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Lots of doubters expressed opinions in the weeks and days before the 12th running of the Midwest LSA Expo in Mt. Vernon, Illinois.
After all, we have seen the cancellation of major airshows, such as SUN ‘n FUN and EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, plus hundreds of non-aviation gatherings. Could this sector-specific show work while the big events succumbed to COVID-19 concerns?
I can only express one person’s opinion, but reflect a number of comments I heard that went like this: “Thank goodness for Mt. Vernon Airport Manager Chris Collins and his contingent of orange-shirted volunteers who hosted this event.”
To me, “success” means no accidents (none happened) and a decent turn-out that got pilots in new aircraft and vendors the sales that sustain them (both happened).
Airport Manager Chris Collins (on bike) and some of his crew. (Photo by Dan Johnson)
In a typical year, the Midwest LSA Expo attracts between 1,500 and 2,000 pilots for the three days of event. My casual estimate is that 2020 was as strong as prior years — perhaps it was even up a bit. No one knows more.
Midwest does not charge a fee to enter and with more than one entry gate, any effort to count heads would be futile.
Admittedly, I am guessing, but having been to all but one of the 12 events, I think it was at least the same and possibly better than earlier years.
That estimate is despite a crippled economy and a substantial share of the population that is so nervous about COVID that they will not
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