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EAA celebrates Spirit of Aviation Week with packed scheduleEAA celebrates Spirit of Aviation Week with packed schedule

More than 170 streamed and on-demand events are on tap for the Experimental Aircraft Association’s virtual Spirit of Aviation Week July 21 to 25 to entertain and educate aviation enthusiasts in lieu of this year’s EAA AirVenture, which was called off because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The online aviation fest, with how-to forums, live aircraft-building workshops, interviews, discussions, proficiency presentations, and content from the EAA archives, will touch nearly every facet of aviation “with a focus on educational, informational, and entertaining moments,” EAA said in an announcement. As always, EAA’s specialized aviation-interest groups will showcase their passion for homebuilts, warbirds, vintage aircraft, aerobatics, ultralights, and much more in online activities. 

“The support and participation from across the entire aviation community, including NASA and the U.S. Air Force, has allowed us to create a schedule that truly reaches across the entirety of flying highlights,” said EAA Chairman and CEO Jack Pelton. “The content throughout the week is more than something to watch—it is a week where everyone can truly be engaged as an active participant.”

AOPA reported May 1 that EAA AirVenture officials had to cancel this year’s live event at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, at a time when Wisconsin was under stay-at-home orders and it was not possible for event staff to begin setting up infrastructure for the annual aviation gathering. 

“While nothing can replace the in-person Oshkosh experience, Spirit of Aviation Week brings multiple channels of highlights throughout each of the five days,” Pelton said. “In that way, it is like being on the AirVenture grounds, where every turn brings a new possibility to discover and engage in everything about aviation. Wherever you are during Spirit of Aviation Week, this experience reminds us that we are indeed #EAATogether.”

As Spirit of Aviation Week draws closer, AOPA and other participating organizations have begun announcing their activities and schedules.

AOPA will present the forum, “60 Seconds to a Perfect Landing” on July 25 from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Central time, featuring the AOPA You Can Fly Academy’s Keith West, senior director of business support; Chris Moser, senior director of flight training education; and Pablo Maurelia, senior director of flight training technology. 

(Synopsis: Yes, a good traffic pattern can set you up for a good landing. But what really matters is what you do on final. Join the Don’t Get Rusty webinar hosts for a fun chat about what you need to be doing during those critical 60 seconds before your tires gently kiss the runway. Qualifies for FAA Wings credit.)

Garmin will offer a packed schedule of virtual free educational webinars and product demonstrations planned to “bring the Garmin exhibit experience direct to its customers” including partnerships with aviation notables including Mike Patey, FlightChops, Trent Palmer, and others to round out the virtual experience. Patey will unveil the completed panel of his G3X Touch-equipped aircraft Scrappy, and he will conduct a live question-and-answer session.

“While we are very disappointed AirVenture Oshkosh will not physically take place as expected this year, we are thrilled to bring eager attendees, loyal customers and friends as much of the Garmin experience to you virtually, and in the best way possible given the times,” said Carl Wolf, Garmin vice president of aviation sales and marketing. “Our team has put together a terrific agenda of events for the week, so please join us for as much of it as you can. We look forward to seeing you again in person in 2021.”

Training webinars featuring operational overviews of Garmin products will take place throughout the week, guided by Garmin’s aviation training department. Customers will have the opportunity to tour aircraft equipped with Garmin avionics and watch video demonstrations by Garmin experts in aircraft including the Cessna 182, Beechcraft A36 Bonanza, and Van’s Aircraft RV–7A.

In a move to replicate the in-person experience of meeting with a Garmin expert one-on-one to learn more about a product, customers will have opportunities to schedule individual online discussions with Garmin experts throughout Garmin’s virtual AirVenture week, using Microsoft Teams.

“During these individual meetings, customers can also receive an individualized consultation on upgrading the avionics in their aircraft, ask troubleshooting questions regarding their experimental avionics installations, and receive help with Garmin Pilot,” Garmin said. To schedule a one-on-one meeting with a Garmin expert, visit Garmin’s event website

Air traffic control simulation software provider PilotEdge announced a team effort with EAA and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association to deliver SimVenture, an event designed to provide aviators “with the opportunity to fly into Oshkosh on their home flight simulators using X-Plane, Prepar3D or FSX.”

During Spirit of Aviation Week, air traffic controllers provided by NATCA will staff Fisk Approach and Oshkosh Tower “to allow pilots to fly the famous Fisk Arrival into Oshkosh complete with wing rocks, fast-paced ATC and hundreds of other aircraft, all from the comfort of your flight simulator,” PilotEdge said. 

Pilots who have flown for real into Wittman Field for past AirVentures know they must first become familiar with the event procedures notam—and the virtual SimVenture is no exception. Once the notam is released for download, which PilotEdge will announce on social media, pilots are encouraged to have it at hand during their virtual arrival to be able to refer to important procedures and diagrams and pictures that will help them navigate effectively using their simulators.

AOPA ePublishing staff

AOPA ePublishing Staff editors are experienced pilots, flight instructors, and aircraft owners who have a passion for bringing you the latest news and AOPA announcements.
Topics: EAA AirVenture, Airshow

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