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Event Report
Event Reports - EAA AirVenture 2007

Saturday, July 28
EAA AirVenture 2007
Created: 07/18/2007
Updated: 08/01/2007
Link(s): N/A
Article by Mike Whaley
Saturday was a pleasant day, weather-wise. It was also a day of highs and lows. The low came mid-day, as virtually everyone at AirVenture was shocked by the arrival of news that X-Team leader Jim LeRoy of Bulldog Airshows had died that afternoon in a crash while performing at the Dayton airshow. Jim was one of the best Pitts pilots there was, bar none, and he took airshow performances to that "next level" that few performers ever even come close to. During the Oshkosh airshow, many if not all of the acro performers certainly carried a great burden of knowing that a good friend and fellow performer was gone all too soon. We had the privilege of talking with Jim and his wonderful wife Joan and his young son Tommy during previous airshows, which personalized the tragedy to us even more. While everyone accepts that aerobatic airshow performances carry a certain amount of risk, nobody is ever truly prepared for the shock of seeing or hearing that something has goes wrong... especially when it happens to someone with immense experience and skill like Jim LeRoy. Jim leaves a great void in the aviation world that will not soon be filled. Should you wish to contribute to the fund for his young son's college education, you can find information at the Bulldog Airshows website.

On a much happier note, the awards for homebuilts were handed out Saturday night. We were pleased as could be to see that acro bipes pretty well dominated the awards in the Plans-Built category... over half the awards went to biplanes, which is especially amazing considering the relative scarcity of biplanes amongst the general aircraft population! The final Plans-Built category listings are as follows. (Note, Kit-Built planes are in a separate category which isn't listed here, as it didn't include any biplanes... mostly RV's and the like.) We've highlighted the biplanes in red:

Plans Built Outstanding Workmanship - Plaques:

  • Michael Marrin (St. Petersburg, FL) - 2006 Skybolt, N348MM
  • David Lucas (Chesterfield, MO) - 2006 Acrosport II, N114KT
  • Donald Austin (Columbus, OH) - 2006 GP-4, N523A
  • Doug Solinger (Rochester, MN) - Cozy, N434DS

Plans Built Champion - Bronze Lindy:

  • James Woolworth (Milford, MI) - 2007 Skybolt, N911JW
  • Jim Rust (El Cajon, CA) - 2006 Tailwind W10, N316TW
  • Christopher May (Owensboro, KY) - 2007 Wheeler Firebolt, N4GW
  • Larry Black (Cottonwood, CA) - 1991 Black Falco F8, N572AB
  • James Kilroy (Berkeley, CA) - 2005 Pitts Model 12, N133GT
  • Paul Poulin (Beauceville, Quebec) - 2000 Canadian Goose Pietenpol - Air Camper, C-GZHT
  • Duayne Muhle (Duncan, NE) - 1996 Fleet Edward S1S, N9173R

Reserve Grand Champion Plans Built - Silver Lindy:

  • William Nutt (Magnolia, DE) - 1920 Falco F.8L, N767CN

Grand Champion Plans Built - Gold Lindy:

  • Paul Muhle (Columbus, NE) - 2007 Pitts S1-SS, N557PM

Paul Poberezny Founders Award for the Best Classic Custom Built Aircraft:

  • Lary Carlston (Minneapolis, MN) - Acroduster II, N26RB

Congratulations to all the winners! Getting any award or plaque at Oshkosh is a huge achievement... it truly represents being the "best of the best"!

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A judging official shows the audience the plaque...  
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Michael Marrin accepts his workmanship award. Mike's plane was on display in our tent at Sun 'N Fun back in April.  
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Another award for a biplane! It was starting to get really exciting!  
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Jim Woolworth accepts his award for his beautiful Skybolt. It's possibly the cleanest Skybolt we've ever seen.  
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Chris May's gorgeous green Firebolt N4GW was in the running for the "big one", but the bigger story is that of it's building. Here, Chris points out to the audience that this is really George Wheeler's plane. George built the majority of the plane along with Chris, but passed away before it flew. The Mays promised him that they'd do everything possible to get it to Oshkosh. It first flew in May, but was actually finished the Saturday before the show! A Bronze Lindy is a great testament to the quality of this aircraft... George must be looking down from somewhere, with a big old grin on his face!  
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Paul Muhle accepts the trophy for the holy grail of homebuilding... the Grand Champion Plans Built award. It's good to be king, eh Paul?  
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Jim Woolworth's great Skybolt.  
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Another view of Jim's plane.  
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The interior of Jim's plane. We really like the armrests he installed.  
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Randy Harris and his airshow Skybolt arrived Saturday and was parked near the other acro planes. It was nice to see it available for inspection "up close and personal".  
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Elliot Abel's Skybolt is an Oshkosh regular.  
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Michael Goulian's plane was on display at it's primary sponsor, Castrol.  
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Patty Wagstaff's Extra has a new paint scheme this year. She's sponsored by Cirrus.  
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Another Extra on display.  
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This NXT racer, Relentless, suffered an in-flight fire and emergency landing coming home from Sun 'N Fun. Glad to see they got it rebuilt in time for Oshkosh!  
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The Relentless owners are fans of Piloti shoes!  
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John Mohr performs his incredible act with his stock Stearman.  
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Kolb Aircraft is best known for their ultralights and ultralight-like sport planes, but they had this aluminum LSA on display.  
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Looks almost like a mama bird with all her chicks...  
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One of the prettiest planes around is the Eclipse Concept Jet (ECJ). It did a number of mildly-aerobatic flybys.  
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EAA's B-17 is back in the air, and was hopping rides all week long.  
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A pair of B-25s cruise by during the warbird airshow.  
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This newly-restored B-24 "Old 927" flies by. These things are massive!  
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The bombers did a "Missing Man" formation.  
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The F-22 Raptor performs an extreme takeoff. While the demo wasn't bad, it was certainly much tamer than we've seen previously. There was none of the hovering and high-alpha maneuvers that makes the F-22 the best dogfighting aircraft in history.  
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The F-22 shows off the internal weapons storage bays.  
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Who do you think would win this battle?  
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The Heritage flight makes a break for landing.  
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We were treated to a flyby of the B-2 Stealth Bomber.  
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Duggy drops a stick of parachuters as the Aeroshell team prepares to circle them.  
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What more can you say?  

Other entries in this series:
     Friday, July 20 - Brodhead WI Fly-In    July 20, 2007
     Saturday, July 21 - Brodhead WI Fly-In    July 21, 2007
     Sunday, July 22 - Setup Day    July 22, 2007
     Monday, July 23    July 23, 2007
     Tuesday, July 24    July 24, 2007
     Wednesday, July 25    July 25, 2007
     Thursday, July 26    July 26, 2007
     Friday, July 27    July 27, 2007
     Friday, July 27 - Biplane Cookout    July 27, 2007
      » Saturday, July 28    July 28, 2007
     Sunday, July 29    July 29, 2007

If you have any additions or corrections to this item, please let us know.

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