Reflecting on AirVenture During Quarantine

By Matt Carruthers, EAA 123832

My name is Matt Carruthers, EAA 123832, and I am part of an aviation family. I am a third-generation pilot at 31 years old, and my three children, two girls (4 and 2 years old) and one boy (10 months old) all enjoy aviation as well.

I was introduced to AirVenture in 1995, the year after my father won a Grand Champion award for his small experimental airplane called a SuperCat. I was 5 years old, and as one would imagine, as a 5-year-old at Oshkosh, it is a very overwhelming experience. My parents were great about the whole adventure, and I got to spend a lot of time in the pedal planes and exploring KidVenture. 

Fast forward several years, I am a regular attendee of
AirVenture now with plans of flying my own aircraft into AirVenture 2020.  For AirVenture 2019, my wife and I decided it
would be a good time to bring our oldest daughter, Nikki. She loves flying and
hanging out at the hangar, she even has a favorite airplane, a Grumman
Albatross that lives at our home airport of 2W6. This would also be our first time
enjoying Camp Scholler, as we would normally camp at a nearby campground. 

Upon arriving at AirVenture 2019, we were greeted by
the monsoon that closed most of the campground. We were, however, able to get
in and get camp set up. Nikki enjoyed every aspect of the sights and sounds; she
also got great enjoyment out of the pedal plane area. AirVenture attendees are
some of the best people in aviation. Nikki enjoyed the vintage area very much
and got her photo with several of her “favorites.”

With COVID-19 going on, it has given me a chance to sit
down and go through some of my personal memories of AirVenture. I happened to
run across a photo of myself at 5 years old, sitting in the pedal plane GeeBee.
I went through my phone and found an almost identical photo of Nikki in that
same pedal plane GeeBee. That is a set of memories that will stick with our
family forever. AirVenture has become a cherished part of our
family, and even my wife, who isn’t a huge aviation enthusiast, enjoys attending.
We look forward to this event every year, and we can’t wait to bring the rest
of our children!

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