It's Never Too Early to Think About 'Oshkosh'

9:00 PM

By Dan Pimentel,
Airplanista Blog Editor

Rain is dumping up here in Oregon, and the East is still digging out of #Snowzilla. Cars are getting tossed around by tornadoes in Florida, while mudslides courtesy of El Niño are a frequent thing in California.

Yes, Airplanistas, we are in the middle of the non-flying season. And unless you have a FIKI-equipped airplane and have no issues with ice, hail, sleet and freezing rain, there's not much GA flying happening right now.

But even as the WX toys with us, inside where it's warm, an Airplanista's thoughts can easily wander off to the shores of Lake Winnebago... 
It's late summer, the air is humid, and over your shoulder is the afternoon thunderstorm waiting to barrel through on its way to Lake Michigan. You've been baking on the flight line at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh all afternoon, and have drank enough water to double the size of the big lake just east of KOSH, a.k.a Wittman Regional Airport. You've walked 100 miles today, your feet are protesting, but it's all, because you are at the best place any aviator can visit. You are home.
To many of us who go to Oshkosh each summer, it feels like one gigantic aviation family reunion. because it is. Sure, you can write a check and buy a PC-12 NG or new Cirrus, or fill your mind with the sights of endless new aviation technology in the four massive trade show halls. But most of us go to this week-long party for the camaraderie of the people we only see one time each year.

It's way too early to start pinning down a schedule, but it's just the right time in the year to begin thinking about the details that can slip right through your fingers, such as lodging. For newbies, this is the drill: 
If you think you can wait until June to just go online and grab a hotel room during EAA week, don't even bother. Every accommodation for a 40-mile radius will be sold, often a tidy premium. I once waited and had to stay at a horrible trucker's motel in New London, about 30 miles away. If you want to camp, stay on top of the EAA website and get your reservation as soon as they are available, or risk being at the far west end of Camp Scholler, much closer to highway 41 than airplane wonderland. You can easily camp under your wing if flying in, just make sure to get there when space is available. By Tuesday of #OSH15, aircraft parking on the field had closed, so if you waited, you got to tie down and camp in Fond du Lac and take a shuttle each way. There are great options for rooms in private homes, and my favorite cheap way to sleep at Oshkosh is the University of Wisconsin dorms. Not classy, not super comfortable, but cheap, clean, and the city bus whisks you into the Bus Park every morning and evening for about $2.00.
So join me in letting your mind wander off to that shore, that party, and all the great things we will see this summer. I am not sure yet what my Oshkosh will look like, if I will have an Oshbash event, or even where I am staying.

One thing however that is not in dispute is the fact that I will be there, if I have to walk all the way from Oregon. I hear the Oregon Trail heads back that way somewhere, maybe I ought to start hoofing it now, and have someone from my EAA chapter pick me up in their RV-8 as I limp along in July somewhere east of Omaha.

You Might Also Like