Hello everyone and welcome back to my aviation blog. Today we will talk about the greatest aviation celebration in the world. This year was Michael and Anthony’s first ever trip to Airventure at Oshkosh. I have been going to the event since 2011 however I have never had the chance to actually fly in to the show until this year. The experience was amazing! It was a great learning experience and really nailed home to me the use of all available resources. I of course first printed the NOTAM (notice to airmen) and read all the way threw it as I was flying pilot in command. Then I gave it to Michael who was my right seater and then to Anthony who rode in the back seat. The EAA did a great job on the NOTAM, making it very easy to understand and follow. They have been doing this for a while and have the arrival procedure down to a science, to a point where you don’t need to be a high time airline captain to be able to follow the directions and fly in. I would suggest however to anyone who has never flown into the show before to have someone come along as a traffic observer so you as the pilot in command can concentrate on flying the airplane. The procedure has you fly to ripon intersection, that is the hardest part. The reason is since that is the initial fix, aircraft are approaching from all directions. Once you have crossed ripon however, it’s just like playing follow the leader. Just follow the aircraft in front of you and wait to cross fiske intersection. Rock your wings when instructed and follow the path to your runway. It can be nerve racking landing on a certain colored spot with another plane landing ahead of you, or landing right behind an aircraft taking off but rest assured that the FAA wouldn’t allow it if it wasn’t safe. Once down we taxied our 1971 Cessna 172 to the vintage aircraft camping area. My brother Farley organized a great parking space for us. We were pretty much right at airshow center and just a few steps from aircraft registration. Thanks to Farley we were tied down and had all the paperwork done 15 minutes after shutting down. Now the fun began! If you are someone who has never been to the airshow before I highly recommend going up. Especially the last Saturday of the show, they put on a night airshow that is pure magic.
We went all around the show due to the fact we were leaving so soon I wanted to show Michael and Anthony everything I possibly could. This year was the first time in a long time that the warbirds section was full! All sorts of WWII aircraft from fighters to bombers to trainers it was mind blowing. This year was special as well because for the first time in decades two B-29 Superfortress’s were flying together in formation. We also hit up the home built section as saw a lot of weird looking airplanes that the owners built themselves. What an experience it was. Those homebuilt airplanes literally come in all shapes and sizes. Then we went to a hidden gem of the show. We took the bus to go see the sea plane base. There they have a rare commodity, shade! They also offer free pontoon boat rides that take you all around the base. The history of the sea plane base and the air show in general is very interesting. There are more planes there every year than I think anyone can imagine. The EAA isn’t kidding when they say, “If it flies it’s here”. The two other planes that stood out to me there was this year’s vintage aircraft award winner, the first production Cessna 172 fully restored and brightly polished. Then there was the 1936 Douglas DC-3 painted up in American Airlines colors. The DC-3 guys were more than happy to let us peek inside. The interior is set up just the way it was in 1936. It was a truly amazing experience.
For all the pilots, out there who dream of flying into the airshow I highly recommend it! The procedure is very detailed and very simple to follow. I would recommend a safety observer to look for traffic but that isn’t required. It’s an amazing experience both flying in or driving in to the show. It is the biggest and greatest airshow in the world!
Well friends that is all for now. Thank you for reading and I will catch you all next time. If you have a topic you would like me to cover or a question about my posts or anything aviation related please feel free to ask me.
Flight Operations Manager Winterset Aviation
515-462-1811 ex. 405