Airplanista Officially Headed to #OSH18 Via the Fisk Arrival*

3:38 PM

By Dan Pimentel,
Airplanista Blog Editor
For many years, I have done the exact same thing inbound to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. I fly on Sunday on United from Eugene, Oregon through either KSFO or KDEN, ending up at KORD to play airline roulette and see if UAL flies that last flight of the day north to KATW, or cancels it as they have done many times. That always leaves a large number of #avgeeks stranded at the gate, many going into crisis mode as they had early Monday press conferences to present on opening day.
But this year, I am changing up my inbound routing, and it’s going to be a hoot. Instead of flying the usual routing, I am flying into St. Louis (KSTL) and meeting up with Derek Thomas (@derekwthomas) for a road trip to Oshkosh. Why? No idea…but the scheme was hatched one day on Twitter, and he sounds like my kind of people. Derek is a territory rep for a food service company, so he is as much a “foodie” as he is an #avgeek. I stalked his Facebook likes before saying “hell yes” and saw all of his likes were either aviation or food related. No hate, politics or fringe conspiracy theories. Just food, airplanes, music and fun…right in my wheelhouse.
I thought it would be a nice change to add a couple of days to my annual Oshkosh trip, to just cruise north while yakking about whatever as the interstate miles slide by underneath the car. But as the days click of the countdown clock towards #OSH18, this #avgeek road trip just keeps getting better and better…
After departing KSTL, we will eventually end up in Chicagoland to meet up with Isaac Alexander (@jetcitystar) who will be in the area and on his way to Oshkosh. We may check out some aviation museums, eat some good food, and could even run into @Jen_Niffer to join the fun as she is also driving westbound through the area on Saturday. I am cooking up some other things for our time in Chicago (unconfirmed tower tour at KORD or ZAU-Chicago ARTCC), and I do hope our visit in the area involves some serious Chicago-style deep-dish pizza.
After playing around Chicagoland for a bit, we will depart the area Sunday and go direct towards Oshkosh to make our first stop at the FAA temporary Approach Control “tower” at Fisk. I have been there before, and it is a serious gas…those controllers are the best of the best, and they are a joy to watch as they shoehorn a long conga line of inbounds through the congested AirVenture airspace to a safe arrival. Cost of admission is some donuts, but the foodie in the group (Derek) suggests our afternoon arrival will make donuts the wrong choice. I will be counting on him to come up with the perfect edible bribe so the controllers can let us hang out for a while.
Since Derek is also staying at the University of Wisconsin dorms like me, we will end our Sunday excursion there, check in, and prepare to enjoy several days at the World’s Largest Aviation Celebration. There might even be a stroll through Camp Bacon in the evening to say hello to the best #avgeeks on the planet. That all sounds WAY better than being stuck at the O’Hare Airport Hilton on Sunday night like last year, trying to get on the first KATW flight in the morning, growling as I lose valuable time at the show.
*My arrival into the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration will be at 3AGL, about the distance between me and the interstate. It’ll be fun with a bunch of #avgeeks all headed in the same direction, all stoked to be on our way to Oshkosh.
Yeah, sign me up. Is it July yet?

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