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Oshkosh: More Than an Event – an Inspiration

Amelia Earhart would have turned 115 this week.

Her birthday reminds us, again, to marvel at the incredible advance of aviation in, really, just a little more than one long lifetime.

But there’s an organization – and a glorious annual event – that keeps alive the dash and delight of those first heady days. The Experimental Aircraft Association and its EAA Airventure, in full swing this week. That’s just its official name. The world knows it as, simply, Oshkosh.

Oshkosh embodies the sheer fun and wonder of aviation. To anyone who doubts whether that spirit still lives, we offer this rebuttal: half a million. That’s how many people attend. Actually, 541,000 in 2011, and organizers expect that to increase 3 percent this year.

As marketers with a keen interest in aviation – and speaking from Wichita, the Air Capital – we take heart that Oshkosh demonstrates the unquenchable human thirst for flight. Nothing can or ever will kill that thirst. Only flight itself can satisfy it, and then it merely intensifies the desire. The show performs an invaluable service inspiring new generations of young pilots, helping alleviate the ongoing, serious pilot shortage – just this month Boeing predicted a global demand for more than 460,000 new airline pilots in the next 20 years.

Glacier Girl Kicks Up Her Heels

This year, one special event in particular draws our attention. The Lewis Air Legends – an outstanding collection of immaculately restored warbirds assembled and lovingly cared for by Rod Lewis in Texas – celebrates the 20th anniversary of the resurrection of Glacier Girl. The 1942 P-38F Lightning, rescued from under 238 feet of Greenland ice, flies again. It’s a tale that can melt the coldest heart. Go to the Lewis Air Legend site for the full story.

Insatiable Need to Soar

Oshkosh constitutes irrefutable proof of the power and glory of flight and its unrelenting grip on the human psyche.


Sweet Sixteen for Bombardier Safety Standdown

This marks the 16th year for the benchmark-setting, standard-raising Bombardier Safety Standdown. What started as an internal training session has morphed into a waiting-list event with more than 500 members of the business and commercial aviation community. These professionals come together to share knowledge-based training and increase personal discipline. The goal: improved safety cultures within their individual organizations. The seminar reminds attendees that safety is an individual commitment and the consequences of a weak safety culture are far-reaching.

Dedicated to Innovation

It’s fitting that Bombardier holds such an innovative event in Wichita – the Air Capital of the World and home of Learjet. More than half of the attendees have been to the seminar before. Many return year after year because of the value it provides. Bombardier’s commitment to the event – open to all, regardless of the type of aircraft operated – serves as a strong testimonial to its support for the aerospace industry as a whole.

Subject matter experts range from Dr. Tony Kern, whose airmanship model serves as the foundation for Safety Standdown, to Captain Eugene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon.

Global Reach

Safety Standdown mirrors Bombardier’s global focus. It realizes the importance of sharing knowledge-based training beyond the United States. Now in its third year in Latin America, Safety Standdown expands beyond a one-day general session and includes a second day dedicated to workshops. Seminars have also been held in Asia and Europe. While the seminars outside of the States are not as extensive as the Wichita-based event, attendees leave with valuable lessons learned. 

Register Today

If you plan on attending LABACE in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, August 15-17, you might consider arriving two days early. That way you could participate in Safety Standdown Latin America 2012. It runs Monday, August 13 and Tuesday, August 14. There’s still time to register.

For those interested in the full Safety Standdown experience, registration is now open for the U.S. seminar, held October 8-11 in Wichita, Kansas.

*This article originally appeared in the July 19 issue of BlueSky Business Aviation News.

Optimize Your Website With Responsive Design

Google Analytics tells us that 10 percent of visitors to our site come from a mobile browser. What do your analytics tell you? If you’re an airframe manufacturer, flight support or aftermarket provider that percentage may be even higher – making it even more important to make your website friendly for those on the go.

With responsive design, your website can automatically adjusts to the visitor’s screen size – arranging images and text specific to the device. It can – and probably should – also reduce content as needed for smaller, mobile devices. Whether visitors search from a desktop computer, tablet, smartphone or even a game console, you want them to enjoy the best user experience possible.

One and Done

Responsive design helps future-proof your site so it’s accessible to the ever-changing devices and browsers out there. I’m not going to go all technical on you discussing the coding that goes into creating scalable images and layouts that adjust based on the screen-size you’re using, but the end result is a smart, seamless interface.

In the early ’90s, our clients were hanging back, waiting to see how this World Wide Web thing developed before investing in a site of their own. Today, most would say their websites are their number-one marketing tool. As such, you want your site to put its best foot forward. Looking good. Working great. Advancing your company on multiple platforms.

With responsive design, your website automatically detects what device you’re on and adjusts content and visuals accordingly.

This article originally appeared in the July 12 issue of BlueSky Business Aviation News.