Mother Nature rocked its wings on arrival at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, early July 18. A storm blew through the fly-in grounds at Wittman Regional Airport, catching campers off guard.
"I woke up at about 5 a.m. and the sky was orange. All of a sudden it was like a hurricane, and then it was gone," said Mike Lambert, a private pilot attending the show that officially kicks off July 20. Lambert was at an Oshkosh sporting goods store Saturday morning to locate new poles for his tent, which was heavily damaged in the storm.
Lambert documented some of the damage on the show grounds, including an Aviat Husky turned on its nose, its tail resting above the roof of a trailer. The storm-tossed Husky may conjure up memories of the tornado that struck the Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-In and Expo in Lakeland, Florida, in 2011. The Husky damaged in that storm became AOPA’s 2012 Tougher than a Tornado Sweepstakes airplane and regained new life.
The Saturday morning storm also tossed garbage cans, knocked over portable restrooms, and upended aircraft in some of the exhibitor booths.
The extended weather forecast for Oshkosh predicts sun and clouds for most of EAA AirVenture, a nice welcome for the more than 10,000 pilots who will be flying their aircraft in for the event—although their wing rocks on approach will be much less dramatic than Mother Nature’s.