OSH Tips, in no particular order:
- Look at the forum/lecture schedule BEFORE you get there to decide what things you really want to see/hear.
- Some of my favorite lectures have been:
- WWII vets talking about their experiences
- SR72 Blackbird talks
- Anything with Burt Rutan
- Historic flights
- Favorite hands-on (even if you'll never use them):
- Fabric covering
- Mike Busch lectures on maintenance (HIGHLY recommended)
- HYDRATE! Bring/obtain a water carrying device. Don't depend on the drinking fountains alone.
- Each lunch at off-peak times
- Allow some quality time out at the War Birds section. Some of the big aircraft ask for something like a $5 or $10 donations to take a tour inside. Do it; it's worth it for both you and for the upkeep of the aircraft.
- While at the Warbirds, hang out under a wing close to the runway and watch the GA aircraft land. If you have an aviation radio it's even more fun when you can listen in.
- GO TO THE EAA MUSEUM! You need at least a half day to go through it. If you pick a rainy day everyone else will be there, too, so choose.
- On the event map make note of the flush toilet locations. They have been adding more each year. Needless to say they are much nicer than the port-a-potties.
- Bring a hat with a brim for sun protection.
- Eat at one of the nearby restaurants. One of my favorites is next to the Hilton Hotel on the other side of the runway (9/27) is the Charcoal Pit. Highly recommended for quality and price (NOT decor)! They have a back deck overlooking the runway with a bar and often karaoke, if you end up waiting for a table (get there not long after the show closes and you won't have to wait).
- Go to the Fly-In Theater! If you can get a chair you will be more comfortable, but even a towel or blanket will do. There is free popcorn. There is always room, but for the really good movies get there early to get a good location.
- Partake of the other evening activities, like Theater in the Woods. There are often some REALLY good entertainment or guest speakers.
- If you are going to buy an event T-shirt, don't wait too long. They begin to run out of the most popular designs before the end of the week. "Flying" Magazine actually has some of the consistently best designs each year.
- If you are camping:
- Shower right after the show grounds close for the day, or right after the Fly-In Theater lets out. If you wait until the morning to shower you are going to be in for a long wait.
- Bring shower shoes
- Liquid soap is a better option. If you drop the bar soap you probably aren't going to want to retrieve it.
- Pick a spot as close to the Fly Market gate as you can. Less walking.
- If you pitch a tent, stay away from the major road (Schaick Ave). It's busy, noisy and kicks up a lot of dust.
- If you pitch a tent, stake it down WELL. During the day keep things you want to stay dry, either in your car if you have one, or raised up off the tent floor. OSH is famous for some of it's thunderstorms.
- Meet people. If you see something or someone that interests you, stop to say hello.
- Have a battery-powered lantern, or an LED flashlight.
- If you have electronic devices such as tablets or phones, there are charging stations on the Airventure grounds. For a couple of dollars donation you can leave your charger and device with them and they will charge it. Come back later and pick it up.
- The on-site breakfasts are not going to win any awards (they never bothered me), but the best full breakfasts (eggs, pancakes, etc.) are at the War Birds Cafe and the one in the Forums Plaza.
- The airshow is very similar each day, though there are certainly variations. Pick a day where you want to watch the whole show. Under the wing of an aircraft, for shade, is where you want to be, as close as possible to the flight line. But you have to get there EARLY; well before the show starts, to get a good spot. Everyone else is trying to get the same spot you are!
- Personally I like to wear a small backpack to carry things in, rather than carry around a bag in my hands. I also have a small, light collapsible camp chair that I clip onto my bag and carry around. Yes, it adds a little weight, but it's very handy.
- Use sunscreen! You can buy it there.
Scratch-built tail dragger