Question about Oshkosh/AirVenture

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Question about Oshkosh/AirVenture

Postby RigaRunner » Tue Jun 29, 2010 9:54 pm

Jack mentioned that an upcoming podcast would be devoted to AirVenture. Maybe the UCAP gang can address on the air some subjects, especially for those of us who are flying to Oshkosh for the first time?

We (three new partners in a plane) are planning on arriving OSH in the morning on Monday July 26) from Shawano (EZS) about 0900 local time. Should we come in IFR or VFR? I get conflicting advice, some people say IFR is easier and safer, others say that's selfish, and you should cancel IFR if possible and do it VFR. Which is right? Advantages? Disadvantages?

We have a relatively heavy plane, a Cirrus SR22, with wheel pants, and some of us are worried about taxi and parking in grass fields, especially if it rains. Any advice? Is it worth paying for hard stand parking at the FBO? Is there a disadvantage to parking there? Other options?

If you were on your very first visit to AirVenture, what parts of the event would you want to see early in your first day? Are there things that you should sign up for (like seminars, forums or demonstrations) as soon as you arrive on your first morning?

Can you receive EAA Radio on the FM band? No one seems to have a portable/wearable AM radio any more.

We're flying to Shawano from Leesburg VA (just beyond Washington Dulles). Does Jeb (who used to fly from Manassas Virginia) have any recommendations on the best routing from the mid Atlantic area to Oshkosh? and return? Are there some really popular airports to stop at two or three hours from OSH?

Thanks in advance, as well as all the info and wisdom packed into every podcast. We're all really looking forward to this episode of the best aviation podcast on the Internet!

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Re: Question about Oshkosh/AirVenture

Postby kswim94 » Fri Jul 02, 2010 10:53 pm

OK - quite a few questions here - but I'll give a few of my own opinions.

IFR into OSH - read the notam. There is a reservation system that looks like quite a hastle. I've heard from other pilots who have had good experiences with it. But, again, this is MY OPINION, the fun of arriving at Oshkosh begins and ends with the published arrival to "Ripon, Fisk and beyond." The experience of running the procedure with an airplane 1/2 mile in front of and behind you is fun beyond words. And flying the tight pattern onto final, rocking our wings, and getting the "cleared to land" ... goosebumps just thinking about it. Try to wipe the grin off your face - it won't happen. You won't get that flying IFR. Not even worth the long taxi after you land in my opinion. We usually file IFR to Rockford or Janesville (about 45 minutes away), top off there, then fly to OSH VFR for the final leg.

As far as taxiing on grass fields. We're not as heavy as a SR22, but I know you won't be the only one out there. We haven't had any problems in out Grumman Tiger. If the fields aren't suitable for parking, they won't be open. Call the number on the notam to check the parking status on the day of your arrival. I wouldn't bother with parking at the FBO's. If you are that concerned about the taxi and arrival procedure, Appleton and Fond du Lac deserve some consideration. Weather delayed our departure from Ohio last year and, due to the airshow, we opted to land at Fond du Lac. The controllers there are awesome - you'll likely park on the grass, but it won't be a terribly long taxi at all. And, I don't know if this happens every year, but while unloading our plane, we were entertained by a number of low passes by a P-51 giving rides (see attached photo - the rest were blurry because he may or may not have been THAT close). You won't get anything like that at Oshkosh.

For a first Airventure. Make life easier on yourself and don't try to see EVERYTHING on this one week. EAA has published a schedule of forums this year. I'd recommend that you review that schedule for the first day only, just to see if there's anything on that day you ABSOLUTELY don't want to miss. There's no sign up - you just get there when it's starting and grab a seat. Once your there that first day, you can get a feel for the show and plan the rest of your time accordingly. BTW - the forums at the FAA pavilion are airconditioned - and arrive early for Rod Machado's talks. But, in the past, our best experiences from oshkosh come from things you could never plan, like bumping into Bob Hoover while looking at P-51's or Capt Sully while waiting for a ride on the Ford TriMotor.

As far as flying from Va; we fly in from Central Ohio and don't care for the leg over Lake Michigan. So we usually fly around Chicago's airspace clockwise from the south the the west side. If you're IFR, you can file what you want, once you approach Chicago's airspace, they'll assign you V38 to KELSI before letting you turn northbound. Plan accordingly.
6774_1179775423019_1487165406_460601_6337080_n.jpg (29.88 KiB) Viewed 4186 times

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Re: Question about Oshkosh/AirVenture

Postby champguy » Sat Jul 03, 2010 10:58 am

The arrival is worth the whole flight there. It's a gas. Just be well prepared, read the whole NOTAM, listen, do what you are told, and keep your head and eyes out side the cockpit. When you are lineing up on the railroad tracks at Ripon, you might want to make sure something old and slow isn't right in front of you. Not everyone can make 90 knots. So if you see an old biplane or a champ headed up the tracks take another circuit around Ripon before following. They tend to sort much of that out at Fisk sending slower planes one way and the rest another.
As for the show, take a deep breath, do something each day, and find a few nice shady spots to relax and watch the crowd. Your feet will need that.
Remember, not all who wander, are lost.

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Re: Question about Oshkosh/AirVenture

Postby David Allen » Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:44 am

EAA Radio is available on FM. They just started that last year I believe. I don't recall the exact frequency, but I'm sure it will be easy to find once you are on-site. Have a great time at AirVenture!

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Re: Question about Oshkosh/AirVenture

Postby jackhodgson » Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:14 am

Thanks to all who answered these questions. I don't think I have anything to add.

// Jack

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Re: Question about Oshkosh/AirVenture

Postby MerlinFAC » Sat Jul 24, 2010 12:48 am

like bumping into Bob Hoover while looking at P-51's or Capt Sully while waiting for a ride on the Ford TriMotor.

You think a Canada Goose would avoid smacking a Tin Goose, as a matter of professional courtesy? :D

Couple of other Oshkosh notes. It's probably too late to get to the Brodhead, WI Pietenpol/Hatz gathering, but plan on it next year. It's the weekend right before Oshkosh, and well, it's like Pioneer airport but free and more laid back. Some folks have even given up OSH after trying the Brodhead event, but to me it's a bit different thing.

Bring clothes for anything. I've seen a 116F heat index, and it can be in 50's and rainy. Severe Wx is distinctly possible as well. Bring lots of bottled water, the vendors ain't cheap. There's a Walmart across the street from the north 40.

Also, if you have a car or know someone who's got one, you should try to drive around the airport perimeter... the hour or so before sunset is a good time. You'll find some neat stuff, like the Basler DC-3 restoration facility on the opposite side of the field. I think it was across the street from Oshkosh trucks (there were a ton of military vehicles across the street) on a sleepy little street where the active USAF fighter ramp was found (I think it was near some FBO?) I got some cool shots of the sun setting through the canopies of the F-22, F-15, F-16, and A-10s and saw two cars go by the whole time (one was a cop, he just waved). Oshkosh has some good places to eat, there's a good Mexican place a bit northeast of the airport. Here's a good example of how people at Oshkosh act... Burt Rutan and his family sat at the booth behind us at the local Fazoli's a few years at dinnertime. If you looked around, you could tell that nearly the entire restaurant recognized him, yet not one person was rude or made a pest of themselves (not that I think Burt would have been really upset or anything). Just another EAA'er catching a little break from the activity enjoying a good meal with his family. (OK, I will admit to quietly text messaging a few family members and friends that I was eating my lasagna a few inches away from one of my all-time heroes 8-) )

The ultralight area is pretty nifty, though you wanna get there early in the week if possible. Actually that applies to, well... everything :) The museum is way cool.

There's a hotel parking lot off the west end of runway 27 that's a good place to watch arrivals with a scanner. You'll note that about every 20th aircraft screws up and has obviously neither read the NOTAM nor is capable of noticing that he/she is causing absolute chaos around themselves. I heard the FAA had started issuing certificate actions against everyone who commits the unpardonable sin of not being with the program (I'm not talking about guys who honestly miss a radio call or land a little long, I mean the guys who land on the wrong runway while flying at a 90-degree angle through the other runway's traffic pattern and aren't on the radio). So this situation, hopefully, has improved. (Note that this is from my own observations from the ground, not from flying in myself).

You'll probably be amazed how nice and polite Oshkoshians are to EAA folks, I have always found them to be exceedingly friendly and warm towards visitors. And you'll also notice that the grounds are spotless. Nice to see that at a big public event.

Above all else, be prepared for any and everything and just keep looking around at the people, planes, and things. You truly can't tell what, or who, you'll see!


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