With fuel prices rising quickly and Airline tickets rapidly following suit, the President of EAA1418, Lindsay Locke, decided it was time to book flights to Oshkosh for the "Big Show". And sure enough, booking now saved about $100 per round trip flight from SFO to ORD. (Praise be to Richard Branson and Virgin Airlines.)
The dismay at not being able to fly to Oshkosh in a homebuilt like she did in 2010 was offset by knowing that this years visit will be her last visit for at least the following four years while she attends the United States Air Force Academy starting June 23rd, 2012. (If they'll have her.)
Last years round trip avgas costs in Lancair 2's for Lindsay and her Dad were about $1,150. This years round-trip Virgin Airlines tickets from San Francisco to Chicago are $458.54 complete. (Chevron Aviation Fuels' loss is EAA's gain. Lindsay and Dad just can't buy enough EAA stuff.)
Sure, flying over this magnificent continent and landing at remote airports and visiting with wonderful owners of small FBO's will be most surely and terribly missed, but Lindsay figures that the bus ride from O'Hare to Oshkosh will be yet another adventure in the journey to Mecca.
At last count there are already seven EAA1418 members committed to going to AirVenture 2011. (We could probably get as many as 20, which is not bad for a club of 60 members.) The uncertainty about the Middle East and our fuel costs can only aggravate the decision making process for our members, particularly those who are intent on flying to AirVenture 2011. To commit to flying to Oshkosh in a private plane is truely a commitment, especially with Avgas prices predicted to be at a record high by then.
Update: March 13, 2011... just 21 days after booking these flights, the same flights cost $948.80. A savings to date of $490.26!