sender: owner-canard-aviators at
To: canard-aviators at, 
cozy_builders at, webmaster at

Reply-To: DFinn7971 at
Message-ID: <970804135250_-1607203415 at>

[The Canard Aviators's Mailing list]
Hello everyone.

I am posting this to the Cozy mailing list, the canard mailing list and if I
can figure out how, to the REC.AVIATION.HOMEBUILT Newsgroup.  I will also
send a copy to the EAA. If any of you wish to forward it further, please feel
free.  Obviously I feel strongly about the subject!

This year the EAA implemented a new policy of allowing all attendees along
with food and drink on the flight line.  I asked several EAA people about
this and was told that in the past they had received a significant level of
complaints from the general public about the old  policy of allowing only
aviation people on the flightline.  People were unhappy about bringing their
families to the show, paying $16 per head and not being allowed to get up
close to look at the planes.  I was told at the Main Gate Information Booth,
that the EAA management felt that requiring people to purchase an EAA
membership would not automatically educate them about the need to take care
with the planes so they might as well just let everyone in.

I talked to an EAA security guard who stated that this allowed the EAA to
reduce their security cost by about 40% (this came from one of the workers so
it may or may not be accurate).  I'm sure the new rules allowing food and
drink on the flight line increased revenue.

Some things I observed on the flightline:

- People smoking next to the planes.
- I saw a father and mother allow their children to duck under the ropes
surrounding Tim Merrill's Grand Champion Cozy and touch the plane.  I warned
the parents who acted highly insulted that I would criticize their children.
- I saw large numbers of people leaning on homebuilts during the airshow.
- I observed a child, accompanied by his father, spill a soda on the canard
of a Long-eze.  The father wipped it off with his hand.
- I saw a fellow lean over an RV and leave a scratch from his belt buckle in
the paint.
- Carl Denk's wife told me that she was a nervous wreck after Carl left her
in charge of his Cozy and she had to spend the whole time shooing kids away
from the plane.
- One of the fellows at the EAA information booth outside the main enterance
told me that he had to tell people to stop standing on a planes wheel pants.
- During the Saturday airshow people were very crowded on the flight line and
were pushed up against the planes.  I saw one mother sit her little girl on a
wing near airshow center.

Okay, I'll admit that these things happen every year but I've never seen it
to this degree before.  People who are not involved with aviation,
homebuilding, restoration, etc. do not understand the importance of these
planes to their owners.  Consequently they do not all take the care that we
would wish.

I hope to be finished with my Cozy Mark IV in about two years, throughout the
whole building process I've looked forward to flying it to Oshkosh and being
an active part of the show.  If this is how my baby will be treated I will
have to carefully think my decision through.

I've observed that organizations take on a life of their own as they grow.
 Their goals change from serving their constituancy (the members) to
sustaining and encouraging growth.  In Tom Poberezny's article in the new
Sport Aviation he discusses planning for the future.  While the details of
his strategic plan will be unveiled over the next few months it is implied
that the EAA will expand its goals to working for the general betterment of
the aviation community.  In this light it is plain that exposing more people
to aviation by allowing them on the flight line is a good thing.
 Unfortunately, I feel it has a negative effect on the members who fly in to
the show.  While working toward advanicing the cause of general aviation is a
worthy goal it should not be done at the expense of the association members.

It is worth remembering that Oshkosh is the Annual Convention and Fly-in of
the Experimental Aircraft Asociation.  As such, it is for the members.  Its
success is based on the members participation.  Without the show planes,
Oshkosh would be no better then any local airshow revolving around
aerobatics.  Given the importance of these planes to their owners I think it
is critical that the EAA base their decisions on assuring that they be
protected from the uneducated public.

As a middle ground, I suggest that the central taxiway where all the big
planes are located be left open but the grassy parking areas where the show
planes and warbirds live be restricted under the original guidelines for
admission.  Perhaps it would be good to require at least two months of
membership before granting access.  These two months would allow the EAA to
provide a couple of copies of Sports Aviation to the new members.  In these
issues they could have articles describing what is considered proper behavior
on the flight line.

If you agree (or disagree for that matter) please write the EAA with your
thoughts.  They need input from the members to properly evaluate their

Aside from this complaint, I had a fantastic time time at the convention!  

Dick Finn
EAA 363844
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