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EAA AirVenture Fly-in Celebrates 70 Years

EAA AirVenture Fly-in Celebrates 70 Years

Listen to an interview from EAA as 650,000 people, 10,000 planes are expected in Oshkosh

July 24, 2023 7:27 PM CDT

By: Teri Barr

LISTEN: EAA Director of Communications Dick Knapinski talks with Teri Barr about celebrating 70 years of the annual fly-in including some big changes over time

If you are noticing more airplanes flying overhead this week, the Experimental Aircraft Association’s EAA AirVenture is underway in Oshkosh, and celebrating 70 years of the annual fly-in event in 2023.

“The first fly-in was part of the Wisconsin Air Pageant in Milwaukee,” EAA Director of Communications Dick Knapinski says. “A grand total of 21 airplanes and 150 people showed up.”

This year, 650,000 people are expected along with 10,000 planes being piloted in and out of Wittman Field, making it the busiest airport in the world during EAA.

Here are some of the other big numbers:

Teri Barr covering EAA during the 1990s
  • 80 different countries are represented by those attending the fly-in
  • $170,000,000 is spent across five counties in the Oshkosh region
  • 5,500 volunteers from around the world support the event every July
  • 1000+ portable toilets are set-up on the EAA grounds
  • 12,000 campsites are available to attendees
  • 850 media representatives cover the fly-in
  • 2500 show planes land at EAA along with 1057 homebuilt, 939 vintage, 400 warbirds, 188 ultralights and light-sport, 105 seaplanes, 62 aerobatic aircraft, and 7 in other airplane categories

There is nothing else like EAA AirVenture

I’ve been very fortunate to cover the AirVenture fly-in during various times in my career, including while attending college at UW Oshkosh. Our student-run radio station was the voice of EAA at the time, and we were on the grounds 24/7. Later, I interned at WBAY-TV 2, Green Bay, in its Oshkosh bureau, and eventually worked as a main anchor at WLUK / FOX-11, Green Bay. We proudly stepped up our coverage by taking our entire newscast to EAA. It had already grown so large and with celebrities like Harrison Ford, John F. Kennedy, Jr., and many others flying in to the event, we just didn’t want to miss out on the ability to share these stories with our viewers. It’s a thrill to be part of EAA AirVenture once again. There really is nothing else like it.

See it yourself or listen for our reports

LIVE AT EAA: The Maino and the Mayor Show

If you’re in the Oshkosh area during EAA, keep an eye to the sky. The daily air show starts at 2:30 pm with special night shows on Wednesday, July 26 and Friday, July 28 at 8 pm.

EAA runs through July 30th.

Listen to Civic Media radio stations Oshkosh Air Support WISS 1100 AM – 98.3 FM and The Talk of Green Bay WGBW 1590 AM – 97.9 FM for the “Maino and the Mayor” show, broadcasting live each weekday morning, along with daily news features and scheduling updates from the fly-in.

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