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The Long-Awaited Return of AirVenture Didn’t Disappoint

August, 2021

Phillips 66 Aviation celebrated a near-record turnout at EAA AirVenture alongside the Phillips 66 Aerostars and EAA Young Eagles

After more than a year of cancelled events, aviation enthusiasts gathered in full force for the return of the Annual Experimental Aircraft Association's (EAA) AirVenture fly-in convention at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

EAA CEO and Chairman Jack Pelton said it best. “The aviation community spoke loudly… it was ready to come to Oshkosh, and we were happy that we could welcome them.”

Attendance hit approximately 608,000, which is only the third time attendance has surpassed 600,000 and within 5% of 2019’s record total.

Pelton added, “This was perhaps the most challenging set of circumstances we’ve ever faced as an organization to make the event happen. I could not be more proud of our volunteers, staff and participants on the way they came together to exceed our expectations and make AirVenture 2021 a truly memorable experience.”

Indeed it was a memorable experience, and Phillips 66® Aviation was proud to be a part of it.

To kick off the week, the Phillips 66 team coordinated several media rides with the Phillips 66 Aerostars, including one all-female ride to promote the “Fueling Flight Through Harts of Might” scholarship with the I Hart Flying Foundation (IHFF). Skies cleared after a couple of weather delays, and media were quick to note the experience was worth the wait. Check out these stories and videos from Emily Reeves with Flying Sparks Garage, AviationWeek and AOPA.

Phillips 66 Aerostars

Additionally, the IHFF and Phillips 66 teams hosted a press conference on AirVenture grounds to officially kick-off the “Fueling Flight Through Harts of Might” scholarship, which launched Aug. 2. News is spreading across the industry, as you can see in these articles from Aero-News Network and AVweb.

Fueling Flight Through Harts of Might

Also in the spotlight was this year’s recipient of the Phillips 66 EAA Young Eagles Leadership Award, which recognizes outstanding Young Eagles volunteers that have supported the future of aviation by going above and beyond the basic Young Eagles flight. This year, the award was presented to Douglas Conciatu, EAA Lifetime Member 53419 of Macomb, Michigan. He ranks ninth among Young Eagles pilots across the organization and has flown over 2,400 Young Eagles.

Although the EAA Young Eagles Awards ceremony was cancelled due to storms, we were still able to meet and honor Doug with his award.

Douglas Conciatu

Throughout the week, more than 10,000 aircraft, 5,000 volunteers and more than 740 exhibitors filled the AirVenture grounds. Attendees enjoyed a total of 1,055 forums, workshops and presentations, including a couple featuring Keith Clark, lead quality assurance and technical rep at Phillips 66, who discussed fuel farm and refueler filtration at an EAA Forum and misfueling prevention at the AOPA Program Pavilion.

“We went into this year not knowing what AirVenture would look like and how big of an event was possible,” said Pelton. “…Our theme was ‘The Wait is Over,’ and indeed it was. And the wait was worth it. There was joy and excitement throughout the grounds and it set the stage for the return of AirVenture, making us very excited for the future.”

Phillips 66 was thrilled to be a part of the return of the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration. Planning for 2022 is well underway at EAA Headquarters, and we’re counting down the days already!