By Barbara A. Schmitz
They came by airplane, RV, and motorcycle. But there was never doubt they would come.
About 40 family and friends from Monterrey, Mexico, arrived on the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2021 grounds before the start of the annual fly-in convention last Friday. The group, give or take a few each year, has been coming to Oshkosh for up to 16 years.
The patriarch of the group is Armando Gonzalez, EAA 842356. He’s the one who started the Oshkosh tradition.
“I flew in my own plane, I flew on an airline, and I drove a motor home for the last seven years, ” he said. He was the particular first to start parking outside the gate simply by the Motel 8, plus his RV, which is home this week to him, his wife, and their grandchildren, has become typically the gathering spot for their own group, some of whom camp under their airplanes in the North 40 or stay in the hotel.
Armando said this individual has been flying for 42 years, and is in the aircraft business in Monterrey, where he or she refurbishes, paints, buys, in addition to sells airplanes. It will be his “fault” that most of the others are now pilots, said his nephew, Jorge Gamez, EAA 41000153.
With travel restrictions caused by simply the pandemic, this year was a little more challenging for some within the group to arrive. Some are U. S. citizens, but not all. The particular ones who flew had to test negative with regard to COVID-19 regardless of vaccination status before crossing this border, Jorge said. But those who were driving couldn’t legally cross the border if they weren’t U. S. citizens due to COVID precautions. So one member of the group trailered the BMW motorcycles across the border while the rest flew in, and then once on U. H. soil, drove their motorcycles to Oshkosh.
This year’s gathering is usually special for the group because they’re dedicating it to Armando’s son, Armando Gonzalez Abella, who died three months ago in an airplane crash. The group made shirts to remember Armando, complete with a logo showing a silhouette of him with his airplane. They also purchased two bricks by means of the Brown Arch as a tribute.
Jorge said the trip in order to Oshkosh has been healing. “After something like this happens, you realize you need to be able to respect aircraft. Aviation is definitely much bigger than something bad happening. ”
Armando said the group doesn’t have any AirVenture traditions except to gather and have a good time. They usually all stay the full week, but this year most who came in airplanes left Wednesday due to the weather forecast.
Armando said he likes for you to attend AirVenture to see the new products, planes, and avionics, as well as the warbirds. “Plus it’s a pleasure to help sit here and observe the takeoffs and landings, ” he said.
“It’s also nice for us since most associated with us own planes and even we can get good deals on parts inside Oshkosh, ” Jorge said.
Their friend Adrián Barrera, also regarding Monterrey, Mexico, said they had never been to an air show before, together with he was very impressed with the Oshkosh show and especially the jets.
For Jorge, one of his favorite parts of AirVenture is camping under the wing of their airplane. “It’s such the great experience, ” he / she said. “I really enjoy getting to know often the neighbors and sharing stories of flying. ”
While there can be much uncertainty again, along with cases of COVID-19 again rising due to the Delta variant, they said one thing is certainly certain: They will be back next year. “Absolutely. ”