OSHKOSH, WI — The schedule is set for "Fly4Life," the largest recognition program for humanitarian flying ever presented at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. EAA AirVenture 2009 is July 27 to Aug. 2 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh.
The week-long Fly4Life program will good works accomplished by general aviation, highlighting both public-benefit aviation activities and mission-based flight operations. Along with a major display adjacent to EAA AirVenture's showcase AeroShell Square, there will be aircraft displays, numerous forums and presentations, a July 27 evening program hosted by former CNN Science Editor Miles O'Brien, and other events.
"What we discovered as we finalized the schedule for the Fly4Life program at Oshkosh is there are more wonderful stories involving aviation than could possibly be told at an event a huge as AirVenture," says former EAA vice president Bob Warner, who is serving as the program's volunteer chairman. "Throughout this weeklong event, everyone at Oshkosh can discover how important aviation is not only to transportation around the world, but also how it improves and enhances the lives of people who may never fly in an airplane. We're very excited about the people, aircraft, and activities that will be part of Fly4Life."
Among the scheduled activities for the week, featuring the theme "Fly for Life: General Aviation Serving People Worldwide," are the following highlights:
- An evening "hangar talk" program at EAA's Theater in the Woods on Monday, July 27, hosted by former CNN Science Editor Miles O'Brien, an active pilot himself. Featured guests include Peter J. Vanden Bosch, 2007 Winner Outstanding Achievement in Advancement of Public Benefit Flying Award; Walt Fricke, decorated U.S. Army Vietnam aviator and Veteran's Airlift Command founder/chairman; Steve Saint, aviation missionary, social entrepreneur and author of "End of The Spear;" and Gracie Burnham, aviation missionary, 2001 hostage of Pilipino militants and author of "In the Presence of My Enemies" and "To Fly Again"
- Fly4Life tent pavilions and aircraft displays open daily on AeroShell Square, showcasing mission aviation and public-benefit aviation;
- Special displays of a rare and historic 1934 Klemm L25 from Australia, which is the oldest known mission aviation aircraft still flying in the world, and the prototype "Maverick" — a combination powered parachute/dune buggy designed for mission jungle work;
- A "wings presentation" for the Able Flight group on Tuesday, July 28 at 11:30 a.m. at the pavilion to recognize disabled pilots who have overcome adversity to fly;
- Forums and presentations throughout the week as part of AirVenture's regular schedule of nearly 1,000 forums on the grounds
"We look forward to thanking pilots and volunteers who donate their time and skill to public-benefit flying," says Warner. "We will also be hosting two group socials and on Friday, July 31, a group photo. In addition, pilots will also receive a special prop card for their aircraft and a badge that recognizes their commitment to humanitarian aviation."