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My Oshkosh Adventure...

By Ron Oetjen on August 2, 2017



We’re just returning from the EAA AirVenture 2017 show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and there were some clear takeaways for me this year.  Besides getting to fly a really cool Cirrus SR22 on a long cross country flight, we also get to see old friends and meet with the manufacturers to pick up some interesting tidbits.  I’m always looking for a little “golden nugget” of information when I attend any kind of trade show, but this year I’m not sure I found it but I did get a great deal of perspective on a couple of industry subjects.  Here are three big takeaways from Oshkosh 2017 for me:

  1. The Federal Aviation Administration’s rewrite of FAR Part 23 is having an impact on the industry in what I think is a very positive manner.  There were new products being released everywhere at Oshkosh which is true most years, but this year we started to see products coming upward instead of downward.  Traditionally, new products from General Aviation made their way downward from the “heavy iron” guys with their names starting with B’s and G’s.  However, now we are starting to see products flowing upward from the experimental guys which I think is great.  Garmin released several new products at the show including a couple new autopilot options that are sure to pique everyone’s interest.  If you’ve found yourself complaining about GA avionics taking forever to get to market in the past like I have, you might keep your fingers crossed on the new Part 23 rules.
  2. Sparkchasers has been overt with our opinion regarding the privatization of the ATC.  We have deep concerns about what a privately run ATC would look like and we truly believe it would be controlled by the air carriers with little concern for anyone else.  We posted a picture on our Instagram account of “Matty Ice” beside a flag saying “Modernize NOT Privatize”  and we got great reviews of the picture.  The takeaway from the show is that we are not alone in our opinion and most of the people we met at Oshkosh shared our opinion and the same concerns.  
  3. This might be the most important takeaway if you are a techie or an electronic gadget guy.  At a charity raffle held during the AEA Conference in New Orleans I won a Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 In-Cockpit Bundle and I didn’t know how cool it was until we took the trip to Oshkosh this year.  We played around with it and shot some videos while in route and while on approach into 
     t. Wayne, Indiana, and this thing has some really awesome features.  First, the video and audio quality are as good as any of the other products on the market.  Second, the Virb gives you some really good meta data that can be overlaid onto the video like, altitude and airspeed, if you choose to.  Check out the sample videos that I am uploading with this BLOG.  It’s safe to say that I’m going to have some real fun with the Garmin Virb in the near future!

Oshkosh 2017 is in the history books and all that we have left from it is our connections, education and our memories.  If you are like me, all time spent has to add value or it’s not worth it; Well, I got a new perspective on the three items above and I got to meet some really awesome pilots and aircraft owners this year, so I’ll check the box and call Oshkosh 2017 a success for me!

Sparkchasers Aircraft Services specializes in expert installation and technology recommendations to customize your airplane’s flight panel with modern avionics from the top brands in the industry. Sparkchasers is an award-winning, experienced team that strives to provide excellent customer service, stay current with the latest avionics technology, and draws on years of experience to diagnose technical issues quickly and efficiently. Sparkchasers provides services for piston-driven, turboprop, and turbine engine aircraft. When you plan to upgrade your aircraft’s avionics or need FAA certifications completed, give us a call at (919) 934-1654 or visit www.flysparkchasers.com for a quick quote.

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