Dusty from “Planes” At EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2013

Hrutkay Dusty OSH2013_001

Coming to the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is a great experience.   Sometimes you even get to sort out things you see on the internet that make you wonder if they exist or not.   Take Dusty for instance.Dusty is the star of the new Disney movie Planes, I was browsing the net one day and saw a picture of what looked like a real Dusty at an air show.  Cartoon airplane at a real show?  Naaahhh.

So I get to Oshkosh and while riding the tram down to the Warbird Area, I see what appears to be a real AirTractor painted like Dusty on display.   On the way back it was gone which just reinforced my belief in the power of suggestion.   Later that day it flew in the show.  It was real, and really mobile; and it amazes me how quickly the people at the EAA can move big airplanes in confined spaces.

Disney has a new movie out, which is the airplane equivalent of the “Cars” movie.  A special showing of it was a featured event at AirVenture and one evening 15,000 people watched the movie at the Theatre in the Woods.   For those who have never been there, the “Theatre in the Woods” is an outdoor stage where the daily air show crowd gathers, famous aviators speak, awards are presented, etc.   Movies are shown there on occasion.  It’s not exactly a “drive in” but more of a “walk in”, bring a chair or sit on the grass. Unfortunately other obligations kept me from attending the screening.

 I watched the trailers on YouTube and they were pretty darn good.  While it didn’t make a stellar start at the box office last week (tough competition), I’m sure it will do well in the long run.   Between the movie and merchandizing, I’d put my retirement account in it; it is a winner.  I do plan to go see it as soon as I can find an eight year old to go with me.

 In the film, Dusty is a cropduster who wants to be an airracer.  In real life, Dusty is an AirTractor AT-301, owned by Texas based Rusty Lindeman.  Rusty is a real aerial applicator and makes a living flying the AirTractor.   Dusty and Rusty flew the show at least three times and did a heck of a job.  Compared to what Dusty does in a normal day, this was tame.  Simply “photo passes” up and down the flightline.   When its crop-dusting time, there is a flurry of activity, lots of low precise flying to cover as much ground as possible while dodging trees, power lines and telephone poles.  I’d say this was kind of a vacation for Dusty.

 The children were simply mesmerized by Dusty.  Think of him as a “Pied Piper”, they stared at him like they weren’t sure if he was there or not.  A bit of Disney magic applied courtesy of the EAA.  Not to mention Dusty was all over the grounds, with lots of Dusty memorabilia.   Miss McKenzie was kind enough to take a few minutes to show me her favorite version of Dusty.

Watching Dusty fly was a nice change of pace from the normal airshow acts.   It was a very class act and done well.  The crowd loved it.  To the EAA, Rusty Lindeman, and Disney….thanks for bringing us Dusty.

 I’d like to thank Dick Knapinski of the EAA for making this story possible.  I’d also like to thank Rusty Lindeman and the great people at Disney for bringing Dusty to share with us.  I’d also like to thank McKenzie for taking a few minutes out of the daily airshow to pose for photos for this story.  You can contact the author, Mark Hrutkay at TNMark1@GMail.Com.  See you at Oshkosh next year.


Mark Hrutkay

Mark has been a member of the International Association of Aviation Photographers (ISAP) for several years and attends all their events and seminars. He has won several awards for his work and has been published in several aviation magazines, domestic and foreign. You can contact Mark Hrutkay at TNMark@Me.Com.

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